The Bulls won their first tune-up game in their Derrick Rose-less quest, but all wasn’t bright.
One of the most upsetting things was Jimmy Butler’s 1-11 night. He took a big step back after a promising summer, something I was afraid of when the competition got tougher.
The rest of the bench wasn’t great either, and definitely had many fans longing for the bench of last season, which at the very least shut the other team down. I mean, Jerome Jordan scored 13 points in 13 minutes. I’ll hold on until you Google him… No results? OK, I’ll continue then. Thibodeau still has a long way to go to get this bench playing solid defense.
And the bench’s offense, the part that was supposed to improve, looked very off. If the Bulls wanted missed shots, they could have just resigned Ronnie Brewer and given him break-away dunks. Nate Robinson was 3-8, Marco Belinelli was 1-7 and I didn’t seen any ladies swooning as they did for Korver. Even Taj Gibson was just 1-7.
I could keep whining, but this was just one game of the post-season, the first one of the year, and there were good things that can be built on.
Nazr Mohammed has already made more outside shots in a Bulls’ uniform than Omer Asik did in the past two years. Guess how many field goals Omer Asik made from 10-15 feet in his Bulls career…Nope, wrong. It was two. According to HoopData he made one in each of his two seasons as a Bull. He also only attempted two according to the site, so maybe he should have taken more.
Anyway, Mohammed’s defense is clearly much worse that Asik, but a little offense from the back-up center isn’t going to be the worst thing.
Tonight’s opponent may be a little easier than the Grizzlies, but it’s a division opponent the Bulls will see four times throughout the season (the first game between the two teams is Game 2 of the season for Chicago).
For the first of many times this season, the Bulls will experience something they really aren’t used to. Playing a team with a more talented point guard. With Rose on the floor, you could make an argument against any other point guard. But now with Hinrich, that list is a lot shorter. It may not really be a list, just a piece of paper with Mo Williams’ name on it.
Hinrich going up against rising star Kyrie Irving will be a peek at what the Bulls will be up against during the year at the one spot. Can Hinrich defend top point guards? Can he hold his own on offense? Kirk is pretty smart, so he should be able to use his smarts to get something done.
Things I’d like to see tonight:
-Rip Hamilton get to the line three times. The Bulls are going to need all the easy point they can get, and if Rip’s truly healed, he should be pump faking and trying to take some contact again. Six free throws isn’t a lot, but it would be a start after last season.
-Carlos Boozer shooting better than 30 percent. Booz went 3-10 in preseason game one, and that isn’t going to come close to cutting it for the season. He an Deng need to carry the Bulls on offense.
-I want some more Marko Jaric…or at least more Adriana Lima.
But overall, after the past two season, the Bulls just need to stay healthy, especially in games that don’t count for anything.