Yesterday evening the Chicago Bulls kicked off the start of their Las Vegas Summer League games with a fairly easy 81-67 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Bulls were led in scoring by Andrew Goudelock with 26 points, in rebounding by Malcolm Thomas with 10 boards, and in assists by Marquis Teague with 7 assists. The team was coached by Adrian Griffin.
As one would expect the game was filled with quite a few up and down moments, especially for Chicago. After starting off hot on a 10-2 run to open up the game, the Bulls allowed the Grizzlies to come back and take a four point in a matter of minutes. After a brief timeout, the Bulls managed to go on a brief run of their own to go up nine points by the end of the first quarter. A 17-1 run by Chicago led by Goudelock put Chicago up for good in the game. The Bulls allowed the lead to dip down into single digits after playing as if they were characters from “NBA Street,” but an angry Tom Thibodeau-esque timeout by Griffin ended those shenanigans.
Much to the chagrin of many Bulls fans wanting to hear screams similar to the ones Carlos Boozer produces, Charles Boozer, Carlos Boozer’s younger brother, did not see any playing time.
Because it’s the summer league we shouldn’t read too much into both individual and overall performances. However, the following are brief evaluations of key players from yesterday’s game:
- Andrew Goudelock:
Last year’s Developmental League MVP showed off a strong ability to score from just about anywhere on the floor. Goudelock made quick work of the defense as he stretched the floor with spot up three pointers after offensive rebounds, pull up jumpers off of the dribble with isolation play, and a decent ability to drive to the hoop. Early reactions from some are “Nate Robinson who?” while others, like K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune say it’s unlikely that Goudelock ends up with the Bulls.
- Marquis Teague:
Teague showed some very, VERY strong flashes in yesterday’s game. His shot was still terrible but off dribble he obliterated his opponents with his speed and control, he controlled the pace of the game the entire night, and he made good and smart passes all night long. On the night he recorded 7 assists but if he were playing with better teammates that number would have at least gone up to 12. Once again it’s Summer League so I don’t want to get too excited, but Teague is looking strong.
- Malcolm Thomas:
Thomas once again put in a very strong performance in the summer league. Last year’s darling member of the team struggled on offense (nothing new) but shone once again with strong performances on defense and on the glass. Thomas’s performance once again reminded me why I believe Thomas could be a more serviceable backup rim protector than Nazr Mohammed if he bulked up a bit and got stronger.
- Erik Murphy:
Murphy was… underwhelming. Not only did Murphy foul out, but he couldn’t get his shot going throughout the night. Despite getting good looks from three point range, Murphy ended up clanking all six attempts off of the front iron and didn’t notch a single rebound. However, it’s only the first game of summer league and at the end of the day it really means little (Kevin Durant’s summer league debut is one of the worst all time and look at how he turned out). Murphy’s shot looks pretty good despite the misses and I believe it’s only a matter of time before he starts making buckets.
- Tony Snell:
Snell was a hard player for met to get a read on yesterday. At times he showed flashes of strong play on both defense and offense with solid individual defending, good ball control, a good shot motion, and decent passing. Other times he looked completely lost as he failed to rotate, was tentative both on and off of the ball, and made terrible passes. Like I said with Murphy, first games mean little and I’m sure Snell will get things together at some point in the next year.