Preseason Game 4: Bulls 109, Raptors 90

preseason game 3

As I’ve said before, preseason games are essentially meaningless. You shouldn’t get to low after a loss, and you shouldn’t get too high after a win. Especially against a Raptors team featuring a starting lineup of Amir Johnson, Julian Wright, David Andersen, Jose Calderon and Leandro Barbosa.

That said, it’s still nice to see positive things happening.

For instance: Ball movement. The Bulls were whipping the ball around and finding the open man. Nobody more so than Joakim Noah, who finished with a game-high 8 assists (including 4 in the first quarter). Derrick added 7 dimes, and overall the Bulls assisted on 26 of their 40 field goals.

The unselfish play led to hot shooting (52 percent from the field and 50 percent from downtown) and plenty of free throw attempts (32).

Said Rose: “[Coach Tom Thibodeau] isn’t talking to us about moving the ball. It just comes from the offense. The offense is made so that if you don’t have a shot, you pass it.”

Added Noah: “[Thibodeau’s] offense puts us in a position where we can succeed.”

It’s funny, but I don’t remember ever reading any quotes like that about Vinny Del Negro’s offense the last couple seasons. But maybe I’ve suffering from recall bias.

Speaking of Noah, the dude is juiced. In addition to the gaudy assist total — remember people, he’s a center — Joakim had 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Of course, his numbers might have been padded by the fact that he also played a game-high 40 minutes. Noah wasn’t the only Bulls player logging heavy PT. Rose (36) and Deng (31) did too.

I guess that’s how you get guys prepped for the season.

Another positive sign was the job Chicago did on the boards. After getting thoroughly outrebounded in their first two preseason games, the Bulls outrebounded the Wizards 48-32 on Friday and then pounded the Raptors on the glass 44-22 last night. Heck, Noah almost matched Toronto’s rebound total by himself.

On the subject of board work, Omer Asik did sturdy job of rebounding the ball, pulling down 8 in his 20 minutes of playing time. Asik added 9 points and a co-game-high 3 blocked shots. Admittedly, Omer is a little raw and he’s adjusting to the speed and power of the NBA game. But I like his court sense and the way he positions himself around the basket. He looked pretty good against Washington last weekend (10 rebounds, 9 points), and he was solid against last night.

You know who else looked good? C.J. Watson. During his 19 minutes, Watson went 5-for-7 (which included hitting his first four shots) and finished with 12 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds off the bench. Last season, the Bulls never really had a reliable backup for D-Rose. It would be nice if C.J. could be that guy.

I should also note that Ronnie Brewer finally suited up for some action. He didn’t start, played only 10 minutes, and contributed 4 points, a rebound, and assist and a personal foul. But he seemed reasonably spry for somebody with a sore hamstring.

Said Brewer: “[The inury is] not going to affect the way I play. I’m still going to be aggressive and be one of the most athletic guys on the court. I’m still going to be in the weight room to get stronger in both legs. I won’t be cautious. I’ll just stretch a little more.”

Still…that’s the same hammy that Brewer partially tore last February. Which means proceed with caution.

Said Thibs: “We have to be careful with his minutes. But what he brings to our team is his ability to get in the open floor and attack, slash, put the ball on the floor. And we need a guy who can defend wings well. His length and versatility are assets.”

Deng continues to shoot threes. He went 1-for-3 against the Wizards on Friday and 2-for-3 last night. Three three-point attempts may not sound like very many in this day and age, but we’re talking about a guy who has attempted only 0.8 treys per game during his career.

All in all, it was a nice win. Sure, it came against a lousy team in a game that doesn’t mean anything. But trending upward sure is better than the alternative.

Recap, Box Score, Play-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos

22 Responses to Preseason Game 4: Bulls 109, Raptors 90

  1. dengsucks October 13, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    where is preseason game 3???

    BoppinBob October 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Thibs is playing Asik at C and Noah at PF which is getting Noah more PT than expected in the preseason. I am begining to think that the Bulls will get some valuable PT from Asik this season, I gladly admit I was wrong on this one. While he is still very raw, and needs to improve his stamina and strength, which will come in time, he is showing very good court sense and aggressiveness, which I did not expect, he is not intimidated by the NBA. I am really enjoying the mix and match that is going on with the rotation and can not wait to see what happens to the rotation when Boozer comes back.

    Chuck October 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Noah has put up some monster numbers this preseason. His assist numbers are great for a big guy. I can see his drawing double teams and finding the cutter for a lot of easy hoops this season.

  4. AC October 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Asik does clog up a lot of space, and it is interensting to see Noah roam a little bit more with a Power Forward’s task and a Center’s mentality. I want to see Noah roam like that while Boozer is there too. If he develops some type of jumper, it’s closed caskets for opposing centers. However, I feel he needs a little more strength up top for Shaq and Dwight Howard.

    Rick October 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    What the heck has happend to the NBA. Did anyone see the “T” that Korver got for touching his elbow. How does Korver get a “T'” for that. David Stern has seriously made the NBA a kindergarden game. Can you imagine Dennis Rodman playing in this error.

  6. Bill Z October 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    I agree BoppinBob. Asik has developed as much over these first four games as I would have expected over the entire pre-season. It will help to have a some-what reliable 7-footer backing up Noah this year. Kurt Thomas will give us some strong minutes, but having Asik available will make match-ups against Orlando, Boston, LA and others a bit easier.

  7. Bill Z October 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Oh – I still have tickets to most games for anyone interested. I can only make it to about half the games this year.

    John October 13, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    This team has been very fun to watch. Nothing against VDN but Thibs really is doing an excellent job so far. I love the ball movement and especially the improved defense. Five 24 sec violations last night was fantastic. I know it was against the lowly Raptors but I feel it is a sign of good things to come. I was very glad to see Watson rebound from the poor showing he had in the first game. I’m breathing alittle easier about our backup PG position now. One last note; it’s nice seeing us have teams worried about us shooting 3’s now. Last year teams dared us to take them and we couldn’t make them pay for it.

    inkybreath October 14, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    I am not sure the NBA really thought this one through all the way. Did anyone notice if they have the same rules for x amount of technicals garnering suspended games? If they have not adjusted this metric, than they will find themselves with some very upset teams, players and fans.

    They can’t just assume and say, “Everyone knows the rules, they should just abide by them.” It takes some time for this to really take hold and they should have realistic expectations.

    Again, I have not checked and I don’t know this is the case, but my gut says that have not adjusted it.

    bullsfandom October 14, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Its like Stacy King said when Korver got T’d up…those calls will go out the window when its Dwayne Wade, LBJ, etc making the gestures. This isn’t the first time the league has tried to come down on the whiners, and just like last time the effort is ill-conceived and wont be implemented after the 2nd week.

    bullsfandom October 14, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    My only disappointment in yesterday’s game was not seeing more of Weaver. He had looked very good in the previous two games, and my concern with that is that Boguns (whom I think he is battle for a spot with) keeps getting the starts while not really doing much other than showing off a surprising range.

    Brooklyn Bulls October 14, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    U guys’ descriptive comments are really helping me thru my league pass withdrawals….and theres no wgn on the east coast. tnt, espn and nbatv r gonna be it so im depending on u guys n the meantime

  13. Inception October 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    blowing out the weaker opponents is a sign of a pretty good team…bulls lacked this last year, as they were usually involved in close games even with the bad teams.

    BUT, it is just preseason, so i’ll hold judgement.

    Brad S. October 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    I am still reserving my judgement of Asik. Sorry, but every time I begin to feel myself get excited about his upside, I keep having terrible flashbacks of Dalibor Bagaric & Dragan Tarlac!

    Much like Taj Gibson last year, I am going to NOT account for Asik in my current Bulls estimation and then I’ll be pleasantly surprised if he brings anything to the table.

  15. Todd October 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    brooklyn bulls….use, not all the games will be on there but for the most part any big sporting event is on there

    inkybreath October 14, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    For any games that you cannot find on league pass, you may have good luck using From what I have read, they have battled in court and stand as a legal option for viewing. You don’t always find the best quality, but it is a good way to view almost any sports game in the world, when blacked out or otherwise.

    Brooklyn Bulls October 16, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    Thanx Inky/Todd…….the dallas game is on here tonight….lata!!

    Luke October 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I still don’t think Asik is going to make it in the nba…. I was at the wizards preseason game and he is horribly weak. Any little brush by the defender would throw his entire shot off. He will get pushed around all season long. I hope he doesn’t get more than 7 min a game this season

    inkybreath October 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    He has shown that he may be able to come off the bench and rebound, block shots, run the break, and finish at the rim. As long as he can set good pics for Watson and Korver, he can grab 12 or 13 minutes.

    bullsfandom October 17, 2010 at 3:09 am #

    As far as I’m concerned, the only time Asik should handle the ball is after he grabs a rebound. I agree he kid of looks like a big kid out there and I hope he adds some more strength/bulk over the next few years…but his defense and rebounding are enough for him to get into the game for 10-15 minutes or so

    Tony October 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    This dude is a joke. You should post a column after every game, not every weekday game.

    Brooklyn Bulls October 18, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    i’m with tony, this sh1t is a joke. Either u guys need to hire some help or Matt needs to get off his a$$ and put in some work. Ive read a few commentators on this sight that qualify.

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