Wednesday, October 27, 2010


That was a great first game, save that 18-4 run the Bulls let the Thunder go on in the last six minutes or so. Some quick thoughts:

** Joakim Noah was frickin' awesome, 18 pts., 19 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, as well as a number of redirections at the rim for misses. And his 7 of 13 line from the field would've been better, except that a number of his misses were offensive tips at the rim that just didn't fall. Pretty incredible.

** Rose was a mixed bag, jaw-droppingly awesome at times, groaningly undisciplined at others. After a slow start, he seemed to take over the game, then got into some foul trouble with some ticky-tack calls, then heated up again, and then was pretty terrible during crunch time. Twelve of 31, and only four trips to the line, isn't going to get it done, to say nothing of his 0 for 4 line from three point land. I feel like one or two of those were good shots, but the others were forced, and those are just wasted possessions. He's just gotta harness things a little more and he'll be unstoppable. I'm keeping the faith.

** Taj made a nice recovery from a crappy preseason for the first three quarters, then shit the bed in the fourth, making one of only three shots, bricking two much-needed FTs, and making an excruciatingly bad turnover at a crucial time. Still, overall he shot 66% from the field, scoring 16 pts. and hauling in 11 boards. But his 14 and 8 line thru three quarters was much more impressive. It'll be nice when Boozer's back on the court for the big minutes and Taj can do his good work in spurts off the bench. As a third big, he should be fine.

** Korver's minute allotment seemed kinda weird, only 16 overall, but many coming toward the end of the game. He shot okay, but missed his only three point attempt and seemed to have trouble shaking Thabo off screens. I guess OKC is a tough matchup for him, seeing as Durant plays the 3 and that's Kyle's best position. Be interesting to see how Thibs uses him moving forward.

** Overall, Deng did a great job on Durant, who got his 30 but needed 24 shots to do it and turned the ball over 6 times as well. But it was sad to see Deng's 3-pointer leave him, as he had some good looks but they just didn't fall. Here's hoping the hot shooter from the preseason can re-emerge soon.

** CJ Watson looked a little shaky in his first stint, although he did get on a little hot streak that kept the Bulls in the game when it looked like OKC might build a big lead. His second stint in the 2nd half, though less explosive, seemed more stabilizing. Rose's foul trouble kept Thibs from playing the two together, which might've actually been effective against the Thunder.

Overall, the Bulls looked great for 3 and a half quarters, playing their first game in a tough environment. (Given the ridiculous FT disparity, it certainly seemed to rattle the refs.) The end was pretty ugly, but I can't complain too much as a) I didn't really expect them to win this game and b) they were a much more watchable team for the first 40 minutes than they've been in years. I'm still very excited for this season to unfold.


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