Oh boy, I love the sound of that.
I wanted to take a few minutes to share my thoughts on the Chicago Bulls game against the Milwaukee Bucks last night. It was a very high-paced game; I had the same first game jitters that the player had last night.
The only difference was that I had a beer in hand and I was in my underwear. I’d say that’s pretty similar to playing a 48-minute NBA game.
The season went off to a very nice start for the Bulls. Luol Deng had a very good game with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting with five makes from the charity stripe. Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon played great games off the bench.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Vinny Del Negro keep Hinrich out there playing both guard spots. I thought that Hinrich’s minutes were going to take a huge hit but 27 minutes isn’t anything to sneeze at.
Gordon didn’t play particularly well when he checked in late in the first quarter. I thought he forced a couple shots and got turned around at times while defending the Bucks’ Tyronn Lue. How he managed to get turned around by Lue, I still do not know…
Derrick Rose lived up to the billing in his first game. It wasn’t an Allen Iverson-esque debut performance but he racked up 9 assists and was very active in the passing lanes. Now although the Bulls still had trouble finding easy shots over some Rose-led stretches, the game seemed much more open with Rose at the point (rather than Hinrich). Now whether that’s entirely my cognitive bias, I don’t really know. But the Bulls had somewhere around 20 fast break points and most of them were scored on either a Rose assist or a Rose steal.
Despite Deng’s scoring and Rose’s highly-anticipated debut, Tyrus Thomas stole the show for me. The man was active from jumpstreet, getting into passing lanes, grabbing boards, changing shots and even tossing a handful of good looks. In one sequence, Thomas stole a secondary break pass from Luke Ridnour, pushed it up court himself and hit Gordon on a bounce pass for an easy bucket. After this game, I’m no longer inexplicably anxious when Thomas has the ball. Undefeated, indeed…