The Bulls won their preseason finale to enter the regular season on a strong note, with back to back wins, and a dominate performance at the end. They held the Pacers to meager 35% shooting while shooting 45% from the field and 41% from the three point line.
Luol Deng threw up 29 points on 17 possessions for an absolutely unreal game. This is the Luol Deng the Bulls need this season, obviously he's not going to put up this kind of game often, even LeBron James doesn't put up games this efficient often. However, with his three point shooting and ability to get to the line, he's shown the capability of throwing up the occasional monster game that can single handedly win a game for a team.
Has Deng fixed his flaw in shooting from 1 step in the line? Deng's shooting 51.7% from the 3 point line on 3.6 attempts per game. I'd consider 38% on 3 attempts per game to be a triumphant success if he could maintain it for the regular season, so his effort so far dwarfs that metric. We'll just have to hope he can maintain something resembling this torrid pace.
Omer Asik played well in this one, better than his somewhat nondescript stats. If Asik could raise his free throw percentage up to around 66% (which really isn't asking a lot) then he'd be infinitely more dangerous. His FT shooting is going to kill him on the season if he can't maintain a level of at least 60% though. Still, he had plenty of offensive boards, played great defense, and had an overall solid night. While I'm not riding the Asik bandwagon per se, he does look like a legit back up center at the least.
Derrick Rose played well in limited time and had two monster blocks early on in the game. He continues to get to the free throw line at a high rate and is scoring and passing well. Everything about Rose's game screams ready for the regular season to kick off.
In general, it's hard to get too much out of this game, virtually everyone played well while the Pacers were simply abysmal. The Bulls dominated in all facets of the game, and we can merely hope that they can carry that energy into the regular season.
They have a tough opener playing on the road against Oklahoma City.