Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers 7pm on CSN

Chicago Bulls vs Indiana Pacers 7pm on CSN

The Chicago Bulls go up against the Indiana Pacers in their second, and final, preseason game tonight. While Tom Thibodeau wouldn't commit, Richard Hamilton is expected to play.

Quite frankly, it's ridiculous if he doesn't at this point. If we trade for a player at the deadline are we going to wait a week for him to acclimate himself to the team before through him on the court? No. He'll play the instant he has passed his physical and the trade cannot be rescinded.

Why would we even consider not playing him in a game that means less than a regular season game when we'd assuredly do so if this was a mid season trade? It's silly enough that we left him out of preseason game one.

What to look for in this preseason game 2

What will Richard Hamilton do?

The Bulls ultimately had their pick between Hamilton (2 years), Crawford (2 years with a PO for the second year), and Jason Richardson (full MLE). They opted for Richard Hamilton. I could build a case for any of the three, but no matter whom the Bulls pick, if they pick wrong they'll be crucified for it.

Let's hope they didn't pick wrong.

Richard Hamilton will give us our first glimpse tonight whether that was the case or not. So far, all the quotes have been encouraging. Hamilton says all the right things about moving without the ball and fitting in with Derrick Rose, willingness to play whatever role is asked, etc..

I think his personality fits in perfectly with the team, but tonight we'll see if his slow decline the past three seasons was due to injuries and a fading Pistons team or due to the natural aging process. His game doesn't rely on tremendous burst, so there's a strong possibility we see a significant up tick in efficiency once he's running around other good players again.

Can Carlos Boozer get back on track?

It's only one preseason game, but there's a palpable fear over everything related to Boozer for Bulls fans. His performance conjured up memories of his playoff performance last year which was simply terrible. Hansbrough is the type of player Boozer should dominate. He's doesn't have a physical advantage on Boozer in terms of height or athleticism.

Obviously, it's still only preseason, but the Bulls truly need Boozer to be more of a difference maker than he was in the playoffs last season, and fans could sure use a quality performance tonight to feel better about him going into the regular season.

Improved effort level

The Bulls allowed the Pacers to out hustle them for large parts of the first meeting. Chicago easily won the game based on superior talent and depth, but Tom Thibodeau couldn't have been pleased with all the offensive rebounds allowed or turnovers trying to move the ball.

Look for the Bulls to improve considerably on their fundamentals in this game, as I'm sure they were beaten into the ground over the mental errors that occurred last game.

Can Jimmy Butler do it again?

Jimmy Butler had a strong debut, but the strength of that debut has been magnified by an overly exuberant fan base. Calls for Butler to play heavy rotation minutes and start next season have already been heard on realgm after he scored eight points in a preseason game.

Overexubertance aside, Butler looked like he belonged for one night, let's see if he can match that level of play tonight as well. I still don't expect Butler to play in the general rotation unless there's an injury, but it will be nice feeling comfortable with him in our back pocket if we need him.

Final thoughts

Can we do two preseason games every year? It seems like the perfect amount where they still hold some interest after having lacked real basketball for so long, but then we're on to the real thing shortly afterwards.


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  • I would like to see a reduction in preseason games from 8 to 4. And extend the regular season by 2-3 weeks to greatly reduce if not eliminate back-to-backs. Back-to-backs greatly reduce the quality of play in the NBA regular season. And then there are the many instances where one team is playing back-to-back and the other is not.

  • Coming into a new season with all the bizarre circumstances surrounding it's players and fans, It's funny when you think about it. Nobody's talking about it. The Allen Iverson"ization" of Derrick Rose.

    All the buzz has been about RIP, Boozer, Noah etc. Yet that first game of this season against the Pacers(albeit it doesn't count) reminds of the last games(playoffs) of this past season. Aside from Derrick Rose's 6 turnovers, he also shot 30% from the field.

    With all the second year expectations of this group post 2010 FA summer/ Booz/Korver/Ronnie/Thibs, and in the wake of Derrick's MVP season, should fans be concerned about his major decline in Field Goal percentage?

    Hoopsdata shows Derrick Rose:
    2010 3-9 FT 57.5% on 2.1 A's, 10-15 FT 50% 2.1 A's, 16-23 FT 44% on 6.9 A's(A's = attempts/shots).
    2011? 3-9 FT 39.7% on 2.4 A's, 10-15 FT 42% 1.7 A's, 16-23 FT 38% 4.5 A's.

    Those are startling drop offs for Derrick Rose. Yet he upped his free throw attempts significantly, and dominated end of game situations often with unstoppable drives to the basket/close in Jordanesque contortion shots.

    The Allen Iverson"ization" of Derrick Rose by the media didn't start until this past season, and for good reason. I maintain that ever since his FIBA play where his scoring and shooting percentage/shot were awful, his confidence has been effected.

    In his first two seasons Derrick's shooting numbers are good to say the least. In fact, in all three categories from three feet to 23 feet Derrick shot the ball better then his Miami counterparts Wade and James. Wade 2010 3-9 FT 47% 1.8 A's, 10-15 FT 34% 1.9 A's, 16-23 FT 36% 5.3 A's. James 2010 3-9 FT 53% 1.5 A's, 10-15 FT 32%, 16-23 FT 40% 5.4 A's.

    Derrick Rose without doubt was a better shooter from three feet and beyond then James or Wade coming into the 2011 season. And that's without Wade and James massive free throw attempts/scoring insurance. Then his shooting percentage took a tumble. Of course you could argue that the hype and extended double teams finally caught up with Derrick, and "made" him struggle with his shot.

    Whatever the case the Bulls did not find a three point shooter or creator (aka Jason Richardson) to make teams pay for extended doubles nor another guy to handle the ball some, and take it out of Derrick's hands/take some of the pressure off so he can play off the ball. That's not a knock on RIP. He should/could be a solid upgrade.

    But it will be interesting to see if Derrick's shooting woes continue, and if he continually depends on around the basket contortions to compensate will he become simply a free throw junkie ala "practice, we're talkin' about practice?!" A.I. ? And will the odds catch up to him, resulting in significant injury?

    Should Bulls fans be concerend with Derrick's decline in field goal percentage, and the growing perception that he's just not a good shooter(as if this has always been the case which is false)? I'd say yes.

    If by February, Derrick Rose is shooting 44% as he did last season as opposed to 47 and 48% the previous two seasons, I'd say that's a problem. And also not only less conducive of a champion, but much less entertaining as well. You'll never see a true stud Kobe, Michael, Wade shooting 44% from the field in his prime. Not happening.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    There is a little bit of truth to your reasoning. Iverson had a similar supporting cast when he was at his peak. Most of the cast members were primarily defensive guys and very limited offense like the Bulls(Noah, Asik, Taj, Brewer, even Deng). This might lead to Rose feeling the burden of trying to take over instead of distributing if he suffers more failures like what happened against the Heat. And, look at this comments too like I didn't do enough. Is it he didn't more distributing or is it he didn't fight through those double teams quickly? If it is the second case, we are in trouble.

    If Rose matures enough to know when to pass and when to shoot/take-over at a micro-level of the game, he will succeed. Otherwise, he will have a tough time succeeding because of his physical limitations(height). I am not saying he can't...he probably can and he wants too. And, I think he is probably more mature than Iverson was at this stage.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Iverson"ization", i.e comparisons to Iverson, are due to similarity as smaller guards who both score on high volume, lower percentage games with dependence on the free throw line to boost efficiency/PER etc. I don't think anyone's comparing their character.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I am not comparing their characters. It is more like how MJ was in his initial years and then took over at the right times. That's what I mean...Rose's in-game basketball maturity. Rose deferred to Ben Gordon/Hinrich in his first year or two. I think he is still learning this process of when to be Chris Paul and when to be Iverson(volume scorer). I think Rose has both of those skills and he is not there in basket-ball maturity to know when to apply and not to apply.
    Anyhow, I see your point through stats with what I am saying is reflected in a way.

    The biggest thing I am concerned with Rose is as you said if it is a close game, LeBron/Wade can preserve their energy until the last few minutes and then just stop Rose with all their length, double-teams. It is like what Pippen did to Mark Jackson(maybe the whole game). And the Bulls didn't have any answers for that.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    There's always lots of talk about the Bulls needing somebody to allow Rose to play off the ball, but I think it's pretty clear that, right or wrong, the Bulls don't want him playing off the ball. Instead, the strategy seems to be opening up the floor using some combination of spot up shooters and screen-runners.

    Also, while Rip isn't an iso superstar, he's a good distributor. Last year, his APG was nearly identical to Crawford's (3.2 JC vs 3.1 Rip), and Rip's assist % and per 36 are actually better. Fewer turnovers too. Once they get in a good rhythm, I think the Bulls offense will be much more fluid than last year.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I'm not worried. If D. Rose shoots a low percentage this season after working out 6 days a week for 4 months this summer, then he's just not a shooter, period. It won't be for poor mechanics or lack of shots being put up... If that is the case, perhaps he becomes more of a distributor.

  • Part of the reason his percentage went down is because of increased 3 point attempts..while I like his confidence there, he has to balance that out with his previous year's solid midrange jumper. Another reason the percentage was low is because of late clock desperation shots. Derrick has to avoid trying to go one on five....something that doomed lebron james on those playoff cav teams and hopefully Rip can help balance out this offense. We don't have 25+ point scoring weapons like lebron, wade and bosh but we have the starting five that can easily all get double figures in a game with a solid bench. I like to see his percentage at least at 46% on 18 shots per game.

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    I don't think you could argue with 46% except he scored nearly 21ppg the previous season on 49%(.489). So for Derrick I would say even that would be a bit of a step back.

    Though the blame(Derrick) game is not the point per se as he has no legit three point shooter in volume(such as a Jason Richardson) or true slasher/scorer let alone near or at All-Star scorer(s)/partner. And lacking a Phil/Riley/Pop etc. mentor of proven accomplishment doesn't necessarily help either.

  • Jason Goff discussed this on ESPN 1000 last week, and I agree with his sentiment:

    It's ridiculous to compare Derrick Rose to Allen Iverson, because Derrick is a facilitator more so than Iverson ever was. He also can perform astounding dunks. I never was impressed by Iverson's athleticism. He has a couple of good dunks, but I bet he didn't have a 44 inch vertical in his prime.

    2011? 3-9 FT 39.7% on 2.4 A's

    IMO That stat line clearly indicates the effects of the hack DRose game plan teams like Indiana execute.

    I'm not worried. Not one bit.

  • Yes but you have to keep in mind the overall percentage goes down with increased 3 point shooting. He made over 120 3s with 33% which is not bad but not great. Anyway with that increased 3 point shooting dimension to his game, I think it would be unrealistic to expect 49% shooting. Kobe is considered the second coming of Michael Jordan or the closest thing to him and his career percentage hovers around 45% mark.

  • Rip to start tonight! Going to be fun to see him out there. Can't wait for Christmas

  • Three point shooting has become more a part of the game and Derrick's game, yet Derrick's numbers from short 3-9 FT to medium range 10-15 and extended 16-23 FT went down across the board independent of three point attempts. But the Kobe example does reflect lower field goal percentages then some other all-stars/champions largely due to significantly increased three point attempts/it's emergence/prominence in his time.

  • Anyone know if I can find a live stream of this game tonight? I am out of market and stuck at work til 10pm tonight. Would really like to watch it if possible. used to be great but last I checked, their site was all sorts of messed up.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • In reply to jt563905:

  • This worked for me for the Clippers/Lakers game last night:

  • Missed most of the first quarter, looked like Rip played pretty well based on the box score. Will check it out on the DVR tonight when I get my workout in after the kids go to bed.

    Interesting how the first unit dominated this game while the second unit dominated the last one [and the other unit struggled]

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Rose has 3 assists to Rip already. The starting 5 is looking NICE. Great passing by everyone, & Rip gives us another element to our team we haven't had.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    dang, Rip just missed a layup off a sweet pass for #4

  • I miss Bogans and his defender being all over Rose. I miss Bogans passing the ball as soon as he gets it. I miss Bogans shooting mostly air-balls unless he is open for about 10 sec....Welcome to a true SG.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    And I miss Bogans not being able to run the floor with Rose, and thus not utilizing Derrick's abilities completely. Welcome indeed.

  • The Rip Hamilton signing looks a lot better than it first sounded. I'm really diggin' the starting five. GO BULLS!!!

  • Korver is looking pretty useless right now. We want Butler!

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Kyle Korver's contract is non-guaranteed for next season.
    We can see the future...

  • Rip looked pretty good. He was running around like crazy, and he had some nice passes as well.

    Rose looks like he's trying to be more of a pass first pg.

    Looks like they're going to run the C out as a passer, seemed to work so far.

    Boozer looks a lot faster, and he is trying on defense.

    Taj had a few nice post moves tonight as well, I know he's been working on them this summer.

    Does Noah look like he added muscle this summer? Or is that chub?

  • Luol is the one that looks beefy this year. He's put on quite a bit of upper body strength

    Also interesting that even with 5 fouls Thibs played Taj with the starters in the 4th quarter. CBooz played a lot with the bench mob.
    May have been just how it worked out with early fouls on Taj, but still interesting.

    Rip looked like his been on this team for years. Excellent flow.

  • 15 assists from our starting backcourt. When was the last time that happened?!? Rip scores off of assists AND he distributes assists as well. The offense looks completely different with Rip in the game. He's creating offense for everyone.

  • I don't know man. Korver just, god, get rid of him. Hamilton looks like a quality starter. Derrick had the assists, but he still looks somewhat offensively stymied against the Pacers. Joakim looked OK with the blocks and D, but in their offensive sets he just looks like a square peg. Taj was just abused by those refs. Thibs please quit the friendly banter with the refs. Please. I did like the "carp free" game by Tom though. He continues that, and even with the poorly run offense I will have no complaints with him.

    I'm going to say right now the Bulls offensive sets similar to last year look sub par to me. I don't like the way the Bulls offense looks. Too many settling for threes to be sure.If you judged this team by tonight you'd say nice ball club, but no All-Stars/nothing to write home about. I'll be watching more entertaining teams/games, but will catch DVR'd Bulls wins if/when Derrick and Jo come back to life.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Wow, I disagree. I thinkt the starters offense looked good. When you see that many assists most would think that would be the opposite of settling and chucking. Considering that this was his first game Rip had and created some pretty easy shots.
    Rose's rhythm was slightly off and he forced it a bit, but how refreshing to win easily without having to rely on him. And it certainly wasn't problematic. The only one who looked a little off was Brewer and Asik still brought the ball down once by the basket and lost it.
    I think the Bulls looked like a really solid team. Ready for the season.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Bulls looked usual RW just has his negative nancy mr happy pants on. Must suck to be him....

  • And obviously, Korver hasn't made a shot since Atlanta I think. Still with Rip, Korver hitting isn't as essential.
    Nonetheless, this team healthy is better than last year. Deep, fast, and more experienced. They look ready.

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