The Bulls roared out of the gates in this one building a huge lead in a hurry largely behind the play of Carlos Boozer. However, after the first half the offense, the team fell into somewhat of a slumber and managed to match the rather pathetic Timberwolves offense the rest of the way.
Fans needed to see Carlos Boozer have this game
Carlos may have infinite confidence, but after watching him play horrifically up until now, I wanted to see some signs that the guy didn't lose all semblance of basketball skill over the summer.
Even his night was far from perfect as Boozer started off 6-6 and finished 10-17 which puts him at 4-11 after his hot start. Even so, it was nice to see him hit a few shots early that weren't gimmie layups.
For the most part, outside of Boozer the starters struggled. Kirk Hinrich has earned plenty of praise this preseason for his scrappy play [including from myself], but his efficiency metrics are actually pretty poor as well as his shooting percentages. Joakim Noah had perhaps his first poor performance of the preseason as well.
Hamilton and Deng weren't atrocious, but they weren't particularly good either.
Is it time to take back everything nice I said about Marco Belinelli?
I get that it's preseason, but Belinelli can't seem to throw the ball in the ocean so far. Beyond his terrible offense is some pretty terrible defense as well. I bought into the hype of what I thought Belinelli would do, but it hasn't panned out that way so far.
Hopefully it's merely a slump, there's no reason to think he won't at least shoot the three at a high level when open, but I had hoped that Belinelli might become a sneaky good signing. He looks like he belongs out of the league so far.
Nate Robinson plays well again
After some early struggles and a bust out game, I was interested to see what Nate Robinson would do coming off the bench again. He had another strong game scoring six with four assists on 50% shooting in just 16 minutes.
Robinson's destined to both excite and frustrate this season, but this far in I feel comfortable saying he's much better than John Lucas whom he's replacing.
Taj Gibson's rounding into form
Taj has had an up and down preseason largely struggling to shoot the ball and score for the ineffective bench. The good news for Taj is his defense is right on target and he's rebounded the ball well. Taj has been building momentum as preseason has gone on and looks better and better after an awful start.
The Bulls have just two more warm ups left prior to kicking off the season on Halloween when the Kings visit the United Center. Before that point, they'll need to figure out the rotation and how to get some quality play off the bench. Most interesting will be how they handle the shooting guard position and how much rope Belinelli gets if he can't break out of his slump.