Derrick Rose puts on a show for the home crowd

Derrick Rose brought the Thunder. He hit multiple acrobatic lay ins, showed tremendous burst, had a few dunks, and overall gave fans that superstar feeling they've been missing for so long.

If you went into a coma in late April of 2011, you'd have no idea that Rose was ever hurt. He took multiple tumbles, hopped right back up, and attacked with a fearlessness that shows his confidence is fully back.

If there's any concern with Rose right now, it's simply that he still hasn't really found his jumper yet, but he took very few this game. However, I'll take a game where Derrick effectively lives at the rim rather than one where he launched 10 jumpers and hit half.

This game was a statement to the fans, in Chicago, that the ACL isn't an issue. He blew past Piston defenders repeatedly with ease, finished well at the hoop, and repeatedly got to the free throw line [though he looked awfully uncomfortable despite knocking down 9/10].

Tony Snell looked like a player

I've been fairly critical of Snell so far in summer league/preseason, so it was nice to see him get this game under his belt. Snell started off by missing his first shot and turning the ball over. Then he was forced into taking a tough three at the buzzer under heavy duress and knocked it down.

After that, he seemed to find his confidence and went on to have an excellent night with his 12 points second only to Derrick Rose, and his scoring helping carry a second unit that had temporarily let the Pistons back into the game after the starters build up a big lead. Snell showed excellent passing instincts and shot the ball well giving fans what they were hoping for when he was drafted.

Conspiracy theorist alert

If you believe Mark Deeks article I posted on the pre-game thread about the Bulls shopping Teague then he had another showcase game tonight. He started off as a train wreck, but finished much better.

He scored 11, knocked down multiple jumpers [including a three], and had a couple moves to the hoop. He was one of just four Bulls in double figures and had multiple passing plays that had assist potential but weren't finished.

That said, there's still an element of his offense that feels more lucky than good. He didn't show much passing vision and spent much of his night passing the ball around the perimeter whereas Kirk Hinrich would usually then feed the post when getting the ball. Part of that is by design, because Teague was at the top of the key rather than on the wing though.

Taj Gibson still a beast

It's easy to get overly excited in preseason when it's been so long since watching real basketball, but Taj Gibson really looks improved this summer. He looks more explosive, and his jumper looks vastly improved all preseason. He's been a beast on the glass as well.

Mike Dunleavy Jr, looks good as a hustle guy? What?

I have to say, I'm not exactly Dunleavy's biographer, so maybe this is par for the course, but while his shooting was off, Dunleavy impressed me considerably with his rebounding and hustle on the court tonight.

Most of his rebounds were heavily contested, he made multiple heady defensive plays to force turnovers, and was willing to throw his body around and hustle.

So far, his shooting has looked far below his career numbers, but I'm confident he'll turn that around with some more reps.

Joakim had a typical Joakim night

In his first game back, Noah just recorded three shots. All misses. However, he did an excellent job passing the ball when the offense ran through him. He made plays multiple times on both ends with his athleticism and quickness, and generally looked like that player who will aggravate the piss out of other fans.

Or in other words, just like we'd expect him to.

Bulls strong on the inside

What impressed me most about this game is how the Bulls dominated on the interior. The Bulls bigs outplayed the Pistons bigs. Derrick Rose got to the rim whenever he wanted. The Bulls simply played better in the paint.

That's a strong statement when going up against a team with the front court of Drummond, Monroe, and Smith. The Pistons are big and athletic, but Bulls simply beat them up on the inside anyway.

Bulls fired up some threes

After barely hoisting any threes in their first couple of games, the Bulls launched a more respectable 17 tonight and knocked down seven. Getting that number of attempts closer to 20 while knocking down 7-8 a game.

All in all, the spacing looked much better in this game with Dunleavy in the starting lineup despite the fact that he didn't knock down his first few shots. I think most fans will be content with Dunleavy getting those open threes and seeing what happens.

The Bulls look like an elite team right now. They starters look awfully good, and the bench players who will actually be contributors are also playing well. Most of the struggles in preseason so far have been with the players who won't be in the rotation.

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  • Greetings from Saigon where unfortunately the local team is called the Heat. Watched the game on the internet and I have to admit I am really hoping that Snell develops into a role player. He had some nice steals and seems to be much more confident on the defensive end of the court at this stage. Certainly wouldn't be the first rookie to struggle offensively out of the gate.

    Dunleavy will be fine but I am not sure I understand him replacing Butler at shooting guard. Again that is why I hope Snell develops.

    Regarding Teague, I hope the Bulls don't give up on him just to save money. Next year, Hinrich wont be here is my guess and James will be on Social Security so the Bulls will need a quality back up point guard. Teague's problem as far as I can tell is that he plays the game too fast which I attribute to rookie nerves, even though he is no longer a rookie. However, because both he and Snell are only 20, I think it is way to early to write either of them off. I know we are playing for the title this year as well we should but unless we get a mid-first round pick for him, why not be a bit more patient with a young player who just might have some real upside rather than give him away in order to open a roster spot for a very mediocre 38 year old journeyman?

    Rose does look awesome. He even hit a 3 :)

  • In reply to takdan:

    Butler had some tendinitis in his knee which is why he sat out for this game. That's why Dunleavy started at SG, although I would've thought they would start Hinrich at SG in that scenario also to 'showcase' Teague more for a possible trade.

  • I was at the game last night and D Rose and the Bulls put on a great show. My biggest shock was how well Snell played. I still don't understand the Teague hate. He plays exactly like what he is, a 20yr point guard with almost no college or NBA experience trying to run a brand new offense. I thought he had a good 2nd half after a pedestrian 1st half. I agree with Takdan, keep Teague unless the Bulls get at least a mid level 1st round draft pick. The real problem is he needs minutes to develop his game but the Bulls probably don't have enough because they are definitely title contenders this year barring major injuries (I have to caveat that declaration after the last 2 years).

  • Glad to see:

    1) Rose looks explosive. Enough said.

    2) Taj looks healthy, more explosive. If he can improve on his shot and stay healthy that would make the Bulls bench possibly the best in the NBA. Who else has a guy like Taj off the bench, outside of Asik backing up Howard. A definite luxury.

    3) Snell is fine. I still like this guy based on his shooting, his size and length and court vision. While not an offensive force, he could be a solid 2-way player and high-end defender. He is a bit passive, but so was Scottie Pippen. Butler never looked at the rim his rookie year, but showed last year he can score. Snell has the upside to be a nice starting wing alongside Rose since he can shoot. At worst, hopefully a nice bench guy.

    4) Teague - again, hard to make a call since I'm not seeing him every day in practice. However, if the Bulls have cooled on him, ship him out now while we can get something for him. He has some value, even if it's a future 1st round pick, or two seconds. He should rarely play this year anyway. If Hinrich is healthy, he can be resigned at the vet minimum after this season most likely be the 3rd guard and back up Rose next season. The Bulls can also find a 3rd string PG relatively easy for when Hinrich is banged up. It's harder to find 2-way wing players and big men.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I agree with you on 1) thru 3).

    As for 4), Teague, I am not sure. It seems that the FO has decided to move him, so they must not like what they see in practices. But, as I posted before, the Bulls have failed to develop some young guys who then went to other teams and became very good! Brown, Smith, Chandler, for example.
    All right, that stuff happens, but still, I do not want to see it again. Now if they can get an option to swap 1st round picks, that might be worth it. Or, maybe they could swing a trade for Teague and a pick to get a decent backup C.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    The guys you mention are loooooong gone. I'd rather look at the recent track record:
    Gibson - excellent late pick
    J.Johnson - bust, although recovered and I think used the pick to get Mirotic.
    Mirotic - so far so good. Developing overseas. Fits excellent with Rose/Noah as a floor spacing stretch 4.
    Butler - excellent late pick.
    Teague - I was luke-warm on the selection of one of my Wildcats, and he does have NBA size and athletic ability. Actually, high-end athletic ability. But, too many red flags as I look back.

    He left school early for no reason when he could have played a starring role on a UK team with decent in-coming talent, but no PG as a sophomore. And, improved his draft stock because he was a mid-1st round pick at best.

    He did not live up to the hype as a UK Freshman. This is something that is hard to do and suggests that he may not perform well on the biggest stage in college basketball.

    He has no confidence and cannot shoot and turns the ball over. Not a leader. Poor body language. Can't run an offense. Uk won it all despite him. Sounds horrible to say, but most UK fans would agree. He did hit a couple big shots in the title game when the game got to about 10 points in the 2nd half.

    So, the common "upside" argument is fair given his athletic ability. But, his intangibles are atrocious. The anti-Kirk Hinrich.

  • It's pre-season, so I'm trying to stay objective about how things are going...but man, this team looks really sharp so far.

    I like Teague getting minutes next to Hinrich. That may be a great way to help him develop, but still have some insurance on the floor for quasi-point guard duties. As mentioned, Teague is young, and still needs time to develop in actual game situations. Not real worried about the kid at this point.

    Good to see Snell have strong game last night. Again, not really worried about the kid at the this point...it's was the forth NBA game of his entire career, so how high can the expectations be at this point?

    Still waiting for the regular starting five to play together...maybe Friday?

  • Dunleavy is better than Belinelli and Korver when you factor his all around game/skills, his basketball IQ and passing ability is top notch. There's a reason why he was the 3rd overall pick in 2002. He's a great pick up by the FO. Gibson is looking solid and ready, he deserves 30 minutes a night. I would be fine with giving Nazr a small roll, maybe 5 minutes a night with the minutes basically divided evenly between gibson, noah and boozer. It was good seeing Snell stick some jumpers and use that length to get some steals. I would like to see him dribble drive more like he did in some summerleague games. He has trouble finishing at the rim but good passing vision. The 3pt shooting was improved and will be important going against elite teams. The rebounding throughout all preseason games has been excellent.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I agree with you on Dunleavy, Defense-Rebound 13. He has legit NBA skills, and should be an upgrade over both Marco and Kyle as far as all-around game. I think the fact that he is on a good team now, with a good coach will also be a big factor. He seems reinvigorated, and ready to help the Bulls win in any way that he can contribute. A bench of Taj, Captain, Dunleavy, Snell, Nazr is pretty damn solid.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Something no one ever mentions about Korver since his departure is how poorly Thibs would use him. It’s something Doug pointed out on this blog while Korver was on the team, and my season-ticket-holding-basketball-loving buddy said the exact same things about Thibs mis-using Korver as Doug did, so I believe it to be true.

    Dunleavy is a different type of player and one that Thibs will probably be much more adept at using properly than Korver was. I hope this brings an end to the crying over losing Korver because Thibs never got the most out of him anyways.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Supposedly Thibs lobbied for Dunleavy, so it figures he will play the guy. I agree, Dunleavy seems to be an upgrade, he can do several things well.

    If Snell keeps shooting well (he already defends), and Taj continues his strong play, and Butler takes the next step, the Bulls certainly contend. So, I wonder if the Bulls would trade Teague for Dieng and a #2?

    Or trade Teague to the Jazz for a backup big and the flip of their 1st rounders. The Bulls will be drafting late (hopefully last!) so that would be a nice move up.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I am in the camp that generally thinks that Dunleavy is some kind of combination between Korver and Belli, and that he is/might be a better overall player than either.

    However, Korver was/is one of the few guys who in league history who gets you up on your feet everytime he is about to shoot.

    Hopefully, Dunleavy will get there during the course of this season.

    Interesting that Korver got a new contract for 4 years @ $6 million per while Dunleavy got 2 years for a total of $6 million.

    of course there is no rule that says you can't have a guy like Korver as well as a guy like Dunleavy, or a guy like Nate, or for that matter a guy like Asik. Well except of course the Reinsdorf rule, a.k.a. as the draconian new tax structure.

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