Derrick Rose plays well, plays aggressive in preseason opener

Derrick Rose plays well, plays aggressive in preseason opener

It's tough to pick a headline for a preseason game where there was so much to take away. Of course it's the first Bulls action in since last April, so it'd be easy to get over excited about anything that happened, but there were some significant takeaways from this game.

Before going anywhere too deep in analysis, I'd like to point this out, normally in preseason you add in the caveat "it's only preseason", but these teams played each other with a playoff intensity. Fights almost broke out twice, the groups clearly don't like each other, and so, I'll say this. This wasn't just a typical lazy preseason game, these guys were really going at it.

Let's start with the good:

Derrick Rose looked pretty good

He was one for three on jumpers (his make coming on a three) and three for four at the rim and drew another foul on a drive to the basket to add two free throws. Overall, he was defended by one of the more athletic point guards in the league in John Wall and didn't seem to struggle getting to his spots.

He broke down the defense numerous times off the dribble and only one of his makes was on a fast break (which should have been an "and one" as well.

The story about Derrick Rose after this game is that when it was over, I didn't think there was a story about Derrick Rose. He just looked like Derrick Rose. It felt so natural that I'd forgotten he hasn't looked like Derrick Rose for about two years and this is actually a huge deal.

That's the best news that could possibly come out of a preseason game for Chicago, and everything afterwards pales in importance to this.

Pau Gasol's defense

Pau Gasol had three blocks in 25 minutes had a bunch of tough physical contested rebounds and looked pretty good defensively when not caught up in a pick and roll. He moved pretty well to play interior help defense and looked very solid.

Gasol is very clearly a center at this point in his career. When he had to get 10+ ft from the basket his ability to stay with guys was compromised, but when he was near the basket he was actually really good defensively. I expected the poor perimeter defense but was pleasantly surprised by his quality defense down low.

His offense wasn't particularly fluid and will need some work, but I think he'll fit in much better than Boozer simply because he won't be a huge defensive sieve.

Doug McDermott's ability to garner attention

McDermott had a busy first minute of NBA action, pulling down a tough contested board, then throwing the ball away immediately, then getting fouled on a drive to the basket.

Overall he scored eight points in his 25 minutes with 3/5 from the line a Luol Deng'd jumper (ie, both feet about two inches inside the three point line) where he came off a hard screen and had a lightning release, and a quick release three.

What was more impressive though was the Wizards defense was already treating him like Ray Allen. He caused multiple hedges and shifts in the defense where guys refused to leave him to double team and had to run like hell to chase him around screens.

His activity was a huge plus, and I'll say it now. Doug McDermott needs to start and finish games for the Bulls.

Nikola Mirotic can play

Mirotic didn't look like a whole lot in his first stint of minutes on the floor he was 0-1 on a corner three that barely grazed the rim. He missed his next three point shot as well, and overall when playing with/against the real players he looked fairly static and uncomfortable.

As the game wore on, he played better and better. In the fourth quarter, he was the only thing keeping Bulls fans awake as he knocked down three triples, scored on a couple drives, and got to the free throw line too.

His physicality picked up considerably as the game wore on, and while it will likely take him awhile to find his niche in NBA basketball, the signs are all there that he'll be a baller. He ended up leading the team with 17 points on 5/9 shooting.

Mirotic has a high, awkward release on his shot that will make it very tough to block but also looks like he's forcing every jumper he takes. He had one play where he grabbed a rebound, looked for someone to outlet the ball to, couldn't find anyone, dribbled up the court, and knocked down the pull up three when no one stepped out on him.

Overall, I'm excited about Mirotic's play and hope he brings the level of aggression he brought against the scrubs against the real players next game.

Everything but Jimmy Butler's shooting

Butler looked like a beast on defense, he led the Bulls with five assists, he rebounded well, played with tremendous activity, and in general looked great at everything except shooting the basketball.

While just 1/7 from the field, he did get to the free throw line on four possessions for eight free throw attempts to give him seven points on the night.

The not so good

Taj Gibson was cringe worthy

Not only was his offense terrible (3/12 from the field), but he went into an Eddy Curry black hole mode on offense. I don't know if he felt he had something to prove, but he was forcing shots all over the place and didn't appear to want to give the ball up when he was down low.

Lots of turnovers, no blocked shots, pedestrian rebounding in his minutes, overall, it wasn't a good stint for Gibson.

I suppose for the hell of it, we'll raise the question of whether he's pissed that he's going to be coming off the bench again. He said he's not, he said he wants to win 6th man of the year. However, he played like he was pissed about it today.

Starting unit had little chemistry together

With Derrick Rose, two elite passing big men, a three point specialist and a guy who can slash if given a little room, we'd hoped to see some offensive magic.

It wasn't happening right away. Rose looked great individually, but everything else looked clumsy. Gasol didn't look good on offense early with this unit, Noah looked rusty as hell the whole game (not a surprise given his limited basketball activity over the summer), Butler couldn't score and Dunleavy's lone three came when playing with Kirk Hinrich.

Overall, the unit just didn't look like they had much continuity together yet.

It's no secret I think Doug McDermott should be starting. He played very briefly with the four starters (maybe for two minutes) but it wasn't enough time to see how things looked.

It's not a big concern yet, working this type of thing out is what preseason is for, but it's where the Bulls are at right now.

Aaron brooks didn't impress me much

He looked fast and knocked down a couple early threes. The positives end there though.

He looked completely out of control frequently and was careless with the basketball. His three turnovers were probably lower than he deserved as he missed the mark on plenty of other attempts.

He tried to play the Robinson/Augustin role at times and act as a scorer for the team but good things rarely happened when he did. he finished 2/7 missing all five shots after those two early threes.

We'll see what Brooks can do with more time, because the speed and talent is there, and the Bulls need a guy like Brooks, but he'll need to play better as time goes on in order to earn some minutes.

I really don't want to watch Kirk Hinrich anymore

Yes, he had six assists vs no turnovers, and I'm sure someone will go on about how great he is about running the offense and his grit and whatever.

However, he was 0-5 from the field. His defense now largely consists of grabs, holds, and veteran moves that he tries to get away with.

For a BAE guy, I suppose he's fine. He's solid, dependable, good character guy, but you just wish he could put the ball in the damn basket at a better rate.

Tony Snell still stinks

I've been saying all summer that this guy isn't part of the Bulls rotation and not to be fooled by anything in Summer League because the way he compiled his numbers wasn't impressive.

It looks like Tom Thibodeau agrees as Snell only played the fourth quarter with the scrubs and rookies.

In his 12 minutes he had 1 board, 1/2 from the field, and two turnovers. Thibs has been saying Snell needs to improve in the camp interviews, and it's clear that Thibs doesn't think he's a rotation guy.

I agree. He's not. Tony Snell is not an NBA player.

Loose notes

Bairstow didn't play in the game. I can't imagine him cracking the rotation anyway.

Soloman Jones looks like a better option to me than Nazr Mohammed, but I'm sure we told Nazr to buy and not rent already.

The Bulls play again tonight against Detroit. Awesome to have a quick turnaround and get to see it all again.

Basketball is back and I'm loving it.

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  • Definitely a good showing from Derrick Rose. I suppose much like last year, we can expect a bit of a drop-off once the regular season starts, but the fact Rose looked good at all, regardless of the circumstances, is encouraging.

    I wouldn't worry too much about Taj at this point. He was stuck in a lineup with a bunch of guys he has never played with before, including 2 rookies that have never played NBA ball. I'm guessing this was more a team chemistry issue than anything else. On that note, fostering good chemistry with the entire team will be one of the primary goals this preseason. It may even take the first month or so of the regular season to really work out all the kinks.

    There is a lot to be excited about. Obviously the rookies have some work to do, and Rose and Noah need to find their rhythm / conditioning. But once the regular rotation is set, and everything falls into place, this should be a solid team on both ends of the court, that will go far into the playoffs.

  • I missed the 2nd half of the game, so I didn't get a chance to see Mirotic score...but here were my takeaways...a lot of which Doug touched on.

    1. Rose looks like Rose...great penetration.
    2. The starting unit looked out of sorts. Particularly Pau.
    3. Gibson looked like a had a personal vendetta against Blair/Seraphin. Forced entirely too many shots.
    4. Mike Dunleavy has legally changed his name to Keith Bogans.
    5. McBuckets was the 1st forward off the bench. We are going to miss you Snell...well...not really.....
    6. Kirk Hinrich....why are you taking shots when you have McBuckets and/or Dunleavy open and waiting? Have you learned NOTHING?!?

    All in all, great intensity...sloppy play...promising start. We are one Dunleavy torn ACL away from the Finals.

  • In reply to iamdvsj:

    Although it's terrible to wish injury on anyone, it might very well take a Dunleavy injury to get Thibs to do the right thing. We'll see.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yea, nothing too bad about a strained hammy.

  • Here are the Mirotic highlights:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdP750Ff7g4

  • In reply to Sluggers:

    thanks Sluggers. I would have gone nuts if I saw that live.

  • In reply to iamdvsj:

    I did go nuts lol

  • Awesome to see our Bulls in action and to have good games by Rose and our 2 rookies! Nik looked awesome and isnt' just a shooter and the more he hit his shot the more he was involved on defense too! Gasol is a real pro and makes others better around him! Way to early to take lots from this especially how good Pau played this summer for Spain! I still hope we can get a quality SG scorer and Jimmy is going to be play almost every minute like Deng did and can't be counted on for much offense but that is probably ok if McD starts instead of Jr.
    Hopefully we can stay healthy as this looks like a very fun team to contend for the championship! :-)

  • I hope Snell finds his groove fast otherwise he is D league bound!

    Makes me angry when we could have selected Dieng, Mason Plumlee who was on the summer FIBA team, so was Dieng for Senegal. Even Tim Hardaway JR NYN selected were all good ballers selected after Snell. Well New Mexico is our official farm team with the selections of Snell, then newt year we select Bairstow. ;-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    I think Snell just stinks, he's not going to find his groove. He's just not good enough.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yea, I don't know what groove people are waiting on. Snell should just move to Colorado and get on with the rest of his somnabulent pothead life.

  • In reply to smiley:

    I think Gar was doing a favor for his boys in New Mexico by taking Snell. Gar figured they could develop Snell into a rotation 3-and-D guy and didn't love any of the other players available that late in the draft. Snell never projected to be a starter so I don't know where anyone got the "Snell could be a starter" nonsense. I hope he can just develop into a rotation guy but I trust Doug's POV in that it's not likely.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Let me jump on the Snell Stinks bandwagon. I absolutely hated the pick when knucklehead Forman made it. Especially, as smiley points out, given the list of players who were still available who could help the Bulls. He looks weak and disinterested. And, for an alleged shooter, he can't shoot. His shooting mechanics are awful, with a slow, looping release on his jumper, the exact opposite of McDermott. This was a real bad miss on Forman's part and I don't know what the hell he ever saw in this guy. Fort Wayne Mad Ants here he comes.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Yes, Snell was a horrible miss by Gar Forman. Tony Snell's college stats screamed 2nd round pick, not 1st. But Forman is a New Mexico State alum so he REACHED for Snell.

    Then the day after drafting Snell, Forman compounded his stupidity by firing assistant coach Ron Adams because Adams objected to Forman's personnel moves.

  • fb_avatar

    Come on now Doug Thonus, those subtle jabs at Mirotic (playing w/ scrubs) while praising McDermott's play (His activity was a huge plus( seems a little like person who doesn't want to budge on his preconceived thoughts about the two rooks. Both were extremely nervous and it showed, however both showed signs of becoming really good players down the road, and if the Bulls don't want to repeat last yrs performance as NBA offensive bottom-feeders Thibs had better spend the preseaon coaching these guys up for the regular season play.

    While watching Pau Gasol I couldn't help but to think about Nene not being in the lineup and how impressive and deep the Wiz front court players are. Pau looked every day of 34 yrs old against them.

    WTH was Taj Gibson doing? Those spinning one on one moves were useless, and there was several times he could have passed the ball to Nikola. If Mirotic continues to have 15 pt 4th qtrs expect Taj to be on the trading block by Feb.

    I had high hopes for Tony Snell, but after one game it's beginning to look like Tony Snell is the next Marquis Teague. Dude has got to show more aggression on offense and act like he knows what he's doing on defense. SG is the Bulls weakest position and he has the opportunity to step right in, but his passive play is annoying to watch.

    Between Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks the Bulls are lacking a true PG who can set up his teammates. Yes, Kirk Hinrich is best at doing this, but if that's the Bulls best option then the Bulls backcourt is in trouble.

    Jimmy Butler looked like the best player on the court against The Wiz. I'm all for signing him to a new contract. The Bulls need his moxie and smart defensive play. Hopefully, he'll improve on his rebounding stats too. He doesn't have to shoot another shot as long as McDermott and Mirotic is on his team.

    Overall it was great to see D. Rose & the Rooks play so well. Go Bulls!

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    I really have no idea how you could read a section entitled "Nikola Mirotic can play" with virtually all good things said about him and then come to the conclusion that I'm hating on Mirotic due to some preconceived notion of what he will do.

    Maybe you have a preconceived notion of my notions on Mirotic ;)

    In all seriousness, if for some reason it wasn't expressed clearly enough I was quite encouraged and excited by his play.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Funny thing is, I agree with both of you. You do seem to have some bias toward wanting McBuckett's to succeed(start) vs Mirotic even though you recognized how well Mirotic played on O last night. Although I certainly wouldn't call it hating.

    Nothing wrong with that we all have "our guys." McBucketts appears to be yours and he looks to be a vastly better guy to root for than Ben Gordon ever was, even if he doesn't ever become a 20ppg scorer.

    Personally, I think that Mirotic will be the better player, a quality starter, while McBuckett's will be more of a high end role player as a premier 3 point shooting threat, but somewhat of a one trick pony.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't want McDermott to succeed vs Mirotic, I think McDermott will have ample opportunity to exceed because he needs to beat out Dunleavy/Snell/Hinrich at the 2 in order to play.

    I think Mirotic is going to have a much tougher time getting a shot because he has to compete with Noah/Gasol/Gibson. For that reason I've focused a lot more on McDermott.

    That said, I was definitely more concerned with how well Mirotic will translate, he showed quite a bit last night, hope he shows more tonight. I still think this season, regardless of his skills, his opportunities will be limited though.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    You can''t be the best player on the court when you still cannot hit a shot. He was great on defense, but still Jimmy on offense(meaning he gets to the line a lot). Nothing wrong with that as long as the M&M boys develop into starters.

  • enjoyed the game but didn't enjoy the bricked jumpers on the perimeter. Thibodeau better wise up and start developing McDermott right off the bat because we badly need his shooting. His love affair with extended minutes for Hinrich and Dunleavy can be the coffin for this new look offense. The defense was decent, the rebounding effort somewhat poor and offensive sets slow to develop with alot of turnovers. I'm expecting a better effort tonight but generally pleased so far. Gasol is 10 times better than Boozer, while not a great defender, he's not gawd awful either and is an excellent passer and teammate. He actually looks like he's trying to play defense with effort and hustle. Brooks looked bad and out of control, i'm hoping for a better game tonight as we need his offense.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Hallelujah on Gasol vs boozer.

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    True, true, and all true Doug! This might sound a little out there, but this starting group reminds me of Miami's big three's first year together. I can see the excitement these guys have to be playing with each other and I can also see that it might take a little time to figure it all out. My excitement is more over Mirotic than anyone else because I do see him as a Kevin Love type that really should be a starter! He, Noah, and Rose would be as close to having Love, James,and Irving as it gets. I was saying all summer that we didn't need Love because Mirotic is a cheaper and better option. When Mirotic is handling the ball, it doesn't look all that impressive until he actually does something, and then you start to understand just how smooth he really is. Right now, I'm just hoping Taj doesn't play himself out of the rotation because he reminded me of a jealous big brother trying to win the attention the new twins (McDermott and Mirotic) were getting. We need the hard hat and lunch bucket T.G., and not a black hole! A two for two big man sub should keep everyone healthy and happy. And the next time we play the Wizards, put Bairstow in the game for 30 seconds to chip a tooth of the "Truth" Paul Pierce! Nothing major, just a fly by elbow to the chops for good measure. Also, I see Butler quickly turning into another Rodman type player who'll get under the skin of opposing teams because he just keeps coming at them. This team is going to be neck and neck with the elite teams for years to come.

  • Best of the night, IMO:

    1) Rose looked fast and decent.

    2) Noah and Rose each played only 13+ minutes! I wasn't sure if Thibs got sick and an assistant was coaching.

    3) Thibs actually played the second stringers a lot in the second half. Well, it's only one game.

    4) In spite of jitters, we saw a fair amount from M & M. Two future starters at minimum, tho I am hoping for a lot more.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Look, I am rooting for the guy too, but I didn't see much if anything from McBuckett's that screams starter last night. Although it shouldn't take all that much to unseat Mike Dunleavy. I think I saw enough from Mirotic to at least start him at small forward for a couple of preseason games. He is going to struggle on D at any position, but he might have a mismatch on O at the small forward position and can shoot lights out from any position.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think Mirotic will play defense pretty well at PF. He looked a lot more physical than I expected once he got his feet wet.

    McDermott looks very good to me in terms of his movement. He kept opening up the floor by moving quickly and attracting a ton of attention.

    The couple times the Wizards didn't stick right with him he hit shots.

    Mirotic wasn't nearly as much a mover or a threat to move. He didn't cause the same havoc in the defense. He shot really well, but two of his three makes from beyond the arc were wide open.

    I think both guys look really good, but I don't see Mirotic as a SF. I don't think he has the speed to run around on the wing the way the Bulls move guys. I'd still be willing to try it though.

  • If you don't want to watch Hinrich anymore, do you think any of us want to read you whining about it anymore? He's a backup, pass-first point guard who plays defense. Who cares how well he shoots? It's not like he's the fifth or sixth option on offense even...

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I care about how Hinrich shoots because Thibs likes to use him as his shooting guard, not just a backup PG. Shooting guards need to, you know, shoot. My only hope is that Thibs treats him like the backup PG which you point that he really is.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Kind of the problem with Jimmy as our "starting shooting guard" also.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    If he only plays backup PG minutes I'll be content to not worry about Hinrich. If he starts playing SG minutes ahead of guys who can score then it will be a lousy scenario for the team.

  • *WARNING* Negative, downer post, be advised. If you really believe the Bulls are a contender, don't read this post. Also, don't operate any heavy machinery or work in the aviation industry.

    Thibodeau..(sigh). It's a shame he can't just have his true job as defensive genius assistant. This team with properly developed personalities and offensive games could be fun to watch. Hard to picture a morose, social neophyte, no life schlunk, weird perpetual bachelor in the family Uncle Tom being that guy. And I wouldn't have a problem with his shortcomings if not for the constant carping and negative scowl on his face it just is old as hell.

    Mirotic while mostly canning threes did have a nice mid post skilled basket. His passion looks genuine, and I expect the Bulls(for once) made a very shrewd pick up as in truly offensively multi-dimensional player aside from who(?) Ben Gordon I guess.

    Butler can't shoot. There's no way I'm paying a guy who looked shitty defensively in the playoffs and can't shoot even $4-5 Mil per. Trade him please. Preferably to the Spurs so they can "fix" his shot and he will suddenly be the next Patty Mills.

    McDermott needs to show me more before I bestow any more endearing nicknames. His scrambling, I get worn out watching the guy. The Ray Allen run around, even Ray Allen doesn't do that all f-ing game. Spurs etc, find ways to get a skilled player and shooter the ball with decent space in the half court. Please run some plays so I don't have to witness a Kyle Korver fleeing from a domestic dispute attacking home invasion all season.

    Gasol as a rotation guy is a good player in my view both skills, team role, and attitude.

    Finally, Klank Chokebrick please stop bestowing oral favors on John Paxson and or Gar Forman so I don't have to see your skulking, complaining, self-serving shooting ass ever again. And Aaron Brooks looks like a chucking, cost you games, hurt team chemistry wish they never would have signed him player if ever I saw one.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I realize the Brooks comments may seem premature, but that was just my initial impression(big time). Like Klank, the guy after years in the league still hoists jumpers on the run Kobe style(only problem is they aren't Kobe) instead of coming to a stop and going straight up with the shot. Laaaazzzyyy. I never saw a guy do that better then Steve Kerr I mean moving with the ball and stop completely in a heartbeat and pop. And this(the Brooks critique) from a guy who loved Nate Robinson so midget, offensive spark plugs who occasionally miss-fire is not the issue.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I agree with you on Butler. Even tho he is a defensive specialist, he needs to do some scoring. Thibs played him too much last year and he did last night. Maybe if he only plays 28 mpg he will be more rested and have a better jump shot. As it is, he might just be worth $5 million per, but he will never resign with the Bulls for that.

    I also agree with you on Kirk. I was surprised that the FO resigned him for $2.5 million per. However, that is less than 4% of the cap space, so I guess he will be worth that. Occasionally he has a good shooting game - about one in twenty!

    A lot of other guys were out of sync last night, Taj, Brooks, Pau, Noah, Snell, so hopefully the kinks will get worked out soon.

    If you get tired just watching McD run around, how do you think the opposing D feels chasing him? Let him run around and wear the opposition out! The Bulls have plenty of subs, probably a 10-man rotation at least.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    As a basketball dork, I will enjoy watching the new guys. But I am not not high on the Bulls as most. Overall their shooting is still below par. Butler gets way too many minutes for a guy who can't shoot. And Captain Klank, my god it feels like he has been on team for 20 years and he can barely draw iron. I don't trust Thibs will have the right rotation to incorporate McDermott and Mirotic, along with his usual pig-headedness. Dunleavy still a starter, really? Noah and Rose gimpy. I think we're looking at another inflated Eastern Conference fueled regular season record followed by a second round playoff elimination in 5 games. (And Thibs will blame the defensive effort despite being near the bottom again in offense).

  • I wonder if Snell had any value during or after summer league, because he almost certainly doesn't now.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    You are probably right, Roman, but it's just one game. Give it a month or two, then you can say, 'I told you so.'

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Rusty you are obviously a glass half full guy, which is fairly refreshing on a Chicago sports blog.

  • Hello Ya'All

    1-Thibs fooled me by playing all Subs in the 4th qtr. (Soloman Jones, as a finisher. Bet it's Bairstow with some minutes tonite.

    2- Team shooting % just Awful. Taj a major contributor to this.

    3- Nene didn't even play. We gotta toughen up..,especially rebounding.

    4- Snell just looked WEAK!

    5- Liked team comradery, chemistry way lacking. Just one game though.

  • Wow an article by Doug thonus not bashing d rose. I'm shocked.

  • In reply to Jimboslice:

    It's almost like I compliment Rose's play when it's good and point out the flaws when it's bad instead of writing each article with a predefined agenda because of my emotional feelings towards the guy.

    Almost.

  • First, I totally agree with you on Rose, and was thinking the exact same thing during the game, that somehow Rose's health didn't seem like an issue, almost as if it never happened, and I wasn't terrified every time that he made a move. You are absolutely correct, that is the best news that could have come out of this game.

    Agree on Gasol, as I've been saying since we got him, he is a center not a power forward, always has been in the past to even if he played PF on TV. That said, it is clear that he will play center on defense and Noah will guard the power forward, just like he did most of the time last year while carrying the bozoholes lazy ass. It was also clear that on Offense Noah will spend most/all of his time in the high post/top of the circle area, while Gasol will spend more time in the low post, so he is basically playing the center position on offense also. Despite the limitations that you noted in his individual defense especially away from the basket the upgrade from boozer on team defense is equivalent to going from Junior High to the Pro's, nevermind the peace and quiet as it no longer sounds like a visit to the Brookfield zoo.

    While I agree with you that Mirotic's shot/release isn't as picture perfect as Korver's(I mean McBuckett's) I don't see it being a problem at all, especially with his height. Those 3's that he stroked in the 4rth looked every bit as effortless as McBuckett's. He looks like another guy who's open the minute that he enters the gym. He also looked pretty good off the dribble. While he will clearly struggle physically on defense at any position, (especially if forced to be a center) athletically he looks like he could play small forward on offense, and might have a considerable mismatch. I would say that he looked like a better player(more well rounded) than McBuckett's at least offensively. I would seriously like to see both McBuckett's and Mirotic start a few games at small forward in the preseason. The best thing that could happen right now is for Dunleavy to strain a hammy.

    Jimmy Butler looks like his legs are healthy, hopefully no more Medusa legs. Although with the physical beating he took in just the first preseason game, he isn't going to last long if he keeps this up.

    We all agree with you on Hangdog, I'd rather watch just about anybody else play, including Aaron Brooks, however, you know that we are stuck with him as our first guard off the bench the next 2 seasons. Hinrich and Gibson are our "6th" men. the M&M boys are our 8th & 9th men unless Thibs opens his mind and starts one of them, and Brooks is the 10th man.

    Not really worried about Taj or Brooks, even if both of them looked a little black holish out there last night, maybe that's why Brooks was available for the minimum. I think that he will grow on us just like Nate and DJ did as they learned the Thibs system.

    I spent every minute that Snell was on the court thinking about what might have been had the Bulls selected Dieng, or Plumlee, or Hardaway Jr, or even Rice Junior(who was a wildman last night). Baring injury expect a full season of DNPCD's for Snell.

    By the way last night was just an example of why the east isn't nearly as bad as most people say it is. There are several teams that could give the Bulls a challenge for the 2 spot in the east, starting with the Wiz, followed by the Raptors, Heat, Hornets, Hawks(they were 3rd in the east last season before Horford got hurt) and even the Nets if Lopez and Williams are ever fully healthy. Detroit and even the Knicks could be better if their new coaches can make a difference.

    Overall, despite the loss, that was the most that I've enjoyed a preseason game in a long time. I can't wait to see more of Mirotic and McBucketts(who really looked like a nervous kid out there). Watching Mirotic also made me wonder if we didn't make a mistake by taking McDermott instead of Saric and waiting 2 years for him to come over.

  • I would have loved to see the Bulls get Saric, but they are in the win-now mode. If Rose, Noah, and M & M all become border line All-Stars, that could be enough to get a title. Or, if Rose and one of the M & M boys become elite, that also could do it. I think the first is more likely than the second.

    So far, it does not look like anyone will be in mid-season form before mid-season!

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