The Bulls are going to be fun this year

The Bulls are going to be fun this year

33.3% shooting is rarely fun to watch. Throwing in sub-70% from the line and at least 10 turnovers coming off sloppy passes, and you'd think we're talking about the mid -00's Charlotte Bobcats.

And yet, Chicago's preseason opening win over the Bucks was about as entertaining a game I've seen in well over a year from these Bulls. The ball was moving, shots were launched without hesitation, opportunities were given to the youngsters, and even Jordan Crawford made Mark Karantzoulis go "Ooooh!" for a brief second. It was one of those games where the expectation of familiarity was completely thrown out the window and replaced in its entirety with refreshing change, and completely new concepts.

39 triples were launched against Milwaukee. 39. Had this been a regular season game, it would have been a Chicago Bulls record. And in Fred Hoiberg's debut no less. The 22.3 attempts a game from last year? Expect a solid increase in that number for this season.

What to take away from the game:

- The Bulls were able to score while missing Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy, and Kirk Hinrich. That's three starters and a sixth man not playing, and 105 points were put up. It might be preseason, but that shouldn't belittle just how important that is going forward.

- Doug McDermott will be a hit-or-miss type of guy this season, but when he's hitting, he's actually changing the whole infrastructure of the game. When he started hitting, everything changed. Milwaukee began rushing out to get him, eventually sticking to him like glue because they couldn't handle another three knocked down on the fast break. And that's the point of it all. It doesn't matter if McDermott scores 23, or eight. If defenses sticks a man on him and ask that defender to not give him an inch of space, it means the Bulls as a result will get spacing. Hello Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, care to enjoy limited help defense on this possession as you drive towards the hoop?

- Remember when I proposed that Nikola Mirotic was going to become a 6/6 player? In 23 minutes, he took 10 free throws and five triples.

- Bobby Portis may have shot 2-for-12 in his debut. And I couldn't care less. 14 boards, eight free throw attempts, and the dude had more confidence than I ever imagined. He was hyping up the crowd, screaming at his teammates, crashing the glass, and did under no circumstance look like a rookie out there. This won't be permanent of course. There'll be times where the deer in the headlights observations will be made, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it will be considerably less than we think.

- Joakim Noah moved better. But that's about it. Thankfully, for the time being, this is enough of an improvement to be slightly optimistic. But he still has some ways to go.

- Finally, Jimmy Butler. I have nothing to add other than, I think Mr. Karantzoulis may be right.

Tonight, it's Denver. McDermott was initially slotted to start, but Fred Hoiberg decided to give Tony Snell another shot, but promised he would start Doug at some point during this preseason. Gibson and Gasol remain out, but returning will be Kirk Hinrich.



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  • "The Bulls were able to score while missing..................Kirk Hinrich?"

    Mort, I am never going to let you forget this.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Actually the Bulls would score less with Hinrich playing. Whether it's dribbling out the shot clock, turning the ball over or missing wide open jumpers the Bulls have less shot making opportunities when he's in the game.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Update: Watched tonight's game against Denver. Hinrich comes in and immediately the offense stagnates and a close game turns into a blowout. Hinrich is -16 in 9 minutes. Every second he is on the court I die a little inside.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Kirk certainly proved your point! But this is the time of year to experiment and see what you've got in your players.

    I see a lot of potential in M and M and Portis. They all did some things well in the Denver game - not nearly enough, however.

    Portis is a board beast! 24 RBs per 36 minutes! Wow! He's got plenty to work on, tho. He could be better than Rodman - without the headcase antics.

    Butler bombed! Hope that was an abberration.

    A bit disappointed that we are not seeing more from Moore. Ditto Snell.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I agree about Snell and Moore. I would have liked to have seen more production especially since Hoiberg has given them opportunities in the starting lineup. Snell needs to step it up with Dunleavy out, even if it's just backing up McDermott. And I want to see Moore take Hinrich's spot in the rotation once Rose is back. I wish GarPax can do something to bring in some new bodies but I'm not holding my breath. The 3 spot and backup point guard spots are the most glaring weaknesses on this team.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    "The 3 spot and backup point guard spots are the most glaring weaknesses on this team."

    I and most fans definitely agree with you, Vic. Maybe Jordan Crawford will work out well. He's getting some court time to see.

    I guess the FO will sit on the team until close to the trade deadline. Then what? As BigWay posted recently, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas would be super!

    I think Isaiah could be had, Boston would likely take Portis for him, and the Bulls might even be able to dump Hinrich in the deal. But would you do that? Portis is already a great rebounder with tons of energy. Plus he could turn into a starter if he learns how to score halfway decenty. In fact, if he does that his ceiling might be an Allstar. And he is on a cheap 4-year contract. I would not trade him.

    Gay is a different matter. It will take a lot to land him. I doubt if even Noah, McDermott, Portis, and the Kings pick would do it.

    It will be mid to late December before we have a solid feel what moves the FO should shoot for.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Even though I keep bringing it up, I think the time to get Rudy Gay has long passed. The league was pretty down on him when Sacto extended him, which is when I started advocating going after him. Actually, I always wanted to trade Deng for him. A lot of people thought that Sacto overpaid when they extended him for 3yrs/$40 million even though that was a big pay cut for Gay himself. That deal was consummated before anyone knew about the impact of the new TV deals, now it looks like chump change.

    I also don't think that the Celtics are in any hurry to trade Thomas, but they have a ton of midget guards and tons of future draft picks, so Ainge is likely to be very active in the trade markets for the foreseeable future.

    I haven't had any chance to see Portis yet, but I would not be inclined to include him in any trades at this point. Gibson, Noah and Gasol along with the Sacto pick should be our best trade assets. Mirotic and Portis could be our only 2 remaining bigs in a year or 2.

    At this point you'd have to "throw in" Rose or Butler to get anyone to take Hangdog. Not sure why people keep using him as trade bait. Not sure that you could trade him for Carlos Boozer, who is currently without a job.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Cannot like this comment enough.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You'd have to throw in the Sac pick to get someone to take Hinrich.

  • Denver is a unique place to play, and not especially good for the Bulls in recent games.

    This changing to Snell as a starter, tells me Hoiberg is giving him some encouragement. Lets see how inspired he plays.

  • Not the greatest game, but I like watching these young guns play.

  • No more Hinrich. Make him a player/coach, but keep him off the court.

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  • Time to trade for Kevin Martin and a rookie point guard. Bulls get Martin. Minnesota gets Hinrich, Moore, Bairstow, Mohammed, and Sacramento draft pick.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    Why would Minny do that? Only piece of value is Sac pick.

  • I love how some people think just throwing one garbage player after another will actually get you a nice return. That is not how it works, folks.

  • In reply to Sluggers:

    These are the same people saying we can't trade Taj. You have to give something to get something, and we have 5 quality bigs, 1-2 more than we need. If you're looking to make a deal, that's where you deal from.

  • In reply to Sluggers:


    And these are usually the folks who bitch and moan that "the Bulls never make any trades, GarPax are idiots who don't know how to make trades".

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