Was only able to half-watch this game, and it appears the Bulls only half-played it, shooting 31% with 14 TOs in the first. Like their game Tuesday, the Bulls had a furious 3rd quarter run that helped make up for what was otherwise some dismal performances.
The starters looked a bit better in their game-opening stint, and though it's the Cavs (and, you know, preseason), seeing some easy baskets generated for Boozer and Hamilton are better than the alternative.
The best sign for Thibodeau and the Bulls is that Hinrich appears to have turned back the clock. He looks energized to be playing with the Bulls again and his play on the floor confirms it. Aside from his offense, he also played solid defensively and helped create for teammates at times. The only thing he needs to work on is conditioning. After playing the third quarter, Thibodeau decided to leave him in to start the fourth. He was exhausted when he came out for Nate Robinson a few minutes into the quarter.
The Bulls obviously need a bounce-back season from Kirk, considering how poor he was the previous two years. And it's likely going to be the normal for him to play a lot of minutes. Nate Robinson shot 1-11 as the PG backup, and the new bench additions struggled again. Another 2-game trend (that's meant to be facetious, you guys) is the awful three-point shooting, going 1-19.
The 3rd quarter, and the young Cavaliers ineptitude, gave the Bulls a chance to win it late, but they couldn't come through. Granted, this normally won't be the bench trying to complete such a comeback, but it does make you wonder how the Bulls will fare in these types of games: the past two seasons they'd often find themselves able to steal games they had little business winning because Derrick Rose could take over.
Full highlights are below, including a crazy-surprising dunk from Vladamir Radmanovic.