(a nod to Denny Green, of course)
Super-happy-fun-time halloween night for the Bulls. Sure it won't be this good every night, but since it was against the (hated) defending champs in front of a nationally-televised audience, that makes it pretty nice timing.
Some things I didn't exactly learn...but were more reaffirmed of (after my preseason hyping):
- Wallace makes a huge difference by just staying on the court. It didn't even seem like he was playing that well tonight, but the difference between him and Chandler is the consistency. No dumb fouls, or fumbled passes...just leave him out there and there's no worries.
- As a team they were more aggressive than last season, going to the line 17 times in the first quarter, with Gordon leading the way (making up for his terrible shooting night). Deng did a good job of this as well.
- Tyrus Thomas will wow us at least once a game. Still a little too frantic most of the time, but he is not lost out there, which is something I was afraid of in this rookie season. (And apparently he broke his nose in the game...mostly a result of him just jumping so damned high. Not the greatest start, then... )
- Deepest team in the league? At the very least, their scrub lineup is the best around. And the key is having guys on the bench that are still always going to play hard: Young guys like Thomas, Duhon, Sefolosha, Khryapa, etc. All had moments in the blowout.
- The defense....my god. It's like playing pick-up games and there's that annoying guy who is trying too hard on defense and pissing you off. Except it's a whole team of them. They already had the defensive FG%, now they are far more athletic, meaning more steals and less fouls. Just relentless on the ball and on the boards, loved it.
I mean, it could go on forever. When you beat the Heat by 42...that means lots of things went right. Hopefully the injuries to Thomas and Duhon aren't too bad, of course, but Pax has built a team that can withstand such injuries in stretches.
Now for another 'first' test: second of a back-to-back tomorrow in Orlando. Until then, fuel the hype. (heh)