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Preseason game one thoughts

  • The surprise start for the night was camp invite Thomas Gardner in with Hinrich/Deng/Thomas/Wallace. Gordon and Sefolosha were both DNPs. Gardner didn't do much to distinguish himself until a fantastic fast break dunk over Yi in the 3rd quarter. Surprising that Gardner got the start over JamesOn 'The Promise' Curry. While Gardner is a slightly bigger guard, Kirk still had the assignment of guarding Desmond Mason. Why bother having him get used to not guarding people bigger than him every night.
  • The Luol Deng post player experience was a mixed bag, although it's encouraging that it's a bag at all. Showed a nice turnaround jumper on one possession, yet was easily stripped on another. Even while just getting the ball at the elbow the Bucks were quick to bring an extra defender towards Luol, which will make the offense's life much easier. I have nothing on Wallace or Hinrich, they were fine.
  • Nocioni was the first off the bench, and we got to see the first experiment of the 'big' lineup, with Hinrich/Deng/Noc/Thomas/Wallace. It didn't last very long but didn't look too awful. Deng was assigned to Redd while Noc guarded Desmond Mason. Mason then carved up Noc pretty easily. Speaking of Noc, he was overall his typical self: gunning his way at a high percentage, while still being a spaz on defense. It's frustrating watching him late to close out on shooters, but if he keeps up that efficiency on offense he'll be a great weapon off the bench, especially when Gordon isn't in.
  • Tyrus was pretty much the same as last season, which is perfectly fine. One potential difference was shown in the 2nd half where he slashed, caught, and leapt towards the rim while getting clobbered...but a stronger-looking Tyrus was able to finish.
  • Aaron Gray didn't do much for me. He'll always seem a step slow. But Mike Sweetney may have been even slower than that, and that's all he has to replace.
  • The guy I was really impressed with was Noah. Sure, his first possession was a jumphook chucked off the backboard. He was good at what we were told he was good at: passing, catching, defense, and rebounding. He'll fit in well with the Bulls big men with an uncanny ability to get his hands on loose balls and even pitching in a few steals. He finished strong and above the rim, and showed impressive athleticism when blocking and challenging shots. He's ready to join the frontcourt rotation right away.