Tough to evaluate this team after 3 games, they've only looked good against bad teams and looked awful against the Celtics (their only road game at that).
The only thing that was a constant between the 3 is Derrick Rose. He's the only one that can perform against any level of competition. The rest of the team (i.e. the '07-'08 Bulls) kinda stinks.
I want to erase any memory of that Boston game, they're too good and the Bulls are just learning to play with a new PG running a new system. But for that to be fair, most of the Memphis game has to be erased as well, because that's a team the Bulls outclasses in talent, especially in the front court. So it was very frustrating to see them down 9 points in the first half, a period where everyone was shooting jumpers, and if not for Hinrich and Noc's 3-pointers things could've been a lot worse. Deng/Gooden/Thomas were awful from the field, and it was pretty much exclusively on jump shots.
The 3rd quarter is what turned it around. They were able to force TOs, run, and finish. And yes, as it is the type of game he can excel in, Thabo was a big part of it.
Then after all this running basketball, Vinny puts in Aaron Gray for an excruciating 10 minutes. It was like VDN and Mike Ivaroni were playing a game of big stiff chicken, where Gray was countered with Darko and it was a race to see what coach realized they were nuts (for the record Darko was pulled first). Noah didn't play the whole 2nd half, so there was a lot of Gray/Gooden, Gray/Nocioni and Gooden/Nocioni....which is a bad way to defend the basket. Tyrus Thomas had another poor game from the field (after his nationally-embarrassing 2-17 shooting performance on Friday), but he still effects the game with his rebounding and defense, and Saturday he was devouring souls with some of those weak-side shotblocks. Obviously on offense he needs to not think jumper first, and play closer to the basket in general, but I do not mind leaving him out there through all of it...even with a blown lob attempt or two.
None of this really hurt the Bulls since they (especially Luol) eventually started attacking the rim, Memphis' only line of defense was fouling, and the Bulls have the depth that can help them wear down a bad team playing its 2nd consecutive night, even if they are themselves.
(another rotation note: I would've liked to have seen Thabo guard Rudy Gay. Deng had rough time (until the 4th), and Nocioni had no chance. It would've helped free up guard minutes, though somehow Vinny managed to both have a Rose/Gordon/Hinrich lineup and another one with Deng as the SG. What the hell?)
This week may bring some pain, with Orlando/@Cleveland/Phoenix/Cleveland the upcoming opponents. We know the Bulls can win when things are made easy for them, but so far only Rose comes through when it gets tough, both within a game and against the best teams. The rest of the team (namely Deng and Gordon, who've now put in more stinkers than Hinrich and Noc) needs to at least try and keep up with Rose for them to beat the better teams in the league.