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Bulls edge Bucks in preseason home opener: quick recap

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No Rose, Thomas, or Brad Miller (flu-like symptoms, according to the TV broadcast). The Bucks were without Andrew Bogut, which helped make Joakim Noah look damned excellent tonight. Maybe with Bogut on the court Noah would've merely been 'really good', because 20 pts and 16 rebs in 34 minutes is impressive against anyone. Noah just looks bigger this season, and certainly doesn't have the look of last season's slow (and winded) starter. In a season full of reasons not to get excited, Noah having a stellar year will be reason enough to watch.

Unless the season-long campaign to push Tyrus Thomas out the door for 24-year old Taj Gibson excites you? Maybe it's just Stacy King leading the Taj fan club, but it's getting annoying already. King even uttered the dreaded line "Vinny going to have some real interesting lineups when he gets everybody back", though in his defense I think he meant that as a good thing. Can't we just be pleasantly surprised that Gibson isn't a stiff? If Taj has to play a lot, and James Johnson has to play at the 3, this team is in trouble. 

And yes, I throw in that bit about Johnson realizing Deng was awful again in tonight's game, and after a decent start to the preseason it's now two games in a row where he looked out of shape to the point of looking still hurt. Even on what could be considered a good play, one which after a nice steal where he drew the foul, it still looked like Deng settled for the foul instead of being able to dunk on the run. But while I'm not worried until the real games start, I'll be really worried if this does continue through the regular season. 

In other things to look for in meaningless scrimmage action, Hinrich was 2-4 from three, and I won't even care if he still misses layups like no other guard (of quality) in the league, as long as he hits open 3s and plays defense, which is his role when Rose comes back.

Though that defense wasn't really much to brag about when looking at how well Brandon Jennings played. Incredibly fast, and I was really impressed at how aggressive he passed on the fast break, effectively beating the Bulls back on defense with the pass instead of his own speed. Our own explosive young guard may not quite have that court vision (not that it's a big deal given his other advantages), but it'd sure be nice to see him back, and everyone in their real roles again. Like Pargo being on the bench, for one.