The Bulls and Bucks played a pretty anemic and sloppy game Wednesday night, with the final score not mattering much when you figure the entire 4th quarter was mostly scrub squadron. And it being preseason and all.
So on to a bunch of observations:
- A great anti-welcome to Neil and Stacy being back on my TV. As insufferable as ever. At least Stacy can no longer give Taj Gibson an extra first name of 'the rookie' any more, so there's that.
- A sloppy game, yes. But 24 turnovers for an opponent is an impressive work of defense whether a few were unforced or not. Bulls looked solid on that end tonight.
- Offense was a different story, and expected: when celebrating the end of the inside scoring problem with Boozer in the fold, it follows to assume it's still there with Boozer out. Bulls looked to be getting open looks in the first half, but they were still long two-point jumpers.
- Not much to to add on Rose or Noah. Rose didn't seem to be looking for his supposed summer pet project, the 3-point shot (attempting one), which is fine.
- Luol Deng may have been the best starter of the night, 16 points on 10 shots, and 3 of those shots were behind the arc. I don't recall any of his jumpers coming with his feet on the line. Also drew a couple charges.
- Kyle Korver had the most impressive debut of the new guys. I certainly see him being more than a spot-up shooter and more like a legit 6th man if he plays like this: he was working consistently off screens and has a nice array of moves to get his shot off. Only hit one three-pointer but hit 7 foul shots, was not expecting that. Should he actually be in the starting lineup if Brewer is hurt? Maybe, Bogans didn't impress and Korver's shooting would really be helpful with the starters (especially with Boozer out). I'm guessing they figure Brewer will be back soon enough, so it's best to have Korver learn his role now. I was pretty impressed with his ability to be a #1 option on a bench lineup.
- As far as the other new guys: CJ Watson filled in fine as the backup PG, I didn't notice any glaring weaknesses in bringing the ball up and initiating the offense. Didn't shoot well and was outplayed by free agent contemporary Keyon Dooling, but Watson gets extra credit from me for a nice steal on Purdue scum Chris Kramer. Omer Asik didn't have a great line, and picked up some tough early fouls...but he didn't look overmatched, either. And he showed that quick leaping ability on his one field goal that is very encouraging. Kurt Thomas and Brian Scalabrine will continue to do what they do (though I didn't know Scal was such a whiner to the refs, must be the Celtic in him). Interesting to note that while Asik was first of those three off the bench in the 1st half, he was last to get in during the 2nd half.
- Taj Gibson had to leave the game in the 2nd half due to back trouble. Early reports are he's fine, but that's obviously scary given Boozer's injury. Up until that point Drew Gooden was frequently schooling him, too.
- Special anti-shoutout to Sam Smith, who had this to say in the first half:
Not sure what it means, but I've never seen so many Bulls bench guys leaping up for shots made. Betcha Heat doesn't have that spirit.
Bonus bus vouchers to Sam's rest home to figure out what that actually does mean. Besides the smell of ham and cheese.
- James Johnson...still too aggressive on both ends. Closes out too recklessly on defense, immediately goes to a dribble-drive on offense. Not a good start for him.
- John Lucas barely played, and the rest of the non-guaranteed (save Scal) didn't play at all.