Not much to say about Friday's preseason opener. It was great to see the team again, an experience so welcoming that I even felt pains for nostalgia after Neil Funk waited 2 minutes before crapping on the opposing team while the Bulls were down. Altogether, it's part of Bulls basketball, and I'm glad it's back.
The game overall looked like a replay of many Bulls victories of last season. Even after an early stumble (highlighted by some early foul trouble for Derrick Rose), the Bulls depth and defense took over and managed to wring out a victory.
But of note was the performance of the newest addition to that bench, rookie Jimmy Butler. This year's rookie class may be the most underhyped in some time. The lockout effected not only the initial talent pool, but the elimination of the summer league and most of training camp means that the usual news cycle of 'hey, watch out for this rookie!' had been diminished.
So given it'll be one of his few chances to show himself, it was good to see Butler look competent for NBA ball. He'll likely stay on the bench for much of the season, but with potential for injuries and trades it will be a very nice get for a very late first-round pick if Butler can even approximate what Ronnie Brewer currently adds to the rotation.
A more relevant bench contributor who had a good game was CJ Watson. Watson came in early due to that Rose foul trouble, and buoyed by a 3-3 mark from behind the arc had 15 points. With the Bulls acquiring a new starting SG who is not the type to also run the team when Rose sits, Watson will again be key this season.