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Bulls 104, Grizzlies 64: Ringing in the new year with a blowout, but Rip and Watson injured


During halftime, Sam Smith more-or-less said the Grizzlies likely partied too hard last night, and it's an unfair advantage to have an opposing team be in the city of Chicago on New Years Eve. He looked to be right, as while both teams started off sluggishly, the Bulls soon rolled to a dominating blowout win.

The Grizzlies were without Mike Conley, and Zach Randolph suffered a scary-looking knee injury in the first half, but while they have little depth the Griz also simply didn't put up much of an effort. The Bulls meanwhile really stretched out the lead in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, behind very good games from Carlos Boozer (17 and 11 in 24 min) and Ronnie Brewer. Brewer started ahead of the injured Rip Hamilton, who was a (very) late scratch with a groin injury. Brewer seized the opportunity and continued the great start to his season, hitting another 3-pointer tonight and continuing to look far more comfortable shooting from the outside. The next step will be if defenses start to respect his shot more and see what that opens for the rest of the team, a duty Rip was brought in for originally.

The blowout was the main course of an overall celebratory night at the United Center. The 2010-11 Division Championship banner was already in the rafters, there was a nice video tribute to last season, and Benny had a spectacular entrance via ceiling harness and unveiling a 'back for more' slogan to ring in the new season.

But beyond Rip's injury, more bad news came from tonight in another Bull being potentially sidelined for a while. CJ Watson hurt his elbow diving for a loose ball, and there will likely be more precise news on it tomorrow, but from what I've heard (I was in the cheap seats so no replay...heck we didn't get scoreboard stats for the first half) it was scary-looking. Dr. Mike McGraw is speculating it's not so bad, whereas Dr. Joakim Noah is predicting a lengthy absence. While John Lucas had a fun spurt of productivity in garbage time tonight, the Bulls will likely need a real rotation-ready backup PG to spell Rose and may look to sign a free agent. High-usage hybrid SGs like Watson mentioned in the previous thread's comments included Gilbert Arenas and Nate Robinson, which would certainly be interesting.