Wednesday night's game was an extremely impressive performance from the Bulls. They jumped ahead early on the Pistons and had a 20-point lead for much of the second half. The biggest encouragement came from Derrick Rose, who not only had an extremely productive night but did so on some spectacular moves:
You see several occasions there where there is tremendous (a.k.a. Rose in the NBA-like) stress on the knee. That doesn't even include a few FT-earning possessions where he showed both similar explosion and ability to fight through contact.
Seemingly he's all good after that display, and that's all awesome.
What else looked fantastic was the defense. Granted, the Pistons have a new frontcourt to integrate, were missing several people in their backcourt (note Rose taking down Will Bynum and Peyton Siva), and are coached by Maurice Cheeks. But whether their opponents really wanted to be there or not, the Bulls really did a great job of forcing the Pistons outside.
There were lots of great performances on both ends. It was obviously good to see Noah look fine, even though he didn't make a basket. And look: Tony Snell hit some shots. In a general sense they showed some overpowering physicality on a very big frontcourt, both in rebounding and simply going after loose balls. This team just looks like one that's going to be very difficult to overcome in a game. Especially for a non-elite teams...of which there are plenty.
Other more-random things:
- Taj Gibson continues to look really good, and Wednesday shot 50% (2-5 on jumpers) and pulled down 12 rebounds. He's been the brightest sign (non-Rose division) of the preseason, though last years was Nazr Mohammed, so...
- If Mark Deeks is right, the Bulls are really committing to this showcasing idea for Marquis Teague. Teague played 26 minutes with Hinrich as a security blanket for much of that time, whereas Mike James only played the final two and half minutes. So if James really has won that 3rd-string job, it must have been decided in practice. I'm surprised such a thing as 'showcasing' even needs to exist in today's NBA, though maybe this instance is more of a sign to other teams that (in theory) at least Thibs hasn't buried Teague nor does he have some leprosy or something else that keeps him from the court. I don't see how this time will sway anyone's opinion of him as a prospect.
- This was the first preseason game I watched in a way I plan to for much of the season: on DVR and muted. It's just much easier for me to enjoy the Bulls doing well if I'm not simultaneously annoyed that Neil and Stacey are also happy about it. Just now hearing a bit of those highlights above made me steadfastly assured of that choice. So hopefully I won't whine about them too much as I won't be listening. I'm baaaaaackkkkkk!