It's Doug McDermott's world, we're just living in it.
The Bulls won an entertaining game 103-102 thanks to a Doug McDermott buzzer beater. It was a nice moment for McDermott, who started the game 0-8 in front of a Nebraska crowd that came mostly to cheer the hell out of him.
With the Bulls down one, Hoiberg drew up this play specifically for McDermott:
McDermott played his college ball at nearby Creighton and his dad and sisters came to watch him play, so good for him.
Oh, also Derrick Rose came back.
Rose's First Preseason Appearance
Rose was really the big story of this game. His eye looked pretty awful before the game started, but he decided to give it a go anyway and he looked amazing out there.
Rose only played in the 1st half, logging a little over 10 minutes total. His total line was 4/6 (although one of those misses was an end-of-buzzer heave) for 8 points and an assist.
When Rose entered in the first quarter, he immediately looked to attack the basket.
Rose shot 3/3 in the first quarter, all on layups. He was really pushing the ball to get the Bulls' offense set up early and got some nice looks in transition as a result.
Rose also nailed a pull up midrange jumper, which is a shot that he took a lot last year (and missed) from 3. It's nice to see him moving in a little where he is capable of being elite.
Hoiberg liked what he saw from Rose:
Hoiberg on Rose: "That's the most pace we've played with all preseason."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 24, 2015
Rose liked what he saw from himself too:
Rose: "Tonight was kind of scary for my confidence."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 24, 2015
Rose also said it looked like he'd play Tuesday against the Cavs to open the season.
The Big Man Pairings
Hoiberg started this game with a Mirotic/Gasol pairing and kept Noah and Taj together as well for the most part. Pretty sure there were 0 minutes of Noah/Gasol, so that's something new.
Mirotic and Gasol showed a really nice offensive chemistry together out there. Mirotic is an underrated passer and he showed off those skills in getting Pau good looks at the basket. Pau also reciprocated and did a nice job of finding Mirotic when he was open. Mirotic looked great tonight overall. He shot well, got to the line a lot, and scored 14 points.
The Taj and Noah pairing looked good together too. They fed each other for 3 dunks, including this beautiful lob:
Bobby Portis showed some nice range again too in his short stint tonight. The bigs were a huge bright spot in this game.
The Bulls showed some more problems defensively in this game, especially in guarding the pick and roll (Dirk was murdering us all night) and getting through screens. They did hold the Mavs to only 42% shooting though so that's progress.
This was the last preseason game and the Bulls moved up to .500 (4-4) while the Mavs went winless (0-7). The season opens on Tuesday, October 27th against the Cavs. Thank god!