Today’s game will be the first pre-season for both teams and will be on national TV (NBA TV) so it will be just more than the two cities tuning into this one.
This is will be the first time we get to see the famed “3 Alphas” in action. Now after months of speculating, we finally get to see how the Bulls offense will work out. New additions Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade will be playing in a Bulls uniform for the first time and it will certainly be an adjustment for fans to see them wearing Chicago colors. Especially Rondo considering his history with the Bulls. How the two operate with Jimmy Butler, especially when it comes to floor spacing and isolations will be something to watch. Up until now, everyone talked about that this is Butlers team now. Let’s see if the Bulls look to give him the ball early to help him establish an offensive rhythm.
Another thing to look for is the play of the young players like Denzel Valentine, Bobby Portis, and everyone’s favorite, Cristiano Felicio. All three of them had decent Summer Leagues, especially Valentine who scored the game winning basket in the championship. These guys are going to get some minutes tonight and for Valentine, it will be interesting to see where Holberg plays him (Tyler talked about this earlier) considering he can play so many different positions. For Portis and Felicio, they will have to earn their way into a crowded front court that already has the likes of Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson.
As for Chicago’s opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks, things have been grim for the past few weeks. There was a lot of hype over the summer about Milwaukee, after they picked up some quality players in the draft in Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon. In free agency the Bucks signed Mirza Teletovic to help solidify their three-point shooting and Matthew Dellavedova because who doesn’t love Delly? With these additions along with the current core that includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, things were looking up. That was until it was announced that starting small forward Khris Middleton would miss six months of the season with a hamstring injury that required surgery. With him out until March, that completely changes the Bucks plans in terms of a playoff chase. The thinking is that they might as well wait another year and grab another good lottery pick and wait for Middleton to get healthy. Milwaukee will certainly miss his offense (18.2 points per game last year) this season.
It is the first game of the pre-season so anything can change from now until the regular season in terms of adjustments and player rotations. This is the first game for both teams so don’t expect the best basketball from both teams. But it’s exciting to see Bulls basketball back on TV.
Tip off is at 7PM Central Time and is on Comcast Sports Net and NBATV