Tonight’s preseason opener against the Milwaukee Bucks was exactly that in the truest sense. It was ugly, and pretty unwatchable. But to fair that was expected.
Everything in this game should be taken with a LARGE grain of salt.
Chicago jumped out a quick 8-0 lead, at one point being up as much as 14-3 before the Bucks the finally woke up. Or actually, it was a good run until the bench units came in for both teams. Milwaukee’s bench outscored the Bulls 37-12 in the first half to take a 55-42 lead into half.
As for the trio of Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, the latter only played 11:41 and 15:03 respectively. Wade looked spritely in his limited minutes, and of his three field goal attempts, two were made three’s! As for Butler, he finished with 13 points while getting to the free throw line nine times. Rondo did Rondo things, as he ended up playing 23:40, finishing with six rebounds, seven assists but also five turnovers .
The other two starters, Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez played well in their preseason debuts. Gibson knocking in a double-double in just over 20 minutes, while Lopez did a little bit of everything on both ends. The latter is quickly going to become a fan favorite this season.
The Bulls managed to climb their way back into the game in the second half, going back and forth during the final minute before two missed free throws from Cristiano Felicio sealed Milwaukee’s win, 93-91.
Some other notes about the preseason opener:
• Wade was the first of the big three to come out of the game, and generally speaking Fred Hoiberg did an OK job of staggering those three in the first half.
• Jerian Grant was the first point guard off the bench, and played fairly well for the most part. The same can’t be said for Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic. For two players whom much is expected of this season, both were rather disappointing tonight. Second year power forward Bobby Portis didn’t fare well either.
• Rookie Denzel Valentine’s NBA debut was cut short in the third period after he sprained his left ankle. Prior, Valentine looked very comfortable on the floor and it’s safe to assume he’ll earn himself a spot in the rotation.
• Tony Snell is getting yet another opportunity to play his way into the rotation!
• WHY IS CRISTIANO FELICIO THE FIFTH MAN IN THE BIG MAN ROTATION?! (Yes I know he missed two free throws to tie the game) LOOK AT THIS.
The Bulls next preseason game is on Thursday when they take on the Indiana Pacers.