7:00 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago
No new injuries for the Bulls.
The Grizzlies look to have a clean report as well, at least with guys in the rotation.
We are one freaking game in.
It’s way too early to start talking about the playoffs, right? But we’re going to do it anyways.
The Bulls have taken a step forward this year and unlike last season there are games on the schedule where you look at them and are actually like ‘hey, the Bulls are the better team here, they should probably win this game.’
Last night’s bummer outcome was one of those games. So is tonight’s game against an early-stages-of-rebuilding Memphis Grizzlies squad.
The Bulls have several good chances to bank some wins early in the season. Dates against the Hornets, Grizzlies, New York Knicks (X2), Cleveland Cavaliers, and Atlanta Hawks should mean like six wins in the first 11 games.
Over the last 10 years, the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference has averaged 40.5 wins. To rack up that many wins, the Bulls are going to have to take care of inferior opponents just about every time that they play them.
But segueing out of playoff discussion because again, it’s Oct. 25 and we are one freaking game into the season.
The Bulls are 0-1. They didn’t play well by any means against the Hornets on Wednesday night, but Charlotte may have also used up their best performance of the season in the opener against the Bulls.
It’s so hard to identify patterns or trends or assert something as fact after one game.
Sure, the Bulls defense is probably bad but they also probably aren’t give-up-126-points-including-a-franchise-record-in-threes-to-the-Hornets bad.
Zach LaVine was dazzling in the preseason then laid an egg in the season opener. Lauri Markkanen did the exact opposite of that. Coby White and Kris Dunn looked great together. The Bulls opted for three-guard lineups with mixed success instead of using an actual three behind Otto Porter Jr.
But again, it’s one game. Things change. A regular season opener oozing with actual hype around a team that has been hype-less for awhile is going to be magnified.
So, sit back and enjoy the next stop tonight against Memphis on the long journey to 82 games.
If ping-pong balls didn’t hate the Chicago Bulls, Ja Morant might be wearing red and black right now. He played well in his NBA debut to the tune of 14 points on 50 percent from the field, four rebounds, and four assists.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is the young, stretch big man that every team covets. He’s going to be a really good player. Grayson Allen is a pest and a villain and is easy to root against with his Duke Blue Devil roots. Tyus Jones was a good pickup for the Grizzlies this offseason.
The Grizzlies have some bright young stars and are far from hopeless. However, they are very much in rebuild mode and grooming that young talent into winners takes time as Bulls fans know. The Grizzlies will likely be one of the three or four worst teams in the league, so this is a game in which the Bulls have to take care of business tonight.
Morant joins Chicago Bulls legends Cameron Payne and Isaiah Canaan as Murray State Racers that won the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the year award in college.
Boylen going vintage Boylen with the cheesy phrasing. Gotta love him. Via The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry.
“I’m really proud of the fact we battled,” Boylen said. “We were in mud early. I didn’t think defensively we had the edge we needed early. And then we kind of grew as the game went on. But we need to do a better job of executing down the stretch. When the ball sticks, we’re not as good a team. I thought the ball stuck a little bit at the end there. We gotta get good shots. We were up 10 and we had a chance to push it to 12 and we didn’t do it. It’s a key learning moment for us. We’ll watch it and get better.”
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