The preseason tips off for the Chicago Bulls tonight as they embark on what should be a very interesting (dare I say exciting? we’ve been burned so much...) 2021-22 season.
This is almost completely a new team from what ended last season, with even midseason acquisition of Nikola Vucevic not playing too much with Zach LaVine due to the latter’s absences late last season.
The starting lineup will undoubtedly have Vuc and LaVine with newcomers DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball. Filling in for presumed PF starter Patrick Williams will be one of several options we went over earlier in the week.
That lineup decision and the opening stint should be informative. Another bit of tape we’ll get tonight will be how the ball is distributed over what is now several offensive weapons. And then maybe useful knowledge will be how the first few players are deployed off the bench, especially in the frontcourt. Of course eventually it’ll turn into a typical preseason mess that we have to remember erase from existence.
The opponent is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who stink. They stunk well enough last year to land the #3 pick in the lotter where they drafted Evan Mobley. Mobley is paired in the frontcourt with last season’s trade deadline acquisition Jarrett Allen, a nucleus (technically) along side the young backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
They also have old friend Lauri Markkanen, who Cleveland traded for and gave a pretty massive contract to. Former be-a-Bull-for-a-day contestant who managed to finagle out of fine print to be here several years, Denzel Valentine, also is on the Cleveland roster. Those who say it’s no big deal to hit a three down 14 in the final minutes of a preseason game have never hit a three down 14 in the final minutes of a preseason game.
It doesn’t look like the team is strategically resting guys quite yet, so just the injured absences are on the list: Coby White and Patrick Williams. Also listed as doubtful yesterday were Tony Bradley and Derrick Jones.
For the Cavs, the only player listed on the injury report is Tacko Fall.
Game Time: 7 Central, NBC Sports Chicago