As expected, Rip is going to get the starting nod tonight against what will be our final pre-season matchup prior to the start of the shortened season, against the Indiana Pacers.
Thibs usually plays coy with the media, so when dealing with questions about whether or not Rip would start or even play in tonight’s matchup, it was no different. Boozer, who when asked if Rip would play yesterday simply said, “yes, he would definitely play”. Surely he will be reprimanded for this as the Bulls are usually given, in my opinion, very specific talking points for the media.
Last season, Ronnie Brewer was reportedly blasted internally for having admitted that the Bulls were indeed chasing the Spurs for the best record in the NBA, while Thibs on the other hand was firm in saying that the Bulls were simply trying to “win every game put in front of them”.
Everyone in the city is anxious to see how Rip’s game will affect the Bulls current chemistry. All of the players as well as Thibs are singing his praises and marveling at Rip’s ability to run through multiple screens. His conditioning has always appeared to be above reproach so I expect him to be solid.
Things I’m looking for and questions that will be answered tonight:
- Will Derrick be able to relax at home and have a well rounded, efficient game? I know that this is one of his goals for the season.
- Will “Psycho T” again get the best of Boozer, burning his paltry defense with the stop and pop 15 footer?
- How well will Rip be able to play off of Rose in an actual game – lights, camera, action… Time to get your feet wet Rip, let’s go.
- Will Noah be able to generate a nice double/double outing this time?
- I’m thinking that the starters will play normal minutes (barring foul trouble, what was that anyway in game 1?) and the reserves will regain their normal role.
- Will Jimmy Butler be able to duplicate his strong outing from game 1? He will no doubt be fighting for minutes this season so if he has an awesome game tonight it will only bode well for his chances throughout the season.
I’ll be back to recap late tonight or tomorrow… Let’s go Bulls! Last dress rehearsal before Hollywood…
Game Time: 7:00 P.M. CST on CSN