Bulls Win Pre-Season Opener vs. Grizz 92-88

The Bulls are back!

Great to attend a Bulls game! I’ve still got to watch the replay so I can hear Stacey’s take on things, but it was exciting to see all the new guys up close. I was impressed. It looks like things may come together just a little faster since Thibs has a system in place and multiple players who are already familiar with it. Overall takeaway was that this team STILL plays hard (tough to believe this wasn’t a regular season game the way they competed), and hangs its hat on energy, effort and defensive plays. They simply don’t take possessions off and I’m sure the players understand that their decisions with the ball will play heavily into the eventual rotation/minutes. They also appear to be much bigger this season. Just big bodies out there.

Game Notes:

  • Luol looked good… Just sharp and great reaction to the ball
  • We missed the intros, but it looks like Kirk was being given a big ol’ hug by the UC faithful. Very loud ovations for him when he made a play… Obviously familiar with key personnel! Welcome back Kirk.
  • Grizzlies shot 42% and just seemed to make shot after shot. Bull contested a lot of them, but the Grizz like to grind and they moved the ball well and got guys open… Speights in particular, I am a fan of his game. Hard hat, lunch pail type of player for sure.
  • Rip impressive. Looks to shake off a subpar 2011-12 season. Kept us in it early.
  • Noah was Noah… Little rust but he’s running the floor well and looks to be fully healed from that nasty sprain he sustained back in May.
  • Nate Robinson played exactly how you would expect him to. Big shots, energy and hustle plays, etc. He gambles though and looks to elicit cheers AND groans ala JL3. Nice night for him, but he gambled on important possessions at the end of the game. It will be interesting to see what kind of influence Thibs and the Bulls coaching staff have on Nate. With his ability to penetrate defenses, I see him being a much needed playmaker. We’ll see.
  • Nazr played out of his mind. Guy’s got a sweet 15 footer and some nice post moves. I think he got lucky a little bit in the post, but I hope those 12-15 footers he sank over and over again were not an aberration. Bulls desperately need that kind of offense (easy baskets)
  • Belinelli is ALWAYS. READY. TO SHOOT. Belinelli MUST be checked. That is a wonderful thing. Marco is going to space the floor, no question. Also seems to be a bigger body than Korver. Maybe a tiny bit more able to get his own shot? Doesn’t seem afraid to put the ball on the floor. Will need to see more. I don’t think he will have to fight for minutes at all. I do think he will struggle defensively though. Effort is there, but not sure about his timing.
  • Jimmy struggled, but I’m not worried about him at all. He has shown in limited minutes last season and the first game of this pre-season, that he has an uncanny ability, even as a young player, to draw fouls and get to the line. He’s a grinder and he can only get better with some playing time. Go Jimmy!
  • Taj didn’t get a nice stat line, but he looks great to start the year. Think we’ll really hear his name ring out this season.

Bulls still relentless on defense. Tons of ball pressure by Chicago in this contest.

We were in the rafters, but still nice view of everything…

Thibs yelling on the sidelines when the Grizz cut the lead down with 27 seconds left… Familiar scene!

In Game Tweets:

I also took some pretty bad video of the Bulls shooting around before the beginning of the second half… Nice to see them back in the building.

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