Bulls Now 1-2 in Pre-Season After Coming Up Short Against Minny

Jimmy Butler putback dunk off of a Taj Gibson miss in the 1st quarter was one of the few Bulls highlights in a contest that saw 69 fouls called.

Bulls drop their second game in a row against a Minnesota team that sat Kevin Love and Andrei Kirilenko. Bulls sat Luol and Rip. Butler played 48 minutes.

Game Notes:

  • Minnesota’s backcourt of Ridenour, Roy, Shved, Barea and Rubio [when he comes back from his ACL tear] is underrated. Multiple, quick guards with good ball handling skills and able to break down opposing defenses… Almost unfair that they are so stacked at this position.
  • Brandon Roy continues to impress in the pre-season averaging nearly 10 pts. a contest so far.
  • Alexey Shved (as seen this past summer on the Russian Olympics team) is fun to watch. Another reason to like this Minnesota team. He exploded for 12 of his 15 pts. in the 4th quarter. I think they’ll definitely make noise this season and am privately pulling for them to make it to the playoffs.
  • I’ve got to place an asterisk by this game since Rip and Deng didn’t play. Bulls certainly can’t be characterized (as they were last season) as “having enough to win with…” We need all of our pieces now more than ever before.
  • Jimmy Butler looked good and gave a decent effort on defense. Thibs stated that he wanted to help build Jimmy’s confidence by playing him 48 minutes.
  • Its early, but Carlos Boozer may just have lost a step this season. Can we count on him  to be the 16/9 machine he was last season? It remains unclear. He was benched for the 4th period (nothing new), but really isn’t it kind of early for this nonsense? He’s a starter, he should be ready to go. I am hoping that his numbers do not dip too low so that he remains attractive to some other teams.
  • Noah had the finger guns going, but I couldn’t really enjoy them because I could only get my hands on Minnesota coverage! Nice offensive game from him and you can tell he’s worked on that jumper. I’ll take a 14/13 game from Jo anytime. Based on how cold the rest of the players were from outside, I wish he’d taken more shots actually.
  • Ugly, ugly game where it appeared the referees didn’t see any contact that could be discerned as incidental. Whistle on nearly every play… Just brutal to watch.
  • Starting lineup for the Bulls: Kirk, Belinelli, Butler, Boozer and Noah. Interesting. Marco has yet to make a 3 pointer over the span of 3 games. He is hitting his FT’s however. Nice drive from him as well, so he does look to have a little variety in his offensive game. Five personal fouls, which I don’t know if this is the result of his defensive deficiencies or if it was unavoidable based on the sheer number of fouls called in this game. Taj fouled out, which is not something we see very often.
  • Kirk (15 pts) and Mohammed (10 pts) continue to be bright spots for the Bulls.
  • This game, played the same way, could have been won by the Bulls had they simply shot better from the FT line. They were a miserable 63% (22-35). When’s the last time the Bulls left 13 points out there like that?
  • 23 turnovers for the Bulls is also alarming. Movement is not crisp, players are not where they are supposed to be and there are just some RISKY passes being thrown into traffic.
  • Bulls are still committing to Thibs defensive schemes… They are holding opponents to 84.3 pts. so far in pre-season.

Postgame Quotes:

  • “I think we have to respond better to the difference between the first three quarters and the fourth quarter. Knowing that the intensity is a lot different in the fourth quarter. We have to respond better. We have to get to our spots and take better care of the ball.” – Coach Tom Thibodeau
  • “We have to do a better job of executing our offense. Even though there [are] a lot of new faces we definitely have to do a better job of executing our offense. Timing, spacing and knowing the strength and weakness of the opposing team and knowing our options when things are not going right.” – Joakim Noah

What’s Next?

Bulls come home to the UC to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, Oct. 16th. 7PM CST.

I’ll be in-game tweeting from @ChiTwnBullsBlog… Take care til’ next time Bulls fans! –ct

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