Bulls 88, Lakers 87 — FINAL
LOS ANGELES — After many abysmal shots in the second half, the Bulls tried to comeback and that’s exactly what they did. Like so many times before it was Luol Deng drawing fouls, hitting free throws and Derrick Rose was left to hit the game winning bucket to propel the Bulls over the Lakers on opening day 88-87.
“It’s one big shot after the next. And it’s been that way certainly all last year and starting this year. He’s something.” said head coach Tom Thibodeau.
The Bulls started the game out sluggish, then they picked up the pace only to get sluggish out of the gate at halftime. The Bulls came out of the half and promptly went 6 for 33 shooting and allowed the Los Angeles Lakers to take the lead and distance themselves from Chicago.
Anyone else having flashbacks to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals raise your hand.
But like the Bulls of last year, they live for the final four minutes of the game. Right when it seemed like the Lakers were going to lock down the game and close out, the Bulls began to comeback like they did so many times a season ago.
Derrick Rose had a scary moment in the fourth when he was elbowed in the back of the head by Luol Deng. Rose went down to the court, popped up woozy and then sat down at mid-court to be assessed. He didn’t black out according to the Bulls medical staff and he doesn’t show signs of a concussion.
They don’t call it crunch time for nothing though and the Bulls proved yet again that they live to make things interesting.
Rose finished the game with the most points for Chicago, but what else is new. The Bulls got soft down the stretch and they can’t continue to do that. They got out hustled in the third quarter and that bit of slacking gave the elite Lakers all they needed. Chicago was able to manage their turnovers.
A real disappointment was Richard Hamilton who channeled his inner Keith Bogans with a poor offensive debut for the Bulls. It was his first game so the panic button shouldn’t even be thought about now but it should be something to watch.
To counter Hamilton’s poor game, Carlos Boozer showed up with 15 points including big free throws down the stretch. Luol Deng was the one who had the biggest free throws on his way to a 21 point performance.
If this is what the Bulls will do all season long then they might be sitting pretty. Hamilton, the offensive answer at shooting guard was horrid but the Bulls found a way to win. This came against the Lakers and that has to be one Christmas present that could turn into a championship New Year’s resolution.