Bulls 104, Grizzlies 64
CHICAGO — Home whites were the thing of beauty Sunday as fans looked on, marveling at the athletes inside those jersey’s putting up a beat down of the Grizzlies. It was all Chicago in the home opener of 2011-12 with the Bulls blasting Memphis 104-64. Derrick Rose had a mediocre game by his standards and the Bulls still crushed the opposition. Three guys were largely responsible for this and they get tonight’s game balls.
OVERALL — SG Ronnie Brewer (17pts, 7rebs, 2asts, 2stls, +48)
It’s hard not to give this one to Carlos Boozer simply because when he shows up the way he did tonight, it’s a rare thing. But Ronnie Brewer had the bigger night because he was filling shoes. Richard Hamilton sat out tonights win with a hamstring injury and Brewer stepped up. Coming into this season the Bulls were expecting Hamilton and Brewer to compete for the most minutes, despite Hamilton’s seniority all but assured him that title. But Brewer let it be known he wasn’t using that as an excuse to slack off and we saw the results of what he meant tonight. The Bulls were Plus-48 when Brewer was on the court which is an insane number. On top of that Brewer scored 17 points, had 2 assists and rebounded the ball seven times. He also added two steals to his final total giving him one of his best nights as a Bull. If Hamilton has to miss time again, Bulls fans can rest assured that Brewer will not only step up and fill those shoes, he’s going to change the shoes entirely and bring freshness to the starting lineup.
OFFENSE/DEFENSE– PF Carlos Boozer (17pts, 11rebs, 2stls, 1blk)
This is a first and it comes at a strange time to a strange player. Carlos Boozer was not only the offensive player of the game, he was the defensive player as well. The only reason he’s not player of the game is because this is what’s expected of him. After last year’s Houdini act in the playoffs, a lot of people began selling their shares of stock in Boozer. But tonight he showed why the Bulls shelled out close to $75 million for him. He scored 17 points which is outrageous considering his timid offensive past and the other options on the team like Derrick Rose and C.J. Watson. But Boozer also picked up 11 rebounds, 9 of them defensive which is something very valuable. With people openly questioning his reliance on this team, Boozer really shoed up tonight and covered all the bases so to speak. He was a monster offensively, tying the leading scorer on the night in Brewer, and he was an rebounding machine which was a large reason as to why the Bulls got so many scoring chances. Honorable mention should go to Luol Deng as well who put in another solid night all around but not on the same level as Boozer. It’s a backhanded gesture to give Boozer both the offensive and defensive game balls tonight because one of the reason’s his stats are so amazing is because no one expected it from him when they really should. Hopefully this wasn’t a false pretense on how Boozer will play in 2011-12.