Bulls 104, Grizzlies 64
CHICAGO — Dominance was the big thing about the Bulls home stands last year and the United Center was the place the first blowout of the Bulls 2011-12 season took place. It was the first day of the new year and the Bulls took it to the visiting Memphis Grizzlies winning by a 40 point margin.
The domination picked right up where it was left off last season when the Bulls won an astonishing 36 games inside the United Center. This year their home opener saw not Derrick Rose, not Richard Hamilton but Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer explode all over the Grizzlies cookie dough defense.
The amazing thing about Sunday’s home opener win was that Derrick Rose went 4 for 10 and not only still managed to somehow score 16 points, but the Bulls didn’t completely fall apart with him struggling the way he did. Instead, they used Boozer’s 17 and Brewer’s 17 to spark the offense which also saw Luol Deng put in another impressive performance.
But the biggest story has to be that the Bulls held the Grizzlies under 70 points. Whenever you hold an opponent to 64 total points in a game that’s something impressive. But for the Bulls it honestly feels like business as usual. This is what the Chicago Bulls are designed to do, stop opponents dead.
It was an atrocious night for Memphis who had Zach Randolph shoot 1 for 5 and the team as a whole was held to 31 percent from the field.
The starting five for the Bulls amassed 5 blocked shots and 6 steals with Rose getting two apiece.
The Bench Mob was another aspect of the Bulls that was huge last year and showed up Sunday night. They got outscored by the Grizzlies bench but only because the bench for Memphis had 40 of their 64 points.
The only bummer of the win was C.J. Watson’s injury. He was in a sling post game and and MRI is scheduled for Monday. Watson hurt his elbow scrambling for a loose ball, the Bulls are calling it a sprained elbow.
Other then Watson’s injury and the benching of Richard Hamilton due to his injury, the Bulls looked beyond sharp in their win, the first of hopefully many inside the United Center. But the question marks are in the air with Watson potentially out. He’s a big part of the bench and his production will be missed. But the Bulls showed that even without Hamilton, Watson and to an extent Rose’s offense, they can still win.
Chicago gets a day off before hosting the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.