It was Halloween night at the United Center as the Bulls were set to play their first game of the new season against the visiting Sacramento Kings. Ladies and gentleman, Chicago basketball is back!
This season, Chicago has to prove that they can win without star player Derrick Rose. The Bulls appear to be the underdog but they must use that fuel as motivation to win. To prove they are not a one-man team but instead a collective of phenomenal players.
With the game underway, Sacramento’s Jason Thompson obtained the rebound off of Luol Deng;’s missed Jumper. Thompson dished it to DeMarcus Cousins who would later get the first points of the game for the Kings. Later down the line and Carlos Boozer would get the first bucket of the game, with the assist from Kirk Hinrich.
With five minutes remaining in the first quarter, and the Bulls leading by 1 (14-13), the Bulls call their first complete timeout. Boozer again makes a bucket with the assist from Hinrich.
We get the first three-pointer of the night, as Tyreke Evans passed the rock to Isaiah Thomas. The Bulls would eventually respond with their own three-pointer, as Marco Belinelli, one of the newest additions to the Bulls this season, nailed the dagger as new Bull Nate Robinson passed to him. After one quarter of play, and the Bulls lead by 2, 25-23.
Second quarter action begins, and Kings’ Francisco Garcia gets the first points of the quarter, as he the layup, with the assist from Chuck Hayes. Down the stretch and Taj Gibson finally obtained his first points of the game, with the assists from Belinelli.
Moments later and Kings’ Thomas Robinson (no relation to Nate Robinson) makes the two-point play, and Marcus Thornton dished to him. Francisco Garcia would help them out as he makes the three-point jumper, with the assist from James Johnson. Halftime, and the Bulls lead by 4, (44-40).
Halftime done and both teams are fueled up and ready to go. Noah was very impressive throughout this game, and especially in this quarter as he had 12 points. I will give credit where credit is due as the Kings played great. Isiah Thomas and Jason Thompson played great getting consistent two point shots and free throws. At the end of three quarters, the Bulls lead by 6.
Finally, the last quarter commences with a jump shot from Kings’ Marcus Thornton. Thornton would strike back as he scores a shot from beyond the arch. Down the stretch and Noah would make a lot of free throws. In the end, the Bulls would go on to winning their first game of the new season, with a final score of 93-87.
The star of the game without a doubt was Joakim Noah. Noah had 23 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, five steals and three blocks. The leader for the Kings was Tyreke Evans who had 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and one block shot.
One thing that surprised me was how great both Hamilton and Boozer played. Hamilton had 19 points, two steals, three assists and one rebound as Boozer had 18 points, one steal, two assists and seven rebounds. This surprised me because last year both players, in my opinion, didn’t live up or play as good as they could of. Hamilton didn’t play because of lots of injuries and Boozer as we know, hasn’t been the best player on the team thus far, but I suppose now they know the team depends on them both with Rose out.
However, what surprised me the most was Gibson. Gibson, who usually has an excellent performance in every game, appeared to be down or upset. Possible reasons could be that he didn’t accept the Bulls extension offer (at the time). Still, it was disappointed to see Gibson ending up with only four points that game.
Although the game wasn’t pretty, it’s clear the Bulls won because of their assists, fewer turnovers and blocks as they had 21 assists, 18 turnovers (compared to Sacramento’s 19) and 10 blocks. I have to give credit to Sacramento though as hey had a better three-point percentage, shooting six for 17 at 35% while Chicago only shot 2 for 9 at 22%. Both teams however were tied at fast break points as both teams had 14 a piece. However as we know Chicago was superior, coming out with the win.
As for Sacramento, they will play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday in Minneapolis while the Chicago Bulls will play against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Ohio.