Chicago Bulls Preseason Game No. 2: We’ve Got Some Work to Do


The Chicago Bulls preseason game on Thursday against the Denver Nuggets was a loss in humiliating fashion, 112-94. It was pretty painful to watch, even for the preseason; but it was well worth it.

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Here are some things I noticed:

  • I am absolutely LOVING this new up-tempo offense. People are actually moving, setting back screens, cutting, and even occasionally running a three-man weave up top.
  • The only thing that concerns me about the new tempo is Derrick Rose. He will excel at attacking the basket with the floor spread from McDermott, Mirotic, Jimmy Butler, etc. But, in an offense like this, Rose will also get a ton of open three-point looks. The Bulls took 39 shots from outside against Milwaukee (hitting 13 of them) and 24 against Denver (making nine of them). It’s certain that Derrick will be shooting threes. He just needs to start making them.
  • Unfortunately, this brings up a whole new issue. If Noah is playing at a high or semi-high level, than it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see him starting with Gasol at the start of the year; something that did more damage last year than ObamaCare. The problem (although I don’t see it as a problem) is that if Noah is playing down low in the paint, then Gasol will have to play at the elbow extended. This means he won’t get as many post-ups as last year; something that led to disaster in Los Angeles. However, Hoiberg doesn’t have plans of playing him at the three-point line. If only Noah could work on his jumper, then the two could play PF/C and C/PF and both start. But, the tornado shots don’t look promising.

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    • I remember really liking the E’Twaun Moore signing a year ago because of his size and IQ for a young combo guard (he even posted up a few times last night!), yet he looks even more impressive this year. He knows how to run an offense, but he also has a nice shooting game and has the size to occasionally play some small forward, which we saw yesterday for a short stretch.
    • I also would like to note that I am ecstatic that Hoiberg has done the right thing by demoting the immortal Captain Kirk Hinrich. “The Craptain” added to his legacy with an 0-2 game last night, though I will admit he played some pretty good defense in his 18 minutes. At this point in his career, he would be a great 11th man (or assistant coach).
    • Something that needs to be brought up: Despite assurance he would improve his shot from downtown, Nikola Mirotic’s three-pointers are looking even worse than last year. Nearly all of them are long as a result of how he line-drives them at the rim. He’s 3-11 from outside so far this year.
    • The last thing I want to mention: Jimmy Butler. So far he’s obviously been the best player on the floor; something that worries me as Noah and Mirotic are automatically deferring to him on offense. Jimmy is a top-tier player but if he keeps this up, there might be some real tension between him and Rose.

    Up next for the Bulls: Minnesota (in Winnipeg), 7:00 PM CT on Saturday night.

    Next: Chicago Bulls Preseason Opener: The good, the bad and the ugly from Tuesday's win

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