Bulls-Cavs: Five Takeaways From Thrilling Opening Night Victory

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1. It wasn’t easy, but the dynamic backcourt made plays when they had to

When you look at the box score from Tuesday’s game, it won’t jump off the page by any means. Derrick Rose scored 18 points on 8-of-22 shooting. Jimmy Butler scored 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Those aren’t exactly numbers you want to see from a backcourt that’s making a combined $38.8 million this season.

But, when it counted, Rose and Butler made plays. The aforementioned defensive stop from Butler? Last year, on the same side of the court, LeBron James beat him to the corner and drilled a game-winning three to tie their series at two games. This year, the Cavaliers flipped the set, but Butler was ready.

Rose missed 14 of 22 shot attempts, but only took two three-pointers. He looked to attacked all night long and was one of four different Bulls to shoot at least four free throw attempts. Not only that, he played in 32 minutes with double vision. You can’t help but be hesitant on how many minutes Rose plays, but he made it work in the opener.

Next: 2. Role players fit their roles nicely