Five Takeaways From the Chicago Bulls First Two Games

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Oct 27, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo Williams (52) is defended by Chicago Bulls guard Aaron Brooks (0) during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls can’t forget about defense

If defense wins championships, then the Bulls have a lot of work to do or else they’ll be out quickly. It’s fun to watch an offense that can score 105+ points on any given night, but when it comes down to it, you must have a good defense to win a championship.

A perfect example is the 2008-09 and 2009-10 Golden State Warriors. These were Don Nelson‘s final two seasons at Golden State and they averaged more than 108 points per game in both seasons, yet never got more than 30 wins. They did let in over 110 points per game in both seasons, and while the Bulls won’t have that bad of a defense, it still shows that you can’t try to only outscore your opponents and expect to win. You have to play defense.

Pau Gasol’s last-second block against Cleveland shows exactly why defense wins championships. They still have some of the best defensive players in the league and as a whole, still have the culture mindset of being a great defensive team.

However, they had their worst defensive season under Tom Thibodeau last season, giving up 97.8 points per game. That was still good enough for ninth in the NBA, but the team looked different and didn’t play with the same intensity.

Fred Hoiberg is an offensive-minded coach and he knows how important defense is. Chicago still let Brooklyn get to the rim a lot more than they had hoped for after the first quarter and gave them a lot of open looks. They were lucky that Brooklyn only shot 41.9 percent from the field and missed all nine three-point attempts.

The Bulls have enough good defensive pieces that they shouldn’t give up more than 100 points per game, but they let Brooklyn come back because of all the easy shots they gave up. When you’re an offensive-minded team, you have to be ready to go through dry spells every game, and yesterday the Bulls weren’t.

It’s only been two games and every team in the league has problems. The Chicago Bulls played well through their first two wins and most importantly are 2-0.

Next: Bulls: Thoughts and Grades Through First Two Games of the Season

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