I attended the game last night.
I hadn't been this excited for a Bulls home game since game 6 vs Boston two season ago in the playoffs.
The Bulls had just completed a very successful road trip, were coming home to face off against a very good conference opponent and were going to unveil their big free agent prize, Carlos Boozer, for the first time.
The biggest question after it was announced that Boozer would play and start against Orlando was when the Bulls PA announcer said 6'9 forward from Duke who would come out, Deng or Boozer? Well funny enough they announced Carlos Boozer first but Deng is the one who came out then followed by Carlos. Only if we knew this first screw up was a sign of things to come for the night.
There isn't much good that came out of last night's game except that the Bulls are finally healthy. However a couple negatives did appear some I don't want to overreact to.
1. Where was Derrick Rose? Seriously Jameer Nelson dominated the point guard matchup scoring a game high 24 points and 9 assists while Drose only scored 15 on 5-13 shooting and dished out 4 assists in 32 minutes of action. This is one I'm going to forgive because everyone has a bad night every now and then but this was truly awful because Nelson got to whereever he wanted on the court while Rose was guarding him.
2. Didn't we sign Boozer to get easy baskets in the post? He only played 22 minutes in his first game of the season. Remember he didn't play in any of the preseason games either so going to forgive the rust. But the offense didn't know what to do with him. He only got 5 shots off and if I recall correctly posted up once that resulted in a very bad blocked shot. I know working Boozer in will take some time and he was double teamed plenty but the offense looked lost with Boozer in.
3. Noah lead the team in scoring but was tied with Kurt Thomas for 11th on the team in rebounding for the game. This was by far the strangest stat of the night. Noah scored 16 points but had ZERO rebounds. The Bulls played all 12 players last night and 10 of them were able to grab a single rebound. This is the one thing from last night's game that bothered me. Noah took 11 shots and none were from tip ins or an offensive rebound. Overall the Bulls were just dominated on the glass and were out rebounded 44-21.
I am willing to write this game off as just a fluke or maybe the Magic just have the Bulls' number since in the last three games they have played the Bulls have lost by 20 and 29 twice. Friday's matchup in Boston and Saturday's home date against Houston might be much better indicators of just how good the Bulls can be with Boozer.
Let's hope the two young stars decide to show up and play this weekend or my 11 win month prediction won't be looking so good.