Thursday, October 28, 2010

Game 1 of 82: Bulls Fall to Thunder 106-95

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls fell to the Thunder Wednesday night 106-95 in the first of the 82 game regular season. Derrick Rose was fantastic scoring 28 points and adding 6 assists. Joakim Noah had a monster game after starting off slow in the first half scoring 18 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. Taj Gibson also played well starting in place of the injured Carlos Boozer scoring 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Kevin Durant lead the Thunder with 30 points and 7 rebounds. Russell Westbrook matched Rose's 28 points and pulled down 10 boards as well.

This is a game the Bulls really could have won had Rose not been in foul trouble so early in the first half. The second unit seemed to be sort of hobbled and inefficient. CJ Watson is a better version of Jannero Pargo but has no business running an offense. Ronnie Brewer looked injured. Kurt Thomas looked old. Omer Asik barely played. Brian Scalabrine played too much & Kyle Korver only got 2 of 5 to fall. It's infuriating that the Bulls can't be efficient without Rose on the floor at all times.

I think Luol Deng is the guy that's going to need to step up. Yeah, he was being guarded by Kevin Durant and Sefolosha the whole night but he's much better than the way he played last night. Thibs is going to have to set up an offense that can get Deng and Korver open in the corners for some 3's otherwise Rose is just driving the whole game.

The effort that Taj Gibson put in was impressive. He had an absolutely terrible preseason but looked a lot better than Jeff Green did. Although, I think Jeff Green is a bit overrated and really isn't a PF, Taj should be dominating guys like him at all times.

Keith Bogans has no business starting on this team. I would love to see Korver start as the team's starting shooting guard but it doesn't really seem to be an option in Thibodeau's mind. The Bulls need scoring off the bench and Korver is the only one efficient enough to be that guy.

Oh well, the Bulls played a great game. They overachieved in my mind. The Thunder are poised to be the #2 team in the west and Chicago was tied or leading most of the game all while their new all-star PF sat on the bench in a suit. Had it not been for some silly fouls, a goaltending call against Deng (which was a clean block) and a few turnovers, Chicago would have pulled this out.

I know, it's just one game but it's depressing to see the Bulls lose a game they should have won. Chicago hosts their first home game on Saturday night against the Detroit Piston @ 8:00 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcasted on CSN Chicago and NBA League Pass (which is free until November 2nd). Go Bulls!