The Bulls are back, and so is Bulls Banter. It’s been a long five months, and the Bulls’ preseason couldn’t get here fast enough.
And so the quest for Championship #7 begins. Everyone here in CHI, even the players, like Jimmy Butler (JB) are saying – we’re basically the same team, just with a different coach.
While I already miss Thibs, and the sideline pacing, arm flailing, and overall intensity, it is a bit refreshing to see Hoiberg sitting in a chair with the rest of his staff and the players.
It’s going to take some time to get used to this not-so-new-look Bulls.
With two preseason games behind us, here are a 10 random takeaways.
- Running with the Bulls – It looks like the Bulls will need to petition Adam Silver to let them transfer to the Western Conference, what, with all of the running up and down the floor.
- Rest? No, I’m not familiar with it. Could go into a bit more detail? – After helping lead the Spanish National team to victory in EuroBasket, and helping to secure their spot in the 2016 Olympics, Pau Gasol (Pow, Pow, Pow) sat out the first two games. In the Thibs era, Taj Gibson (Taji Woo) likely would have played about 40 minutes/game in the preseason. But he’s been hanging on the bench with Pau, continuing to “rest” following ankle surgery this summer.
- Hoping a little tension goes a long way – If you’re not here in CHI, you may not have heard or read about it, but it seems as if Derrick Rose (DRose) and JB are not the closest of friends. The media is likely making something out of nothing, but hey, if JB isn’t thrilled with DRose’s work ethic, or lack thereof, maybe that’s just what the Bulls need to help accelerate them to the next level.
- It’s raining 3s – In their preseason opener, the Bulls shot 39 3-pointers. My statistician has informed me that during Thibs’s entire tenure, the most 3-pointers the Bulls every put up in a game was 33.
- Injuries, injuries, go away, and don’t come back another day – When I got the alert on my phone that DRose was scheduled for surgery, I figured it was from another year – pick a year, any year. Starting the season without DRose, plus Mike Dunleavy, Jr. (Dun Dun), who had back surgery, and Taj…well, we’ve heard it all before.
- Kid’s stuff – Yes, it’s only preseason, but Hoiberg plays the kids. Doug McDermott (Dougie McBuckets) tied JB for points scored in the Bucks game (23). And Bobby “Crazy Eyes” Portis, the rookie is getting playing time, along with Tony Snell (TSnell) and second-year man Nikola Mirotic.
- A little healthy competition – The Bulls, and their United Center neighbors, the Blackhawks, are both facing some competition in the viewership department, stemming from a very unlikely source – those darn Cubs. With the Cubs having failed to make it to the playoffs since 2008, the Bulls never had to wonder if anyone would show up to their games. Same with the ‘Hawks. Now, not so much. With the Cubs playing their third game against the Cardinals on Monday, it looks like Anthony Davis and the Pelicans will have no trouble getting tickets at the UC for 100s of their closest friends. Bulls who? It’s Cubs October madness!
- Blame it on the altitude (again) – The Bulls cannot find a way to win in Denver, nor in Boulder, where they faced the Nuggets for their second preseason game at a “neutral” site (University of Colorado). The Bulls’ new-look offense didn’t look so new. In fact, it was reminiscent of oh so many Western Conference games from the past few years, complete with basket covers and all.
- The more things change the more they stay the same – On a personal note, I impressed even myself with my season-over-season consistency. First, I excel at falling asleep during the third quarter and having to watch a replay the next night (Bucks). And second, I know when to make the call on “unwatchable” (Nuggets) games. That one didn’t warrant a replay.
- It might not look like a championship team yet, but they’re just getting started, and half the team is busy resting or recovering. Just wait until they’re in full force. And with Hoiberg’s tendency to play younger, I mean, less experienced players, I’ve got a shot at a reserve spot.
In all seriousness, See Red! Go Bulls! Beat the Timberwolves.