The Chicago Bulls dropped another two preseason games over the weekend to settle to a 2-4 record. The Bulls have two reaming games in the preseason, before the regular season kicks off in Oklahoma City, a week from Wednesday.
The Bulls were in Dallas on Friday, taking the Mavs to overtime before falling to their first defeat of the weekend in overtime, 109-105. A good effort was put in, but Dallas proved to be too much when the second final whistle blew. Luol Deng and Derrick Rose lead the team in points (each scoring 23), while Joakim Noah pulled in a double-double (13 points, 15 rebs). The Jomer experiment started the game, with Taj Gibson nursing the plantar fascitis that bothered him most of last season. Omer Asik had his ups and downs in the game, not putting up impressive stats, yet he did not turn the ball over once in the game. Unfortunately, the team could not make the same claim, having turned the ball over 21 times.
Saturday night saw much less success, when the Bulls faced the Orlando Magic. The tough overtime loss on Friday was a gift that kept on giving, as the team did not get into their Orlando hotel until 4am. Add to this the fact that the Bulls stars logged some heavy minutes against the Mavs, and you get an ugly display such as a 105-67 loss to the Magic. Things started off poorly for the Bulls on Saturday and that proved to be the theme of the game for them. All fourteen healthy players the Bulls brought to Orlando saw minutes, with players like Kurt Thomas, CJ Watson, and Brian Scalabrine logging the most time. Taj Gibson did not see the court for the second straight game, but Tom Thibodeau does expect the second-year forward to play on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors.
It is hard to take away much in the preseason, but so far the overall concern must be the high turnover rate. The games are fun to watch… for about a quarter. After that, you get to see wonderful combinations like Scalabrine and Thomas light it up. Saturday’s massacre can hopefully be attributed to the lack of rest and motivation to show up for the second half of a back-to-back set of games. The Bulls have two more games this week to establish some more rhythm and take better care of the ball.