Drink: Maker’s Mark Manhattan
The Bulls were right there. Despite Rose getting limited time through foul trouble, the Tunder (Zam!) having more than double the free throws (22-47), the refs refusing to recognize a charging call on the Thunder (Ka-Bam!), and… no Boozer, the Bulls were right in there late in fourth. In the end, well…
The first half started out well enough, with the Bulls leading in the early going. Derrick Rose started out trying to establish that jumper he keeps talking about, before abandoning it for what he does best, slashing to the hoop. The Bulls were up four when Rose was pulled with two fouls, 7:47 into the first quarter. Things went south with the second team seeing time. Rose came back in the second half, down by eight. Battling back, the Bulls left the court at halftime, down by five and Rose with 20 points.
The second half started up where the first left off, Rose looking great and picking up fouls. It did not take much time for Rose to pick up his third and fourth foul, sending him to the bench until the fourth. Yet, the Bulls put in a team effort and hung tough with the Thunder (Blaowee!) when Rose returned in the fourth. The Bulls continued to go toe-to-toe with OKC until an implosion went down with about two minutes in the game. At which point, the Thunder (Adzooks!) went on a run and did not look back, winning 106-95.
- Rose looked great driving to the basket. So good, that the Thunder (Crack!) had no answer for his drives. Rose loves the reverse, using the rim to deny the block, and tonight was no different.
- After looking to be winded/out of rhythm in the first half, Noah brought his energy into the second and was the reason the Bulls stayed in the game while Rose was out with foul trouble.
- Taj Gibson battled with injury and form in the preseason, only to explode in their first game with 16 points and 11 boards as a role player.
- In my opinion, Luol Deng needed to be key in this game for the Bulls to grab the road win. Instead he was largely anonymous with 13 points and two rebounds. Give the Thunder (Zap!) credit. They played Deng tight, especially riding him hard when he tried to slash to the hoop.
- As discussed with Joelseppi, Kyle Korver looked lost out there. He looked like he needed to run off of a dozen picks to get open. More importantly, while the game was still in hand, Korver was left with the ball in hands when the shot clock buzzer sounded. This does not sound too bad, until you take into consideration that it was coming off of a timeout, with a short shot clock, and the game went to OKC shortly after.
- As good as Rose was slashing, he did little to convince us that his jumper has improved at all, going 12-31 from the floor. If he can develop that shot, his MVP aspirations would not be all that crazy.
- Not necessarily “bad,” but many of the lineups Tom Thibodeau went with were questionable. Granted, he had to get a little creative with the foul trouble, yet it is going to be a long season if Scalabrine is seeing 10+ minutes a game. Where was the Jomer?!
- I am not a “The refs are giving away this game,” type of guy. With that said, 22-47 free throws kind of speaks for itself. Kind of. Derrick Rose is the Bulls player who drives to the basket the most (where most fouls come from), but he is a fineness player. Rose does not look for contact while driving, he avoids it and looks to finish. However, with that said, 22-47?!?!?!?! Additionally, many of the blocking fouls called against the Bulls were suspect, at best.
It was a solid showing by the Bulls and fans should be proud. The Bulls opened up with a very hard assignment and almost pulled it off. Even with Boozer out, you have to imagine that the coming games will not feature a lopsided foul count, highlighted by Rose being in constant foul trouble. At least, I hope so. If that is the case, I think the Bulls can salvage a decent enough record until Boozer is back. And when that happens? Well, I simply expect them to win out.