Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bulls vs. Jazz: Very Solid Pre-Season Basketball

The Bulls and the Jazz played a pre-season game in London yesterday. Going in, I was expecting a solid, but sloppy game. When the game started and I found out that Derrick Rose was out, my expectations lowered. But, for a pre-season game, the execution on both sides was better than I thought it would be. The Bulls young big men caught my eye and the game was pretty close from start to finish.

The finish of the game was action packed: Bulls rookie James Johnson was denied an inbounds pass by Andrei Kirilenko, but got the offensive rebound off a missed shot by Derrick Byars and quickly hit a jumper to win the game. It was a great way for Johnson to start his NBA career. The Bulls were of course going nuts and rightfully so.

I was pretty impressed with Johnson, Byars and Taj Gibson. They are all solid rookies for the Bulls. They will all provide energy off the bench. The frontline in Chicago has so much promise, I just wonder if the starter, Tyrus Thomas can live up the that potential. I'd predict the Bulls frontline to be known as active, but sometimes so active that it's a detriment.

Luol Deng shined and looks to have recovered from a season where injury severely derailed him. I'm sure he was trying to impress his British fans (he grew up in London), but he did it efficiently, shooting 8-12 from the field. Expect him to be the guy that fills in most of Ben Gordon's scoring.

The Jazz are still suffering from injuries. CJ Miles is out for likely a third of the season (ruptured left thumb) and Kyle Korver was out with an inflamed left knee, which I haven't the severity of yet. Right now the Jazz are depleted at the wing position. They should be healthy come playoff time, but that will be a concern in the early part of the season.

Sloan did use his big guns a lot less than usual, the starters were out in crunch time and didn't get too much burn anyway. I liked how he juggled the minutes.

Video of the end of this game:

It's so great to have NBA basketball back!


Nick Gelso said...

Celtics first preseason game tonight! Can't wait!