Last night the Chicago Bulls traveled to Cleveland to take on Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers for their first road game of the season. Going into the game expectations were fairly low for both sides but things changed fairly quickly. From the tip off, the Bulls were in solid command of this game on both sides of the floor. Offensively they were shooting near 70% for almost the entire game while defensively they played the usual Thibodeau lockdown defense we have come to expect. The end result was a gruesome 29 point win for the Chicago Bulls taking their record to 2-0 on the season.
Let's take a deeper look at each player's performance:
Statistically, Noah's stat line doesn't look like much. But it shows you that you can't simply rely on numbers to tell the whole story. Noah's rebounding numbers are low because the Bulls just didn't miss. His points are low because he generally gets most of his scoring off of put backs and free throws, both of which he didn't get much of last night (because he didn't have the opportunity).
Overall, Noah's performance last night was dominating. Defensively he was making life impossible for Varejao, Thompson, and the other Cleveland bigs leaving them with absolutely no room to even put up a shot. His rotations were spot on and, at times, it seems he knew what was coming before it even happened and had already made the necessary adjustments. Overall, excellent game from Noah
I have no clue where this Boozer came from but I like it. Boozer may not have put up a double double and his defense continued to be suspect, but he was a well oiled machine out there on offense. His midrange jumper was silky smooth for the second game in a row. To add to that he was moving the ball around well with the extra pass and was playing aggressive enough to get to the line. While I may not be happy with certain aspects of his game still, I can't deny Boozer deserves a very good grade since he was a huge reason the Bulls dominated.
Compared to the season opener, Deng was significantly better. He dropped fewer passes, moved around the floor well on offense and defense, and was more accurate on all of his shots. Aside from those three things, nothing about his game was exactly very memorable for me. Overall good game for Deng.
If this is how Richard Hamilton can play when healthy, Chicago really missed out last year with all of those injuries (don't worry, I know it was probably a one game anomaly). Hamilton was an absolute monster out there on offense. At one point in the third quarter, he scored 12 straight points for Chicago. Hamilton later said a Cavs fan calling him old spurred it for him. If that's the case, I'd love for all Bulls fans to just start having "old" signs and chants ready for him every single game. Defensively Hamilton was solid, but nothing superb. He often times let Dion Waiters and other guards by him. Luckily, everyone else was rotating so it wasn't a big deal. Otherwise, Hamilton's rotations were excellent as he often prevented easy inside-outside movement from resulting in wide open jumpers.
Great game for Hamilton.
Kirk was the low point for the starters as he was in foul trouble early and often. His stat line is decent and, unfortunately, because of his foul trouble and limited minutes tonight I have little to no recollection of him playing. Thus, I have to based his performance off his stat line.
The bench played well against the Cavs, especially Nate Robinson. Robinson went off for 16 points and 12 assists and was only five rebounds away from notching his first career triple double. At times, he played fairly reckless and would turn the ball over as a result, but with how he played I can forgive him. Taj Gibson was a defensive anchor once again and shut down the Cavs bigs. And Jimmy Butler was, once again, aggressive and energetic getting it done on defense and when it came to getting to the rim. Everyone else played an average game.
When Deng only plays 31 minutes instead of the normal 37+, that's an excellent game for Thibs.
While individually there were some issues with each player, as a unit they were virtually flawless. Let's see if they can keep it up over the season.
What I Expect For Next Time:
- The exact same thing. Literally, I would not change a single thing about it except add Rose and maybe take out Hinrich since he didn't play as well.
That about wraps it up for this game. Thanks for reading and we hope you're looking forward to the next game.
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