The Most Intriguing Chicago Bulls Preseason Game Stat Lines so Far
While the result is no indication of how the season might go, it was interesting to get our first glimpse of this years' Chicago Bulls.
There were some players on the team that surprised us, and some who disappointed us. The Bulls managed to pull out a win and show some promise for the upcoming season.
Here are five players who intrigued us with their stat lines:
Statline: 5 Points, 1-7 FG, 0-2 3P
This offseason, the Bulls lost many of their best bench options from last season. On the offensive side of the ball, however, the Bulls picked up a big option in former Hornets swingman Marco Belinelli.
In his first appearance, Belinelli struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball.
He shot poorly, didn't hit from long range and didn't get to the free throw line. It is understandable that Belinelli may struggle in his first appearance as a Bull, but he will need to get better if the new Bench Mob is to succeed.
Statline: 13 Points, 12 Rebounds, 6-10 FG, 1 Block
Now let us understand, it is preseason.
Most of the players on the court are guys who will not see an NBA roster, or who will be on injured reserve all season.
Understanding that, Nazr Mohammed played a fantastic game.
The biggest question after this offseason is how the Bulls are going to replace Omer Asik at the backup center position. Mohammed plays a very different game than Asik, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, but if Mohammed can be even close to this productive in Chicago, then Asik's name will not be brought up again.
Statline: 2 Points, 1-11 FG, 0-1 3P, 0-2 FT
Jimmy Butler is one of the players on the Bulls who needs to step up the most with the loss of the Bench Mob.
Along with Taj Gibson, Butler is the defensive guy off the bench that the Bulls will rely on. We also hoped that Butler could improve his offensive game, at least marginally.
In the Bulls' first preseason game, Jimmy Butler was the worst player on the court offensively. He shot a pathetic percentage, couldn't hit free throws and looked to lose confidence, as well. His only points came on a breakaway dunk.
His defense was solid, but we hoped for more from him.
Statline: 10 Points, 7 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 4-6 FG, 2-3 FT, 1 Steal, 1 Block
The last we saw of Joakim Noah, he was on the bench wearing a walking boot, out for the playoffs with an ankle injury.
This offseason, Noah was held off the Olympic team after failing a physical in July due to that same ankle. Later, Joakim told Chicago Tribune reporter K.C Johnson, "Ankle rehab is something I think I will have to do the rest of my career." If that wasn't enough, Joakim missed parts of training camp due to the death of his grandmother.
Once Jo finally got on the court, however, he appeared to be back to normal.
He played with his usual hustle and energy, and seemed to be comfortable on the court. He also proved that he has big time playmaking potential with his four assists. It's a relief to see him back to full strength.
Statline: 23 Minutes, 18 Points, 4-8 FG, 1-2 3P, 9-11 FT, 4 Rebounds, 2 Steals
Luol Deng came into preseason with a torn ligament in his left wrist still an issue.
He chose to forgo surgery this offseason in order to play in the Olympics for Great Britain. With Derrick Rose likely out until the All-Star Break, Deng will be relied on more than ever for scoring, and it's questionable whether he will be able to live up to the challenge.
In this game, he showed that he can.
In only 23 minutes, and on eight shot attempts, Deng scored 18 points. That works out to twelve and a half shot attempts and 28 points per 36 minutes. These numbers won't be typical, but it's a great start from Deng.