7 Things We Learned About the Chicago Bulls After Week 2
Rose, the team's superstar point guard, is recovering from knee surgery and is expected to return sometime after the All-Star break.
The Bulls have also shown us that they can still play great on the defensive end of the floor, something that they've done since coach Tom Thibodeau was hired in 2010.
As of Monday, the team owned a record of 4-3, winning over the Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves. And their three losses came against the New Orleans Hornets, Oklahoma City Thunder and more recently, the Boston Celtics.
Here are seven things that Bulls fans have learned about their team thus far this season.
Nazr Mohammed Doesn't Get Much Playing Time
Chicago let Omer Asik go to the Houston Rockets this past summer, instead of shelling out $25 million to keep him in town.
The Bulls then wound up signing Nazr Mohammed to replace the valuable backup center.
Unlike Asik, who logged nearly 15 minutes per game last season for the Bulls, Mohammed hasn't played much this season. In fact, the Chicago native is averaging just 6.7 minutes per game and contributing 0.7 points and 1.8 rebounds as of Monday.
Perhaps Mohammed's playing time will only increase if starter Joakim Noah goes down with an injury.
The Injury Bug Continues to Bite Kirk Hinrich
When the Bulls re-acquired Kirk Hinrich in the offseason, they knew they were getting their hands on an injury prone player.
Hinrich missed two preseason games this year due to injury and wasn't able to participate in Monday night's loss to the Boston Celtics because of a strained right hip. He injured the hip during Saturday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Let's hope that Hinrich, who missed 18 games for the Atlanta Hawks last season, will shake off the injury bug as he fills in for Derrick Rose at the point.
The Bulls need Captain Kirk's strong perimeter defense and leadership.
Nate Robinson Is a Great Acquisition
In the offseason, the Bulls didn't re-sign point guard C.J. Watson, who did a solid job backing up Derrick Rose the past two years.
To replace Watson, the Bulls went out and picked up Nate Robinson. The former slam dunk champ has proven to be a nice acquisition so far, leading the new Bench Mob in scoring.
As of Monday, Robinson is averaging 11.5 points and 4.2 assists per game, playing behind starter Kirk Hinrich.
He has put together a few great performances, like his 16-point, 12-assist effort against the Cleveland Cavaliers and an 18-point night versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The 5'9" Robinson has done just what he was expected to do—provide scoring and energy off the bench for the Bulls.
Joakim Noah Likes to Get the Fans Some Free Mickey D's
The United Center fans get a free Big Mac when the Bulls score 100 points in a home win.
Joakim Noah tried to get the crowd their free burgers when the team played against the Orlando Magic.
The Bulls center launched a three-pointer with 3.8 seconds left in the game, but came up short. And the Bulls won the game 99-93, failing to deliver sandwiches free of charge.
Noah, who rarely attempts three-pointers, felt bad about taking the shot according to ESPN Chicago.
"I regret it a little bit. It wasn't a good shot... You have to respect the game because you never know what can happen in a game. I just got caught up in the moment and I was trying to get the people a Big Mac. They really wanted a Big Mac (judging by how loud the crowd was getting) and I felt like, not only did I take the shot and miss the shot, we didn't even get the Big Mac. Next time, I won't take that 3-pointer."
Noah didn't get fans their McDonald's that night, but oh well, you can't please everybody, right?
Joakim Noah Is Truly a Stat-Stuffer
Yes, a second consecutive slide about Joakim Noah. This slide isn't about food, though; it's about stats.
Noah has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, showcasing an all-around game.
Against the Orlando Magic, he recorded 20 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and four assists.
And going up against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Noah produced 13 boards and six assists, although he scored only nine points in the game.
In addition, he chipped in with 17 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, three assists and a steal versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Just wait, Jo is going to mess around and get a triple-double at some point this season.
Carlos Boozer Has Struggled Mightily
The Bulls just might use the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer next summer.
Since signing with the team in 2010, the former All-Star hasn't been the same player he was as a member of the Utah Jazz.
Boozer had a nice start to this season, though, dropping 18 points on opening night and then 19 the next game.
It looked as if he was going to emerge as the Bulls' go-to scorer. However, things began to get a little ugly.
Boozer had just four points against the New Orleans Hornets, a not-so-marvelous nine points against the Oklahoma City Thunder and a ridiculous two points against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In that Minnesota game, Boozer went 0-for-5 from the field, meaning that his only points came from the foul line.
There's still a lot of basketball left in the season. Let's see if Boozer can step it up and be the scorer that he's supposed to be.
Luol Deng Has Stepped Up in Derrick Rose's Absence
Luol Deng wasn't very impressive on opening night against the Sacramento Kings.
In that particular game, the All-Star forward scored only seven points and shot a forgettable 3-for-13 from the field.
Fortunately, Deng would later step his game up, producing 23 points versus the Orlando Magic, 27 versus the Oklahoma City Thunder and 26 versus the Boston Celtics.
No, Deng isn't the face of the franchise; that label belongs to Derrick Rose. However, he has the ability to carry the Bulls as long as the injured D-Rose is wearing street clothes.
We just might witness Deng make his second consecutive All-Star appearance later this season.