If the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics provided the curtain raiser, and the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks provided the drama of a title rematch, then the Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers playing in the prime-time slot on Christmas Day served up a treat. It was a game full of scoring binges and top defense—a game that was always close, no team leading by more than eight points until late in the fourth quarter.
Being the first game of the season, the standard of play was far from what we saw last year. There were turnovers galore. Passes that were routine last year were dropped. You had to wonder at times if somebody had put butter on the ball because it was slipping out of hands so much.
As with every game, this one answered questions but raised many more for both teams. We found that Josh McRoberts could be a good replacement for Lamar Odom. We didn't get to see if Richard Hamilton is the piece the Bulls were missing.
We did learn a lot about the Bulls from this one. We learned about their defense, their character and their captain, Luol Deng.