My Reaction to the Bulls Season Opener

Last night, the Bulls had their first regular season game of the season. Playing the Hornets, I saw it as a solid opportunity to get the season off on the right foot. Although I did not think they played terribly, they did not come out with the W. The Hornets outlasted the Bulls in the final seconds to win 126-125. The MVP of the game for the Bulls was for sure Lauri Markkanen. The Marksman dropped 35 points, and proved his ability to be a big man in this league by snagging 17 boards. Although he did struggle from 3, shooting 1/7, that is the one part of his game that we know is there, and it was just an off night. He was most successful when attacking the rim. He proved that he was not a one dimensional player and I hope in the future he looks to attack the rim more. He tried shooting too early this game and struggled. If he looks to attack the rim first, it will open up his 3 point shot more for him. He should try and take a couple of closer shots or “rhythm shots” as I like to call them to help get him going. Zach Lavine for sure had an off game. He had one field goal in the first half and looked frustrated to start the game. Zach is a complete gym rat, and works just as hard on his craft as anyone does. Seeing him struggle in the first half was disappointing, but he still remained an effective playmaker, picking up 7 assists. He also wasn’t able to play as many minutes as they would probably have wanted him to because he picked up 2 fouls early, and his 3rd right before the 1st half ended. After all this, he still ended the night with a solid 16 points, but I expect him to be back to himself next game. Wendell Carter Jr. had a solid game as well. Although he didn’t do anything special, he added a solid 12 points, 9 rebounds to go along with a block. Thomas Satoransky played really well I thought, disregarding the stats. He only had 2 points and 3 assists, but he made some great hustle plays, including a fast break block that led to a bulls scoring run. Coby White was really good in his debut. He had 17 points off the bench, adding 7 assists, all we’ll playing valuable minutes for Lavine who was in foul trouble. I am not too worried about him shooting 1/4 from three because they were all good shots that just did not fall. He looks to have a bright future with this team. Thaddeus Young proved to be the player that they wanted him to be when they signed him this offseason. He played great defense for the bench unit, and knocked down 3 threes all while collecting 17 points. Arcidiacono brought his usual hustle, making multiple diving plays to keep bulls possessions alive or provide second chances. He makes his money with his hustle, proving his worth on an NBA roster while knocking down 2 open spot up 3s. If he can shoot the 3 well this year, he will continue to get minutes. Kris Dunn also had a solid game, proving he wants a spot on this team. With a surplus of point guards, this could be hard. At one point in the second quarter, the Bulls bench unit consisted of 3 point guards (Kris Dunn, Coby White, Ryan Arcidiacono) on the floor at once. The Bulls could look to move Dunn for a nice young wing, or give Denzel Valentine some more minutes. Overall I’m not too mad at how they played for the first game of the season. I think that the Hornets had an uncharacteristic night, in which they knocked down 23 threes which was a franchise record. Their rookie, P.J. Washington had 7 of them, which is a record for a rookie in his first career game. The entourage of threes killed the Bulls, and lead to a one point defeat. I think this team has promise, and I think it showed last night. The main takeaways from last nights game is 1. Lauri can attack the rim, he is no longer a 1 dimensional player who can also hold his own on the glass. 2. Lavine can stay calm and collected even when struggling. Even though he struggled in the first half and got into early foul trouble, he came out for a strong second half and still played decent defense and showed his playmaking ability. 3. The role players that the Bulls have implemented are solid. Most of the role players for the Bulls played their part. Thad Young had a very solid game and proved that he can shoot he 3. Otto Porter added 2 steals and 9 points. Arci played to his hustle style and Kris Dunn had a solid all around game with 11 points and 4 steals. 4. We have a promising rookie in Coby White. The future is bright for Coby. I really liked what I saw out of him last night. He wasn’t forcing up any shots and he was letting the game come to him. He took the shots when they were open and found his teammates when they were. The team showed flashes of great team work and a winning mentality. I look forward to a year with this team and I hope that they can develop into something special.

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