Like a lot of people, I was curious to see how D. Rose would come out last night for the Bulls in their opener against the Bucks. [CHI won by 13.]
It's clear he's going to be an outstanding player. Teams will start going under more screens with him and force him to shoot the ball from the outside. He's as quick with the ball and gets places as good as any guard in the league.
Guys bounce off him, too. He's more of a physical presence than I'd expected or seen in the preseason.
Coach Del Negro will have his work cut out trying to find minutes for all of his backcourt guys. Sefolosha started at the 2 spot and played the first six minutes. Hinrich and Gordon both came off the bench, with Hinrich moving to PG when Rose leaves the game.
Having both of those guys puts a lot of pressure on second-unit guys from the other team because of their scoring..
And it gets trickier for Coach Del Negro when Larry Hughes comes back. With Rose, Hinrich, Gordon, Hughes, and Sefolosha -- how are all of those guys going to get consistent minutes? That's a challenge. Factor in Gordon playing for a contract and it gets really interesting...
Tyrus Thomas has improved and had a nice line last night. The Bulls need someone on their front line to step up and give them consistency. That could be Thomas.
As for the Bucks, they're in need of versatility and athleticism. The 4 position is going to hurt Milwaukee. Villanueva, the starter, had three fouls in 9 minutes, and is a defensive liability.
The Bucks are also dealing with health issues with Ridnour, Lue, and Bell. On top of that, there are eight new players on this roster with a new staff trying to find the right strategy.
It's one reason MIL allowed the Bulls to shoot 44 free throws compared to their 20. Only Redd got to the FT line more than four times for the Bucks. They also turned the ball over 19 times, including five from Ridnour. [In his defense, he's not 100% due to injury.]
To make things worse, MIL was outscored 20-1 in fast break points and didn't hold the Bulls below 25 points in any quarter. The lowest CHI shot in any quarter was 47%; 51% for the game.
It's one game. Coach Skiles will get it turned around. In fact, he has a 5-point plan that he's working from.