Even with the debut of Hoiberg’s new offense, the Bulls snatched their first win of the year, 97-95 over the Cavaliers in their trademark grind-it-out fashion.
Call it a Thibodeau hangover, but for a team undergoing an identity makeover, still trying to shake Rose/Jimmy beef rumors, and dealing with injuries to key players, they’ll take wins however they come. Early on, at least. For the Bulls, 1-0, provides much welcomed evidence that they are moving in the right direction.
“It’s huge.” Rose said on the Bulls win over the Cavs. “Especially for the team that we have and everything that we’ve been going through as far as coaches. Guy’s like me, Joakim, and Jimmy becoming veterans, that’s huge for us. We want to build off of it.”
While still suffering from double vision, Derrick dropped 18pts on 8/22 shooting in 32 minutes of play, which was more than the 30mins that was expected from him. Undoubtedly, the most exciting thing we saw from Rose was his commitment to constantly attacking the rim. Getting into the Cavs paint fearlessly and under control, he showed the speed and strength that his fiercest critics feared(hoped?) would never return.
Supported by 19pts & 9reb from Nikola Mirotic and 17pts from Jimmy Butler, who continues to be the minutes monster on the team(team leading 36 minutes vs Cavs), provided balanced scoring that has been rare in past seasons. Pau who was simply not himself on offense, only scoring 2pts on 1-7 shooting, made up for it with 6 blocks. The last of which was a game saving block on a driving Lebron James.
In an overall sloppy game, the Bulls looked like they were having fun. For Hoiberg, he won’t have to carry the weight of fishing for his first win as an NBA coach. His guys handled that for him in game 1. Now “The Mayor” will be tasked with how to build on this win and start his first winning streak.
Only 81 more games left.