You hate to say that the best game of the season was opening day but for the Bulls I have no problem with that. It wasn’t the cleanest, best played game but the Bulls might not have a better ending to a contest all year. It was a fantastic win that the Bulls can use as the starting point to their season. But with all the talk from the offseason that went on with the Lakers what did this game mean for them?
Well, far be it from me to get all dramatic but it is a sign of things to come for the Fakers. They came in with questions about whether or not they were LA’s team anymore and they blew their shot to prove they still are. The Bulls checked out for all but two minutes of the second half and still put the Lake-show on ice. I mean when a game reminds you of Jason Statham’s acting career it can’t end well. For the Lakers it didn’t.
Quick hits: Bulls trailed by 11 entering the final 4 minutes of the contest. The Lakers missed 4 consecutive free throws to let the Bulls back in it. The Bulls forced 3 turnovers in the final 2 minutes and the Lakers looked like a team of rookies trying not to lose the game rather than a group of veterans trying to win their home opener. The Lakers failed to take advantage of the Bulls 2nd half scoring drought. They failed to reassert themselves in the City of Angels. Meanwhile they allowed last year’s #1 seed in the east to steal a game that they had all but given away.
Now Thibs won’t be happy with the way the Bulls won but it was quite a way to open the season. Rip looked decent but wasn’t impressive. The high note of the night was the active play, particularly the defense of Luol Deng. Kobe did have 28 points. He also totaled 8 of his teams 17 turnovers. Deng’s lockdown defense gave Bryant fits, his expression at the final buzzer showed it.
Now the Bulls will need to be more consistent moving forward but it is too early in the season to evaluate completely. The Bulls earned a fabulous win with Derrick Tebow… I mean Rose leading them down the stretch. Bulls fans couldn’t have asked for a better present on Christmas day.
Bulls Edge Lakers: Chicago Starting Out on Top