Three games into the season, let's rush to make some judgments:
The Bulls are on pace to win 54 games.
Rose is averaging 27.7ppg and 8.7apg (both career highs).
Deng is averaging 20.7ppg.
Noah is averaging 14.3ppg and 15.3rpg (2nd in the league).
Aaand enough with the nonsensical projections/averages after only 3 games. In reality, we've had a 4th quarter collapse against a good OKC team (which is understandable for a young team with a rookie head coach), a Rose outburst against the Pistons (39 points), and a Deng explosion last night against the Blazers (unexpected, but great to see).
So what do we have going forward? A lot of odd pieces that oddly fit together to look like a basketball team.
Here's what I like:
Thibs' defensive scheme is an obvious choice. The entire team is swarming with intensity and I love it. But I'm going with Thibs' offensive scheme: the player movement is a huge change from VDN's lack of offense.
D-Rose is almost unfair. His explosiveness with the ball is unbelievable. He's creating shots for himself (particularly reverse layups, which is awesome). Plus, he looks exponentially better on defense - perhaps it's Thibs' system covering up a little bit, but I like a system that allows an athletic PG to gamble and take risks.
Korver coming off screens. It's pretty, and his release is so, so fast. I understand the lack of D, but it hasn't really been exploited and I'd like to see him first off the bench. More time with Rose (and eventually Boozer) will do wonders spreading the floor.
JJ ... yes, I said it. He's looked good so far. And I think he's the knew TT - one great game and we love him, but give it a few days and we'll be back to hating him. Either way, he's playing great D and bringing energy, which is what you want from someone off the bench. At worst, making himself a trade chip.
Luol is shooting with confidence. I don't expect 40 points per night (or 73% shooting), but confidence is crucial. Lu looks much better moving off the ball (again props to Thibs) and should be a legit #3 option when Booz returns.
Noah's rebounding and passing has been great. The boards are obvious, 15 per game. But he is doing a really great job of passing from that mid-post area. It will be great to see him and Boozer working off one another.
Here's what I don't like:
The 4th Q against OKC ... yes, it's an obvious choice, but it was bad. We enterted the quarter tied, and only managed 13 points (to OKC's 24). Of course, it was the first game for a team with a lot of new faces ... but we played the first 3 quarters pretty well, then fell apart.
Scalabrine playing meaningful minutes. I'm aware that this will quit (or at least decrease) when Boozer gets back and Taj and Omer stop fouling every 9.4 seconds, but it's still embarrassing. Scal might be a vocal leader and know the system, but he brings nothing on offense.
That's it, it's too early in the season to dwell on negatives. I got most of my pessimism out of the way in my season preview, so trying to stay positive the rest of the way. (at least until our 9-game losing streak later this month.)
Other news: Looks like Kmart and I are going to give this podcast a try this weekend. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here.) Look for "Audi-Bull" sometime early next week!