Derrick Rose was so antsy and "geeked up" to get back on the court he had to blast the music on his way to the arena.
Once he arrived, he certainly seemed in tune. Or at least close.
Rose scored 13 points and had seven assists to lead the balanced Chicago Bulls to an impressive 92-85 season-opening victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.
Rose, who missed most of the preseason because of pain in his right ankle, waved to his mom in the crowd and blew her a kiss before the opening tip. He then showed some of the explosiveness that carried him to the Rookie of the Year award last season.
Recap: Chicago vs. San Antonio
Luol Deng finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, as the Chicago Bulls used a balanced scoring attack to take a 92-85 win over the San Antonio Spurs in their season-opener.
Derrick Rose finished with 13 points, seven boards and seven assists for the Bulls, who went 41-41 last season and lost to Boston in a memorable seven-game first round playoff series.
Tyrus Thomas also scored 13, while Kirk Hinrich added 14 points off the bench; Joakim Noah had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
"We know it's a good game, but we've got to keep on building on it," Deng said. "It's going to be a long season. I feel like we're mature enough this year that we could stay consistent with it."
League pushes extension deadline
Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics have a little bit more time to work toward a contract extension.
The league has pushed the deadline for contract extensions for all players from the 2006 draft class from Saturday to Monday, league spokesman Tim Frank confirmed Thursday night.
Rondo joins Memphis' Rudy Gay and Chicago's Tyrus Thomas on the list of prominent 2006 draftees who have not been able to join Bargnani, Aldridge, Roy and Sefolosha in securing an extension.
Sleeping on it: Deng and Rose thoughts
Mark did a nice initial write up of the outcome of the Bulls and Spurs, but I after a good night's sleep I had a few thoughts about the game and how it pertains to the rest of the season.
First, for one game anyway, Luol Deng was right and shut everyone up. There were things that concerned me about Luol in this game. He took a lot of tong twos, which I just can't stand. You're literally 1 foot inside the three point line. Is the shot really that much harder if you take a step back. Most memorable was the time he got an offensive rebound about eight feet from the basket, ran to the three point line, and shot a turn around, contested jumper from six inches inside the three point line. Which he made.
Chicago Bulls eager for rematch with Boston Celtics
The last time the Bulls saw Rajon Rondo, the speedy Celtics guard was smacking Brad Miller upside the head and engaging in a wrestling match with Kirk Hinrich.
Ah, those nutty NBA schedule gods, who send the Bulls on Friday night onto the same famed parquet floor where last season's white-hot, seven-game, first-round playoff series unfolded.
"That's a day on the calendar I've been waiting for for a long time," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "KG ( Kevin Garnett) is back, a crazy atmosphere in Boston. And, obviously, they're playing very well."
The intensity of the rematch extends beyond Rondo, although he cornered the market on extracurricular activity.
"That incident won't change how I approach the game," Hinrich said. "We know they're a physical team. If we don't compete for 48 minutes, we won't win."
Hinrich is eager to play the Celtics for bigger-picture reasons.
"Obviously they're predicted to be the best in the East," he said.
"Early in the season, it's a good test to measure where we are. They're a great home team, so we're excited."
I was one of the few people predicting a Bulls win last night over the Spurs, and I'd like to carry that momentum through to tonight. But we're looking at a very different game tonight - First road game, second night of a back-to-back (which the Bulls should get used to, we have a bunch this year), and the Celtics are absolutely stacked. We played them to a virtual draw, and now that old, whiny team has had the off-season to rest.
The Bulls bench will be an advantage over most teams, but the Celtics have Sheed and Marquis Daniels, so that might be an even match-up. We don't have a big advantage anywhere in the starting lineup either, as the most glaring mismatch (KG v. TT) favors the Celtics.
[Side note: I couldn't be happier that the Celtics have an old, no-fun-to-cheer-for team. Perkins and Rondo might be young and good, but that means Boston has to pretend to actually like those dirty, whining cry-babies. Plus, this is the first year of a 3-year, $54m extension for KG and his busted up knees.]
Everything is telling me to pick the Celtics, but how could I forgive myself if I picked the team I hate most against our beloved Bulls?! So I'm ignoring the facts and picking this one based on emotions/hope. Bulls over Celtics in a tight one.