3 Quick Observations from the Chicago-Indiana Preseason Game a/k/a “The Return”

  • Derrick Rose is BACK. He looks just as fast as ever and if he’s to be believed, his leaping ability has risen to new heights. His shooting touch hasn’t quite returned yet, as he went 0 for 7 outside of the area 5 feet from the basket, but he was 5 of 6 inside and he was just blowing by everyone on the floor. As a Bulls fan, I’m very, very excited about this. I figured he would be the same old Derrick after taking his time with his recovery, but it was nice to see that optimism rewarded in a big way.
  • Taj Gibson looks like an absolute monster. Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com reported that Gibson had gained 15 pounds of muscle to bulk up to 240 pounds and Gibson looked every bit of that. On top of that, Taj looked more confident in his post moves, as he made his decisions more quickly, without hesitation, to great effect. His jumper was also WET. He seemingly couldn’t miss on the midrange jumpers that he’s traditionally been merely average on. Now, it’s obviously one game in the preseason, so it’s both a small sample and a meaningless game, but if this Taj is the one the Bulls get over 82 games and the playoffs- watch out. Oh, Taj also did this (spoiler: it was awesome):
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TGp2K_8veU
  • Luol Deng is officially on #contractyear watch. Deng took 16 shots in just 25 minutes of floor time to go with an additional 8 free throw attempts. Not only did he get a lot of shots up, but he also looked Derrick Rose off on a potential alley oop lob that would have blown the roof off the arena, despite it being a home game for Indiana. I really, really hope this isn’t a sign of selfish things to come for Lu. If it is, I’ll be the first one aboard the trade Deng train- especially since I think there’s just no way the Bulls re-sign him this offseason.

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