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Bulls return from London. Team chemistry is solid; so is their play
Posted on Oct 8
Quick hits as the Bulls returned from London Wednesday afternoon:
The O2 Arena is NBA ready. Fantastic facility. The crowd was tremendous. But for the NBA to expand to Europe they need more than London. The league needs teams crazy about ball who can afford NBA ticket prices and arenas that can hold NBA style crowds. Travel would be an issue and to make this work you need at least three more European cities. First priority is to take care of the business climate for ailing NBA cities here in the United States.
The Bulls ran an excellent practice on Monday. Plenty of assistants are involved and it’s business-like 24-7. The theme this year is about defense, accountability and professionalism. Vinny Del Negro continues to preach to his team about being good teammates and communicating on the court. It was evident on Tuesday night against the Jazz. Rookie Taj Gibson is doing a terrific job talking on defense which is extremely vital if you’re making a commitment to playing defense.
The team chemistry is off to a good start. After James Johnson hit the game winning shot the Bulls bench went crazy.
Jannero Pargo is going to be a valuable asset off the bench for the Bulls. A solid pick up by GM Gar Forman.
I am NOT the owner or general manager or coach but somehow I’d love to see the Bulls manage to keep Derrick Byars. He’s a solid role player who can play the two guard.
Little things one notices… when Joakim Noah is on the bench, watch. He is involved with the play on the floor encouraging teammates. Instead of chillin, Noah is in to the game. Good to see.
As always, Kirk Hinrich is a true pro. He’s in great shape and is a tough defensive player. He fought through many of those Utah pick and roll screens the other night.
Luol Deng was the toast of London. He loved the spotlight but remained humble. I loved how he slashed to the rim and how involved he is in the offense. Again NOT a knock on Ben Gordon whom I totally respect and admire but the ball movement on this year’s club will be better. The key is who will “man up” and take the final shot with the game on the line? John Salmons, Derrick Rose? Deng?
The Bulls play in Green Bay Saturday night. Talk about extremes, London one night, Green Bay next? That’s life in pre-season ball in the NBA.
E-mail me at cswirsky@Bulls.com Always a pleasure.