Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kings @ Bulls Oct. 31, 2012 Preview

Felipe M

It's opening week in the NBA and I am excited for the new season.  As a Bulls' fan, however, I can't say the same.  Regardless, we march forward and anxiously await the return of super-sensation, Derrick Rose (who might not return until NEXT SEASON!) and preview GAME 1 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

  1. What to Watch for:

  • Sacramento Kings:
    • They are simply the Noah's Ark (no, not Joakim Noah!) of the NBA; they have two of every player at every position, therefore, lack versatility on their roster.  
      • They have the quick and speedy Isaiah Thomas and he will be backed up by the quick and speedy Aaron Brooks.  Marcus Thornton is a poor man's Tyreke Evans. Backing up their spots are the three-headed-monster of Francisco Garcia, Travis Outlaw, and John Salmons, who all have similar skill sets and are not very good except for standing outside the perimeter, waiting to shoot a wide-open three-point shot. And let's not forget the glut of big men led by DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, rookie Thomas Robinson, James Johnson, and Chuck Hayes. 
    • It will be very interesting to see if Cousins and Robinson play together during tonight's game.  Both have similar games, but Cousins is clearly light years ahead of Robinson. But what Cousins has in talent, he lacks in personality as he's quickly becoming one of the biggest jerks in the NBA.  Conversely, Robinson comes with a reputation of being a motivated, hungry, hard worker and holding a good head on his shoulders.  
  • Chicago Bulls: 
    • As mentioned, the Kings have a very quick backcourt and will certainly want to run all game long.  So can the Bulls' backcourt, led by Kirk Hinrich and Rip Hamilton, with Nate Robinson coming off the bench, slow them down? 
    • The entire city of Chicago made a big deal about Carlos Boozer sitting on the bench in the 4th quarter of games last season as Taj Gibson was on the floor for those critical minutes. If Noah gets into early foul trouble, should be interesting to see if Gibson comes in AND is able to play well alongside Boozer. 
    • Rookie Marquis Teague is the long-term solution for the Bulls while Derrick Rose is out, but clearly is not ready to see heavy minutes.  Nevertheless, seeing him play some minutes would give Bulls' fans a small taste of what this kid can do.  
      • A dream scenario would be if he comes into the game as the Bulls' backcourt struggles on the court, especially on the defensive side and Coach Tom Thibodeau is forced to put him in the game for defensive purposes. But this is only a dream.
    • Finally, while their primary scorer is out for a long period of time, who on this Bulls' roster will step up and fill in his absence?  Which player will be the one to take those last minute, game-tying/winning shots?  Who will be the playmaker?  
All these questions about both teams won't be answered in one game, but it's safe to say that the answers will begin to unravel.  

So I have yet to get a straight answer about Tyreke Evans and his decline in productivity. Anybody else want to take a crack at this puzzle?