We’ve got a lot in store for you this episode. Including Lauri Markannen and Denzel Valentine Injuries, Bulls First Pre-Season Recap, Player Evaluations After Game 1 and share listener reactions from the Bulls Fan hotline!
Welcome to the Bulls Podcast, coming to you from BullsPodcast.com. This is where we bring you the latest news, reviews, rants, rumors and opinions on the players, coaches and front office of the Chicago Bulls.
We’d like to welcome this week’s special guest, Diana Harris. She’s the host of the DemBulls YouTube channel and has been covering a lot of the action during the offseason leading into training camp and the first game. She’s a very supportive Chicago Bulls fan and we wanted to feature her on the show to expose her to our audience and bring some attention to her YouTube channel, which you should absolutely be subscribing to. Welcome to the show Diana!
Early Season Injuries hit the Bulls
Lauri will be out from 6-8 weeks with an elbow strain. He suffered the injury fighting for a rebound in training camp. It isn’t the start we were all hoping for, but it could be a blessing in disguise, giving our rookies a chance to get some experience in pre-season where it’s an extension of what they are learning in training camp.
Denzel Valentine is out with an ankle sprain. He should be back practicing with the team in a few weeks. Antonio Blakeney will rotate in his spot for the time being, and looked solid in that role.
It’s kind of a bummer with the injuries happening so early. Hopefully it’s not the kind of injury that will sideline Lauri or hamper his playing time when he comes back. He is restricted in his movement with a huge elbow brace, which prevents him from shooting, lifting or working out.
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Bulls Beat the New Orleans Pelicans 128-116
99 Field Goal Attempts! Fred said he wanted to put up 100 attempts per game and they got really close to that obscene shooting goal. Pace and Space basketball is here, and it’s pretty awesome to see it being executed.
As a whole the defense looked really good. They had very solid traps with great defensive rotation to the wide open shooters after participating in a trap/double, I feel based on last night's game, we definitely looked like a better defensive team. We also looked a LOT faster, attacked the basket more than just hoisting up last second bail-out jumpers. There was a point in the game where we had only made two three-pointers, but we were up by a big point margin.
We didn’t get to see the Portis/Mirotic match-up we were hoping for, as Niko didn’t play, but we’ll get our chance during the season for sure.
Marcus watched the game 3 times, each time focusing on Guards, Wings and Center spots. I have a feeling that I’ll be doing this for every game during the season. It’s a fun transition to make from just a normal fan to doing a podcast about the Bulls.
Listener Reactions to the Game:
So now let’s get some of YOUR reactions to the game. We have a new phone number that I want you to put into your phone contacts right now.. That’s 312-626-5401. We’re not the only ones that will be covering games. That’s right, you, the Bulls Fans are as much a part of this show as we are. So let’s feature a few fans right now..
- Ash from Australia
- Miss Pearl from Arkansas
You could be featured on the next podcast, just like Ash and Miss Pearl. Just add the fan hotline number to your phone contacts right now – 312-626-5401. Any time the Bulls play, or you have an opinion about the Bulls, just give us a call and share your feelings! We’ll feature it on the show.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the first game with Player Evaluations of Game 1
Wendell Carter Jr.'s NBA Debut
11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
Wendell Carter Jr was a target. I could tell he's got a reputation already amongst his NBA peers. New Orleans’ Julius Randle and Anthony Davis took it hard to the basket on WCJ. Good Welcome to the NBA moment. By game 5 of the preseason WCJ will have a dominate game.
Fred Hoiberg commented on Wendell after the game: “Wendell is not going to back down from anybody; that's what we love about him,” said Hoiberg. “He's a 19-year-old kid, but I think sometimes we forget that because he's a very mature, high IQ player. You see his skill set, hit the right hand floater and next time down hit the left hand floater. He's got the ability to step put and hit a shot. Made some really good defensive plays, a good first experience.”
7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals
Chandler got some good minutes in the game but seemed to have some early jitters. He’s a mature player with a lot of room to grow. He was diving for balls, swatting at defenders and looked better than any of the other lower draft picks that the Bulls have had in over a decade. This kid is going to evolve into a solid role player and I feel very comfortable with him on the team.
21 POINTS, 4 REBOUNDS 3 ASSISTS
Looked like the Zach Lavine we were all dreaming about! He’s absolutely the most explosive player on the Bulls. It’s obvious that the injuries of the past are no longer a concern for Zach, or us as Bulls fans. His dunks were fire bombs with an exclamation point! Wow! Zach is back with mean intent!
In a post game interview Zach said “Really excited to have a lot of offensive weapons,” said LaVine. “A lot things we have to do better, especially on the defensive end. It was a good run for the first time going out there. We miss Lauri, obviously, but he'll come back and jump right into the mix. We're gonna run fast, get open shots. Whenever someone has it going we're going to look to go to him. I think we played with a good pace; everyone contributed.” “I score the ball, but we have so many scorers,” LaVine added. “If any of us have an off day, I think we'll be able to pick up the slack really easily. We know our roles. I know I am here to be a leader, put the ball in the hoop, become a complete player; we have so many offensive weapons.”
15 Points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists
Its only 1 game, so we shouldn’t worry too much, his shot was off and he still managed to drop 15, he also had some very nice passes and few nice crossovers. Looking forward to seeing how Jabari blends with the rest of the group in the next game. He does look like he could trim down a bit. Seems a bit slow to me, though I know that as the season grinds on he will get into better shape.
12 Points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 assists
Kris Dunn looked like our point guard of the future. Dare I say it so early, but he’s an all-star calibur player at the point. His defensive ability was pretty amazing and his offseason work absolutely showed. He was quick, spot on with his passing and looked very relaxed running the offense. He had 12 points, 8 defensive rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 assists in 22 minutes. He did have 3 turnovers, but we’re not going to fault him for that. They were mostly bad passes to guys that were not ready for the ball or just out of position.
21 POINTS, 5 Rebounds, 2 steals
Portis wasn't treating the game like it was preseason; he doesn't treat any game casually. Finally assured a role for the first time to start a season with the Bulls, he came in confident and certain. He's always energetic, and recognizing a smaller player on him buried his defender in the post for multiple easy scores in the second half. He had 19 shots in 19 minutes with a pair of steals. He was Crazy Eyes in every sense of the game.
Antonio Blakeney (21 POINTS OFF THE BENCH!)
21 POINTS, 2 REBOUNDS, 1 ASSIST, and 8 for 8 on free throws.
This kid is everything I want him to be for the Bulls. Instant scoring off the bench. Stacey King dubbed him “Minute Rice” because he heats up and gets cooking quickly! He’s not afraid to shoot the ball, which is exactly what the Bulls need coming off the bench this year. I sense that there will be more than a handful of games this year that we are slightly behind and AB will come in and get us the lead with some quick offensive shots. This is Fred’s kind of player and something that the Bulls haven’t had in a long time.
5 Pts, 2 Rebounds, 7 assists
I’m going to stop getting on Cam’s tail for the time being. He seems like a decent backup for the Bulls at the moment. I just wished he would have bulked up. I don’t know why, but he seemed very slow in accordance with the rest of the players for the Bulls.
12 Minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
I think I was correct in my earlier assessment of the Brazilian Bustout. Felicio looked slow, out of shape and barely contributed anything positive in the game. Frankly, he looked lost on the court. His stats of rebounds, a steal and a block were more stat-padding than anything. He didn’t impact the game in any way.
New Bulls Podcast Network Site! BULLS.FM
We’re happy to be a part of BULLS.FM, which will be alive streaming audio channel that you can tune into 24/7. The streaming server will start once the season starts, but if you want to get to know who will be on it, check out BULLS.FM. it features The Bulls Podcast, Bulls Gold, Bulls HQ, Chicago Bullseye, BAWL! On Bulls, The Bulls Beat and The Big Red Bus. All shows are automatically updated, so the site will always be 100% current. I’m even working on a Roku channel for the stream that I hope to get launched as the season starts, so you can enjoy the best Bulls Podcasts wherever you happen to be, at any time. So check it out at Bulls.FM.
Coming up in the Bulls Pre-Season schedule we've got October 3rd, where it’s the Bulls vs Milwaukee Bucks, where we get to see the Lopez Brothers go at it. Monday Oct 8th it’s Bulls vs Charlotte, in Charlotte. And on Wed October 10th we'll have the Bulls vs Pacers which should give us a well rounded indication of what we're going to be facing in the Central division this year. So we'll be watching all three of those games in between recording the next podcast and we look forward to talking about the continual improvement of our players on the next show.
Thanks again to Diana Harris for coming onto the show today for Episode #11. I put a special redirect link together so it’s easy to find her. You can find her show at BullsPodcast.com/dembulls. You can also find her on Twitter at @DianaMarieTV. I’m also going to give Diana the video file for this episode where she can post it on her own channel as well, so hello to all of Diana’s subscribers at DemBulls! We hope you like what you hear in our show today and that you’ll subscribe to our channel as well.
We really appreciate anyone who takes the time to produce Bulls related content, and it’s been a real pleasure having you on the show and spending some time with us talking about the Bulls today.
Remember to subscribe to our show. Visit Bullspodcast.com/subscribe to get all the links to where we are. We are on iTunes/Apple Podcasts now, so we do want you to subscribe to us there and also give us a 5 star review and your feedback on the show as well. Just like in today’s show, we’ll read them out as we get them, so get yours in now to be on the next show! Also a special request, we need more subscribers to our YouTube channel, as we need to unlock a few things that you only get with a certain amount of subscribers, so please go to BullsPodcast.com/youtube and subscribe to us there as soon as you can. We really need the help. Also don’t forget about the fan hotline, 312-626-5401. Give us a call any time!
Until then, Thanks for listening everyone, Go Bulls!