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2009.10 Preseason | Chicago Bulls finish 6-2

The team will tip-off the regular season on Oct. 29 at the United Center against the San Antonio Spurs. This year, all Bulls home games will tip off at 7:00 p.m.

2009.10 Preseason: Bulls finish 6-2

Bulls ready for season as they dominate Wizards

Bulls 93, Wizards 70 | 10.23.09: It looks like the Bulls, even with Derrick Rose still resting a sore ankle, may be ready for the regular season with Friday’s dominating 93-70 win over the Washington Wizards. And it sounds like Brad Miller, with 18 points and a game high seven assists cleverly working his old Sacramento high post passing game, may be set as well as he considered the game’s turning point early in the third quarter when Joakim Noah actually hit a 16 foot jump shot.

“Now he’s made two shots over 10 foot in his career,” observed Miller. “They were both in the preseason. The one at the elbow (Friday) was the second longest shot of his career including high school and international and everything.”

Yes, it was all smiles as the Bulls finished the preseason, still without Rose and Friday also without guards Kirk Hinrich and Jannero Pargo contemplating minor injuries, with a 6-2 record and the kind of all around scoring and defensive performance they are counting on to carry them through this season.

Continue reading Sam Smith's Blog | Chuck Swirsky audio recap | Box Score | Recap
Preview: Thomas back among starting five; Rose not ready yet

Bulls lose to Orlando; hoping Rose magically appears

Magic 101, Bulls 98 | 10.19.09: So it’s just after the Bulls probably yielded the preseason Eastern Conference championship to the Orlando Magic Monday by losing 101-98, and Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro was talking about how the team wants to get Derrick Rose back and how the guard ranks are a bit thin without Rose and that Rose is coming along, but is day-to-day. So I dug into my deepest powers of observation and mentioned to Vinny that well, uh, Derrick’s been day-to-day now for two and a half weeks.

That didn’t sound so promising. Forget Waldo. Where’s Derrick? Could it be that Rose won’t even be ready for the season opener next week, Oct. 29 on TNT at home against the Spurs?

“Yes,” Del Negro conceded. “It is in the realm of possibility. I hope that it isn’t. It’s a concern. It’s an unusual injury, a different injury. We want to make sure he’s healed up. He’s gotten a little better every day. I don’t want to bring him back and the next day he’s sore, or the next day it’s reinjured already. I want to make sure he can heal. When he feels he can play at the level without injuring himself (he’ll be back). It is a long year.”

Continue reading Sam Smith's Blog | Chuck Swirsky audio recap | Box Score | Recap
Preview: Magic's Howard a 'big brother' to Bulls' Rose

Bulls slam Timberwolves with Tyrus Thomas back

Bulls 94, Timberwolves 90 | 10.16.09: Hey, folks, it’s T-Time. Given it’s Chicago, we know it has nothing to do with golf with balmy 40 degree October weather. No, Friday in the United Center it was the return of Tyrus Thomas, who’s given himself the name “T-time” for his social networking. Which has mostly stopped with NBA restrictions and some overuse and confusion this summer.

But in a 94-90 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the only confusion was from the Timberwolves trying to get Thomas off his pogo stick. Thomas returned after missing four games with a hip injury and deserved a bunch of hip-hip-hoorays for the kind of performance Bulls management and fans have long fantasized about for Thomas. Heck, if he plays like that--with 22 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes--the Bulls have a power forward...

Continue reading Sam Smith's Blog | Chuck Swirsky audio recap | Box Score | Recap
Preview: Bulls get healthier with Thomas set to return

Bulls quiet Wolves for another preseason win

Bulls 99, Timberwolves 94 | 10.14.09: If the playoff started today—that’s right; we can’t wait—the Bulls would be fourth in the Eastern Conference with home court advantage and a first round playoff series with Ben Gordon and the Detroit Pistons.

We could only hope. What fun that would be. But it’s mid-October, the regular season starts in two weeks and there is no championship trophy for the best record in the exhibition season.

The Bulls continued to pursue it, though, Wednesday as they moved to 4-1 for the preseason with a 99-94 victory in Minneapolis, and, right, it doesn’t mean that much. Derrick Rose and Tyrus Thomas remained out with injuries. And Brad Miller remained home with the flu. Given he’s from Indiana it could be swine or creamed corn variety. Nah, probably not...

Continue reading Sam Smith's Blog | Chuck Swirsky audio recap | Box Score | Recap
Preview: Bulls face first back-to-back test in Minnesota

Noah leads Bulls to win with 20 points

Bulls 87, Bucks 86 | 10.13.09: The NBA preseason is a matter of perspective. One can look at things like the Bulls' 87-86 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center Tuesday as the glass half filled.

You get a win without Derrick Rose and Tyrus Thomas once again—Brad Miller also was out with the flu—as the two starters may play toward the end of the week or early next week.

Or you can look at the glass shattered on the floor and shards sticking out of your foot as the Bulls hung on to split with a team that might have one, perhaps two, legitimate NBA starters on its entire roster...

Continue reading Sam Smith's Blog | Chuck Swirsky audio recap | Box Score | Recap
Preview: Rose and Thomas sit out again, flu bug hits Miller

Bulls lose first preseason game to Bucks

Bucks 98, Bulls 86 | 10.10.09: The Bulls lost Saturday night in Green Bay to the Milwaukee Bucks 98-86. This is what was most obvious from the team’s first loss of the preseason. They really miss Derrick Rose. They better be a transition team as much as possible because they do not play well in the half court. Did I mention they really miss Derrick Rose?

OK, it’s obvious you are not the same team when you do not have your best player. Rose, clearly, is now their best with the departure of Ben Gordon. But Rose, out with an ankle injury, is even more crucial for the Bulls now without Gordon because without Rose on the floor, no one really merits a double team...

Continue reading Sam Smith's Blog | Chuck Swirsky audio recap | Box Score | Recap

Rookie Johnson's buzzer-beater lifts Bulls past Jazz

Bulls 102, Jazz 101 | 10.06.09: Rookie James Johnson sank a fade-away jump shot from the baseline at the buzzer Tuesday to give the Chicago Bulls a 102-101 win over the Utah Jazz in an NBA preseason game. Johnson, who finished with 18 points, got the rebound after teammate Derrick Byars missed a 3-point attempt from the top of the key.

"Just shoot it, that was the only instinct,'' Johnson said. "I knew we didn't have much time on the clock. I just tried to let it go as fast as I can before the clock ran out.''

Luol Deng, who was raised in London after his family fled war-torn Sudan, impressed early and finished with 18 points at sold-out O2 Arena. He left the game in the third quarter and didn't return. Jannero Pargo scored 16 points for the Bulls. Paul Milsap led the Jazz with 18 points, and Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews had 16 each.

Coverage: Bulls play in London as part of NBA Europe Live
Quarter-by-quarter breakdown and audio | Chuck Swirsky blog | Box Score | Recap

Rookie Gibson leads Bulls to win over Pacers

Bulls 104, Pacers 95 | 10.02.09: Rookie Taj Gibson had 19 points and nine rebounds to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 104-95in the second preseason game for the NBA's replacement officials.

It was an uneventful night for officials Kevin Scott, Karl Lane and William Mensah, though Pacers fans briefly booed them for reviewing whether the Bulls had committed a shot-clock violation with 3.7 seconds left and the game already decided. The Bulls were called for the violation. The league has hired replacements during its lockout with the referees union, and so far, there hasn't been much trouble. Indiana was called for 28 fouls to Chicago's 21. The only technical foul was a 3-second call against the Pacers. The game was run smoothly and lasted just 2 hours, 20 minutes.

Gibson, the Pac-10 defensive player of the year last season, said he wants to prove that he's a solid all-around player with a team mentality. Rose added 17 points, and Luol Deng and John Salmons had 15 each for the Bulls. Chicago's Tyrus Thomas left the game in the third quarter because of a concussion.

Chuck Swirsky audio and recap | Box Score | Recap