Oct 21, 2021

Zach LaVine lifts Bulls to first opening win since 2016

Zach LaVine lifts Bulls to first opening win since 2016
(USA Today Sports)

Good morning, frents!

Wow, what a great night of basketball last night. It really came in handy since we all know that no baseball has been played since the Sox were knocked out of the playoffs last Tuesday.

Wednesday's results
Bulls 94, Pistons 88
Fire 4, Cincinnati 3

Today's schedule
Canucks at Hawks (7:30, NBCSCH)

Detroit Dogfight

It wasn't easy or particularly pretty but the Bulls are on the board.

Wednesday's 94-88 win over the Pistons gave the Bulls a 1-0 record and their first win in the season opener since 2016. It was mentioned more than a few times last night, but it's also the first time the franchise has been over .500 since March 3, 2017.

How long ago was that? The Cubs were still a month away from raising their World Series banner at Wrigley, Mitch Trubisky was driving his grandma's car to a date with Ryan Pace in Chapel Hill and Patrick Williams was only a 15-year-old sophomore at West Charlotte High.

Oh, and Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade were both still on the Bulls.

Let's get to the takeaways:

  • Zach LaVine led all scorers with 34 points, including 23 in the second half. He shot 11-of-17 but was only 1-of-5 from behind the arc. For all the changes on the roster, LaVine is still the top dog.
  • That doesn't mean DeMar DeRozan didn't try to mark his territory. The free-agent acquisition took the ball a few times down the stretch when it seemed like the Bulls should have wanted the game going through LaVine. That push and pull will be fascinating to watch all year long. DeRozan finished the night with 17 points and made a big three-pointer in the fourth before nabbing a crucial steal on the other end of the floor.
  • Once DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic start hitting their shots, look out. The duo was a combined 15-of-38 on Wednesday night.
  • Both teams looked a little off in the first half and their shooting rates confirmed it. Odds the Bulls 14 first-quarter points end up being the lowest quarter total for the team all season?
  • Hey, hey, Ayo Dosunmu! The Illini star got 11 minutes in his NBA debut and provided a nice spark in place of Troy Brown Jr. Dosumu finished the night with seven points. Here are his first four career points, which came on back-to-back buckets.
  • Prediction: Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso are going to be the city's favorite defenders not named Khalil and Roquan.
  • Those of us who had the Bulls -4.5 might have already used up all of our goodwill with the refs knocking the Pistons' final bucket off the board. It was a nice opening night present, though, just like this Bulls' win.

Next: The Bulls play a Zion-less Pelicans team in Friday's home opener.

News and results

Fire: Last-second shot secures win

There haven't been many big Fire highlights this season, but Luka Stojanovic's blast near the end of stoppage time secured a 4-3 win in Cincinnati and earned a spot in the ol' Minute. The Fire, which has been eliminated from playoff contention, wraps up its home schedule at Soldier Field on Saturday.

1. Chris Simms now admits he was wrong about Justin Fields in his pre-draft comments. Bleacher Nation

2. Jaylon Johnson took to Instagram to complain about a $2,745 fine he got from the Bears for being late to practice. Pro Football Talk

3. The Cubs cut the price (slightly) on all of their season ticket packages. Will that be enough to keep people around? Bleed Cubbie Blue

4. Ben Pope on the Hawks' mysterious and counterproductive refusal to play Dylan Strome. Sun-Times

5. Ashok Selvam on the new food options at the United Center. Eater Chicago

Kevin Kaduk
Kevin Kaduk
Kevin is the founder of Midway Minute.

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