Bulls Best Grizzlies In St. Louis Road Show

Chicago's second unit praised with getting Bulls back on track against Memphis.

Chicago Bulls Guard Derrick Rose at the free throw line Monday during an exhibition game against the Memphis Grizzlies played in St. Louis, MO.  Rose had 13 points in the Bulls win.
Chicago Bulls Guard Derrick Rose at the free throw line Monday during an exhibition game against the Memphis Grizzlies played in St. Louis, MO. Rose had 13 points in the Bulls win.
The Chicago Bulls overcame a rough start to the team's second exhibition game and used runs in the second and third quarter to pull away from the Memphis Grizzlies in a 106-87 win at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri Monday night.

Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 16 points, while second teamers Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson had 15. 

Hot shooting and 10 first quarter points from Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless got Memphis out to an early lead. He finished with 15.

"I didn't think the starters came out with the type of intensity that's necessary," said Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. "But I thought they came back in the second quarter more balanced and I thought they were terrific in the third quarter."

The overriding story this preseason continues to be Derrick Rose's return to the lineup after missing the last 18 months with a torn left ACL. He followed up his debut Saturday with 13 points in 23 minutes on the floor. 

He admitted to having some jitters in the first half when he was just 2 of 6 from the field and 1 for 5 from the free throw line. The crowd of 13, 497 gave him the loudest ovation as the teams were introduced and were waiting to explode when he had the ball on a fast break.

"You could tell he had a good rhythm going in the third quarter. He's feeling great, you're seeing those, you know, explosions to the basket, bursts of speed and attacking...I think he's finding his rhythm," Thibodeau said.

"I think I was all right. I could always play more. I think I condition myself to play more. I have to understand they're doing everything for my best interests. So I believe in them the training staff, the coaching staff to really manage my minutes," Rose said afterward.

The Bulls head next for Brazil and an October 12 matchup with the Washington Wizards for the first-ever game in that country.

"What's the distraction down there?" Rose kidded with reporters Monday night. "It should be good, we're all professionals, if anything we're going to enjoy the trip and we know this is a business trip, this is really our time to come together."

No Noah

C-F Joakim Noah sat out his second straight exhibition game while recovering from a right groin strain. He participated in the morning shootaround and was working out with coaches on the court three hours before gametime.

Thibodeau said Noah was “not quite ready” and needed to get some practices under his belt.

Just The Stats, Man

Thibodeau spent a good chunk of his pregame press availability with reporters talking about sabermetrics. The Grizzlies have gained some notoriety for their use of advanced metrics after hiring an ESPN analyst in the offseason. Metrics have been something seen more in pro sports in baseball and made famous by the book and movie Moneyball.

Thibodeau said he uses data from Elias Sports Bureau although he declined to be specific when asked how and which ones he gives more credence.

He credited Pat Riley and Rick Pitino for using metrics years ago, with Pitino using data on the impact three point shooting can have in making up for a talent deficit dating back to Pitino's time coaching at Providence College.

He cautioned that there are still lots of ways to interpret all the data that’s out there, recalling a quote attributed to Winston Churchill about not believing in statistics he didn’t doctor himself.

All For 1

The game did not do much to solve the answer of who is likely to occupy the Bulls’ final roster spot (teams must have at least 13 players and already have 12 with guaranteed contracts).

Two players in the mix for the spot, Dahntay Jones and DJ White, did not play, while Dexter Pittman and Mike James only saw action in the game’s last five minutes. 

Thibodeau said he won’t make the call on games alone.

“I base it on the entire time they’ve been here. What they do in practice, what they do in meetings, how they conduct themselves. We got one spot open so it’s going to be based on how they fit into the team.”




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