For at least the first half of the Bulls 82-81 home-opening win over the New York Knicks, there was some offensive rhythm, mainly in transition. That wasn’t the case in their season-opening loss to the Miami Heat and definitely wasn’t the case in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s win, where they shot just 2-of-15 and committing seven turnovers.
The chemistry of the team’s starting five will be established on the fly as they only got a few practices in together and no preseason games in because of injuries to Joakim Noah (groin) and Jimmy Butler (left knee).
The Bulls are certainly better than the 37 turnovers they surrendered for 30 points their first two games. Better than the 88.5 ppg and 41 percent shooting they're averaging so far. Better than the nearly eight minutes without a field goal in their win on Thursday. They’re also better than the ‘find ways to win’ mantra from last season when injuries and incorporating new pieces had coach Tom Thibodeau squeezing all that he could our of a depleted roster.
“I wouldn’t say we’re lost, but the chemistry part, it can always get better,” Rose told reporters after practice on Friday. “We have great upside. We could be a great team, and we know that all of us have been working out individually super-hard. So when you have that going, all it is timing and rhythm and everybody will be going together”
Rose fully re-acclimating himself to game speed and better prepared defenses for his rim assaults is critical to the Bulls success. But just as essential is the starting unit jelling as a whole while that’s happening.
“We’re alright. I think we can tighten up a lot of things,” Butler said. “It’s going to come with games and practice reps. I feel like we’re just going to keep pushing. As long as we’re winning games, we’re happy with where we’re at.”