I’m conflicted on Game 1.
Part of me wants to be surprised that the Raptors played as well as they did but part of me also saw it coming. I just feel like when you have the new “cool” team in the NBA Finals, that extra bit of adrenaline helps to come out strong. I’m not trying to take anything away from what the Raptors did at all, it was an impressive win that they needed to get to make this series interesting.
However, when Curry started clapping as the buzzer sounded and high-fived Draymond… I couldn’t help but be scared for the Raptors. Honestly, this whole thing just feels like Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals. The Thunder organization was in their first finals as Oklahoma city’s team and the first game brought an atmosphere to Chesapeake Arena that was absolutely wild, much like last night in Toronto. The Thunder won 105-94 and then the Miami Heat came to make a statement and win the next four straight games. Another comparison, last night Pascal Siakam had the most points in a finals debut (32) since that series’ Game 1 when Durant had 36. And that’s the only way I’ll ever compare those two.
Overall, I’m interested to see where this series goes and wouldn’t be shocked if the Warriors come fighting back like the Heat.
- I feel like Bulls fans might be coming around to the idea (whether they want to or not) of not landing a point guard in this year’s draft – even if many people jumped on the Coby White train pretty early (myself included), when the lottery happened. The Suns sit at the No. 6 spot and are in pretty desperate need of a point guard, so the Bulls need to have a back-up plan in place if he’s not there. As for Darius Garland, it’s hard to see him dropping out of the top-5, too. A lot of new storylines can develop as workouts continue and draft time creeps closer, but I think we all understand that the Bulls may be in a position where they’ll need to take the best available player, regardless of position.
- We can at least conclude that if Garland and White are off the board before the No. 7 pick, one of Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter or Jarrett Culver will be available. All have gotten their own praise, popping in and out of the top-5 picks depending on which mocks you’re looking at. In a recent article by Dan Favale at Bleacher Report, he said the Bulls should (regardless of the White/Garland outcome) be aiming higher, specifically for Culver. Personally, I think Culver could be a stud in the NBA and I certainly wouldn’t mind if the Bulls ended up in a spot to grab him. Adding a little more depth at wing would be reassuring; not to mention, having him learn behind LaVine could be great for his development. He is a solid defender and smooth offensive player. To really gauge more of his skill set, I actually think this scouting report on NBA.com does a really good job.
- Anyway, with the way the draft works, Culver could also be gone at No. 4 to the Lakers. Right now, the biggest dictator for who the Bulls will land will probably be what the Lakers (No.4) and the Cavaliers (No.5) decide to do. Culver would probably be the ideal situation among him, Reddish and Hunter. Although, because of that it is hard to see him falling. I’m positive we will be talking more about all three of them and how they could fit on the Bulls down the road.
- Wow, the Arch of Dimes can really throw any kind of ball well.
- I’m pretty sure I’ve had something about Michael Jordan in every set of bullets I’ve done thus far… but I don’t care! THE GOAT!
Michael Jordan averaged 33 ppg in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Just remember that tonight. pic.twitter.com/mkNMaNDaxk
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) May 31, 2019
- Mark Schanowski of NBC Chicago Sports continued his series looking at possible second-round draft picks for the Bulls. For the most part he has been geared toward the Bulls taking a forward, which of course makes the most sense with the team needed to add to their bench and the large sum of forwards available in this draft. His most recent addition is Chicagoan and former Tennessee standout Admiral Schofield. Honestly, what’s not to love about this kid? He is from the promised land and also has a great name like Admiral. He doesn’t even need an NBA nickname… it’s just his first name! Really though, go check out what Schanowski has to say about him.
- For the pure love of basketball, I think we should all take another moment to give Pascal Siakam a round of applause…
Pascal Siakam, welcome to the NBA Finals. He scored a team-high 32 points for the Raptors, the most in an NBA Finals debut since Kevin Durant in 2012 (36).
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 31, 2019
- And for the pure love of basketball, we should also all tell Drake to please stop…
- NBC Chicago Sports Mark Strotman took a closer look at LaVine and Dunn’s on-court time together. We all know the circus that has surrounded what to do with Dunn this offseason, but the move could just be making sure he comes off the bench. Strotman helped prove that when Dunn can be the primary ball handler, his success rate is a bit higher. Being a fan of Dunn since his time at Providence, I’ve praised his skillset before and mentioned how things could be better suited in a bench role or change of scenery, so this was a bit reassuring.
- This had some very funny reactions… so feel free to keep them coming.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 30, 2019