Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Bulls still Bullish
Without Derrick Rose, there were definitely questions about the Bulls. Is this Chicago team going to be one that maintains the championship caliber play that made the team the top seed in the Eastern Conference the last two years. The Bulls are still built on the defense that made Tom Thibodeau the coach he is and the Bulls the team they are.
Orlando, coming into Chicago with the league's top offense, learned that the hard way Tuesday night as Chicago won 99-93.
The Magic shot 41.9 percent and forced Glen Davis into a 7-for-22 shooting night, blocking five of his shots in the process. More than that, Chicago proved it could continue to grind out victories and get buckets and stops when it needed to. This game was about the fourth quarter, outscoring the Magic 31-23 and taking control of the game late.
It left the under-manned Orlando team a bit frustrated with its offensive stagnation. A lot of that could be credited to the Bulls stout defense, now ranked the best defense in the league for this early in the season.
Joakim Noah even made a couple of jumpers. That is a sign the Bulls are still pretty good.
2: Low moment for Lowry, Raptors
The Raptors believe they have a Playoff roster. They believe that the acquisition of Kyle Lowry will get them there and help them build up to that point.
Toronto hit a road block in Oklahoma City. Lowry played only 17 minutes after he sprained his ankle in the first half. Lowry was averaging more than 20 points per game entering the game and the Raptors struggled to replace his production against hte Thunder.
Toronto fell behind 30-17 after the first quarter and ended up losing 108-88 as Russell Westbrook led a balanced attack with 19 points. Jose Calderon struggled to replace Lowry in this game, but movign forward Toronto will need to tread lightly and make sure Lowry is ready to go for the long term.
Kevin Durant with exclamation
J.J. Redick somehow with the pass
David Stern announcing … because he can
4: Line of the Night: Greg Monroe 27 points, 10/17 FGs, 10 rebounds
Greg Monroe is probably still the best young big man nobody knows about. That is largely because he plays for a Pistons team that frankly is not very good and has a lot of growing to do — defensively especially. But even on a night when his team got beat 109-97 by a balanced Nuggets effort, Monroe put in a strong effort.
5: You can quote me on that
There’s no All-Stars on this team. Any night, anybody can be our star. But at the end of the night, we need to help each other. And tonight, we kind of got away from it a little bit.
I don't know if I can handle that much yellow. I'm glad we don't do it every game. But it looked good.