The NBA is back!! We’re here all night long (WHOOOOO!!) for opening night.
Before the games begin, I just want to say I’m thrilled to see Ernie Johnson back for the pre-game show. He’s been dealing with chemo for the past six weeks, and I certainly hope he gets better soon. Opening night wouldn’t have been the same without him.
The highlight of the pre-game show was Magic Johnson, who said, “The new ball is smaller in the sense that it isn’t as big as the old one.” Fantastic.
TNT is going to make us sit through the ring ceremony, which means I’m going to be up all night.
The Commish is in Miami! Is he running in ’08 yet? Someone needs to start a campaign. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is going to get a ring.
My wife is baffled by Rod Stewart’s music playing as Pat Riley gets his ring.
You have to see Jason Jackson’s player introductions. It’s truly uncomfortable. Picture the MTV Video Music Awards minus the celebrities, but with a pseudo-hip looking sideline reporter. This is why YouTube is around.
As Mason would say, LET’S PLAY SOME BASKETBALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
We'll update after every quarter, so keep hitting refresh.
Finally, the season actually begins.
Kirk Hinrich has a brand new contract just in time for tonight’s festivities. Good move to lock him up. I’m curious to see what John Paxson does with Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni and Ben Gordon. One of them has to go unless the Bulls go way over the luxury tax.
The Heat is wearing red, while the Bulls are wearing white. Now I’m confused. The crowd is wearing white at the urging of the hometown Heat. Why would the team be in red?
Luol Deng goes right to the hoop for a dunk. That was some horrible transition defense. Bulls lead 4-2.
Dwayne Wade hits his first three shots, two of them coming off bank shots. He’s good.
The new ball rears its ugly head as it slips out of the Glove’s hand. Luol Deng has a breakaway dunk. NO!!! Dwayne Wade with an incredible block out of nowhere, but also a foul. Still, that is tremendous effort.
Shaq picks up his second foul at 7:51 in the quarter. In comes Alonzo Mourning.
The Bulls are doing a great job of getting to the foul line early, and they’ve used a 10-1 run to take a 14-7 lead. Miami might want to have someone other than Dwayne Wade score in this game. So far, he’s the only one on the board.
Gary Payton ends that with a three from the corner.
This game is pretty ugly so far. Not a lot of made shots for either team. The Heat looks like they’ve been celebrating the championship during the pre-game.
Bad news for Heat fans as Dwayne Wade picks up his second foul. He’ll stay in the game though and even hits a three on the next trip down. He has 10 of Miami’s 13 points.
Add James Posey to the two-foul club. There have been a ton of whistles in this game. Ben Gordon shoots the 14th and 15th free throws of the first quarter for Chicago.
Chris Quinn replaces Dwayne Wade, and my immediate thought is that Jalen Rose will be wearing a Miami uniform in their next game.
The Bulls are shooting 22% and winning by 5. The reason: they’ve shot 17 free throws. Ben Gordon has missed his first six shots.
The Bulls are really getting after it defensively. Ben Wallace has a huge rejection of Zo and now P.J. Brown makes a great defensive play to force a jump ball. They’re as good as advertised so far.
Nocioni hits a beautiful runner to wrap up the quarter. Bulls lead 22-16. Shooting percentages are horrifying: Bulls 25%, Heat 33%. Guh!
Luol Deng is having a nice game so far. He starts the quarter with a three.
Andres Nocioni puts the Bulls up by 10 with another runner in the lane, and then gets hit with a quick technical for barking at the officials. If that’s any indication, they’re going to be strict this year. I’m all for it.
This quarter is all Bulls right now. Hinrich buries a 25-footer as the shot clock expires, and then off a steal by Deng, the Bulls get another three point play from Chris Duhon. 32-19 Chicago.
Deng buries another jumper, and the Heat badly needs a timeout. The Bulls have kicked this to another level. Deng is shooting the ball very well and leads the team with 10 points.
Tyrus Thomas has some incredible athletic ability. Steve Kerr can’t believe the offensive put back he just saw, and frankly, neither can I. Thomas was above the rim, grabbed the ball left handed, and finished with both hands in one motion. That was something.
The Bulls are doing everything right. They’re getting the points in transition. They’re getting the second chance points. They’re playing defense like crazy. It’s an impressive first half.
Kirk Hinrich just drove the baseline for a lay-up without a defender coming near him. It’s 42-25, and Riley needs another timeout.
Dwayne Wade is 5-6 from the floor. The rest of the Heat is shooting 5-21.
Hinrich penetrates right to the rim for another three-point play. Hinrich and Deng lead the Heat 27-25 right now.
The chucking Antoine Walker has overtaken the drive and score Antoine Walker to start the year. He’s 0-4 from behind the arc, 3-3 from inside it. Can anyone convince him to stop shooting from the out there?
It’s so bad for Miami that even Ben Wallace is scoring! Break up the Bulls!!
Duhon hits consecutive three pointers to put Chicago up 57-28. They have outscored Miami 35-12 in the second quarter and this is getting REALLY ugly. At least the Heat has their rings.
I’m not sure the Bulls can play better than what they showed in the second quarter. I’m not sure the Heat can play worse. It’s 59-30 at the half.