So what if Derrick Rose wasn't in uniform for the Bulls on Wednesday? As any Cubs fan will tell you, season openers are all about optimism, no matter who's playing or what the long-term expectations are. Even without their best player, that first smell of sweaty 7-footers is intoxicating. Er, not so much that, we guess, but there were plenty of firsts worth mentioning as the Bulls beat Sacramento.
First Luvabulls sighting
We get a glimpse of the cheerleaders as the Bulls lineups are announced. No major injuries on that squad, thank goodness.
First Carlos Boozer rainmaking jumper
It's also the Bulls' first bucket of the season. If he could do that, oh, 15 times a game, this team will be in great shape.
First "we miss D-Rose" moment
During a timeout, a fan dressed as a nun holds up a sign that reads: "Blessed thy Rose. He shall rise again." The sooner, the better.
First Bulls dunk
Joakim Noah powers one down with two hands on a nice feed by Rip Hamilton. The United Center crowd goes wild! OK, mildly wild.
First Stacey King-ism
The Bulls announcer asks "Can I get some butter with that roll!" as Luol Deng converts a layup and is fouled with 51.2 seconds left. Never gets old!
SCORE: Bulls 25, Kings 23
First power move
With 9:30 remaining, Taj Gibson bumps a Kings defnder in the lane and finishes with a hook shot. Can he teach Boozer that move?
First backboard-breaking moment
Noah throws up an awkard shot with his left hand on a drive—and fails to draw iron. He needs just a little more practice. We hope.
First Thibodeau scream
Early in the through quarter, Coach Thibs can be heard helling "Go! Go! Go!" through the TV. Get that man a lozenge!
First flop alert
The Kings' James Johnson throws his head back as Carlos Boozer runs into him. Really, James? We all know Boozer's not that tough.
First Boozer scream
He vents his frustration after missing a free throw with 49 seconds left. No one to blame but yourself, Carlos.
SCORE: Bulls 44, Kings 40
First Boozer gripes
First he complains about getting fouled on one end, then protests about having one called on him on the other. Stop whining!
First Noah scream
After pulling down an offensive rebound, Noah scores on a putback and gets fouled. That, Carlos Boozer, is an appropriate time to yell!
First buzzworthy sequence
Noah ignites a fast break with a block on one end, and Hamilton finishes with a smooth jumper on the other. Boom.
Boozer hits the deck hard after getting fouled. Luckily, he just slides around 10 feet. Safe!
First injury scare
Noah writhes in pain about halfway through the quarter. He gets right up though; he's tough.
SCORE: Bulls 69, Kings 63
First "how's the wrist?" moment
Deng ends up on the floor holding his wrist after drawing an offensive foul. How much of this can he take?
First Superman moment
Nate Robinson, all 5-foot-9 of him, soars in for an athletic layup. Shade of D-Rose. [Sniff]
The Bulls forward slams one home on a dish from Boozer, not longer after Deng saved a ball by flying well out of bounds. Almost there …
First eeeeew moment
While diving after a loose ball, Sacramento's Aaron Brooks smacks his chin on the floor, and loses a tooth in the process. Call a dentist, stat.
First Bulls win
One step closer to the playoffs!
SCORE: Bulls , Kings