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Bulls 104, Knicks 80: Bench dominates

10/29/2014

NEW YORK -- Taj Gibson and the new Bench Mob changed the pace of the Chicago Bulls' season-opening 104-80 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday. With the Bulls struggling to find a rhythm, Gibson and veteran guard Aaron Brooks checked in and found a way to get to the rim and get a consistent offense going.

Pau Gasol made a nice first impression with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but Gibson led the way for a second unit that is hungry to prove itself. The Bulls still have a lot to improve upon, especially taking better care of the ball early in the game, but the second unit played well together and gave even more credence to the notion that this is Tom Thibodeau's deepest team to date.

Rose returns: Derrick Rose had 13 points on 3-of-7 shooting with five assists, two steals, three turnovers and three rebounds in 21 minutes, 21 seconds. He had trouble finishing at the rim but he did a good job of pushing the tempo and getting to the rim and the free throw line. He was 7-for-8 from the line.

Hits: The new Bench Mob of Doug McDermott, Tony Snell, Nikola Mirotic, Gibson and Brooks combined for 55 points -- 22 from Gibson.

Misses: Joakim Noah struggled in 20 minutes of play -- scoring just three points and grabbing six rebounds.

What's next: The Bulls have a showdown with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at the United Center in one of the most hyped regular-season games in recent years.