Bulls try to make it two wins in a row vs. Magic
(Sports Network) – The Chicago Bulls opened the 2006-07 season on a fine
note and will shoot for another win this evening when they visit the Orlando
Magic at TD Waterhouse Centre.
In Chicago’s season opener last night in Miami, Kirk Hinrich celebrated his
new contract extension by scoring 26 points and Chris Duhon added 20 in a
108-66 rout at American Airlines Arena.
The Bulls spoiled Miami’s special night as the Heat players received their
rings from last season’s championship run. New Bulls center Ben Wallace had
five points, 11 rebounds and one block, while Luol Deng netted 12 points to
help spoil the South Beach celebration.
Bulls swingman Tyrus Thomas broke his nose during a collision in the second
half and will return to Chicago to get a mask specially made for him on
Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic try to open their season just like Chicago did
when they kick off the 2006-07 campaign tonight.
Orlando missed the playoffs last season but will return a young and healthy
bunch this year in power forward Dwight Howard and guards Jameer Nelson and
J.J. Redick. Center Darko Milicic and forward Grant Hill will round out the
possible starting five for the Magic.
Howard led the Magic in scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounding (12.5 rpg) and shot
an impressive 53.1 percent from the floor last season. Howard, who was the
first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, has become the cornerstone of this
Nelson had a solid 2005-06 campaign, averaging 14.6 points and a team-best 4.9
assists. Milicic was acquired in a trade from the Pistons during last season
and averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 boards in 30 games.
Magic head coach Brian Hill enters his second season with the team after
recording a 36-46 record last year. Hill guided the team to 16 wins in its
last 22 games of the 05-06 season and battled to the end for the eighth and
final playoff spot in the East.
Hill served as head coach of the Magic from 1993-97 and is the most successful
coach in franchise history. Orlando didn’t do much in the offseason to improve
the already-talented squad and signed guard Keith Bogans to add depth on the
The Magic have dropped six of seven and nine of the last 11 meetings with
Chicago. They have also lost five straight at home in the series.