Chicago, IL (Sports Network) -- Chicago unveiled a new cornerstone with top- overall draft pick Derrick Rose's 11 points and nine assists, and completely put the Scott Skiles era in the rearview mirror during a resounding 108-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in the regular-season opener for both teams.
Rose was taken ahead of Kansas State phenom Michael Beasley in this past draft after leading the Memphis Tigers to the national championship game. This isn't Conference USA, but Rose looked right at home on the United Center court in his first game as the Bulls starting point guard.
"That's all I'm trying to do," said Rose when asked about distributing the basketball. "We have a jump shot shooting team so it's all about driving and kicking it out. It took me a while to feel relaxed out there."
Luol Deng benefited from Rose's dribble penetration and keen sense of the floor, scoring a team-best 21 points. Tyrus Thomas and Drew Gooden gave Chicago something it lacked last season -- a post presence -- with 15 and 13 points respectively. Thomas added 10 rebounds and Gooden grabbed eight, as Chicago held a 40-32 rebounding edge against the bigger Bucks.
Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich, the starting backcourt at times last season, added 18 and 15 points respectively off the bench. Hinrich also dished out seven assists.
Vinny Del Negro coached his first regular season game on the Chicago bench. The 12-year NBA player excelled as a guard in the league then as a front office contributor in Phoenix before being tabbed as the Bulls' next coach during the offseason.
"I did (get the game ball)," said Del Negro. "Derrick and the team handed it to me. I'm 1-0. I appreciated that. I love the competition. We've got to get better. It feels great to get the first win, but it's not about one person, it's about the team, the organization, the fan base and the tradition. I'm concerned about representing that the right way for Chairman Reinsdorf, John Paxson and all the fans."
Many of the Bulls looked plenty familiar to Skiles, who was abruptly fired on Christmas Eve last year after a 9-16 start amidst outspoken team turmoil.
His new team held its own for two-plus quarters before Chicago's wing players and depth took a toll. Scoring machine Michael Redd led all scorers with 30 points and Richard Jefferson, acquired in the offseason Yi trade, added 15 points.
"They pretty much had their way with us all night," Skiles said about his former club. "Tonight, when you look at the stat sheet, it does really tell the complete story."
Milwaukee's top overall selection in the draft, Joe Alexander, did not play.
Rose, on the other hand, manned the controls for just over 32 minutes, making 3-of-9 shots from the floor and grabbing four rebounds.
The game see-sawed back and forth, as neither team built a large advantage. The game was tied at 26-26 after one period, and the Bulls took a 55-52 lead into the locker room.
Redd turned it on in the early stages of the third, draining three treys in the first two minutes, flipping the three-point halftime deficit into a 63-59 lead on the heels of a quick 11-4 stretch.
Gordon's triple later in the period capped a 9-2 burst for a 79-73 lead, and Hinrich's three -- one of five treys for the Bulls -- put Chicago in front 82-73 heading into the final period.
Gordon again drained a three out of the quarter break and Thomas' tip-in propelled Chicago to its biggest lead at 88-77 with just over 10 minutes to play.
The UConn product again was a focal point of the offense on a reverse layup for a 98-83 edge and Milwaukee didn't muster a comeback down the stretch.
The Bulls take on Boston on Friday night.