The Bulls fire up the season with a home game against the Spurs. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or the bad thing that the Spurs are coming off a 20 point win last night, but it probably can't hurt that they're on a back to back travel day. Of course, this early in the season I doubt fatigue has set in just yet.
This game has a lot of fun matchups in it:
Derrick Rose vs Tony Parker
I think they're similar in style of play to a great extent, Rose is more physical, but Parker is far more developed and better at the same style (attacking the rim, mid range jumpers, etc.. ). It's asking a lot for Rose to win this matchup, but he at least needs to play to a draw here.
Joakim Noah vs Tim Duncan
Clearly we're only talking about interesting when it comes to Noah defending Duncan, because it's unlikely Noah does much on the offensive end that Duncan can't contend with. At best, we can hope that Noah and Tyrus just try to run the Duncan into the ground in transition.
Jefferson/Manu vs Salmons/Deng
The Spurs also appear to have the advantage when it comes to the wings. It's not looking good when your opponent probably bests you at each spot when you compare your top four matchups. Much like Parker vs Rose though, we can break even here or pull ahead.
Everyone else vs everyone else
This is where the Bulls need to really make hay. Hinrich and Miller are better than anyone else the Spurs are going to throw out onto the court, except possibly Dejuan Blair, scary that he's already possibly at that level. The Bulls bench needs to wallop the Spurs bench to stand a chance.
Key to a win
The Bulls need to get out and run on the Spurs. They need to run them into the ground. Even though it's early in the season, you have to hope your legs are fresher, younger, and more prepared with the Spurs on the tail end of a back to back and being an older franchise.
The Bulls should get blown away on paper in this game, so they need to make it a track meet and gain their advantage in the open court. The higher and harder the pace the bigger the bench becomes a factor as the starters will wear down more. The Bulls bench should outperform the Spurs bench which gives us another advantage to this style of play.
It's also a huge test for Derrick Rose. Not only is he the Bulls best player, but he's the guy who can keep the pace high and initiate the fast break. He needs to keep the pace up and play brilliantly for the Bulls to win.
Key to a loss
Pretty much anything other than a perfect game or an abysmal performance by the Spurs is likely to lead to a loss. The Spurs are simply more talented, so the Bulls are going to need some luck as well as forcing their style of play on the Spurs.
Bulls fans are ready to set the city on fire after Dejuan Blair destroys Taj Gibson head to head tonight.