Bulls vs Spurs - 10/29 7pm CST on TNT

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.

Fearless prediction
Bulls fans are ready to set the city on fire after Dejuan Blair destroys Taj Gibson head to head tonight.

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  • Go Bulls...

    Here's hoping our mostly young Bulls will work hard on every possession, defend the paint, show pride, and learn to improve their games as the season progresses.

    Here's hoping VDN makes his 2nd year a good one.

    Just wondering, are the young Bulls wearing any kind of patch this year in memory of Johnny "Red" Kerry and "Stormin'" Norm Van Lier. That would seem proper to me.

    Best wishes to the players and coaching staff. Here's hoping they make us proud.

    Go Bulls.

  • I watched the Spurs play the Hornets last night. All I know is the Bulls better stop their DRIVE and KICK game or else they are going to be in for a VERY LONG NIGHT.

    Time and time again, the Spurs let Parker and Ginobilli take their man off the dribble with a weak-side cutter following him. The cutter would get the pass with two options in mind. He either finished strong at the rim or kicked it out to a 3-point shooter.

    The Bulls really need to keep an eye on those weak-side cutters.

  • Headed to the UC tonight for opening night and I was just wondering if you guys think I will be able to pick up a Byars jersey before they sell out.

    I better get there early.

    KIDDING!!!

    Seriously, here's to seeing some good young players hustling. Thats really all I am looking for. Richard you said it best...thats exactly what I am looking for from these guys...

  • Our team is not loquacious on the court - maybe in practice - and that will determine the outcome.

  • All's the Bull's have to accomplish to appease me is to give what one great Bull once said,"48 minutes of intensity", I'm not looking for a W, I'm looking for heart during the game tonight, and a fearless attitude after it in the coming season, with mental toughness. GO BULLS!

  • didn't deng torch jefferson while he played for bucks last season?
    i'm kinda curious to see what our rotations will be

    hinrich will get all the minutes at 1 and 2. Taj will pickup minutes at pf. Salmons could pick up a few minutes at 3, miller gets all the bench minutes at 5. Will johnson play?

  • Things I'm watching for:

    1. Taj Gibson's performance in a regular season game. I don't care if Blair has a better game......I just want to see how well Taj does and if he can maintain his solid play in a game that matters.

    2. Hinrich vs Jefferson. I know they don't play each other, but I've noticed that they don't seem to like each other very much. They've trash talked and have played chippy against each other ever since Kirk's second year (opening overtime game vs. the Nets).

    3.Tyrus Thomas. I love Tyrus. Even when he sucks, he kicks ass. In my opinion, he is the most fun Bulls to watch because he's entertaining no matter what he does. Give him the ball and he'll always do something interesting, whether it be dunking on someone's head, or laughably drive recklessly to the rim (with which he gets a surprisingly high amount of calls). Even his jumpshots are interesting because you never know if you're going to get good Tyrus or bad Tyrus. I compare his jump shots to Geoff Loeb's Red Hulk comic. It's completely terrible but I keep buying it with hopes of it getting better.

    4. Luol Deng. I don't need him to be great. I just want him to at LEAST be not awful. Fair or not he's slowly drifting into the same category as Duhon, Hughes and Gooden as the Bulls who most made me yell at my TV. Tyrus at least makes me laugh....:)

  • We can win if:
    Deng can shoot
    Tyrus doesn't shoot (from the outside)
    Noah plays his best defense

  • even though i question his ability to start on a majority of teams in the nba, i love watching tyrus play. he throws it down with such authority. i remember that dunk he had on jermaine O neal last year. it was sick.

  • Tyrus just fought for a rebound and got an offensive foul called. Hope that doesn't dissuade him.

  • Duncan is easily getting post position on Noah, who's also not doing much to stop him from rolling to the basket.

  • Bulls first ten points all in the paint, but they shot 5-15 to do it. Neither offense looks particularly good.

  • Taj was the first sub in, by the way. And the crowd are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO quiet.

  • Heh. Off air, but picked up on the microphone, Doug Collins just said "Nicky boy, can somebody get me a Diet Coke here?"

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Don't even know why that's funny.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Taj blows a fast break opportunity by dropping yet another catch, but he makes up for it with a putback 3 point play. Bulls owning the rebounding battle. Against Blair. Who knew?

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Yes Taj. That was a pump fake.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Whether he likes it or not, Manu Ginobili's bald patch has beaten him.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Pargo's not that of a defender, really. He's small, but he's quick and athletic, and he tries. That's worth something.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Tyrus has made better decisions defensively than offensively.

    Rose hasn't been much, which is to be expected.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    As soon as I say that, he takes it right into Ratliff for a 3 point play.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Not sure how we're getting the ball into the paint so easily.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Del Negro in the huddle encouraging the Bulls to push the ball. They did it a bit in the first quarter, although it didn't work much.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Tony Parker with the ultimate flop, gets himself a three point play. Oh well.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Gregg Popovich is touching George Hill a lot.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Noah hits a 20 footer. Parker then schools Rose on a backcut.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Rose with a terrific finish off of a Noah offensive rebound. These two, they're a hell of a duo.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Noah just threw a lob pass for Hinrich. Good times.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Bulls have gone smaller, with Deng at PF, and are doubling on Duncan whenever he posts up Noah. It just worked, causing a TO.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    The Bulls defense is so much better this year. They've stopped switching, they've started doubling, and they contest everything now. This bodes so very well.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Hehehe. Kevin Harlan to Doug Collins: "Coach, I love the tie tonight. It says 'I'm confident in my manhood.'"

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Harlan to Collins again: "You've got more s*** in your tank than you know what to do with." Games are so much better without adverts.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Remember when Richard Jefferson was an athlete?

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    The small ball lineup worked initially, but the Spurs just put up an 8-0 run on it after the timeout.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Aggressive Deng offensive rebound and kickout leads to a Hinrich three that gives the Bulls a 47-46 lead at halftime. Can't argue with that.

    The Spurs have adjusted to everything we've put on, and the halfcourt offense has bogged down at times. But overall, this is going well.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Even if Deng never again scores like he once did, he's a fine defender and rebounder. Remember that.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Did you notice that Tyrus Thomas played 12 minutes in that first half? No, you wouldn't have done.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Rose with 9 at half, Noah with 6 and 8, Taj with 6/5, Kirk with 8. Winning the rebound battle 28 to 22.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Oh Mark will you agree that Taj will have the starting PF job by December?

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    He looked so active it was amazing, like seeing a hungry Rodman out there.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Oh THERE you are Tyrus. You two faced little tease.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    When we play defense, we run it.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    I'm telling you, Vinny Del Negro's improvements are amazing.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Bulls up 14, and Deng just jumped very high for a rebound. Everything's coming up Milhouse.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Brad Miller's really slow drives are a thing of beauty, and also technically perfect. He knows how to seal the defender.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Man I am so proud right now. Hustle hustle and more hustle. We look like the 04 Pistons a little.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    The Bulls only have 1 star, for now, but their 2 through 8 spots are extremely deep. Brad Miller and Hinrich off the bench? Almost unrivalled.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Rose is a little sore but Vinny says he wants to use him in the 4th.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    ruff shooting from deep for Johnny tonight.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    1 for 7 from deep and 2 for 11 total. You want better from your starting 2 guard.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Noah with the missed power dunk

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Vinny urging Tyrus to run the curt during that TO. Keep sending the message.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    did you parents ever say in one ear out the other? well thats what is up with tyrus in one ear out the other.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Duncan has been a beast

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    John is killing us with his poor shooting

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Is it weird that I am getting emotional over Dengs performance?

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Deng hustling and batling, jump ball baby

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    They could have used an ACCURATE 3-pt. shooter. Quick, call Derrick Byars...haha.

    Nice Win.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    Byars should have given John some tips before he left.

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    2 of 12 for Johnny

  • In reply to MarkDeeks:

    what a move by Rose lmao

  • Taj Gibson and Brad Miller both just took rebounds away from DeJuan Blair. Watch and learn, son.

    Back to back Deng post-ups on San An's guards lead to a missed layup and a dropped ball that Taj recovered. Not a great sign.

  • Taj Gibson keeps posting up. And it doesn't work.

  • Four point play for Hinrich. Nice. Not sure McDyess did foul him, but whatever.

  • 6 straight by Hinrich, 23-22 after one. Not a bad result, considering how bogged down the halfcourt offense got there.

    Salmons isn't shooting well and is constantly giving Ginobili too much room, but the inside battle isn't going too badly.

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