Chicago Bulls vs Denver Nuggets 7:00 PM, NBATV

Carmelo Anthony have so far this season entered the early MVP race by averaging 31.4 points a game as well as emerging as a leader of the Denver Nuggets. The 25-year old small forward has also gotten to the line 12.6 times a game, which has proven as an indicator of his new offensive understanding.

The Bulls are coming into tonight 4-2 after a hard-fought win against the Charlotte Bobcats. It required a career game from center Joakim Noah (21 points, 16 rebounds) to acquire the important victory.
Second-year man Derrick Rose is currently in a funk which has seen the 21-year old shoot just 42.5% from the field and holding a 3.2 turnover rate. Chicago last played on Saturday which could have given Rose time to get his legs under him. Tonight, the point guard will have his work cut out for him, as he'll match up against all-star Chauncey Billups. The 33-year old former NBA Finals MVP is averaging 19.7 points and 5.1 assists in his first seven games.

Both teams will be without their usual starting power forwards tonight, as Tyrus Thomas is out for 4-6 weeks, and Kenyon Martin is listed as 'doubtful'. Renaldo Balkman and Joey Graham have both started for Denver this season, and Balkman is a candidate to take the place of Martin tonight. Bulls rookie Taj Gibson will start his fourth career game alongside Noah and Luol Deng in Chicago's frontcourt. With Denver's Nene on the opposing side, the Bulls will focus on defensive rebounding to limit Denver's second chance shots.

North Carolina product Ty Lawson has been off to an efficient start for the Nuggets. Lawson has put in 11.4 points in just 22.4 minutes thus far, on 55% from the field. With shooting guard J.R Smith coming back from a seven-game suspension, the Bulls will need strong defensive play from their perimeter players. Guard Kirk Hinrich has held his own this season, but has struggled on the other end, much like Salmons who broke his slump on Saturday with 27 points.

Luol Deng has guarded Gerald Wallace and LeBron James with success this season and tonight his goal is to stop Carmelo Anthony. The Nuggets are coming off two straight losses, so they'll be extra hungry when they enter the United Center. Anthony especially will be looking to capatilize on his scoring touch and force the Bulls to win this game on the defensive end. 

Comments

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  • I definitely think Kirk Hinrich needs to step-up his level of play. Maybe a smaller lineup, in the right situation, could help his output?

    PG - Rose
    SG - Hinrich
    SF - Salmons
    PF - Deng
    C - Noah

    The way Noah and Deng are rebounding the ball, that might not be such a bad idea.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    With Kenyon Martin out of this game, that lineup would also help keep Chris Anderson, Denver's shot-blocker, away from the basket.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    This is going to be the toughest game we've played yet. If we can get through the first 10 games with wins against SA, Cleveland and Denver, that will give this young team the confidence it needs to continue to work hard and improve.

    I, for one, have been utterly shocked at how well Noah has been progressing...that guy has really impressed me with his hard work and consistent play thus far...kudos to him...

    Im gonna throw this out there for fun...right now, to me, our 2 spot has clearly been our weakness...who is currently out there that can score in bunches, is a veteran dying to be the primary scoring threat, and we could get for very little....think about it...his nickname is 2 initials...im just sayin...

    Its not a TERRIBLE idea.....its not....

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I think boston celtics was more of a challenge than denver is. Either way we got our work cut out for us.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Yes it is. He's (A.I.) not coming to the Bulls.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Actually, yes, correction...I almost erased that Boston game from memory, they are really, really good.

    Regarding AI, I just think it would solve our main problems with that position, the lack of a scorer, and the lack of a go-to late in games...plus, personally, in my opinion, Salmons has been very mediocre and will continue to be just that...

    As I acknowledged, its just a thought...

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Change: Kenyon Martin will play according NBATV.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Kenyon Martin and JR Smith just had to return tonight didnt they.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Our bigs are carrying us but once again John and Derrick are no shows. John makes me sick seriously.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Noah is insane! Our forwards are on fire. Someone needs to inform our guards that there's a game tonight, though.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    ahhh Good ol Jannero.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    The Bulls are 1/9 from the arc in the 1st half. They are also 26% on the season from the 3pt-line, which is last in the NBA.

    Doug and Mark, can either of you two shoot a 3pt shot? They need somebody to do it.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Drop it Mrhappy seriously its pathetic.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I am guessing my boy Doug went to a game finally since he is not on here. Its insane that Luol the much maligned player has been leading us along with Noah while our two guards are looking like a horrid backcourt.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Rose had a big play near the end of the 2nd. Hopefully, he comes out aggressive in the 3rd. I'm loving Luol this season. So happy to see him at least start to silence his critics.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Noah with a block on Carmelo, yea he doesnt deserve to be on the all-star ballot.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    11-3 run. Stage is set for another 2nd half surge.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Salmons seems to reving up.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Didnt JR Smith wear a different number? for some reason I dont believe 5 was his.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    No lanes open at all for Rose to drive, but he using shotput shot to good use

  • It would be nice to see Rose attack the basket more.

  • The poor shooting is troubling, but overall this is a team it is pretty easy to get behind. They're scrappy, hustle on D and don't give up on games.

  • Georgie boy calm down

  • come on Brad stop with the 3.

  • I rather have Jerome James play today than Brad Miller the way things are going

  • James Johnson with a horrid 3 to end the quarter. It was a hard fought game but I dont see us winning.

  • CP3 the greatest pg of all time just for making Pargo look like an NBA player for two years.

  • Defense baby.

  • Apparently Gerald Wallace shared what he has on the officials with Billups.
    psst...hey Chauncey can you share that info w/ Derrick, atleast some of it?

  • hard fought battle guys, something to be proud of.

  • hard fought win to be proud of . . . c'mon let it count.

  • wow, this is crazy.

  • unbelievable.

  • Dammmmmmmmmmmiiiiiitttttttttttttttt I wanna cry so bad.

  • I want to cry.

  • I hope this refs are glad for screwing up every call from 3 minutes to end of the buzzer

  • Better D on that last Denver possession maybe things would have been different. Maybe Kirk wouldn't have had to foul.
    Oh well ... an absolute heartbreaker

  • this sucks, i get home from school while their reviewing, get my hopes up and then just slam em down. stupid refs. its gotta be reviewed. It was originally good and Stacy King said if its to close to tell, then the call can't be overruled.

  • This wouldn't be quite so frustrating if Denver didn't get away with so much during the course of the game.

  • The one that cost us is one when Melo fouled Deng, Kmart traveled twice and traveled plus Nene threw an elbow in one possession running 1:10 off the clock and finally scoring leaving us with 1:30

  • It was on his finger tips however refs should have given it to us because we were home and it was a great shot.

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