Chicago Bulls @ Atlanta Hawks, 6:00 PM ESPN

After a two point loss to the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday, the Bulls are off to Atlanta to get the season back on track. Forward Luol Deng and guard Derrick Rose had good offensive outings for the Bulls, and pushed the tempo several times against the Nets. Both finished with 27 points, and Rose added a respectable seven rebounds and 10 assists. His best overall effort this season.

Bulls center Joakim Noah struggled on the glass, collecting just nine in over 41 minutes of play. He did add seven points, four assists, two steals and five blocks. The Bulls also made a starting change, inserting Brad Miller at the power forward position over rookie Taj Gibson. Coming off the pine, Gibson responded with 20 points and six rebounds.

Tonight, the Atlanta Hawks awaits. The Hawks share the ball well, and have eight players getting over a quarter of playing time every game. They have also not been injury riddled, as nine of their players have appeared in all twenty games. Guard Joe Johnson leads the Hawks squad with 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists a night. Atlanta acquired former Bull Jamal Crawford over the summer, and Crawford has been a valuable asset so far this season. Crawford is second on the team in scoring (16.1) and is an early candidate to win the 6th man award.

Forward Josh Smith has changed his game this season. The athletic forward has stopped shooting three-pointers, attempting just three in his 20 games so far, compared to his 87 last year. Smith is staying close to the basket which has seen his rebounding and shooting percentages increase, despite playing over three minutes less a game. Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas is often compared to Smith from an athletic perspective.

Joakim Noah will match up against former Florida teammate Al Horford. Both players have found similar roles in the NBA, as defensive-minded centers who can rebound the basketball. Horford has the physical edge on Noah, whereas the Bulls center is more athletic and energetic.

Guard/forward John Salmons, who has taken exactly twelve shots in his last four games, connected on just four against the Nets, and collected 12 points. Salmons has had a rollercoaster of a season so far, having been the most inconsistent Bull on the roster. The 29-year old (who'll be 30 on December 12th) will have to face Johnson and Crawford tonight, which will proove difficult, seing as he's struggled against quicker guards.

Comments

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  • If the Bulls expect to win, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng need to take the LEAD and show some HEART. They are the two best players on the team, so it's up to them to carry this team through this rough stretch of losing.

  • I guess since 2010 players such as Lebron and Bosh have killed us recently whats not to say Joe Johnson wont drop 30+ on us.

  • Rumor has it Kirk may try and play tonight.

  • I see this losing streak as a perfect opportunity for Derrick Rose to blossom into a LEADER, both with his words and his play.

    It's his team. He needs to realize that, talk like that and play like that.

  • I actually wouldn't mind a nice losing streak if it meant by miracle Rose started taking control more. Basically he's our last hope, and he needs to demand the ball 80% of the time all game. Selfish, yes, but thats how stars are born.

    If I see more screen rolls with Noah I'm going to fly to Chicago and break Vinny's knee caps. Even King went off last night about how undermining it is to Derricks skill set. It would be one thing if Noah could shoot...or actually rolled to the damn basket...But he doesn't and it just screws up Rose..

    Hate to say it, but Id almost be happier seeing Rose blossom into a ball dominating star than have the bulls play mediocre over the attrocious they are now...The problem is Vinny's got to get forced into letting it happen, or replaced. Id like to see Byron Scott myself, I know he's not perfect, but anything is better than screen and roll Vinny.

  • Also, watching Salmons take an early 3 at the top of the key almost made me puke. Especially when Rose was on fire. Why why why why why cant Rose have the ball at the end of the game. Its not hard. Get him the ball....

    At this point I dont think our core / record are going to be enough to get a FA next year, esp. after they have already smashed us when we played. My only hope would be Rose going off every night and possibly making the AllStar team, in hopes it would convince a max FA he was going to be a nice compliment.

  • After a bad loss, this is the perfect game to make up for it.

    I just hope they don't cash this game in early because it's the second of a back to back.

  • Word on the street is Kirk is warming up and will play this evening...

  • tick...tock...tick...tock...

    That's the sound of VDN's days with the Bulls ticking down.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Yeah....and good riddance.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Luol Deng is terrible!!! I blame all this on Paxson. If you take the guys we gave away for pretty much nothing crawford, j.r smith, shannon Brown and just keep them we are a much better team! But you re sign lindsay hunter and Gray?? He has to be the worst Gm of all time!!

  • In reply to quest3300:

    Mr Walker, you are 110% correct! Paxson must get whacked now!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    wow what to say............hmmm i am speechless.

  • Doug look at the box score!

    Kapt Klank off the rim Hinrich stinks! He is a career inconsistent streak shooter and clock eater. Gordon took the scoring pressure off the Bulls, now Hinrich has to show up, he can't!

  • No-Shot Noah talks to the writers and they give this lazy weakling a pass! It took him three years to get in shape.

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