In 2004, the Bulls used their third overall pick in the draft to select Ben Gordon from Connecticut. Fast forward to 2009, and Ben Gordon has become the Bulls' all-time leading three-point shooter and scored a total of 7,372 points. His 18.6 point average is still the highest scoring average from anyone in the entire 2004 Draft class. In July, Gordon signed with the Detroit Pistons and tonight will be the first time he's ever played a game against the Chicago Bulls. If he plays. Gordon suffers from an ankle injury, and will likely be a game-time decision.
The Bulls could have used what Gordon offers this season. In the midst of a five-game losing streak, the Bulls have been outscored by a combined 79 points. An average of 15.8 points a night. Luckily for the Bulls, second-year man Derrick seemed to wake up in the second half of the game at Milwaukee on Monday.
Rose scored 17 of his 19 in the second half, and led the Bulls on a comeback that concluded with Rose creating a wide-open shot for center Brad Miller, who missed the shot. Rose, still bothered by his injury, has scored 20 points a game over the last five games, and that on 50% from the floor. This will be the Bulls' first home game since November 14th, where they beat Philadelphia.
Bulls center Joakim Noah has been solid this year, but believes he needs to play better defensively:
"I have to do a better job of guarding
my player," Noah said after the game. "I feel like the bigs are getting
their way offensively against us. We've just got to find a way to do a
better job. My post defense is suspect right now."
The good news for Noah is Detroit has few big bodies to present to the Bulls. Ben Wallace has found his old touch, but is hardly an offensive enforcer. Kwame Brown, drafted first in 2001 and to many is considered the greatest bust in NBA history, also struggles offensively. The Pistons signed forward Charlie Villanueva, but the former Buck spends most of his time on the perimeter.
Forward Luol Deng continues to rebound the basketball stronger than ever before, and currently is sporting a 8.5 average. Deng adds 18.3 points a night and has been stellar on defense since the very beginning of the season. Tonight, he'll try to limit the impact of energetic rookie forward Jonas Jerebko. The 2nd round pick out of Sweden has displayed willingness to hustle and rebound the basketball.
Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich will be out 1-2 weeks with a thumb injury, and in his place, the Bulls will use Jannero Pargo. The Bulls are still without starting power forward Tyrus Thomas, and have depth issues up front as well as in the back-court.