Chicago Bulls vs New Orleans Hornets, 7:00 PM WGN

Second-year point guard Derrick Rose takes on the very best of his position tonight, as he face Chris Paul, the 5th season wonder who has established himself as the best pure lead guard in the NBA. Paul is once again in the early MVP talks as he's averaging 20.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 10.9 assists per game on impressive efficiency.

The Bulls, who have been bombed with coaching rumours over the last few days, remain shaky as their record of 10-17 are a general disappointment to the fans as well as the franchise. They'll look to get back on track tonight against the Hornets.

The 21-year old Rose has stepped up as of late. Over his last three games, he's averaged 27.3 points a contest and has showed a willingness to take shots throughout a course of a game. Rose has suffered from lack of offensive help, in particular from center Brad Miller and guard/forward John Salmons. Both players have been removed from the starting line-up and have been replaced with Kirk Hinrich and rookie forward Taj Gibson.

Gibson has found a way to contribute off the bench and have been steadily improving his rebounding numbers. He leads all rookies in rebounding at 6.4 a game, but does not have the highest rebound rate. Gibson also has been showing more and more consistency with his mid-range jumpshot and is able to spread the floor from the free throw line area.

Tonight, a familiar face returns, as power forward Tyrus Thomas will make his just fifth appearance of the season. Thomas has been out with a broken arm, and will come off the bench for tonight. It's likely that head coach Vinny Del Negro will attempt to ease Thomas back into the rotation, so a low-minute night for the fourth-year forward isn't out of the question.

Kirk Hinrich, who has just been inserted into the starting line-up, has struggled much like John Salmons over the first 27 games. But he does give the Bulls and additional ballhandler and brings a better defensive presence to the starting unit. Hinrich will also try to come off screens offensively, and attempt to spread the floor. Hinrich has had previous strong seasons from behind the arc, but has dropped off this year.

Luol Deng, leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, will remain as one of the three permanent fixtures in the starting line-up next to Joakim Noah (12.2 rebounds a game) and Rose.

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  • going to the game tonight, with nosebleed seats, hope its a good one.

  • i hope if we do decide to keep deng long term which i hope not but i hope we move him to pf..hes not a long term fit not just because of contract but because he slows down derrick and joakims uptempo style and clogs the paint from playing around it or not far from it..he's not a threat from outisde..29% career wise..i wouldnt trade him for just an expiring but atleast talent or potiential..hes not a bum..just a terrible situation and fit with our core..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Well, he has been steadily improving over the last couple years, though the last two he's shot less than one every two games. Still, he's up to shooting them at .429 this year at one a game. I'd like to see how well he'd shoot them if he'd setup outside the arc, instead of taking all those shots from one or two steps inside.

    Honestly, we're getting exactly what I wanted from him coming into the season: 18/8, and improved man defense. And he continues to create most of his scoring from off the ball, which you just can't undervalue in this league.

  • (at halftime) Tyrus is back!! and is it just me or has CP3 been quiet this game?!?

  • wow Tyrus is back and i am acutally happy. Noah had a monster first half rebounding and his offense in the third was so fun to watch. Our defense in the third brought me back to 2004.

  • held the hornets to 9 pts in the 3rd, amazing. Welcome back Tyrus and F*** you Al Harrington lmao.

  • Taj had the play of the game with a monster and one two hand power slam from a bounce pass by Rose.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Nah, it was the play where Rose went from getting stripped to powering through into a turnaround jumper.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    No way Taj 2 hammer msalivar oh and when Noah got the jump ball call vs Darius lol.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    As nice as it was to see Taj finishing strong, that Rose play was Kobe or Lebron caliber. There were a ton of great highlights tonight, though, and I was especially glad to see Tyrus going at it without hesitation.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    everybody vote d,rose into the all star game..
    http://www.nba.com/allstar2010/index.html

    we need to get bosh,wade and others to see derrick in the allstar game..vote him for us and our future....

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    That was total team effort and win last night. Noah should be a LOCK for MIP this year. It would be great if Ty Thomas can play like that each time out. I'm happy about win, but still concerned about the lack of bench production, especially from Salmons, Miller and Pargo. They need to step it up.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Would anybody want to see this trade happen?

    To Bulls: Tracy McGrady, Chuck Hayes and Jermaine Taylor
    To Rockets: John Salmons, Brad Miller and Jerome James

    http://www.realgm.com/src_checktrade.php?tradeid=5344422

    I guess it could work out for each team.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Nice job Tyrus. You read the play to the basket and respond like that with moster blocks every night, and you will be doing a big part of your job, and giving the Bulls what they need from you.

    Derrick played Chris Paul pretty well for I'd say about two and a half or closer to three quarters worth of basketball. He was actually coming underneath the screen, but so quickly that he was in excellent position to defend. More impressive even was the couple of times he faced Paul down around the paint. He stayed with him/in front of him juke for juke. Anyone who knows how elusive CP3 is knows Derrick did an impressive job staying right with him on those plays. Also I have to say the way the Bulls big men ran along with Paul off the screen as a wall obstruction for Paul to dump it down to the exiting pick man(which is the way the Hornets attack/run the pick and roll) was terrific strategy and execution. Hats off to Pete Meyers and Bob O. on the way the team defended/was prepared defensively for N.O's pick and roll.

    Rose could raise his game to yet another level this year, but Derrick has to quit trying to avoid people on drives to the basket missing hyper-extended layups, and DUNK the ball. He's definitely got to overcome that reluctance, and take it to the hole. Getting to the line, asserting his dominance, and it will be entertaining as hell not to mention energizing the ball club/fans. Come on Derrick, it's time.

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