Forward Andres Nocioni returns tonight to the place he called home for five and a half seasons; the United Center in Chicago. The former energetic Bull was traded in february to Sacramento in the deal that brought Brad Miller and John Salmons to Chicago.
Also visiting the United Center is Rookie Of the Year candidate Tyreke Evans. The all-around guard has, despite his young age, a deep knowledge of how to set people up, and how to score points. He's averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists on the season far, something only Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan have accomplished.
The Bulls are coming off two straight victories, the last one against Atlanta, who saw a career-high 32 points from second year point guard Derrick Rose. The Bulls forced out the win, despite a huge 40-point effort from Hawks star Joe Johnson.
Luol Deng on the year is hitting up the stat-sheet for 18 points and eight rebounds a contest, and has reached the point where he feels comfortable shooting a three-pointer every game. Deng has looked visibally aggresive on the court, and has begun driving to the hole a lot more than earlier seasons.
Kirk Hinrich has stringed together two decent games, and the Bulls hope he keeps it up as they need shooting from the outside, as well as steady guard play off the bench. With the starting John Salmons going through one of his worst seasons percentage-wise, the Bulls are looking for players to step up and score the ball more.
Rookie forward James Johnson has not seen a lot of minutes lately, which is suprising given Vinny Del Negro's comments about giving the 6'9 rookie more minutes with Tyrus Thomas being out.
Instead, Del Negro has played Brad Miller and Taj Gibson extended minutes, Gibson has done well over the past seven games, but Miller has been having trouble finding his place in the offense.