The Bulls get a close look at one of their targets in 2010, as Chris Bosh brings his Toronto Raptors team into the United Center. Bosh, averaging a career-best 24.4 points and 12.1 rebounds, is considered one of the Bulls primary targets over the summer, given their lack of inside help. The seven-year forward bulked up over the course of the summer and now tips the scale at close to 250 pounds. This has helped him become more physical under the basket, which has led to 10.3 free throw attempts a night.
Chicago come in as losers of six of their last seven games, and will look to regain confidence on their home floor. The Bulls have played the most road games of any team in the NBA, and will play eight of their next nine home at the UC.
While he struggled, and connected on just five-of-16 shots against the Cavaliers, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose effectively got himself into the paint throughout the night. The ankle, who bothered him since the first pre-season game of the year, is in his own words at 90%, and getting better each passing day. Facing Spanish Jose Calderon, Rose will have to be active and ready to turn on the jets, to match the intensity of the point guard.
Kirk Hinrich will miss tonights action with a thumb injury, and Tyrus Thomas will miss his 14th straight game. Del Negro, who admitted he hadn't been using rookie forward James Johnson enough, gave the forward 22 minutes against Cleveland and will look for him again tonight.
Center Joakim Noah got into an altercation with Cavaliers forward LeBron James yesterday. James danced around the court in what Noah considered an untimely matter, and from the bench yelled at the All-Star as he was shooting free throws. James approached Noah, and had to be held away by officials and coaches. James did not dance again afterwards.
Taj Gibson has a stellar performance with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The rookie consistently knocked down 15-17 foot jumpshots, but had trouble defensively against the taller Zydrunas Ilgauskas, whom he was switched onto a couple of times after some screens. Gibson will tonight face Andrea Bargnani and Bosh. Both are capable of stepping outside and shooting the baketball, which Gibson will have to get ready for.
Luol Deng had a quiet 11 points and five rebounds yesterday, but knocked down a three-pointer after planting his feet and getting his legs under him. Deng has shot 7/11 from downtown this season, which is reason for optimism for Deng's offensive progress.