With Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace out for tonight, the Bulls have a chance at catching the Celtics off guard, and perhaps even squeeze out a win. Bulls guard Derrick Rose comes off a huge 22-point, 9-assist in just 25 minutes of action against the Pistons on Monday.
With Boston limited to Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis in the front line, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson could become big contributors for tonight. Noah had an impressive 8-for-8 performance at the line that game, and wrapped up the evening with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Gibson has played with plantar fasciitis during the season. Despite the injury, the rookie has played tough and consistent throughout. The Bulls have lacked consistency from the power forward position for a long time, and have been satisfied with Gibson this season.
Luol Deng, who had 27 points and six rebounds against the Pistons, will face Finals MVP Paul Pierce, a player Deng has done well with in the past. Deng still has a broken finger, so look for impact to be mostly defensively.
With Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons switching roles on the team, the Bulls seem to have found consistency from behind the arc. During January, the Bulls have hit 5.7 from behind the line a game, compared to their regular average of roughly 3.5 makes a night. Both Salmons and Hinrich have reached the 37% mark, and will hope to build on that.
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf spoke of 2010, and made it clear the Bulls want to be a player in the free agent market. It's been reported that the Bulls might even be interested in signing two major free agents that summer, which will undoubtedly make them championships contenders, if they succeed.