Chicago Bulls @ Houston Rockets, 7:30 PM NBATV

Derrick Rose is getting closer and closer to playing in a special game in february.. The second-year point guard scored 32 points against the Phoenix Suns last night, and made a series of high-difficulty shots. He also dunked so hard on Suns guard Goran Dragic that doctors are still checking the Slovenian player for permanent 'ownage' damage.

Tonight, Rose will look for the encore as the Bulls are off to Houston and will face one of the toughest teams in the league. With no apparent stars, the Rockets have won through defense, ball-movement and a willingness to play unselfish ball. They will try their best closing off the lane for Rose.

Bulls forward Luol Deng had 23 points and 6 rebounds against the Suns, and is in the middle of a solid season for Chicago. He's going to play an important role tonight, as he'll try to close off the three-point line for Trevor Ariza and Shane Battier. Both players can stroke the ball, and both will combine their efforts in slowing down the sixth-year forward from Sudan.

Joakim Noah racked up 19 points, 8 rebounds and swatted two shots at Phoenix. The third-year center from Florida knocked down three jumpshots, hit 9-of-10 from the line and had one of his most efficient offensive outings of the season. He'll be matched up against the 6'6 center/forward Chuck Hayes. But size don't tell the whole story. Hayes is one of the best interior defenders in the NBA, and has an excellent nose for rebounding. Noah will be in for a long night, as he'll also face power forward Luis Scola on occasion.

Guard/forward John Salmons got it going, hitting two shots from behind the arc. He's now increased his 3-point field goal percentage to 38.8%, and seems to have come alive. Along with Kirk Hinrich, the duo has found success in switching places in the starting line-up.

Tyrus Thomas could play a strong factor against the Rockets, if he's willing to run the floor. Houston doesn't have anyone who matches his athleticism, and Thomas could be racking up a ton of easy buckets just by filling the lane.

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  • Houston plays good defense? They give up over 100 pts a game.

    Both teams are coming off of back to backs.

  • Whoever wins the battle of the PG's and PF's should win this game.

    Rose needs to stay HOT, if he wants to be an All-Star. He already outplayed Steve Nash, so if he does the same to Aaron Brooks, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook, then he's a lock for the team.

    Noah, on the otherhand, is competed with Aaron Brooks for the "Most Improved Player" in the NBA. If he wants that award, he better have a better game then Brooks and take it to Scola, Hayes and Landry.

    Outside of that, Tyrus Thomas, Taj Gibson and Brad Miller need to STEP-UP.

  • Also, Hinrich and Salmons need to keep playing STEADY and MATURE basketball.

    The Bulls need a total team effort tonight!!!

  • Its going to be a tough matchup considering its a dreadful back to back game....one thing to look out for is how much pain Noah is in because i read that his injury was really bothering him so im thinkin after only restin just the nite hes not gonna be so mobile and energetic....but hopefully Rose stays hott n our role players can step it up tonite

  • In reply to RoseNdaChi:

    because he isnt a center..he doesnt have camby strength and defensive ability..he just has heart and rebounding skills..joakim is only over valued becuase of our market..i would want him to stay and he can help us in our future..but he will get overpaid one day with us,and will never be a great defensive player unless he put in the time and effort to be bigger and read defenses better..

  • In reply to RoseNdaChi:

    bring in stoudemire..the thing with him is that why would we be interested in mcgrady when amare has the exact situation(big expiring) amare is a great player..mcgrady isnt..another thing is amare can be traded for deng because they need a young swingman and houston doesnt..bosh is only alil better than amare..but if amare played d..he would probably be the best four..and in the east? he def would..bosh,boozer,& etc dont play d..and are overvalued..duncan and garnett are the only top fowards who play defense..but they are old and on a rapid decline soon..amare can be the best foward in the league and getting him is easier than getting bosh and wade or anyone else in 2010

  • In reply to RoseNdaChi:

    PG's, PF's and the bench.

    Those are the battles to watch tonight. Win those, win the game.

  • In reply to RoseNdaChi:

    That dunk by DRose was SIIIIIICK! Also I didn't think he was capable of the buzzer beating three pointer. Some of his contortionist moves like the baseline drive in the first were amazing. One of his best games ever. Only issue was the lack of driving. Imagine a day when he can start driving to the bucket again AND making this array of circus shots. I can and I CAN'T WAIT! And Noah was scoring like crazy even while limited by STUPID fouls.

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    the suns were guarding the interior. the bulls were forced to shoot. but unlike their usual outings, they were able to hit their shots and keep the hot hand. the suns still held ground interiorily, preventing rose from "attacking"...hoping we'd eventually get cold, which the long halftime and zone defense caused us to do in the 3rd. but we hung in there and stuck to what was working and the game turned out beautifully for us. we already know that derrick can attack the basket, so its nice to see his long range jumper come around. that only opens up his game.

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    God this rockets team is a bunch of floppers. Brad miller is this 2004?

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    Brad Miller show folks. Lets trade Noah because we have a stud in Brad lmaooooooooooo

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    hahaha Brad definitely this games MVP..Lowry is a b**** getting screened n floppin any chance he gets

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    the rockets are putting a lot of pressure on rose.

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    these refs r seriously blind....start it off they kept callin off fouls on the screener wen they werent moving...then on kirks jump ball he had the timeout called n the ref at the bottom seen it n didnt wanna overturn the other ref....then brads layup that was called out on us went off of scolas head n then budingers hands....the refs need to be put in check at some point because it has been an ongoing problem all season

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    all that matters is we got a hard fought win, and they never lost the lead. I didn't think the bulls had a chance win i heard noah was out of this game. jesus crap, i didnt think brad had it in him. i hope we have plenty time off till the next game so brad/joahkim will have tim to rest.

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    Brad Miller with that rebound after the two Taj misses at the line was the play of the game. Amazing.

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    worst reffing game of the year. Refs wanted us to lose in the worst way however Brad and Taj wouldnt allow it. Kirk dove for the ball called a time out and than two rockets dive on top of him and refs call a jump ball, thats how bad it was with the refs tonight.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I agree- I think the three Lowry flops were the worst and the out of bounds at the end of the game. Not to mention, how many fouls DID Scola actually have that game? Seems like every other play he was sliding under someone...

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    In reply to turdburglar:

    3 games...3 stupid games.

    When I see the Bulls win one like this against houston it's like, how different would this season be if we were 23-19, with home wins against denver, new jersey, and sacramento? One, maybe two all-stars, nobody talking about BG anymore, 5th seed in the east, D-wade down on south beach thinking "hmm, it wasn't really THAT cold in the chi..."

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