Chicago has run off two straight with point guard Derrick Rose averaging 26 points on 63% from the field. Rose dominated with 32 points at Phoenix and then added 20 at Houston. With Bulls center Joakim Noah out of action, veteran center Brad Miller stepped up and scored a season-high 25 points on a series of jumpers and close shots.
Tonight, the Bulls are in San Antonio to take on the Spurs. Former MVP and four-time NBA Champion Tim Duncan scored his 20,000th point at Houston three days ago, and is having the second-highest scoring rate (per36) of his career.
Bulls rookie Taj Gibson played a strong game at Houston, finishing with 16 points and 14 rebounds. He'll match up against San Antonio's frontcourt of Duncan, Antonio McDyess and DeJuan Blair. All three are large bodies who can rebound the basketball and get shots at close range. With Noah out, Gibson will have to play another strong game for the Bulls to stand a chance.
Richard Jefferson got traded to San Antonio over the summer, and his numbers have dipped across the board. San Antonio shares the ball, which has hurt Jefferson's isolation opportunities, and he has instead become a spot-up shooter. Luol Deng will have to establish himself offensively, and try to take advantage of the extra energy he'll gain from not having to focus on Jefferson.
The Bulls will also need strong performances from Kirk Hinrich, Miller and John Salmons. All three have had their struggles over the course of the season, but lately, they've fallen into line and been productive.
Chicago won the first game against the Spurs in the season opener, and they'll look to sweep the season series tonight. Bulls fans will get another look at DeJuan Blair who a lot of people wanted in the 2009 NBA Draft.