Superstar LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers visit the United Center tonight to face a struggling Bulls team that has lost nine straight games. Chicago will once again be without All-Star point guard Derrick Rose, forward Luol Deng and center Joakim Noah.
Newly-acquired guard Acie Law has been a minor bright spot for the Bulls over the last two games, averaging 20 points, three rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes of playing time. Law has shot a combined 13-for-19 from the field and attempted 6.5 free throws per game.
Chicago could use a strong performance from veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich. The 29-year old played 40 minutes against Dallas two nights ago, but finished with just nine points. With Rose, Deng and Noah out, Hinrich is by default one of the primary offensive options for Chicago, which makes performances like those unacceptable.
Rookie forward James Johnson has started four games for the Bulls this season, and his numbers are not unimpressive. In just under 30 minutes of playing time, Johnson is scoring 13.3 points, grabbing 3.5 rebounds, dishing 2 dimes and is swatting 1.5 blocks. You would like to see Johnson improve his rebounding as he has a large frame.
The Bulls have seen their opponent score over 100 points in each of their nine straight defeats. In order to compete against the Cavaliers, Chicago will have to be dialed in on LeBron James, the leading candidate to win the MVP award again this season. Despite having Antawn Jamison on the roster, James is the engine that makes his ballclub go. The Bulls will need to have players around the rim to remove the easy shots often generated by James.
Chicago also has a small x-factor up their sleeve if his plantar fasciitis isn't kicking, and that's Taj Gibson. The rookie forward can stroke the mid-range jumper and at times get around people with sneaky moves in the post. Gibson, however, has struggled lately.