Bulls at Magic 6pm on CSN

The Chicago Bulls play so many back to backs they even have multiple preseason back to backs.   They take on the Orlando Magic tonight in a game that pits them against one of the best teams in the league.     They also have to do it on a travel night after playing an overtime game the night before.  Several of the Bulls players are effectively playing normal minutes already, so we get to see hwo they perform in a fairly regular back to back scenario.

Luol Deng has shown me enough three point shooting that I'm no longer
looking for him to shoot the three every night, and I now just expect
it.   With that dropping off my list, what else is worth watching

1: How will the Bulls deal with Dwight Howard?   While
they'll have more options in the regular season with Boozer and Taj
healthy, the primary guys that will defend Howard are available
tonight.  Whether Joakim or Omer can handle Howard at all will greatly
determine how successful the Bulls will be against the Magic in the
regular season and in a potential playoff matchup.  On the offensive
end, will going up against elite defender hinder Noah's playmaking and

2: Can Ronnie Brewer get in the mix for the starting SG
position?   Right now Keith Bogans has played well as a starter and
Brewer hasn't looked particularly sharp since returning from a hamstring
injury.   Brewer hasn't had as much practice time as the rest of the
guys and needs to work through the rust, but unless he improves
considerably before the start of the regular season Keith Bogans will be
the starter.  

3: It's ridiculous to get too concerned about any
player after a few preseason games, but C.J. Watson needs to step up
and show why the Bulls signed him.  He's shot the ball very
inconsitently thus far and hasn't spent nearly enough time driving to
the rim.  On top of that, he hasn't made many plays for a backup PG, and
the Bulls have to have at least some concern that backup PG will be an
issue all season long.  If Rose were to miss any time with injury, then
they're in deep trouble.

4: Who wins the battle of the bench
minutes?   Kyle Korver will likely have his role no matter what because
the Bulls need his shot making.  However, thus far, the competition
between Watson, Johnson, and Brewer (assuming Bogans starts) for bench
play looks pretty wide open right now.  Johnson has played the best of
the three so far, but he's owed the least amount of money, the Bulls
aren't committed to him the future, and he's the worst fit in terms of
the positional minutes available.   Brewer and Watson have both
struggled much more so than not thus far, but they fit what the Bulls
need more, and unless Johnson blows them away on the court, they both
probably play over him.

5: Will Kyle Weaver get a chance to make
the roster?   He looked like a quality player in his limited preseason
action.  Many fans, including myself, would like to see if he's worth a
roster spot.  The coaching staff may already have the answer to that
question from watching him practice everyday, but if he's going to get
toget another opportunity to play, the second night of a back to back
seems like a good opportunity.


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  • All good points.

    Let's just hope Rose stays away from Howard.

  • Ya i would expect THibs to try to get his starters out of there pretty quickly...no need to get hurt in these games and Noah,Deng an Rose all played pretty decent minutes last night. Im really looking forward to seeing some more James Johnson, Omer Asik, Korver, Brewer, Weaver and Watson.

  • 1.) It's to be fully expected that Howard's beast-ness will show. The Bulls have no answer for this until Asik, Thomas, JJ and Taj are all available to foul and sub for those in foul trouble. If he looks good in the low post, it's because he's not getting fouled enough. Howard's actually very good down low. He just lacks an arsenal of diverse moves.

    2.) This is something that's become very intriguing, but only because of Brewer's absence and Bogans' play. It's actually not what's good about Bogans' play that makes me want him to start for now. I don't want him on the floor without a very strong rebounder because he's a chucker. His shots look good because quite a bit are him without a body on him, but I wonder if it's largely because he's a 35% 3P-shooter who thinks he's more efficient that he actually is.

    I really like Brewer's hustle for loose balls and his aggressiveness to go for steals. This could translate into early foul trouble that we don't, but high-percentage, momentum enhancing fast breaks the Bulls will need off the bench as long as the 2nd-stringers' best gameplan on offense is vomit threes. His best offense is really only in cutting to the basket off the ball and limiting that probably isn't a bad thing right now anyway.

    3.) C.J.'s a bad shooter. His primary asset is creating and maintaining a fast pace. I'm very impressed with the way Asik runs the floor that if he hesitates less often under the rim, C.J. can get the ball to someone who can quick-pass to Asik down low after a screen. The athleticism of these two need to come out in the PNR. Fast breaks after loose balls, quick screens and the PNR need to keep Watson from bad shots. He's best off the pick n' pop to score. Otherwise, unless he can get right to the basket on the give n' go, he's standing there with shots that look good, but really aren't.

    4.) Big minutes for Gortat/Bass at the 4 have become cool things to talk about, but when your roster has Jameer, Vince, Pietrus, Q, Duhon and Reddick, Rashard Lewis is at the 4 a lot and JJ isn't guarding the 2s and 3s in that rotation on purpose. Watson and Brewer get a lot of minutes tonight unless Weaver gets tested and Rose plays a regular season volume.

    Scalabrine's getting too many minutes. If that continues into tonight with primarily a three-man rotation of Noah-Asik-Thomas, JJ gets left out.

    5.) Looks like Scalabrine's dressing 'til Booz comes back at least (sigh). Pretty sure that still only makes 11 with Taj, so why not Weaver?

  • Real bad.

  • The Bulls are 2-9 against the Magic the last 3 seasons so really wasn't expecting to do well in this game, and we're playing our bench far more than they are, but you still don't ever want a team to more than double your score. I guess CJ Watson hit some shots (desperate attempt to be positive).

    Lucas is playing ahead of Weaver too, so you can't like Weaver's chances of making the team.


    Where was it tonight?

    It's UNACCEPTABLE to have 99% of the team take the night off.

    At least, CJ Watson finally decided to show up.

  • Absolutely terrible. I didn't expect a win with the ridiculous back to back from Dallas to Orlando but this was pathetic. Thibs is going to hate his life reviewing this one's tape.

  • OK, it's time for the non sense to cease. Bulls are 2 and 4 so far this preseason. Two more games left and they both need to be wins. Time for new players to step up and prove that they belong and for the ones that have been here to show that they can lead this team.

  • I think lot of analysts are sleeping on the Magic. They are pretty good chemistry wise now and it is probably the last season Vince Carter might have any significant impact and he is playing for a contract. They are another team who matchup well with Miami.

    Brewer looks to be the bad signing of this year. I hope I am wrong...but we just need another perimeter player who can create and shoot well. Otherwise, we are going to be struggling like this against the elite teams and we will constantly be hearing about trading for Melo...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    yup. shooting guard looks like a potential weakness unless Brewer can get his act together. Luckily for me I'll be placing Jordan on the current Bulls team in NBA2k, just as soon as I complete my last 3 challenges.

    Wow that team can be scary. That got me to thinking, which would be better Doug? The 1st 3-peat team, 2nd, or Jordan with this current Bulls cast? A starting lineup with Rose, Jordan, Deng, Boozer, & Noah, with Korver, Brewer, & Gibson off the bench...pretty darn loaded.

  • We got are ass kicked in this one. On to more important news: Doug, I got tickets to see the Bulls play in Dallas November 19, where do you place the odds that Boozer could be back by then. The 19th is 9 days before the estimated 8 week sidelining

  • So........you're saying I have a chance! I read ya, I read ya

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