Bulls face Spurs on the heals of Parker's divorce 8:30 on ESPN

The Bulls escaped with a win against Houston, and escaping with a win might be the best thing that could have happened to influence their chances to play tonight as the starters played poorly overall and likely were laid into by the head coach after the game.

In an interesting sub plot, Eva Longoria filed for divorce with Tony Parker which will either have him distracted or ready to take his vengeance out on the Bulls, your guess is as good as mine.

The Spurs pose a difficult matchup for our Bulls due to the bulk they have in the front court.

Keys to the game

Step up and help Derrick Rose
Unlike the Rockets, the Spurs have plenty of interior defense to help cut off Rose when he gets into the lane.  Tony Parker also has enough speed to harass Rose on the perimeter and make his life difficult.   The Bulls aren't going to get past the Spurs with the starters playing poorly and hoping for Derrick to bail them out again.

Luol Deng and Joakim Noah in particular need to play at a high level in order for the Bulls to have a shot in this game.

Run them to death
The Bulls are coming off a back to back, but they're still a lot younger and more athletic than the San Antonio Spurs team is.  The Bulls need to get out there and push the tempo as fast as they can in order to turn the game into their style of game. 

Getting early offense will be the key in getting easy baskets as the Spurs are a disciplined defensive team.  Not only will ramping up the pace help with the offense, but if it forces the Spurs to abandon their attack on the offensive boards it may decrease our odds of getting killed by offensive rebounds.

Noah on Duncan away from the basket, help when he goes inside
Tim Duncan is always a load to deal with, but Noah has the size, speed, and strength to hang with Duncan when he's posting up in the mid post or facing up.   When Duncan gets position in the low post, it's time to help with a double team though.

After watching Luis Scola destroy Taj Gibson last night, we don't want to start the game with a more skilled, bigger, stronger, version of the same player on Gibson tonight.

Close out on the corner
The Spurs are the masters of the corner three which is one of the most efficient shots in basketball.  Their offense is geared towards delivering these opportunities, so the Bulls need to be cognizant of where the shots are going to come from and cover up on the man in the corner even if it means giving up a wing three instead.

Final thoughts
If the Bulls get this one, it's gravy.  They needed to win last night, and they did.  However, there's no reason to settle.  The team that best imposes it's style of play on the game is likely to come out on top, however it's a lot tougher for a high tempo team to force the pace up than it is for a slow down team to force the pace down.   I predicted the Bulls to lose prior to the start of the trip, and I still think that's likely.

At the same time, they aren't going to be dominated in terms of talent, so if they play control the fundamentals and keep the pace high they can steal this one.

Comments

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  • Im a normal guy and i went through a divorce. And by all means I am no athlete. What I am trying to get at it is, I had alot going through my mind the day of and days to come after the divorce. This is going to be a big distraction for this team. I would predict that Spurs will be loosing a lot of games this month and months to come. Parker is crucial to this team. And his train of thought will not be in basketball.

  • In reply to vinmotors:

    Really? You're saying that Parker's marital issues are significant now because of some paperwork? If you're gonna use an anecdote, you should also factor in that marriages are usually over well before the paperwork gets filed and Parker's played very well all month.

    Also, Parker isn't a normal guy. He's a spotlight athlete who's performed as an NBA Champion point guard at 20, 22, and 24 years old. If a legal struggle gets messy, maybe, but nothing's really changed, knowing the little we know on the outside, as of now.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    I am just tring to get are hopes high. Cuz i noe this is going to be tough one for us! GO BULLS

  • In reply to vinmotors:

    This could be a Spurs problem:

    "People reports that the woman Tony exchanged texts with is the wife of one of his San Antonio Spurs teammates."

    This I just don't believe:

    "A source tells People that Eva was 'totally and completely blindsided' by the cheating reports and plans to file divorce papers as early as Wednesday."

    via: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/17/eva-longoria-divorcing-to_n_784736.html

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    Damnit who's ever wife he was texting is gonna start dying his hair and then marry himself

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    Brent Barry's wife, Erin Barry

  • In reply to vinmotors:

    I don't think there will be too much driving to the basket with much success by Rose in this one, the Spurs do have a big frontline and Rose will have to slow down Parker on D if someone else isn't assigned to guard him. I think the game if lost by the Bulls will come down to their weakness, perimeter play from the wing players. Perimeter play will be the difference in this game.

  • In reply to vinmotors:

    FORGET TAJ ..He takes too long to get his jumper off and will struggle again .. BRING IN JJ and KORVER .. And if its a tight game late dont have BREWER a 50% FREE throe guy that cant handle presure s in there THIBO. If you want to beat the bulls late foul Brewer, Asik or Dang. Dang gets tired late and misses.. That why a bench is important and thibo in this area has NO clue..

  • In reply to mikem:

    Brewer is a 70% free throw shooter in his career, it's a bit rich to call him a 50% shooter based on 18 attempts this year.

    And bring in JJ? Do you want the team to lose?

  • In reply to mikem:

    I didn't realise this until I went to look something else up, but the Spurs are playing at a higher pace than we are so far this season. I'm not sure they will try to slow the game down.

    You look at the statistical difference between the teams and the one thing that stands out is the Spurs have a hugely positive FTA differential. I don't really like our chances of turning that around on their home court given they're a team of vet players who are likely to get favourable calls.

  • In reply to mikem:

    The capitalization makes me think Mr. Happy, but the content doesn't...

    I'm confused and afraid.

  • I think Taj is the key. If he goes 1-10 again on those baseline jumpers he's been hitting, I don't see the bulls winning this one.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I see Taj redeeming himself this game! At least I hope so!

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I agree, while on paper they're old, they actually have quite a bit of youth on this team. Parker is only 28 and one of the quickest in the league, Jefferson is great in transition, George Hill, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter, and rookie James Anderson. In addition, Ginobili is old but can still get out on the break with anyone. So I think the key to this game is fundamentals and execution. If we play smart and efficiently, we can hang with them and maybe pull out a win.

  • Yeha it's kind of funny to see the Spurs playing at a faster pace than the Suns, the Knicks being a good defensive team, etc. Not sure whether 10 or so games in is a big enough sample to be sure yet.

  • ROSE IS A BEAST@!

  • wowowowowowowowow...................... insane. our bench is killing the starters. hahhaah

  • Brewer and Korver are really getting it done so far this road trip. Guess they're used to being out West. ;)

  • ok, going to bed, looks like this one's over already.

  • Bad defense and bad perimeter shooting is why the Bull lost a 21 point lead and now trail by 4. Game will probably be lost by Bulls.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    check that, down st 9 now. A 30 point swing,things like this cannot happen.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Back to back takes its toll, after a good start Rose and Deng looked pretty tired, taking tired shots and not moving on defense.

    Gibson really regressing to the mean with his shooting hasn't helped either.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Of course after I said Rose was looking tired he comes back in the 4th and catches fire.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    GIBSON and BOGANS:

    The starting SG and PF came up with 3 points combined. Nice job!!!

    GET ME MELO PLEASE!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Lets not bring Melo up Happy cause the majority of Bulls fans think this team is fine as is, so I'm gonna just watch what happens and agree with the other Bulls fans... (SARCASM)

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    SAD EFFORT and OUTCOME:

    It's pretty sad when a team outscores their opponent in the 1st quarter, 2nd quarter and 4th quarter, but completely lays down in the 3rd quarter and gets outscored 37-12.

    That is a LACK OF LEADERSHIP (Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah) and a LACK OF COACHING (Tom Thibodeau).

    I don't give a shit what anybody else says on here. This team needs Maurice Cheeks on their coaching staff and Carmelo Anthony in their starting lineup, if it wants to win a championship.

    PERIOD!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    yeah, i agree if we had mo cheeks we definitely would have won, probably in a blowout.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mo Cheeks has never been out of the FIRST ROUND as a coach, and Melo has been out of the first round ONCE as a player. But MrHappy says they'll bring us a CHAMPIONSHIP, so it must be TRUE.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Well I guess no one gives a shit what you have to says on here either so I guess that is even out huh?

    Maurice Cheeks is not going to make any differences, if you watch the game no beside Rose can not hit any shots. After the first half it was bad defense, and turnovers. Wait I forgot you don't give a shit what anybody else including myself on here my bad.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    But what if Melo doesn't want to come here, or a deal can't be made Mr Happy??? I also must point out we're really early in the season with a lot of new players on the team. Throw in a new coach and system...well you get the idea. p.s. let's not forget that Boozer guy either.

    We gotta start hitting free throws!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I will go out on limb and agree with Mr. Happy because the 3rd quarter should never happen not matter what and who you play.
    When Rose isn't scoring we fall like a stack of cards!
    We need a player like Melo to be diversified enough to keep scoring and rolling along and not expect Rose to carry us like Jordan did years ago!
    Brewer needs to start now...Taj and Bogans are putting us so far behind starting right now!
    I like Taj and he has played awesome up until this road trip but he is sucking big time and yeah 3 pts from your starting SG & PF is beyond pathetic!
    Noah should have switched to Duncan and Asik should have gotten even more minutes as the twin towers to clock the middle to stop Parker and Ginobili.

  • In reply to smiley:

    You mean like in the second quarter when Rose wasn't scoring and the bulls built a 15 point lead?...

    The more I watch, the less I think this bulls team needs Melo. And we haven't even seen the whole team together yet...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I liked how well our 2nd (hockey style) unit played together! I think it's good to have Brewer and Korver out there together because they obviously play well together and bring very different aspects to the game. Korver obviously with his super fast release and Brewer with his athletism.
    While I think Brewer who was signed to be our starting SG is ready now to start...I think him and Deng are too similar and now you have Rose, Brewer, and Deng driving to the hoop and not enough shooting...for this reason Id like to see Korver be our starting SG and Brewer backing him him and Deng up with Bogans also having minutes off the bench not starting.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Good point MW...having to ball handlers like Rose and Watson helped and if Watson's shot was falling then the Bulls prob would have won! Too bad we beat the Spurs 3 out of 4 quarters but got totally embarrased in the 3rd! We need Boozer, or some other person to step up so Rose doesn't have to do it alone.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    MORAL VICTORIES are for LOSERS.

    This team is not a championship contender.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Why you mad tho?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    O REALLY!?!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    ...because Melo is a PF or SG?

    You suck.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Good effort from the Bulls and I really wish people would stop using these back to back games as an excuse for them to lose but the Spurs just showed what an elite team on the downside of contending for championships look like. Theses guys are still young and its the beginning of the season, back to back games should not bother them at all right now. Bulls perimeter play failed them in the second half as i predicted along with terrible defense and not controlling the boards in the second half. Dallas up next, lets hope they can get a win from them after losing to them twice in the preseason.

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