Chicago bulls at Washington Wizards at 6pm on WCIU - Gibson IN

Since the last time these teams played, Washington has managed to shed Gilbert Arenas' contract for Rashard Lewis.  Arenas crushed the Bulls with his three point shooting single handedly preventing a blowout, but not doing enough for the win.  John Wall will miss the game depriving us of one of the more hyped matchups and only reason to really watch Washington.

However, Rashard Lewis destroyed Boozer in his first game back by hanging outside the three point line.  Boozer routinely got caught in no man's land.  Too far from the basket to help on the glass, too far from Lewis to contest the three point shot.

[update - Taj Gibson vows to play in the game per KC Johnson:

"I'm playing," Gibson said. "For sure."

"He's feeling better and was able to do some light exercise," Thibodeau said. "So I think he'll be fine after (Tuesday)."

Keys to the game

Derrick Rose needs to own Kirk Hinrich

I initially thought he'd need to own John Wall, but with Wall out, Derrick will get to play against the very familiar Kirk Hinrich.  Of the two, Hinrich will probably trouble him much more defensively, but won't push him any on the offensive end.

Derrick can use his explosion to get past Hinrich, but Kirk does a nice job of funnelling players to the help defense appropriately.  Kirk usually likes to fight over screens, so Derrick should play aggressively off the pick and roll looking to attack the basket.

Kurt Thomas and Omer Asik need to rough up McGee

McGee has a hell of a lot more athleticism than Elton Brand or Spencer Hawes, so Kurt Thomas will need to use his size and strength to box him out and rough him up in the paint.  Battle him with elbows and make him simply not want it bad enough.   The same goes for Omer Asik who can at least match up with his length though he can't match McGee's athleticism.

Both players should play physical on McGee to deny him position and mentally check him out of the game by using physical play.

Carlos Boozer needs to stay out of no man's land

It's a different ball game, because he no longer needs to help on Dwight Howard, but Boozer can't get caught in the middle against Rashard Lewis again.  Either stay close enough to contest his jumper or stay close enough to the paint to help on the glass.   Don't get caught in position to do neither which is what happened when Boozer was tasked to defend Lewis against the Magic.

The Bulls might want to go small and put Deng on Lewis, Boozer at center, and let Brewer and Korver play the 2 and 3 at times in order to match up with the Wizards athleticism and spacing.    Lewis won't beat you on the inside, so it's a good opportunity to do so.

Double team Nick Young when he gets the ball

Once he gets the ball, there's only about a 3% chance it leaves his hands in a direction other than towards the hoop.  Young's a talented scorer, but he simply does not pass, and if he has to pass, he's extremely unlikely to pass to someone who's open for a shot.  He has one of the lowest assist rates in the league, so know your personnel and play him to score and over extend your coverage on him, because he's shown absolutely no ability to make you pay by finding an open teammate.

Final thoughts

The Wizards aren't very good, but no game is an easy game without Gibson and Noah.  The Wizards do have the ability to space the floor, score the basketball, and have interior athleticism to give the Bulls fits without their two most athletic big men.

On the other hand, the Wizards would struggle to defend me and four of my friends, so the Bulls have their way on offense.

Road games are always tough, as are the second half of back to backs, but the Bulls are simply the better team, even with the injuries, and should win.

Comments

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  • Isn't Gibson playing? I think I read somewhere he's playing this game, although I hope him to take a little more rest after the concussion.

  • I really don't think the Wizards should be looking to play Lewis at the four. The Bulls are down two bigs, playing small is exactly what the Bulls want to do, and Deng is a better rebounder than Lewis so that's a match up I'll take any day.

    Hopefully Kurt Thomas is able to play well in a back to back game, I am a bit worried we've gotten excited that he's shown signs of life only to see him come out dead again this game.

    The Wizards may not be able to guard Doug and his friends, but I have a feeling they can guard Bogans. Can Bogans do the impossible and manage to actually score a point this game? Or will Kurt's scrappy defense be too much for him? This to me is the sub plot of the game.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Yes, Thomas will come out dead. What to you expect? After all, he is 57...This is a very tough game believe it or not.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    i dont think wall is playing these days.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Ummm....Is Wall even playing?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I thought Lewis would play the 3.

    Hinrich
    Young
    Lewis
    Blatche
    McGee

    I don't know seems like the best lineup they could run out there and pretty versatile

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    And is certain Wall is out? He seems day to day

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    That's not true Blatche is more of a 4/5 than 3/4 Doug. Come on you know ball better than that. Also I forgot about Josh Howard he's back as well.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Well, those of you who will be able to watch this game will be able to tell us if Mr. Happy is right and Nick Young is the missing piece of the championship puzzle for the Bulls. Maybe Gar Forman can engineer a trade at halftime so Young can come out wearing Bulls red in the 2nd half...

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    MadTown,

    I didn't say that Nick Young is the missing piece for the Bulls to win a championship. That would be Carmelo Anthony. That said, I made the argument that Nick Young is a better player than James Johnson and/or Keith Bogans.

    Doug Thonus and a few of his followers (I'll be nice) disagreed with me.

    So far, it looks like I'm right and they are simply misguided.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Maps, you were right about Nick Young being solid. I'd need to proof to believe that people ever said JJ was better though.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Apparently, you're a follower of Doug Thonus too since you read and harass the hell out of this blog.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mr. Happy, you're right, I must admit that you have never claimed that Nick Young at the off guard was the key to the title for the Bulls. My bad. And, it IS weird to have a team whose weakest link offensively (at least as long as Bogans and to a great extent Brewer are getting most of the minutes) is the "shooting guard" position. I'm trying to think of a championship team or even a serious contender in the last 15 years or whatever that got such limited offense from its 2 guard spot. Look, I'm not saying the Bulls should try to acquire Nick Young, I've never even seen the guy play that I can remember, and he has received an undue amount of discussion already on this forum...but seriously fellas, can you think of a serious title contender who got so little production from its 2 guard?

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    Can we trade for Sam Young and start him at center, too?

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    Cant take this one easy....Wall is out, an im not sure about Blatche but i know Josh Howard is playing now. Bulls sometimes struggle with young, athletic teams like this. Rose an Boozer need to dominate again. Make it tough for them. Nick Young is solid, we will see what one shows up though, he either sucks or does really good (from what ive seen of him) Bulls should win...an playing zone tonight isnt a bad idea.

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    Good news for the Bobcats pick... They just fired the entire coaching staff. Rebuilding has begun

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    The entire staff? Whos the interem coach then lol? MJ? That pick could get better an better....Stephen Jackson could also be had....maybe at a decent price too.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Good point about the coach. No news on any of it yet so well see.

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    Will not be a very easy game but I am highly confident of the win.
    Prior to the season start I drew up a worksheet Bulls Schedule (the down-loadable one they have on their web site) and predicted W and Ls.
    To date I had them at 17-9 so 100% on but I did get 6 games wrong so it was a wash. In my worksheet I have tonight's game and the NY game as losses but I now feel confident they will prove me wrong tonight.
    Keeping my fingers crossed.

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    I just read a article that said JR Smith "Would Love to end up with the Bulls". Plus the Nuggets are trying to get under the salary cap, so he could come at a cheap price. I wouldnt mind him for cheap. Anyone else in? Probably Watson an James Johnson , maybe a 2nd round pick for Smith an maybe Anthony Carter?

    Rose, Anthony Carter
    Brewer, JR Smith
    Deng, Korver
    Booz, Taj
    Noah,Asik, Kurt THomas

    I like that team. Get Smith an still hold onto Korver.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Money don't work. Also why would they want JJ, Bogans and Watson?

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    Leave a comment...

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    You can add cash to the deal to make the money work correct? He didn't say anything about trading Bogans and Watson is a solid player. But my guess is the deal would involve at least one draft pick.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    Well if their trying to get under the cap, they probably take some crap for him...but who knows, im at work so i dont know what the money would be. We will see what happens though. Most rumors i have seen about the Bulls have been about JR Smith. But ya Doug, I agree with that Jackson trade too. Thats interesting as well.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Madtown56! LOL WOW imagine if that happened for any team and a player got traded in the locker room and came out for the other team!

    Too bad we can't see Wall and wonder how Kurt does for us on a back to back as a starter against the very athletic and hungry MCGee. I went to a Bucks game last year because my friend had a ticket and was very impressed with McGee in that game!
    He also got called into the US National team camp so he is a good up and coming PF/C.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    TThis is a dangerous game for the Bulls. The Wizards are very athletic, has a big front line and with the acquisition of Lewis and Josh Howard still on the team, the Bulls should have a pretty tough game against this team. The Wizards almost beat Miami a few nights ago by leading for the majority of the game but could not close them out so that's one advantage the Bulls should have against this team should the game be close. Bulls should win the game but again... it will be tough.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Josh Howard is definitely still out, right?

  • In reply to swolty:

    Nahh he's back, and actually playing pretty well.

  • In reply to swolty:

    Stephen Jackson is a better, more intelligent decision if you want to go after someone. Maybe Charlotte wants the rights to their draft pick back?

  • In reply to Reese1:

    With John Wall out, I see Washington getting almost no penetration from their backcourt. The Bulls could practically play zone defense all night tonight if they wanted. It's going to come down to Blatche (if he plays) and Lewis hitting jumpshots. I guess the Bulls should be careful with Hinrich bc you know he is good for 3/4 20-pt games per year. Will tonight be one of them?

  • Is Blatche even playing? He was in street clothes the other day too

  • Mitchell,

    I wouldn't say they are clueless, more so than inexperienced.

    All those guys are young and talented. Can they put it all together and become a playoff team down the line? Not sure.

    I would love to see the Wizards' management break things up and trade Nick Young to the Bulls. The way he has been playing as of late, that is not looking to good.

  • I see, so do draft picks count as anything towards matching salaries?

  • Interesting, thanks.

  • Ya i prefer Jackson as well. He's about 6'6 6'7 as well. Plays solid defense when he needs too. Good decision maker, very good scorer. The Bobcats are really struggling this year and there pick (thats ours) is a top 10-12 protected i believe. Im sure we could come up with something they would like.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Plus he could beat the shit out of some fans if need be.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    As long as Rose, Boozer, and Deng attack the Wizards pretty heavily we can run away with this one as well. I mean Kirm is a rather solid defender, but Rose should abuse him. Booz may not play the best D against a guy like Lewis but should get any offensive look he wants at out end. And I would like to see mor SF/PG pick and roll as Deng is a great slasher and a legit 3-point threat (as is Rose). Their is no one on Washington that I think can match up. But I guess we will see.

    Bulls by 15 tonight - Go Bulls!

  • Any way to get Bogans put in that deal too - lol
    Maybe Bogans and a pick instead of brewer

  • Anyway to get Bogans thrown in there - lol
    Bogans and a pick instead of Brewer?

  • As Mitchell says they've gone with McGee & Blatche all season, I don't see why Rashard Lewis would change the plan since he's worse than either of them at this stage of his career.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    And by that I don't mean Blatche is a post playing bruiser, but he's not a three point shooter and he is a rebounder, so I don't think he's the same sort of player as Lewis at all.

  • Don't see why for the Bobcats, surely someone will offer a pick and pure expirings (or even better a trade exception) for him.

  • Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld made a interesting point in his chat saying to watch out for the Bulls in the Carmelo trade. His comment was pretty open ended but I think he meant that they might still be able to get Carmelo or participate in a multi-team trade to help another team get him.

  • In reply to argie2333:

    I still think the bulls are in the running for carmelo. That being said, it would have to be a 3 team to get denver a proven player. That being said, I like the team we have now.

  • In reply to argie2333:

    im warming up to the idea of jr smith. if only the front office believes that they can contain him.. we know what the front office wants in a person and if they are willing to do it then im 100% behind it..

    new jersey receives

    carmelo anthony
    cj watson
    omer asik
    bulls 2nd

    chicago recieves

    jr smith
    jordan farmar

    denver recieves

    derrick favors
    troy murphy
    james johnson
    keith bogans
    3-4 first round draft picks.. 3 nj picks & our bobcats pick

    jj replaces carmelo for the future
    keith bogans temp. replaces the hole from smith
    derrick favors & troy murphy are already in place and nj uses the terrance williams first in the deal.
    cj watson replaces jordan farmer & receives omer asik & a bulls 2nd for cap.. bulls sign someone like chris richard or make another deal for a temp center until joakim comes back..

    who wouldnt do this deal..
    my bet is denver would be the 1st to accept this deal because of the draft picks and the desperation to move melo anyway..

    its up to melo to agree but if nj can promise to bring someone like chris paul in the future than this deal can happend..

    rose/farmar
    brewer/jr smith
    deng/korver
    boozer/taj
    noah/thomas/?

  • I really do believe a trade similar to this may happen...

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=3yx9ojf

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    bobcats wont ever trade a bad contract for another but this time a player who cant perform the same at all anyway.. wont happend.. bulls wont take on a contract & player like stephen jackson.. rose was stuck playing with john salmons.. basically the same player.. the bulls are looking for only two things in a deal right now.. its a sg who doesnt hurt them cap wise and can FIT in the offense and a superstar like carmelo on a deal that doesnt break the core..

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Chris Young isn't afraid to never pass to his teammates.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    I thought he just did, but it was just Bogans stripping him and the ball dribbling over to his teammate, lol.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Bogans breaks his scoring drought!

  • His lack of even an attempt to make an effort is pathetic, and I really don't know how a coach like TT or Jerry Sloan for that matter put up with it.

    Although rebounding is usually an effort stat, so I guess that he can try when it is going to show up in the boxscore.

    I guess that 20 and 10 buys you a free pass.

  • Deng to Hinrich, just like old times.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Hinrich made the layup, not like old times at all.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    This is going to be a long game.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Quick hook for Brewer?

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    How the heck does Kirk Hinrich get past Rose forcing the foul like that?

    Really disappointing play in the first.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Hopefully Watson has a bit of confidence after finally making some shots last night.

  • Thibs doesn't have much hair to spare.

    I heard that the Knicks coaches weren't high on David Lee because they felt he wasn't a good defender mostly because he was more interested in positioning for rebounds to pad his stats rather than defending anyone. I wonder if Boozer is a bit the same way.

  • Now Brewer has to put out a fire. Best not to let them start but it's hard not to go with Bogans outside shooting.

  • The second unit looks so much better with Boozer to just dump the ball to, I like it a heck of a lot more than Watson trying to create.

  • Nope, looks like last night was a one night only performance.

  • Hate to say it but Nick Young is actually playing great right now, not being baited into trying to shoot when we double him.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    OK he took a contested three then traveled on consecutive possessions, that's more like it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Only down four after how they played isn't too bad. Need to either start hitting threes or stop taking them, some of them were way off.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I hope we adjust on both ends in the second half. we will see who wants this game more.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    About time they get a tech for all the bitchin'

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Some of their players are idiots. Blatche missing a wide open dunk in the first, then blocking Rose in the second and pretending to sign the ball....give me a break. Learn to dunk the ball before you gloat over blocking a guy that was getting fouled.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    His D may not be that great but Booz sure is smooth on offense.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Don't know how much of taking the lead was the Bulls playing better and how much was the Wizards playing worse.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Bulls racking up a ton of off the ball fouls

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Can anyone score for us or are we too busy fouling the Wizards players?

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    A win is a win I guess. On to the Knicks!

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    REALITY CHECK With the game on the LINE, Nick Young bricks a WIDE open 3. REALITY CHECK

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    Jon,

    If you are going to do a REALITY CHECK, then at least be accurate.

    The Bulls were up by two possessions late and Nick Young had to force up a quick shot. Last I checked, he finished with 22 points and had a pretty good 1st Half.

    Stop hating and being CLUELESS.

    Nick Young could help the Bulls win games. He'd spread the floor for DRose.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    REALITY CHECK:

    Nick Young - 22 points
    Keith Bogans and Dickey Johnson - 2 points combined.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    i assume this means you think the bulls could trade keith bogans and dickey johnson for nick young. Why would the wizards do this now?

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    ixon,

    I'm not sure they would do that deal.

    Timing is everything.

    That said, I don't think N.Young is untradable.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    "They" means the Wizards.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    OK if it's just a timing issue can you name a time when they would have done the deal? Keep in mind Bogans could not be traded until the December 15 deadline when free agent signings become movable.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Who's Dickey Johnson? Are you combing the first name of former Bull Dickey Simptkins, and the lst name of current Bull James Johnson?, not that is WITTY!

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    Jon,

    WOW...you can GET A CLUE.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Yes we all love Bogans starting, nobody here has ever complained about his playing time. Thanks for the reality check!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Jon,

    So who are you going to rip on next? How about DRose who went 9/21 from the field. Or maybe K.Hinrich who was 6/14? Perhaps L.Deng, who was 5/13?

    It didn't seem like anyone shot the ball particularly well tonight.

    GET A CLUE!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    On behalf of all frequenters of this blog, I appoint you in charge of arranging the trade of Keith Bogans and James Johnson for Nick Young. Get back to us when you've arranged the deal with your Washington contacts.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    REALITY CHECK, Derrick Rose & Co went home with a W. Kurt Hinrich, Nick Young & Co went home with another loss. GET A CLUE LOOK AT ME I AM NOW TYPING IN ALL CAPS LOCK I AM SCREAMIN ON THE INTERNET LISTEN TO ME I AM LOUD

  • In reply to jpbaker81:

    Jon,

    REALITY CHECK...that's because the Bulls have better players.

    GET A CLUE...YOU SOUND LIKE AN IDIOT!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Jon,

    Why aren't you HATING on Korver?

    He went 0-5 from the field. GET A CLUE...Shooters can miss shots.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    If anyone doubted Boozer was back into the swing of things, 25/11 shooting 60% the last 5 games. Right now he's playing even better than anyone could hope for, to the extent that it's not really clear there is a Rose/Boozer hierarchy, they're like option 1a and 1b now.

    It's a pity the Celtics and the Heat are on another level this year because this team is damn good. Those two teams are going to fight it out for the best record because nobody is going to want to play the Bulls in the second round.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    JR Smith is killing the Spurs...I guess that's the end of the trade talks with the bulls.

  • In reply to supercesto:

    Super,

    JR makes $6.75 million. Realistically, that was only a rumor to begin with.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Actually it is 6 mil (per hoopshype salary section). So you give up your friend Dickey + Bogans = 3.1 and you include 2 mil of cap space that's a total of 5 which is more than 80% of Smith Salary. What the hell I'm taking about? Clueless, right?

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    18 wins equals the best the Bulls have done by the New Year in the post-Jordan era, and there are still 4 games to go.

  • When did Kirk remember how to shoot?

  • Kirk Hinrich and Nick Young are kicking our butts out there.

  • Dude doesn't pass the ball. He's Ron Mercer. No thanks to Nick Young.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Totally unfair comparison of their passing. Unfair to Ron Mercer that is.

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