Bulls vs Celtics 7pm on WGN

The Bulls have an opportunity here.   After dropping back to back games against complete scrub teams, they're afforded the rare chance to immediately redeem themselves by defeating one of the best teams in the Eastern conference.

The Celtics beat the Bulls twice already, both games in Boston, one in OT.  This time they'll be missing Kevin Garnett while the Bulls are without Joakim Noah.   It won't be easy, but if the Bulls want to prove they're a real contender, then this is the time to make a statement.

Both teams are coming off a back to back and have to travel as the Celtics beat up the Raptors last night while the Bulls fell to the 76ers.
Keys to the game

Derrick Rose beat Rondo on both ends of the court

Rose and Rondo have had major battles with both players frequently piling up offensive stats against each other.   They clearly enjoy playing each other and bring something extra to the game.  

With Garnett out, the Celtics interior defense isn't so stiff as it would be otherwise, and Rose should find himself in the paint plenty.   The real challenge he'll face is slowing down Rondo on defense.  He can't allow Rondo to stroll to the hoop off of pick and rolls like he has in the past two games, though part of the issue is the help defense Rose is getting as well.

Carlos Boozer should pile up offensive stats on Glen Davis

Boozer is a nice matchup against Davis, because he has some height and speed on him, but he has enough strength that Davis can't take him in the post.   Defensively, Boozer needs to watch out for Davis's mid range jumper, but focus more on help defense than his man defense. 

Look for the Boozer/Rose pick and roll to free up lots of opportunities for Boozer on offense.

Bulls should play well against a slow down team

The Bulls have struggled to contain players in transition and play solid team defense against early offense and transition, but the Celtics are more of a half court team, and the Bulls defense has performed better in the half court recently than against fast teams.

At the same time, the Bulls nullified their greatest advantage against Boston which was the ability to run them off the court.   Both teams are in a similar spot now where the only player that can really run on either side is the starting PG while everyone else lumbers down the court.

The Bulls need to find their defensive swagger again though, because they were plenty bad against Philadelphia last night.

Kidnap Keith Bogans and hold him for ransom

He's killing the team, absolutely killing it.   I know Thibodeau isn't comfortable with James Johnson, but it's really, really hard to imagine anything being worse than playing Bogans now.  He's playing at historically non productive levels for a starting player in the NBA.

It's a situation where management eventually has to step in.

Final thoughts

It's hard to be optimistic about this game after the Bulls lost to Philadelphia and the Nets.   The team defense isn't playing well at all, the energy level is down, Rose isn't dominating quite as much, the team can't get out in transition anymore, and the coach continues to Bogans the fans.

All that said, I still think the Bulls find a way to pull this one out, of course I thought they'd blow out the 76ers last night, so what do I know.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Comments

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  • how can a coach whose so brilliant be so stubborn, that he refuses to change his failed plans to adapt to his current players?

    korver isn't rip. bogans is the worst starter in the nba. deng isn't corey maggette. adapt the damn system!

  • Completely agree that the benching of Bogans is in GarPax's hands. Beyond all reason, Thibs will obviously not sit his pet.

    My only reason for holding out any glimmer of hope is GarPax cut Lucas III before the January 10th guaranteed contract deadline. If it had been left up to Thibs he likely would have guaranteed Lucas' contract for the remainder of the season.

    Sitting Bogans will Likely require a roster move by GarPax. And the trading deadline is over 6 weeks away...

  • come on, there's no way they win this one

  • Theres really nothing to say about this game except hopefully the Bulls can pull out the win after two deflating and very frustrating loses.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And the teams defense will really have to step up tonight. No KG... we will see what happens.

  • i'm really not understanding thibs' super aversion to ever playing james johnson. i know a lot of it has to do with thibs not trusting jj because he does make some boneheaded mistakes sometimes. but wouldn't you want to play him just a little bit more so he can work some of those things out [and give deng more rest!]?

    or at the very least, send him to the d-league where he'll get more playing time and hopefully work out the kinks in his game? he's still pretty young and obviously the talent/skill is there. but without playing time, he's just left on the bench to rot [so many dnp's for such a young player...] and his game will stagnate and never improve. jj clearly wants to get better but thibs isn't even giving him that glimmer of opportunity anymore. and it's like, at this point, he virtually has zero trade value anymore.

    what is going on w/thibs?!

  • In reply to jyin4:

    he played in a 5 or so game-long stretch early in the season and was kind of a train wreck, i dont know if he[s worth the trouble. Coaches usuallly like playing guys who do a whole lot of nothing (good or bad) vs guys whose contributions are more extreme

  • In reply to jyin4:

    Maybe it's just me but the Bulls look gassed lately in the second half of games compared to their opponents. Hopefully the Celts suffer from the same lethargy tonight and we find a way to eek one out. I agree it's all gonna come down to who plays better: DRose or Rondo.

  • In reply to jyin4:

    I don't understand either. There were a couple of games where JJ's energy and shooting help us win the games. I think Thibs is over his head in this rotation thing when he has to sit guys. He is just being Vinny's re-incarnation all over again. He is scared to sit Deng in fear of something bad happening. A losing streak of 5/6 games or an injury to Deng seems to be the only option for him to play JJ.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I hope James Johnson has a game like Luke Harangody had last night, very soon.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    You're on fire Dougie! I loved the nickname "Bogey" from the last post. Now you use bogans as part of an infinitive phrase!

    "I just don't know why Mitch continues to bogans his life like this, he's a good guy, what could he possibly see in that blood sucking whore?"

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Was Jodie Meeks auditioning for a spot on the Bulls last night? He's a bit inconsistent, but sure can shoot when he gets hot.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    OK, here's the latest theory that I'm desperately trying to convince myself of in regard to Tom Thibodeau's ongoing love affair with Bogey:

    Thibs is obviously a bright man, and not just in the basketball realm. He seems scientific in many regards. There is a phenomenon in physics, in which an object in motion loses mass, causing it to accelerate and gain momentum, resulting in that object reaching a higher velocity than would have been achieved had the same object not had the extra mass to begin with.

    Imagine 2 soap box cars, identical in every regard with exception to the first having an extra 20 lb weight. If that first car lost the 20 lb weight at the right time, the car would eventually propel ahead of the second, winning the race, assuming of course that the timing was right.

    Keith Bogans will become the lost wieght, and the team will be all the better as a result. Hey, I'm buying it, its all I have at this point :(

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bulls have to be careful about Harongody, Nate Robinson and Von Wafer. These are the exactly the type of guys who will hurt the Bulls with their shooting while the Bulls are shutting down Pierce and Allen...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Von Wafer? You have to be kidding me. They almost cut him because his 854K contract was about to be guaranteed. As for Harangody, I don't think so. Nate Robinson, maybe. In reality, we need to worry about Rondo and Allen. Luol Deng will take care of Paul Pierce, like he always does defensively.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    It's so hard to understand why Thibs keep starting bogans that I'm forced to think Bogans is doing a blackmail towards the coach; Maybe bogans has discover something about the coach(per exemple, sexual affair ...) and he is telling Thibs "if u bench me, i will let everybody knows ".

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Thibs is sleeping with LeBron's mom.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Thibs is sleeping with David Stern.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Which BTW makes it a disgrace that Rose can't get more foul calls.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    It's because Thibs is the catcher.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Not a great star so far. This is a game I would like to see Rose come out and go after Rondo right out of the gate. If there is anything that I think Rose doesn't do all the time its look for his offense.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'm glad we have Bogans in the line up for his defense, without a defensive player Allen might have had 20 feet of space to shoot his threes instead of 10.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Allen trying to take a travel on Rose in the Bulls backcourt - not happening. I don't care if you were Jesus Shuttlesworth.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bulls have settled well though, gone on a nice little run. Hopefully Rose can keep getting calls.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    12 points for Rose in the quarter, he did get a little sloppy with the ball trying to do too much a couple of times though.

    All up the team looked good from the moment Bogans took a seat.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Great to see the Bulls back to doing the fundamental things and taking care of rebounding & defense. Just need to keep that up, cut the turnovers and this will be a win.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Rondo has been a total 0 this game, I love how they are limiting his penetration and daring him to take a jump shot. I hope Ronnie sees extended minutes, he was particularly effective in that second quarter.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Rose getting calls today, the refs calling this national broadcast game got the memo.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Rose has equaled his career high in FTA at 13 already.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    And now beats it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Excuse my Happy rhetoric, but Rose having a career high of 13 FTA attempts to this point is CRIMINAL.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    He's certainly making up for it tonight, more FTA than FGA is the sort of line superstars get multiple times a season, hopefully Rose is joining the club.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Jesus Christ these damned referees are going to just hand it to them, aren't they? Two horrific calls in a row.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Rose is too good to let that happen.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Looking at the stats - Taj Gibson feels like he has certainly made a monster impact despite going 0-4 from the floor.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    After 2 bad loses to 2 bad teams, it's good to see the Bulls bounce back with the win against an elite team.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    That's the style of game the Bulls need to play, keep it ugly and grind it out. Great games by Rose, Boozer & Brewer.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Celtics scored 29 points in the just under 12 minutes Bogans was in the game, and 50 for the other 36. Brewer really made that much of a difference to the energy the defense played with, and really made sure Ray Allen didn't torch the Bulls like he was when Bogans was out there.

    If Brewer doesn't get the starting job next game I hold out little hope of a change ever being made.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Head-to-Head:

    Rose vs. Rondo...Rose proved why he should be the All-Star starter.
    Deng vs. Pierce...Deng proved why this team won't beat the C's in 87.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Correction

    Deng vs. Pierce...Deng proved why this team won't beat the C's in 7.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Deng does not win games. He gives us a third scoring option with 17ppg and gret defense and a ton of rebounds and some assists. Also good experience.
    Our games are won by Rose and Boozer. One game in 10 Deng will win it as well and that's just a bonus.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    They needed this one. Way to come back after 2 bad losses. Hopefully this will carry over to another winning streak.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Boozer looked like an old man on that failed dunk attempt that was blocked towards the end of the game. LOL

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    And what statement did Pierce send then? What did he prove? That he can become invisible in the second half?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    ixonflex69 said:

    come on, there's no way they win this one
    Posted on January 8, 2011 10:22 AM

    THATS REVERSE JINX ALL THE WAY

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    He's definitely going to set a season high in FTA's the way hes driving.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Deng looks like he's playing with beehives as hands this third quarter.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Yeah Deng is just terrible right now, his shot isn't going in and he's turning it over a ton.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bulls win tonight. Rose goes for 40 cause that's what it's gonna take.

    If they don't pull this one out the team might have to have the dreaded players only meeting. Since it's players only, Bogans will of course have to wait outside, or make coffee or something.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    My hope for the game: Bulls run an offense that involves more than three players touching the ball. You aren't going to beat even average teams if you rely on Rose/Boozer/Deng to take every shot, as we saw last night.

    Defensively hopefully we see plenty of Asik, especially if we decide to run Deng at PF. You can not have a Deng/Boozer front court like they did to finish last night, that leaves absolutely zero help defense and allows guards to just stroll through the lane.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    In a day of craziness, (Seahawks looking like they will beat the Saints); Maybe the Bulls can beat the Celtics. In a blowout.

  • In reply to jyin4:

    C.J Watson needs more playing time, especially with Rose. The guy was +8 when playing yesterday, even though I don't believe in the plus/minus stuff.

  • Ray Allen 5/7 for 13 points in Bogans 12 minutes, 2/6 for 6 points in the other 27 minutes he played. Luckily Bogans is such a savvy vet we can rely on to stop a guy like Allen.

  • fb_avatar

    Thank you, sir. :)

    Is this kid a beast or what? Think we can get you to do a post on Derrick's new "extra dribble"? Because apparently it's more effective on officials than c-notes and luvabull posters!

  • did Boston played down to the competition?. LoL. Deng looks so old out there. He is 25 and plays like 37. Maybe he needs a cane.

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