Bulls vs Heat 7pm on WGN/NBATV

Fans circled this game on their calendar when the schedule was first announced.   The chance to play against the Miami Heat.   The discussion over the way the three handled free agency has built up a hatred of the three from most cities, especially the ones who had a chance to acquire them like Chicago.

After a rough start, Miami has rounded into championship form despite injuries to Udanis Haslem and Mike Miller.   I personally am taking Miami over the field when it comes to the NBA title this year. 

The Bulls have their work cut out for them missing Joakim Noah as his presence in the middle is one of the things the Heat would have a hard time compensating for on both ends of the floor. 

--- update --
LeBron doubtfult:

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said James didn't participate in the
team's morning shoot-around and was "doubtful" for the Bulls game
because of the ankle sprain he suffered in Wednesday's loss to the
Clippers in Los Angeles.

"He did not go through the shootaround,"
Spoelstra said. "We have not ruled him out. But it is doubtful. He is
feeling better. He's going to come over on the first bus, get treatment,
try to loosen it up. And we'll make that determination then."

  

Keys to the game

Derrick Rose wants to be MVP?   Time to prove it.

Bulls fans have been calling Rose MVP all season, Rose announced he
wanted to be the MVP in preseason.  Well, he's going up against two of
the best players in the NBA tonight, and he'd better bring it.

In Rose's favor is the fact that the Heat don't have a lot of interior
help defense, so he should have plenty of success driving the paint.  
Rose is going to need to carry this team to help bring a win in.

Carlos Boozer needs to play physical on both ends of the court

Chris Bosh is a great player, but if he has one weakness it's his lack of physical play.   Carlos Boozer needs to play physical on both ends of the court and take the 'want-to' out of Bosh.

A few elbows on offense while backing Bosh down and some physical box outs can go a long way towards helping neutralize one of the big three from the game.
 
Start Ronnie Brewer

Okay, we know it's not going to happen, but for the Bulls to defend the Heat they need to maximize Brewer's defense.  100% of his minutes need to be while Wade on the floor.   They'd probably be best served playing Brewer 36+ minutes tonight unless he's limited by foul trouble.

They also don't want to play him those 36 minutes in two stretches which is what would happen if they play Bogans the first six minutes of each quarter prior to subbing him for Brewer.

Will the Bulls make the decision to bench Bogans?   Unlikely.   However, they're putting themselves at an extreme disadvantage by not doing so.

Role players need to step up

Kyle Korver, you'd better be knocking down your shots tonight.   C.J Watson, you'd best be at your best.   Taj Gibson, you'd better find the offense you've been missing lately.

The Bulls aren't likely to win on star power.   They need to get contributions from all the other players on both ends of the court.

Final thoughts

It's not a true test of the two teams while the Bulls don't have Joakim Noah, but it's still a statement game that I'm sure both teams want badly.   It's hard for me to see the Bulls winning this one (assuming LeBron plays as expected),  but any night, anything can happen. 

Hopefully the UC brings it and plays the role of 6th man tonight.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • I expect the Bulls to be high-octane buzzer to buzzer. Finding motivation in Philly & Jersey is one thing, but at home against the Heat we should be sizzling. I predict a big night from Korver.

    Too bad Thibs won't be giving us the best chance to win because of his loonytoons lineups.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    If Bogans plays more then 7 minutes(which is still too much) in this game it's going to suck/hurt us big time.

  • In reply to adamlweber:

    It's an epic night for pic-in-pic tv. Bulls-Heat and Packers-Falcons. Sony Open gets the bump.

  • In reply to willrice51:

    I'll be at the Falcons game. Unfortunately missing the Bulls. We'll take care of the Packers for you and see you in the next round.

  • In reply to willrice51:

    I wouldnt be suprised if Wade tried to take over this game....trying to proove something to all of us Chicago fans. Screw him an screw Bron. An Bosh....well hes just a follower, Boozer is gonna beat him up tonight anyway. I dont expect a W, but like Doug said, you never know, especailly when were at home. Rose TAKE THIS GAME OVER. Lets see if Wade or Bron want to guard you....hahahaha try to anyway.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I don't know how Booz will do on Bosh. It might turn into a jump shooting contest between the two although I do expect Boozington to go to the post on Bosh. I'll tell you what I want to see. Booz, Asik, Thomas, and Gibson all rebounding like crazy against a poor rebounding team and putting them out of the game physically.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    lol I hope Wade or Bron try to guard Derrick, he showed Bron up in the playoffs last year when he tried to D him up.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Kobe wanted nothing to do with DRose both times we have played them this year lol

    I wanna see Wade step up to the table an try to take him on. I doubt he will though.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    You cannot compare Kobe to Wade nowadays. Kobe is playing on guile more than athleticism. He cannot keep up with Rose for a whole game maybe for a quarter at the most nowadays. Wade can though but I doubt he will do it if LeBron is not there. He will be the primary offensive option. If LeBron plays, than maybe Wade guards Rose and that will be fun to watch.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    In some ways you have to hope LeBron plays, if he doesn't play the situation becomes if they do win it'll be because LeBron didn't play, if they don't win it'll just be the Bulls lost to the Heat without LeBron, no mention will be made of the Bulls missing Noah.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Looks like LeBron is out. I was hoping to have him play.

    The Heat are still far from pushovers with Wade and Bosh as a big two, but the Bulls should be favored now.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    So long as Rose/Wade and Boozer/Bosh play roughly equal then you have to like the Bulls' other players over the Heat's.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It is actually good not to have LeBron actually(not just for the reason it makes it easy to win)...The Bulls Fans can now be focussed on booing Wade rather than distributing the boos. Wade is the biggest crook of the three...and he needs all the bad attention we can give him....Hopefully, they shut him down.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls crowd doing a nice job booing early.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Both teams hot offensively to start.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bogans playing well;-)

    Thomas should beatup Bosh a little bit to take him out of the game.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Playing well offensively, defensively he doesn't have a hope of staying in front of Wade.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Big Sexy taking reverse lessons from Derrick.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think he may actually have the speed advantage on Z.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    He's relishing it too.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Looking like Brad Miller lol

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    We take Brewer off Wade and he gets going and the Heat go on a run. Meanwhile we bring Korver in who can't hit crap lately. Bogans is a given, so I wont complain about that, but please Thibs, Brewer on Wade for all non-Bogans minutes, I don't want to see Deng trying to guard him. If that means Korver doesn't play much we're not missing much.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls look bad..
    Dang is slow and can't guard anybody.
    Boozer is way out of sink.
    Heat are out playing the Bulls.
    Rose can't beat Eddie House?
    Brewer looked good, where did he go?
    Thibs... you're lost again and your team looks like it.
    This is inexcusable.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Didn't Melo's team just beat the Heat the other day?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    So did Baron Davis' team. Maybe we should trade Rose for him.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    And I am disappointed that I found out Nick Young had 29 points elsewhere, normally MrHappy has that kind of news here before ESPN can update their box scores.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Shakes,

    LOST OPPORTUNITY...that's all I have to say about Nick Young.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Why in the hell was Watson guarding Wade during those 3's. Where was Brewer. Sometimes Thibs confuses the sh*t out of me with what he does.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Thank God there is DRose...OMG!

  • In reply to fsalomon:

    fsa,

    Agreed. But also be thankful LBJ and Bosh didn't play for Miami.

    The Bulls ESCAPED with a win tonight.

  • In reply to fsalomon:

    One thing the Bulls seem to be very vulnerable is 3-pt defense. They have been killed by NY and almost by Miami now.
    I guess Deng was tired today and it showed..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    You're going to have nights when teams hit their shots, people remember those nights and forget the 5 where you keep them average or worse. Overall the Bulls 3 point defense has been one of the best in the league.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Wow. I don't care that JoNo was not playing; I don't care that LB was not playing; I don't care that da Bulls gave up a big lead to Miami's 3 point shooters. I watch Basketball for enjoyment and that game was the most enjoyable I have watched from the Bulls for a long time. Yes the win was a bonus but when you get 2 superstars (and DRose proved he belongs) going at it in the last 4 mins of a game thats what sport is about. That is why I prefer teams to have one go to guy so you get these inner game battles. Great game and for once a game worth staying up to 430am to watch!!!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bosh still played 31 minutes, it's not like the ankle kept his minutes down that much. The Heat were hitting everything from three, the Bulls didn't even play that well, Boozer in particular was below par, and still got the win. LeBron or no LeBron I'll take it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The problem was not that Wade made those wild threes...We got lucky as he missed all his final free-throws.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Wow, that was absolutely sick.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Splitting two defenders twice? Insane.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I still would rather have S. Jackson over Taj Gibson. When Noah returns how important is it to have Gibson on the bench while we get torched by opposing SG. Jackson would be great on both sides of the ball. Korver is lost and Brewer is okay at best. We need better pacing and a dynamic backcourt partner with Rose.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    If Jackson was ever actually available I doubt he is anymore now the Bobcats are back in the playoff hunt.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Hope the Bulls go small for the final 4 minutes. Kurt Thomas isn't enough of an offensive threat out there and it's allowing the Heat to trap Rose far more easily.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I just hope Korver doesn't shoot us out of it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    ROFL I will trash Kyle more often!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wasn't huge contact, but isn't it a flagrant when Juwan Howard just grabs Derrick Rose with two hands on the head and neck to try and stop him?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Deng got called for the same thing last night ...

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wade is on fire.....

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    What can you do when Wade hits threes like they're layups?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    i really hate that piece of shit, cant say it enough

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    fucker ran out of luck

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Hell of a gut check win by the Bulls

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    deng was horrible, nice job by brewer

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Where the heck was Luol Deng in this game? Way to step up and be the #3 scorer.

    Thank goodness LBJ and CBosh didn't really play in this game.

    MELO!!!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Deng is terrible at handling the ball.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls getting killed by the three tonight.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Well so far the Heat don't look particularly threatening without LeBron. Pretty sure Wade is actually the second banana on this team.

  • Well, this is the one I've been waiting for. I'm still upset by the fact I won't be able to watch the game because it's on NBATV which means the game is blacked out on NBA League Pass.

    Everybody make sure to keep a close eye on Deng tonight when he is matched up against LeBron. A night after playing all but one minute against Indy and running through a million screens chasing Granger, his reward is facing LeBron.

    On defense, the Bulls need to make sure they're playing in sync in the halfcourt and get back quickly in transition. This will be the perfect game to for Thibs to see if all the rotations on defense are in check.

    I expect a few turnovers early on from the Bulls on offense as they try to adjust to the speed of the Heat's defense. Every opponent they've played this season has always talked about how quick the Heat are to react on defense. The Bulls must take care of the ball because the Heat are speedsters in the transition game whenver they force a turnover.

    This is a game the Bulls need to dictate tempo and turn into a halfcourt game. We need for the final score to be in the 90's and not the 100's. Like you said Doug, tough game to see the Bulls winning without Noah but the Bulls have played well at home all year so anything is possible.

    The UC should be electric tonight, similar to the Lakers game, so hopefully both teams can put on a show. GO BULLS!

    What a great weekend to be a Chicago sports fan!

  • In reply to Bulls986:

    I would like to see a lot of pass fakes & weak side ball movement to neutalize the quick reaction defense

  • In reply to Bulls986:

    don't you get WGN?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Not in South Carolina.

  • In reply to Bulls986:

    it's on wgn america which is a national station. check the internet and see whether you have it

  • In reply to Bulls986:

    u could see it on www.atdhe.net

  • I expect Deng to be a difference maker. I expect him to play no less than 49 minutes.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    Only 49 minutes? Are you crazy? We're going to need him for the entire overtime period(s)!

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    if I was at this game i would take a bag of dog diarrhea and toss it at wade

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    That would be awesome....

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Wow. I'm in total anticipation of tonight's game. I'm hoping Brewer gets the start. We see no more than 3 minutes of Bogans. And that the Bulls give a total defensive effort throughout the game. Which I think they will. I can totally see the Bulls getting up for the Heat and forcing their pace, playing mistake free ball and cleaning up on the boards.

    Defensively I want to see the "IRONMAN"( Loul Deng) all over Lebron and Boozer to get up close and physical with Bosh.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Wow. I'm in total anticipation of tonight's game. I'm hoping Brewer gets the start. We see no more than 3 minutes of Bogans. And that the Bulls give a total defensive effort throughout the game. Which I think they will. I can totally see the Bulls getting up for the Heat and forcing their pace, playing mistake free ball and cleaning up on the boards.

    Defensively I want to see the "IRONMAN"( Loul Deng) all over Lebron and Boozer to get up close and physical with Bosh.

  • In reply to logikal77:

    Sorry for the double post

  • I didn't get to watch but a little of the Charlotte game, but apparently the extended doubling of Rose made him inefective offensively.

    Whether that was the case or not, a top five MVP capable type of player/scoring guard(who happens to play point) does not get stopped by a double team. Dwyane Wade does not get stopped in a big game by a double team. He, a Reggie Miller etc. dish the ball to the big(who comes out to pick/help) on the double, and slip ahead often pushing away agressively when needed to get the ball back in lethal open space. Or they split the double at just the right moment early on. Or they simply fake toward the small and then burst past the big.

    Either way, the point is, a team like Miami based in the Riley system/fundamentals will double Derrick agresively and extended if needed. It's up to Derrick(and hopefully Thibs helpful suggestions on how/encouragement to break it). But it's really up to Derrick. He has the capability of a D-Wade to break that double. And rip off a spectacular game against this 'Heatles' self-proclaimed unnatural amalgamation of two hyper alpha scorers of their generation. Souht Beach's version of 'Friends.' "I'll be there for youhhh, I'll be there for you...(RALPH).

    Derrick can do it. He's that good, and he's playing at a 'must see' level we where realistically many judge him just behind team Wade/LeBron and Dirk as the league MVP. Driving a team with little offensive talent outside of Boozer and Deng to a terrific winning record.

    Other then Rose though, we know Thibs will start the 'Human Handicap' i.e Keith Bogans./ And C.J. probably won't get his minutes nor play his natural position where he does score on high field goal percentage. And Kyle wont get to start with Derrick to open the floor, get open looks he needs, and reinvigorate his game.

    And Taj wont get featured in the post as he used to so he can contribute in a fundamental way that emboldens his energy and mid range jumper. Though Thibs means well, and his defensive coaching and passion is superb.

    So with MLK day on the horizon, we will have to overcome. But regardless of the win(or loss) with Noah out, if Derrick brings what he has been(must watch TV/captivating league stud) amplified by this elite challenge arena, then this could be an awesome spectacle that bodes well for the team's future, and Derrick's future in this year's playoffs. A preview of things to come. Wonderful things.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    RW, Rose gets doubled in every which way every single game. The Charlotte game was in the absolute minority of games in which Rose hasn't thrashed double teams. I don't think it was an instance of Charlotte doing anything special, it was just an off night for DRose.

    Also I tend to agree that Taj needs to be showcased more than he has been as of late, but this game is an exception. We are a better rebounding team with Kurt and Booz in the paint than with any other combination excluding Noah. We will need the extra shots rebounding will provide in order to win, and we should have the rebounding edge with Miami's weak interior. Taj definitely needs time, but I think it should be with Kurt Thomas or Omer Asik, not with Boozer.

  • Doug, I mentioned about Starting Ronnie Brewer and im so glad that you have same thought about him starting! I hope he starts tonight! GO BULLS!

  • I will be ther tonight as well... where are you sitting?

  • I hope none of the Bulls partied with the Heat yesterday night(I doubt it would have happened anyhow with the Bulls coming back from a road game).
    From what we have seen in the earlier games, Wade shoots well here at UC. For all the talk of supposedly stopping Wade, Hinrich didn't stop the last few times. Hopefully, Brewer will do a better job.
    But, I guess there is LeBron to show he is the king of regular season games and with Deng tired from yesterday. That said, this is a big test of Thibs's defensive schemes against a talented team.

  • Please do. Boo him(and D-Wade aka family man) to kingdom come. And hopefully D-Rose & Co. will take their ass out. It says he's doubtful, but yet "we'll see how he feels at game time decision as he's feeling better." Slimy 'surprise' tactic to try and shake up the Bulls. Noah or no it's on. Let's win it for Jo.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I don't think you will get the chance. He's doubtful and I don't expect to see him.

  • Sorry you didn't win the tickets. I was rooting for you. The weather out here is great. Too bad you couldn't make it out.

  • Even though the play ended up working out because CJ hit a three, it showed the problem with trying to run Korver around while CJ dribbles, CJ isn't really a point guard and didn't even see Krover when he did get open.

  • D Wade & Paul Pierce I think went to the same acting school

  • INJURY?

    Did Boozer get hurt again? I saw him limping after that Korver 3pt. shot.

    Rumor has it, he was in a walking boot after the game.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I don't think he hurt himself playing D...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Uh-oh...

    http://twitter.com/KCJHoop/status/26515751749816320

Leave a comment