Bulls @ Clippers at 9:30 on CSN / NBATV

Derrick Rose will look to avenge the game that got away.  In their last meeting, the Clippers were thoroughly beating the Bulls until Rose led a furious charge at the end to draw the Bulls close.   In the closing seconds, he drew a foul and went to the line down by two.  

He missed the second free throw, and I doubt he's forgotten.

The game seemed like a let down, our first without Noah, and a loss to a sub par team.  However, Blake Griffin was coming into his own, and the Clippers have been on a tear since that point.   They were legit, we just didn't know it.

How will the Bulls do this time?

Keys to the game

Give Blake Griffin the Dwight Howard treatment

Single cover him in the post and let him do his thing, but don't let the rest of the team kill you.   The Bulls really have no one to match up against Griffin anyway.  Kurt Thomas can play him some to rough him up, but Griffin is likely going off tonight.

One strategy the Bulls can use is to go to Boozer early and often in the game hoping to draw some fouls on Griffin.  If Boozer is in the post doing his spin, twist, and turn thing, he should be able to get Griffin in the air and then lean into him for the foul. 

Get away with that move twice in the first, and you can send Griffin to the bench for most of the half.   If Griffin plays Boozer too loosely defensively, then he should score at will.   There's also the chance that Griffin just shuts down Boozer with stifling defense, but I don't think his development is such that it's likely.

Derrick Rose needs to make Baron Davis look old

Davis stands no chance at defending Rose off the dribble, so Rose should get into the paint plenty.   The Clippers have DeAndre Jordan and Griffin down low to help which is a lot of athleticism, but Griffin blocks almost no shots and Jordan is foul prone.   Rose should be able to get his shot off or get to the line pretty easily inside.

Slow down the Clippers and make them work in the half court

The Clippers main strength is their athleticism.  They have a bunch of freak athletes on the team, especially in the front court with Griffin, Jordan, and Aminu coming off the bench.   They're missing some of that with Eric Gordon out, but the Bulls are likely to win a battle of execution, so don't let the game get too fast or sloppy.

Cram the paint and zone the hell out of them

The Clippers lack outside shooting, especially without Gordon.  So if the Bulls successfully slow down the pace to limit early offense and fast break opportunities, then they can jam the paint on defense and try to force the Clippers to hit shots from the outside.

They don't have a single quality shooter left in the lineup.   As such, the Bulls can afford to make them work through a lot of coverage and play a zone most of the night with no one there to have a chance at breaking it.

Final thoughts

The Clippers are a pretty exciting young team, and they're good.  Even with Gordon out, they're playing well.  However, the Bulls are a better team and are coming into the game with eyes open after the first loss.   They're also well rested for the game having not played since Saturday, so they should be fresh.

On the flip side, the Bulls have struggled on the road so far this season at 10 and 10 and have recently lost to some fairly mediocre squads on the road (Charlotte, New Jersey, and Philly). 

All that said, I think the Bulls will take this one.   They're in for a tough fight for that second seed, and I think they're focused and ready to go.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Comments

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  • LETS GO BULLS! BLackNRED

  • Key to slowing down Griffin: Don't let him punk you
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLAPJiETLCE&feature=player_embedded

    The Bulls are probably best served with the veteran Kirk Thomas covering Blake, using his veteran trickeration and putting a big sexy body on the athletic power forward. He could get into foul trouble, so Asik needs to defend him well also. Boozer should be able to cover the offensively challenged Andre Jordan.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Dont have nothing to do with being punked or not, Griffin is just too talented and the best way to try and slow him down is to try and keep him from driving to the basket and slow the Clippers from running to a fast paced game. Defense, rebounds will be the key to winning the game.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    What I was saying was, don't let him get away with being a punk. Don't let him act like a veteran flopping all over the place, don't let him push you in the back on rebounds. Stick Thomas' big body on him & show him he's not gonna pull that crap against us, and against a vet like Thomas. Thomas can slow him down, did it in December.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I also want to see OG pull the chair out early and often against Griff

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I am sure Thibs has studied Griffin and picked up a few weaknesses.. Although, he is great...this is almost like a playoff game for Thibs with 3 days to prepare. I will be curious on how he defends/attacks Griffin...

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    FYI:

    SAM YOUNG has now been in double-figures (scoring) in 4 straight games.

    Is he the next one of my guys to have a BREAKOUT SEASON?

    Stay tuned.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    don't act like 10 points is impressive

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    Try 18 tonight. If you don't know talent, SHUT-UP!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    wow, 18 for the first time in his life, against the T'Wolves too!

    and the 3 games you mentioned before tonight were 10,10,& 12

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    JJ UPDATE:

    He had a HUGE offensive game tonight. His defense was BAD though.

    http://www.nba.com/dleague/games/20110202/IWARGV/gameinfo.html?ls=gt2hp2021000224

    The guy that impresses me is Marqus Blakely. He plays smart and efficient, on both ends.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I like his game a lot, could be a NBA rotation player if he improved his J

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Bulls 8-1 on the road vs Western Conf. This trip doesn't worry me.

    Conversely, Bulls 2-9 against the East on the road. The Eastern 5 game trip coming up does concern me. At least we will have Jo.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I dont' know where you got that stat, but it's wrong. They lost to the Lakers, Spurs, and Nuggets off the top of my head.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think he might have it backwards, lol

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    got it off NBA TV (gamenight), woops. Don't know where they get there stats, wish I could have gotten my info from Neil & Stacey, they never lie to me

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    just checked myself, Bulls were 5-4 before this win. Don't know why I didn't question that myself, my mistake.

    I still like 5-0

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    i think they got it form the clippers/nba tv cast. in their defense, IT WAS THE CLiPPERS CAST, what did you expect?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Bulls shooting the ball extremely well, but still have a narrow lead. Clippers backing off Rose at the three point line, and he's made them pay twice.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Woohoo, Derrick's 2 upgraded to a 3.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Bogans has already had multiple opportunities to drain his second three and guarantee victory, but he's gone cold. Not a good sign.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bogans knocked down a layup to give him five. The Bulls have not won when Bogans has scored exactly five, get that boy another shot.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    are you really gonna give blake superstar calls. really.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Rose in on fire !

  • In reply to deewaves:

    First time in awhile that Rose has really come out the gates strong.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Derrick Rose in the 1st quarter:
    13 points, 4 assists, 2 boards, 1 block on 5/7 shooting from the field, 3/4 from the three point line.

    Incredible quarter by D-Rose.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Looks like the rest has done him good.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Playing without backpain and ulcer problems definitely helps.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Kurt Thomas playing hack-a-Grif like he did in Chicago.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bulls bench came in and played well. Bulls holding a nice lead, shooting the ball well.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Wow, that lead went away fast.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    griffin is unstoppable. he already has 21 pts on 10/17. Maybe the thing we did with Howard won't work with Griffin !!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls a blistering 9/14 from the three point line.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    And built back nearly just as quickly.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Blake Griffin is kind of good.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wow, that's a pretty cheap ass flagrant foul there. Griffin pushed off badly with his off arm (offensive foul) prior to Boozer pushing back. Even then, the push Boozer gave was really small, and he made a strong play on the ball around the push off as much as possible.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    That was the most BS flagrant call I've ever seen in the NBA.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    I logged on just so I could say that the flagrant foul....wasn't. It seems like every time I see Joey Crawford he makes stupid calls.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Griffin is a monster which the Bulls have no answer right now. They are doing a good job stopping others. It would have been nice to see if Noah can do anything a little bit against the speed of Griffin.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Griffin with 25/6/4 so far ... one day he's going to put up the first 50/10/10 game ...

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I think he could get 100 somewhere down the line in his career if he tried

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bulls aren't putting that much pressure on Griffin. Many of his points are coming off of assisted baskets where the Bulls are basically losing him off the ball or rotating away from him / unable to keep up with him off the ball.

    If the Bulls went to a zone at the basket with a focus on denying him the pass, Griffin wouldn't be doing much. He's scored a ton, but the plays where he gets the ball in isolation haven't been that successful.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Have to wake up at 4:30 am, is the second half of this game worth it?

    Hmm.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I'm in the same boat. I'm gonna watch it.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    BTW: why do they start the game at 9:40 local instead of 9:05? I was kinda annoyed by that.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    I agree, every west coast game should start at 7pm Pacific time, so that it's not quite so bad for east coast fans.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    7 pm local is very reasonable, they do it in the East & Midwest

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Bulls just need to get Bogans a shot, once he scores I can go to sleep, Bulls victory assured.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Wow, Derrick Rose looked like Blake Griffin on that FT attempt.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Rose gets an MVP chant at the FT line, some LA based Bulls fans representing.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls fans have to be the best traveling fans in the league

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Deng continuing to crush from the 3 point line, giving the Bulls a 10 point lead again.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Great move by DRose, Griffin's defense was definitely rookiesque on that play. If Griffin ever learns to use his athleticism on defense then look out.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Rose should be able to setup more for Korver, Deng and CJ if required...
    Vinny's defensive strategy is usually just more energy on the court...He is more relaxed than Thibs on the court though...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Clips doing a very poor job defending the three point line, the Bulls have had very open looks all day.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Refs starting to get whistle happy, though it's helped the Bulls more than hurt them so far in the second half.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Very whistle happy.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    You said "happy". Where's his cynical, self-serving, aren't contenders protestations? Oh right, lurking until Deng has a sub-par game to scold everyone that he was right all along.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    I assume he went to bed after the Denver game finished.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    That's why they are not going to break up this team to facilitate a trade.
    Look at tonight's stats and you'll see what Gibson on a very cheap contract brings, 31 minutes, 9 points , 12 rebounds , 2 blocks, 2 assists, no turnovers. He's not going anywhere soon.

  • In reply to Salrock:

    Word. I say keep him and the team as is. Add a SG if they can, such as Parker for a draft pick, and build on the momentum this team is obviously developing.

  • In reply to Salrock:

    That's what I'm talking about. If they can upgrade on cheap, cool. Otherwise, they shouldn't give up Taj, Deng, Korver, or Brewer unless it's for a MAJOR upgrade that will easily make up for the defense (Taj, Deng, and Brewer), rebounding (Taj and Deng) and/or scoring threat (Deng and Korver) that these guys provide.

    See how many times I mentioned Deng? He's not an all-star and may be a little overpaid, but he contributes in a lot of different ways that are overlooked by people who can't get past the salary vs. scoring issue.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Griffin dominates the first half, and then barely touches the ball the first 5 minutes of the third quarter. God, I'm glad Vinnie is no longer our coach.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    One thing you can say about Vinny is he'll play young guys a ton of minutes to let them grow. However, his game planning and adjustments aren't really the best.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Bogans leaves the game after scoring only 5. The Bulls have never won when Bogans scores five. The lead immediately starts to collapse.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    loool, dont be so nasty with him, lol

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Does this mean Thibs is going to give Bogans some rare 4th quarter minutes to insure the victory? Knowing Thibs, he knows all these obscure stats. Does he gamble and try to win despite that stat? ; )

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    He played the entire 3rd quarter. Thibs could hold out any longer.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Does it seem that a lot of guys get injured playing against the Bulls?

  • In reply to Salrock:

    Damn straight. That's that tough defense...and nice dose of Kurt Thomas. I liked how he popped Griffin in the grill on the follow through of on the challenge of Griffin's jump shot...and got away with it.

  • In reply to magestew:

    True, but Griffin still gets treated like an All-Star veteran by the officials. He gets calls and even gets to jaw at them.

  • In reply to Salrock:

    Its ridicuolus, he hasn't even earned his stripes in the league yet

  • In reply to Salrock:

    I was having the same conversation with a friend of mine. Griffin travels A LOT, too. He definitely gets away with a lot of stuff that other young stars don't...must be nice.

  • In reply to magestew:

    That's what I'm saying about Big Sexy! That kind of thing is frustrating.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yeah it is. And you could see that it affected Griffin. I'm just glad Griffin isn't a brawler. To quote Stacy King that kid is "too big, too strong, and too quick" to be fighting in the NBA...

    But Big Sexy would have the "old man's experience" edge. I can hear him now:
    "You little freakin whipersnapper! You ain't making no tough-guy reputation off of me!" As he knees Griff in the knutts, kicks in the shins, and punches him in the neck.

    Wow...I dont' know what happened there. I'm not usually this violent.

  • In reply to Salrock:

    Very solid convincing win. They should win 4 games, with a decent shot of sweeping all 5. I was watching this game to gauge their confidence and teamwork. Confidence? Check. Teamwork? Check. I'm waiting for some fans to still question if they're legit.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    I like they way you're thinking Zentastic

  • In reply to zentastic:

    After the win over the Clippers:

    "Our confidence is very high," Rose said. "We're still under the radar, but that's fine with us. We're just going to try to keep getting wins. We're jelling. I mean, we're still missing a big piece in Joakim, but we're still finding ways to win."

    Damn, can't wait until Noah comes back to see what this team looks like totally healthy.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    Awesome win!! On a side note JJ had 31 or 32... Parker had 17 off the bench on 7 of 11 shooting!

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Good win.

    Played tough defense. Didn't let them get anyone besides Griffin going. Slowed down Griffin in the second half as well. Bench did it's thing. Thomas played tough against the young stud and used 5 good fouls on him. Rose had his way and really controlled the game well. We dominated the second best rebounding team in the league on the boards.

    Very nice.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Bulls haven't played that good on the road in a while, hopefully they can keep it up for the rest of the trip.

    After struggling a bit at the start of January with his shot Deng is averaging 20/8 over the last 5 shooting 51/44/83. Bulls are hard to beat when Deng plays that well.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Deng's confidence right now is sky-high, and I don't see his play diminishing unless he gets injured or tired legs.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls getting it done with offense, might hit 100 in consecutive games for the first time in a month.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    i hope derrick rose wont get out until the end of the game. we need to keep this lead alive

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    bulls are really taking their revenge !! they hold griffin to 2pts in the 3rd quarter !!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Nice win against a team that hasn't lost at home in quite awhile. Twenty games above .500 has a nice ring to it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Boozr converts the open dunk he missed last time.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Haha, Clippers actually ran out to cover Bogans at the expense of leaving Boozer open on a rotation.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    LOL at Boozer trying to grab the board while hanging from the rim.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Joey Crawford has to be the show doesn't he? I don't know that there's another ref that feels the need to take over a game and make it about him more so than Crawford.

    Whistle happy refs now going against the Bulls. Just a bunch of touch fouls all over.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Boozer struggling in this game. Hopefully, he comes through in the fourth or if Clips make a charge..

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    haha, Derick pissed at himself for rimming in a free throw instead of a swish.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    he is still pissed about that missed free throw against the Clipper ships back in December

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Man I hate the Incredible Ginger Neanderthal Blake Griffin. He's so freaking good. He works that mouthguard like it is Derrick Rose's dong.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Should have smacking him in the mouth to stop the dunk instead, Rondo knows how it works.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Tough call on Asik there, he went straight up, and Griffin jumped into him and got body contact.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls getting a bit too caught up in playing fast with the Clips for my liking.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Kurt Thomas called for a hip check on a moving screen. He did move a little bit, but if they called that moving screen every time, most teams in the league would foul out their entire big man rotation every night.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    about JJ: Oh my crap! He almost had a quadruple double with 30 points & was 3/4 from 3!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    James Johnson - Good in theory.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Great to see Rose making some shots today.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    SIDE NOTE:

    I like the D-LEAGUE FUTURECAST. I suggest checking it out.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    What is it exactly?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    "My guys" - You slut.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    A break out season where he's currently, even with his latest spurt, putting up significantly worse numbers than last year.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Give it to me Big Sexayy!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Who is Willie Gault,

    How's your crush on Willie Gault going? You must be describing yourself.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Brilliant!

    It's not "MY Willie Gault". Nice rationale.

    Slut.

  • I think the comment at the end about Focus is key right now.
    Focus right now is vital.
    This final West coast swing of 5 games will nearly finish off our away games against the west ... only 1 game against the Wolves will remain. Hardly west coast.
    It's spread out over a comfortable 2 weeks.
    A 4-1 record will be tough, but it could be a huge boost to the team. I'm hoping for at least 3-2 ... wins over the Clips, Warriors, and Jazz ... Blazers and Hornets will both be tough.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    All road games have been tough for the Bulls. I'd also like a 4-1. If the Bulls can bring some of that home court magic then it's certainly possible. They have the best record of any of those teams afterall.

    However, that record was padded with a ton of home wins against mostly poor teams. I think the Bulls are better than the Clips, Warriors, and Blazers. The Jazz and Hornets are close, so it will be tough to beat them on the road.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    IMO the Jazz is the easiest of the 5 games. They've been terrible since their good start.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I agree that the Jazz aren't looking that good right now. I would put them behind the Hornets and Clippers, and in the middle with the Blazers, and the Warriors bringing up the rear.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    4-1 is the goal. Earlier I would have been happy with 3-2, but a) we have been playing great as a team and the standards have been raised b) We need to up our play and prove we can win on the road.
    As well documented on this blog, this 20 game stretch is huge, we are 2-0 to start it off, 4-1 would bring us home at 6-1, I'd take a split at home over the next 2 (tough games against Charlotte & San Antonio. Then after the break it gets really tough, but we get Jo back. 7-2 with 11 to play, I think we could go 7-4, bringing the stretch to 14-6. That's my goal.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yep, totally agree. With expectations raised and the need to demonstrate that they are a quality road team, 4 wins should be the goal. I think this Clipper game will be a good indicator if they can accomplish that. A solid win tonight will grease that wheel.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    Forget that noise, let's go 5-0!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Guess who is back?

    http://www.nba.com/dleague/playerfile/derrick_byars/game_by_game_stats.html

    YES!!!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think this first game might set the tone for the rest of the road trip. If the Bulls display confidence and focus in a win, it bodes well for the remaining games, and I think they have a legitimate shot at 4 wins. If they struggle--either in a closely contested, grind out win or a loss, obviously--then it could be an uphill battle mentally the rest of the way, and either 3 or 2 wins, unfortunately.

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