Bulls @ Toronto Raptors 6pm on CSN - Noah's return

Joakim Noah begins again where it ended last time.   His last game for the Bulls was a big win in Toronto, and the Bulls look to repeat that feat tonight.    The Raptors are coming off of a road loss in Charlotte last night while the Bulls will be playing their first game since the all-star break.

Keys to the game

Work Noah back into the lineup

One of the primary things the Bulls need to do tonight is work Joakim Noah back into the lineup.   Thibodeau has announced that Noah will start, but he's unlikely to play his usual minutes in his first game back.   Noah's had a history of needing to play his way back into his shape, so it may take him a week or two to get fully back into game shape.

Beat them up inside

The Bulls have a huge interior advantage in this game, something which will become far more common with Joakim Noah back.   Own the glass on both ends, and the Raptors will have no margin for error the rest of the night.   Get offensive rebounds and don't give them up, and even if everything else goes against the team, you can win.    The Bulls should be able to do that and stamp out the possibility of falling even if the Raptors have a hot shooting night.

Play with patience

The Raptors don't have much defense, so the Bulls offense should have little struggle scoring.   However, they need to make sure they don't hurry so much that the team gets sloppy.   A high turnover game is one of the few things that could swing this game for the Raptors.

Don't look ahead to the Heat

Chris Bosh wasn't trash talking per se, but he noted how the Heat want to go into Chicago and show them what they have.   You can bet this is a statement game for both teams.   The Bulls won only time they've met, but the Heat were missing LeBron while the Bulls were missing Noah.

If you forget, it was also the source of Bosh's hilarious embarrassing quote where he criticized Omer Asik for having the audacity to dive for a loose ball.

Given what a statement game the Heat game is, the Bulls need to be careful not to look ahead to that game.   They need to make sure to take care of business.

Final thoughts

The Bulls should take this game easily, but as we've seen with Chicago, no road game is an easy game for Chicago.   They've fallen to many of the mediocre squads in the league on the road.   

However, the Raptors are playing on a back to back and are one of the worst teams in the league.   Even if the team is disjointed with Noah's return, they should manage to pick up a win in Toronto.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Sadly JJ probably wont have passed his physical so Deng wont be sent to the line 6 times in 10 minutes.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Wow not only playing but getting the start, bit of a turn around to his situation on the Bulls.

  • Good luck to James. I think he will actually get a chance in Toronto. I still think he will be a solid player within the next 2-3 years. He just needs minutes imo.

    This should be a W from the Bulls. Hopefully we play well enough to sit some guys.

  • Bet on JJ playing 15 minutes and getting 10/12 pts and playing good defense or completely opposite... turning over 3/4 times by pressing and shooting airballs.

  • It's sad that this thread has three responses and the other lee/mayo thread has over 150+, especially when Noah is going to contribute more than either of those guys on this year's team. I'm excited to have Noah back.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    I'm with you there KoC. Getting JoNo back is by far the bigger story today. Been nearly a week without a (very!!) late night watching my Bulls. Wouldn't miss this game for anything.

    Go Bulls and welcome back JoNo

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    I agree, Noah matters more but there's just not that much to talk about, we know Noah is coming back and we know how good he is.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Well Noah looks good in an empty gym, hopefully it translates to the game ...

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/25286/video-of-joakim-noah-on-the-court

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Double digit rebounds 8 minutes into the game, I think he remembers how to play.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Noah had a pretty good stint early, his rebound numbers were a bit inflated by a few tips that had no real shot of going in, but he's playing with a lot of energy.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The offense looked a bit more disjointed with joakim in there early though. Almost like they know they need to incorporate him into it while they could just pretend kurt thomas doesn't exist unless he has a wide open shot.

    Still, about as good as you can expect with 30 games off, nice rotations for the most part by Noah.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Not a bad first quarter, especially after a very poor start where the Bulls went down 7.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Wow, Ronnie Brewer with three steals in about a minute, converts for two layups and gets fouled, knocks down fts and personally causes a 6 point swing.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Brewer was IMPRESSIVE with those steals!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls have missed so many shots around the basket and tips, they could easily be up by 15 in this game. They're playing a bit better than the score differential.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Ut oh, Deng limping around, he looks really to be moving slowly but Bulls don't call a TO

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wonder if the Bulls have people at the Houston/Cleveland game...

    Courtney Lee 3-5, 1-1 from 3p..7 pts/2 Rebounds

    Anthony Parker 4-6, 2-2 from 3p... 10pts/2 Rebounds/2 assists/2 steals/1 block

    They have to like what they see so far.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Yep, I bet they do too.

    I'm with you in getting one of those two guys, if it's just for picks. Mayo would most likely cost a player and be too expensive in the future. I wouldn't want to risk losing the ability to re-sign Rose for a short-sighted move.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Cross Marcus Thornton off the list. He is going to the Kings. I don't see us making a move. I was hoping for Mayo, but that's not happening. C.Lee would have been ok but I don't think that's happening either.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Michael Lee: Kirk Hinrich not playing tonight. #wizards in talks with ATL (for Jordan Crawford), but no deal yet. Could happen soon, according to source Twitter................Chicago's favorite son maybe on his way to ATL, David Aldridge confirming deal is done.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Joakim bringing the hustle big time.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I love the Bulls and all, but can we please just kick the crap out of an inferior opponent on the road for once? Please?

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    WE've done that very few times. I think only the Clippers game and the last time we played the Raptors come to mind.

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Not a particularly good 1st half, but still up by 3 at the break.

  • Have been on vacation, in Amman Jordan right now actually, but have tried to get to this blog as much as possible. Saw on another sight that Marcus thornton was told not to dress tonight. Could this be who the bulls acquire? Haven't seen much on him lately. Hope they can get someone to help. See you in a couple of days.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Thornton went to Scramento.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    JJ getting a lot of minutes...

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    nice to see a focused bulls team off the allstar brreak

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    JJ is +12 and playing with a lot of energy

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    really bringing the top ranked D

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    This is just embarrassing. This team is 15-42 and starting a guy who couldn't even get off the bench for us.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Was D-Rose partying too much during all-star weekend? He's come out and played very poorly so far.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I hope he learnt some tricks from the stars to conserve energy for the 4th quarter...i.e. what time of the game to rest, when to take over

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    This is why we need a scoring 2 guard. Asik is not Kareem. Keep Taj and get a scorer in here.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Bulls close out the quarter decently to bring the game back to a manageable level, down only four.

    Bulls really struggling with the zone and with keeping Toronto out of the paint. Offensive rebounds are keeping the Bulls in the game and keeping things close.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Bogans with 3 pts only;-) not sure if the Bulls can pull this one out..Thibs need to put Bogans in to get his quota

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    holy s#@# bulls are actually gonna lose this one.. wow

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Did the big break kill their momentum?

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Surprised the Bulls aren't playing Noah in the 4th, they seem to be losing an energy battle with him on the bench that they weren't losing while he was playing.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Everyone seems to want to do everyone else's job.
    Nobody seems to want to do their own job.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Say it with me... BOOZER SUCKS

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Toronto just playing out of their mind offensively knocking down shots. That combined with the Bulls poor interior rotation has killed the defense.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Korver can't defend and neither can Boozer.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Man....the Bulls freakin SUCK against terrible teams. Young athletic teams kick our butt. This is ridiculous.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Bulls matchup poorly against young athletic teams.

    Rose is a GAMER - tied at 107.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I hope the MVP voters are watching what Rose has been doing.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    i dont think dominating the raptors accoutns for much

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Derrick Rose going big time at the end of this game, but the Bulls still need to get stops.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    is this the worst defense by the bulls all year?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I don't know when Demar Derozan became a superstar, but man he's just killing us.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    He has Korver and Boozer defending him much of the time.
    Boozer just gave up the last 4 points - from 111 to 115.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Hard to criticize Rose, but when you've just scored basically every single possession which you've driven, why do you take a 18 foot step back jumper about 6 seconds into the shot clock?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Thibs is going to have to start playing Gibson in the 4th quarters.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Hopefully boozer can be traded tomorrow, someone call GARPAX now

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I can't remember a worst defensive game every played than Boozer tonight

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    maybe he'll take a buyout so gibson can start, with asik off the bench

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Boozer is a key piece to the team. Just saying he especially killed us on the defensive end tonight. The Bulls would be at best a 47 win team without Boozer

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    He isnt even rebounding the ball anymore

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    Rose took over in the 4th quarter but DeRozan was matching him. Rose killed us in the 1st half. And Boozer killed us in the 2nd half. It was strange that Boozer who was making all kinds of moves in the 1st half couldn't buy a simple bucket in the second half.

    That said, the Bulls couldn't keep up with the energy of the raptors.

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    Bulls just didn't rotate well all night. Not a one man problem; something the team will fix when they settle into their adjusted roles with Noah back. They'll figure it out after a couple of games.

  • In reply to swolty:

    A voice of reason!

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Asik didn't play tonght. Hmm.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Would be his first DNP this season I believe. However the box score says he played but 0 minutes (I assume less than 30 seconds then).

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    he played less than a minute at the end of the 1st half

    can't happen, they need to keep playing him

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    i know we loose the game becuz of bad D but we shot 43% and i didn'T saw ur savior(noah) make the bulls offense better.
    This is Mayo or Bust !!
    Your great player asik didn't even played and he's a reason why we can'T have Mayo.
    Mayo or Bust !!!

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    Wait till tomorrow.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Seems like the Bulls thought it was still the all star game and it's bad form to try too hard on defense.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Sure seemed like it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I guess since boozer felt like he shoulda been in it he pretended this was it

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The Bulls are who we thought they were...DIVISION CHAMPS only.

    How many points did Luol Deng have in the 2nd Half or 4th Qrt?

    Just asking.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Luol out scored Nick Young.
    Just saying.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    -600

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Now watch, the narrative will be Noah rusty etc.
    But almost every time, it was Boozer's man or his rotation that allowed a lot of easy scores.
    And his offense seems to wane as the game goes on.
    Very disappointing performance by Carlos.
    Korver wasn't much better.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    And here come all the negative fans ... who never show up when the team is playing well.

    This game wasn't about who we had, or didn't have ... it was about playing hard.
    The Raptors wanted it more tonight ...

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Wait for the swap of Deng for JJ for more wing scoring/FT attempts.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    wonderful loss this one, has to be top 5 for the year

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Thoroughly deserved loss. The Raptors had anything they wanted at the rim all game long. Can't believe I wasted two hours of my life watching this nonsense.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bulls now need a quick score and a foul, this is where they say you don't need a 3 here, but you really do.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Thank you DRose. Now finish this thing.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sometimes laziness helps:-)...Boozer laziness in giving up the ball to Rose gets a 3 instead of 2..

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wow. Boozer's bobbling of the ball on the break redounds to the Bull's benefit as Rose buries the three ball.

Leave a comment