What can you say about the Bulls vs the Bobcats really? You'd think this is a fairly easy contest for them; a home game against a mediocre team. The Bobcats are on a back to back after beating the Lakers last night, though that should tell us something about how well they can play, while the Bulls are coming off of two days rest.
However, things haven't gone as planned against Charlotte in the two prior matchups this year. The Bobcats own a 2-0 record against Chicago winning both at home and on the road and don't think the Bulls aren't aware of it.
"We want revenge," he said, an edge to his tone.
"They create matchup problems," Rose said. "But if we play
aggressive and with energy, that game should be very easy for us,
especially because we've been wanting to play them."
Keys to the game
Disrupt the Charlotte offense
The Bulls lost the turnover battle pretty big in both games. However, with 12 and 13 turnovers themselves, they didn't have an inordinate amount of turnovers themselves. What they failed to do was disrupt the Charlotte offense at all. The Bobcats only had seven turnovers in each game, less than half of their yearly average of 15.4.
The Bulls have some disruptive defenders and can improve considerably in applying pressure to the Bobcats defensively.
Don't get out of control with the revenge factor
The Bulls should want to take it to the Bobcats, but at the same time, they need to keep things in perspective and play their game. They lost the two games by a combined total of six points. They're the better team.
While they need to have focus to win, they don't want to get so focused that they stop playing their typical game. They're the better team, so go in with confidence, focus, and energy, but don't over extend themselves.
Execute the offense
The Bobcats have the athletes and length to disrupt the Bulls offense with aggressive traps on Derrick Rose. Carlos Boozer needs to get the ball in the post and play with patience, using his size and strength to win his matchups down low. He'll likely be defended largely by Boris Diaw, a matchup he should win easily.
Derrick Rose has a huge strength and size advantage on D.J. Augustin as well. The Bobcats can be dangerous defensively by trapping Rose hard with Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace, so the Bulls need to keep their pick and rolls away from those players and have Deng/Bogans/Korver/Brewer make them pay for trapping Rose.
Keep it a half court game
The Bobcats don't have the type of offense to efficiently execute in the half court, so if the game is slowed down, the Bulls should have a large advantage against the Bobcats. The Bobcats have guys who will tend to get into an isolation oriented game which the Bulls should do a good job of shutting down.
I expect the Bulls to win this game, but given that they lost the last two, how can you be really sure? At the same time, Rose seems to have a bit of a Jordonesque quality of allowing bad team performances to fuel him, so I expect a big game out of him against the Bobcats. Also, the Bobcats are missing Tyrus Thomas, and he was a big component of the athletic advantage the Bobcats had against the Bulls.