Bulls at Magic at 6pm on CSN / ESPN

The Orlando Magic are coming off of a back to back emotional win.   They came from a gajillion points down against the Heat to win.   I was watching the game and flipped it off at half time to go put the kids to bed and take care of some stuff around the house thinking I'd need to find something else to watch when I went back to the man cave.

Surprise, I come back and the lead is only 13 or so, and I think maybe I'll stick with it.   Glad I did, awesome game to watch.   Now the real question is, how does such an emotional come from behind win affect the Magic today?   It's a short rest, and they might either ride the momentum, or they could have a big let down.
Meanwhile, the Bulls are coming off the exact opposite game.  They just gave up a 19 point lead in a loss to Atlanta and have had a day to stew about it.  I expect the Bulls to come out with extraordinary focus in this game, but it will be a tough one on the road.

Keys to the game


Make Dwight Howard beat you... all by himself


That's exactly what the Bulls did last game, and Howard had a monster game, but no one else on the Magic went off, and the Bulls won.   The Magic have an inexplicable tendency to not feed Dwight 20 possessions in a row even if he's scoring on 15 of them.   
Eventually, they decide it's more important to share the ball than to watch Dwight Howard dunk, and while noble, if everyone else is covered up, no one else on the team can really do much to help Howard out.   They'll go away from Dwight for long stretches even when he's hot, so don't freak out and double Howard all night.
Now you probably can't go and leave Dwight in single coverage all game, you do need to mix up looks on him, but when possible, I'd double team by leaving Turkoglu or Arenas.   I trust both of those guys to chuck shots and miss. 
Stop the corner three

Defend the corner three with your life.  Do not double by leaving the man in the corner.  Stan Van Gundy is half stat geek as a coach.  He'll tell you the most efficient shot in half-court basketball is the corner three.  
He lives by the corner three.   The Magic love to take threes, and they especially love to take them from the corners.   Never leave the corner guy open.  We've already established above that we're going to try to avoid doubling Howard too much, well don't ever double off the corner.
If Jameer Nelson gets some dribble penetration, don't help from the corner.   Cover up the corner three.
Derrick Rose needs to get the Magic monkey off his back

Rose has not played well against the Magic, he's not driven the ball well, and he's been hit hard by Dwight Howard multiple times on fouls that fans wanted flagrants called.   It's time to take the ball into the lion's den.
Dwight Howard goes up but he leans in with his body.  Instead of fading away which leaves Rose with a greater chance of being upended, lean in to Howard, draw more fouls, take him out of the game, and come away safer.   
Rose had a horrid game against Atlanta, and while his track record against Orlando isn't so hot, Rose guaranteed he wasn't going to let 'that' happen again (game against Atlanta).   While I'm sure Rose will have a crappy game again in his career, and I'm sure the Bulls will lose some (probably many) of those crappy games, I do expect him to play well against Orlando.
Luol Deng needs to make Turkoglu his bitch again

Seriously, the way Deng absolutely dominated Turkoglu had to have left him crying in his pillow for weeks.   Turkoglu is the perfect matchup for Deng in that he relies on junk offense to trick opponents and doesn't have elite athleticism or shooting.   Deng's a tremendous fundamental defender and isn't likely to fall for the junk and his off-ball movement game works extremely well against Turkoglu.
I expect another big performance from Luol tonight.
What can Joakim do on Howard?

Noah's got to find a way to impact this game for the Bulls.  Howard's everyone's worst nightmare, but he's one of the few guys who can neutralize Joakim's fast break ability, keep him off the offensive glass, and murder him on defense.   
Noah's going to need a lot of heart tonight to make a big impact on the game, because he's got his work cut out for him.
Final thoughts

I think it takes a great team defensive effort to win this game.   The Bulls need to shut down the perimeter shooting and force the Magic into a tough night.   While the Magic may be prone to a let down game, I'm sure they remember that last game they lost to Chicago at the united center and have a bad taste in their mouth from it.
Both teams are going to be going at this one hard and will want it badly.   

Comments

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  • Just when I thought the bulls had choked say there chance to catch miami, Miami choked it right back. Hope Orlando celebrated their victory hard.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    not related to tonights game specifically, but an interesting read from Hollinger on ESPN

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiem-110304

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Can't read it because I am not an insider, but I'll take a wild guess and say Hollinger goes out of his way to downplay Rose's influence (because his PER isn't high enough) and play up other other factors (Thibs, defense?).

    The man is consistent, I'll give him that. Ask him who his top MVP candidates are and they'll coincide with the top guys on his PER list.

  • In reply to walrus:

    It is more about Thibs and defense than anti Rose, but he gives some real love to the bench and Asik in particular.

  • In reply to walrus:

    And I agree about the lousy officiating. I hope the refs gargle with rubbing alcohol cause they're gonna need something powerful to get the residue of D. Howard's *blank* out of their mouths.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Bulls picking up right where they left off against the Hawks. Took them seven offensive possessions before they even got a halfway decent look at the basket.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I hope Rose starts to take of the bar. He's been out of character these last two games.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    care*

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Looks like Derrick is going to try to shoot his way out of the slump. Not working so far.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Boozer has really played like crap since he missed those 3 games with the ankle. Only giving us about 16/8 on sub 50% shooting since then.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    CJ has remembered how to shoot? A man can dream.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    After another Howard alley-oop dunk, with 4.5 min left in the 1st quarter, Thibs brought in Asik for Noah and 30 seconds later Brewer/Gibson for Bogans/Boozer.. Orlando only scored 2 more points in the 1st quarter with Asik stopping Howard and then Ryan Anderson in single coverage defense.

    At this point, Asik is a better interior defender than Noah. Even the ESPN announcers are commenting on Asik's excellent interior defense.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Yeah Asik has been awesome, I'm glad we refused to include him in a package for a SG.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Yes, Asik was +17 in his 13min for the half. Also, Brewer excellent defensively +19 in his 14min. They were on the court together - excellent defenders!

    Orlando had 6 dunks in the 1st quarter with Noah in. Next dunk was with 5 sec left in the half Howard over Noah.

  • In reply to Edward:

    This reminds me a lot of the Atlanta game. Hopefully the defense stays strong in the second half and we don't see a repeat.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    i thought the same thing. i hope they aren't going to do the same mistakes.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Bulls are getting sloppy again.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I want to see Brewer for Bogans now, 5min left in the 3rd quarter. Brewer changed the game in the 1st half.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Hopefully the Bulls can hold on for the win and their perimeter shooting is awful.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Ugh this still reminds me of the Atlanta game ...

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Redick with a 3 over Bogans. Get Brewer in the game!!!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Tonight would have been a good night for Boozer to contribute. Unfortunately, 4/13 shooting, Bass is murdering him, basket interference, 1/2 free throws.
    This is getting serious. The Bulls need him to be better.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Boozer has really been a dissappointment, a mistake type player.

    Although Deng has dissappeared in the second half also.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I don't admit I'm wrong very often because...well...I'm not wrong very often. But I was wrong as HELL about Asik. I always liked him but I thought the Bulls could sacrifice him for Courtney Lee or another less-than-star-caliber SG. Wrong. He's a needed presence in the middle, especially against teams with good bigs. I'll tell you this, I may not be wrong often, but when I am, I get my money's worth.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Good that you can admit it :)

    *Note* See response to Deewaves up the thread.

  • In reply to magestew:

    "He's (Asik) a needed presence in the middle, especially against teams with good bigs."

    You just described playoff teams. Good and deep frontlines win in the payoffs.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Horrible foul on Asik giving Arenas 3 FTs.
    Bulls need to start the half strong and get the lead into double digits again. Can't let this game go down to the wire on the road.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Both Asik and Noah with 4 fouls early in the 4th. Will we see Kurt Thomas?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    silly, silly foul at the end of the third...Asik has played really well, but let's hope this foul won't make the difference in the end.
    It's highly unlikely that Arenas would have hit that shot, he's shooting worse than DRose from deep.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    He knows that he fucked up, which shows that he cares, and hopefully, he learns next time.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Asik with an offensive tip, and Watson scores! Bulls up 12, YES!

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    i dont understand how you get a guy on steroids who gets treated like he is made of glass by the refs. Can't really defend that.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Ever since Howard's technical foul the refs have been giving him every ticky-tack call.

  • In reply to Edward:

    how about this guy gets tested for steroids

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Has any NBA player ever tested positive for steroids? If not, that shows the NBA's testing program is a joke.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Hubie Brown is in love with Asik...Hubie is a great basketball mind and it is probably the first time he is seeing him..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    He just said it's the 1st time he's seen the Bulls.
    He's now a fan.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Korver's two 3s. HUGE!!!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Either Noah is still working back into form or we all overrated the shit out of him... Asik could eventually be the better player

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Asik is only a year younger than Noah, it's not like he's some one and done college rookie, and is a horrendously bad offensive player. There's no way he ever becomes better than Noah.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I have been saying for a while that he'll take Gibson's job as the third big though.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Absolutely.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Good bounce back win for the Bulls... that word FOCUS is golden when used by this team.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    yeah lool FOCUS lol

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    They are tow completely different type of players, Asik is more like an old school center and NOah is the new school 4/5. Asik will get better on the offensive end just like Noah did, but his game will be a more traditional post game and dunking game.

    I say we need them both, and I already value them both more than either Boozer or Taj.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Orlando didn't have their best game, but the Bulls had something to do with that.
    This is an excellent win. A big wIn.
    And we weren't our best either.
    Awesome.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    He's missed 30 games, he needs time to get back into his rhythm. But aside from that, he always struggles mightily against Howard. I don't think that we overrated him, maybe just a little bit when it comes to his offense.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    In shape or out of shape, Noah can't guard Howard.
    It's just a BAD MATCHUP for Noah. An IMPOSSIBLE MATCHUP!

  • In reply to Edward:

    Noah's problems go bothways...I mean he struggles to guard Howard and Howard gets away with a lot because of his superstar calls.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Luckily, there is only one Howard in the NBA, and the rest of them can't stay healthy(Bynum, Oden).

    Thibs has to be smart enough to realize this and adjust his lineup and gameplan. Play Noah and Asik together, hell start Asik and bring Noah off the bench with the second unit against ORlando.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yes, Noah should be on the court when Howard is sitting.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Before the start of the season, who would have thought that by this time of the year, the Orlando Magic would have trouble with our front court depth? =)
    Asik looks like he could be a legitimate NBA starting caliber center rather sooner than later. He also could be a huge trade asset next year. Maybe package him with Boozer to get Dwight Howard if he wants out. ;)

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    Dude, after the Miami and Orlando games - neither of which would have been won without Asik - you're talking about trading Asik? Won't happen.

  • In reply to Edward:

    But unloading Boozer sounds appealing.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I am with you, brother.

  • In reply to Edward:

    If there's the possibilty of getting a star-player, you trade Asik without hesitation. He'll be the best trade asset the Bulls have and his value will decrease as soon as he gets a big contract (which he will if he continues to improve). The Bulls won't be able to keep him long-term anyway. You don't pay your backup players starter's money.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    Your logic is reasonable, but the Bulls should offer Asik an extention as soon as the new CBA is signed.

    I told you guys early on that this guy was my second favorite Bull after Noah. Hell, you could make an arguement that he is surpassing Noah as a defensive rebounder and defensive presence before our very eyes.

    Welcome to the white Artis Gilmore, the new A-Train.

  • In reply to Edward:

    How about the Knicks...They are delusional that they will take down the Bulls...They don't even matchup against the Cavaliers

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    119 points given up. To the Cavs. But Melo was what they needed, and it was totally worth giving up their assets to do it. Defensive minded players don't make the front page on ESPN.com so trading for one of those would have been silly!

  • In reply to Edward:

    That was a great game. And for dessert? The Miami Clown Machine is being tripled-up by the Spurs right now. I'll admit that I'm torn, though. I'd love nothing more than for the Heat to get blown out tonight. But I don't want the Bulls facing a focused and determined Heat on Sunday.

  • In reply to brad73:

    Losing to Magic, Spurs, Bulls - the roof is caving in on Miami as they can't beat the elite teams.

  • In reply to brad73:

    Touch choice, watch the Bulls / Magic game which I already know who won and saw most of the 4th quarter or watch Heat / Spurs live?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    watch the bulls/Magic and let us know about possible improvements for the Bulls especially with turnovers. then wathch the press conferences after the heats/spurs to see the current mental state of Lebron and gang. They (Heat) looked pretty down after the Knicks game. I'm betting with a Spurs beatdown, they are ripe to capitulate to the Bulls or come out like their life is on the line. Either way, it will really play into understanding the matchups for Sunday.

  • In reply to mgreen:

    The Bulls defense is improving.
    Obviously, the story is Asik. What should also be mentioned is that for most of the game Asik got pounded and Howard protected.
    It appears that Thibs is rightly playing the bench more minutes. He is correct to have confidence in them. They are playing extremely well indvidually and as a unit.
    The starting offense still seems to be a work in progress. DRose is trying to do too much. Boozer isnt being properly utilized. Noah is still out of sync. Fortunately, Deng has been very solid.
    There are still too many TOs and not enough fast breaks but good hustle and offensive rebounds. Ultimately, I believe that the offensive flow, spacing and confidence will continue to improve.
    Do not under estimate the potential of this team. The key will be for them to stay healthy to allow them to continue their progress.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    Nice analysis Waldoock...agree with everything you've said here. I can't believe Asik is this good this early.

  • In reply to mgreen:

    Horrible called game for the Bulls. Even though we won, they made a great player (Howard) impossible to guard by calling stupid fouls. It was like Howard was the alcoholic stepfather, once he gets angry, don't do anything to annoy him from that point on. Almost as if the officiating crew thought they might get a bow to the face if they didn't give him calls. Frustrating.

  • In reply to Edward:

    In San Antonio, Spurs destroying Heat 36-12 after 1st quarter. Tony Parker quickly returns from his injury. Spurs raining 3s on the Heat

  • In reply to Edward:

    Wasn't there some assinine clown in the pre game post who said that Asik was a skinny wimp who wasn't strong enough to play against Howard.

    I think his name was Bruce Springsteen, or was it the Boss, assinine clown either way.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    I am all for trading Boozer, but keeping Asik and playing him with Noah even though I doubt that Noah cannot play 4 regularly.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Noah probably doesn't have enough offense to play PF, IMO. But if we get a good SG in the off-season, that may help.

    I agree, and think the new CBA will allow Bulls to keep Asik with a reasonably priced extension. I would not be looking at Asik as tradebait, but as a keeper.

    I think the fans that are looking at Asik as tradebait for an "imaginary star player" are the same ones who wanted to trade him for a SG two weeks ago. They were wrong then, they're wrong now.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agreed.

    *Note* See response to deewaves down the thread.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Korver with a dagger!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    maybe howard shpuld really be mvp,. cause the rest of their team is totally worthless, they dont even have a borderline all star like boozer, noah, deng..

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    The Magic have some real garbage playing for them outside of Howard, I think I'd rather have Bogans play 16 minutes a night than Arenas, and that's even without considering his contract.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    damn !! sh*t ! korver burnt them with his last three !! good work Bulls !! great job Asik !! we succeed where miami failed let'S go bulls

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Hope you're finally realizing the value of Asik. Just last week you were screaming for him to be traded for Courtney Lee. You also said, in a rather disparaging way, that you could personally take a 7 footer off the street and get the same production.

    Want to admit now that you were wrong?

  • In reply to zentastic:

    yes asik played great that tonight. but no i have nothing to admit, i'm aware of what he is able to do. Nevertheless, in order to get a very good SG(mayo since we really need it) i will still trade him.
    if not again great game from Asik !

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I knew you wouldn't.

    *Note* See response to techenance down the thread.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    yeah i just saw it. If he thinks that way, it'S none of my business. it's just an opinion of a human being.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    deewaves, you have a hell of a lot to admit.

    And now, even faced with the clear evidence of Asik being personally responsible for the Miami and Orlando victories you want to trade him for OJ Mayo? You sir, are an idiot.

    Luckily for us knowledgeable fans, GarPax will NEVER do what you suggest.

  • In reply to Edward:

    when i express myself. it's been said that i'm rude. You insult me idiot. what am i supposed to do ? to answer u politely ? u know what fuck off !

  • In reply to deewaves:

    So you resort to profanity? Thank you for demonstrating your intellect for the frequenters of this blog.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    He is not the only one, great minds think alike, and then there is that laughable assinine clown(the Boss) who is misteriously silent now that the actual game proved what a buffoon he is.

  • In reply to Edward:

    i dont think the magic are gonna worry anyone long term casue they will basicvally run howard into the ground by the end of the year

  • In reply to Edward:

    boozer should give asik half his paycheck...

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Amen, brother.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    there was a foul when howard blocked noah ! he hit his hand.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I have not been watching the game, but I see the Bulls are ahead.

    My thing coming in was that the Bulls need to do a better job of doubling down on a scoring big such as Howard if he gets on another tear. Because bigs once they get going when they receive the ball they are looking to score period. So as the old Scottie Bulls did you have to double down as soon as the big makes his first turn/move one way or another in the post. Then he meets in effect a wall. And either he turns the ball over or at least makes his shot very difficult. I have not seen the Bulls do this, and the strategy usually works better with PF's then centers. But I wish they would double down for steals and turnovers if Howard gets going.

    Other then that I hope Derrick gets some relief if they double him which they will he needs CJ to score both threes and driving and even Bogans if he hits a three needs to put up more then usual along with Kyle same thing.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I posted a link to this article from ESPN before the game, since some of you don't have insider I have pasted the entire article below.

    It is especially prescient given the outcome of this game.

    He highlights the Bulls D, due to Thibs and especially the bench, with particular emphasis on Asik. Some interesting stats for you advanced stat guys, notably that Asik is the Bulls leading =/- guy despite the few number of minutes that he plays.

    Ask somebody about this season's Chicago Bulls, and the answer you'll get is likely to be something along the lines of "DerrickRoseDerrickRoseDerrickRoseDerrickRose."

    Not to diminish what Rose has accomplished in what's been a breakout season for the third-year star, but the focus on his season has left the Bulls one of the most misunderstood teams in basketball. Chicago has the league's fifth-best record and is challenging for the top seed in the East for several reasons, and other than Rose, those reasons have received comparatively little attention. So let's look a little closer.

    It's the defense.

    From one perspective, the focus on the point guard's offensive accomplishments seems misguided. The Bulls have the league's 16th-best offense this season, and although that might improve a little in the second half of the season with Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah back from injury, offense will remain a distant second on the list of reasons for Chicago's success.

    Instead, the Bulls are winning with a suffocating defense that allows their very ordinary offense to be enough on most nights. Chicago is No. 1 in defensive efficiency, an accomplishment made more amazing by the fact that Noah, the team's defensive stalwart, has missed just more than half of its games (30 of 59).

    But it's important to understand the Bulls as an extreme defensive team to understand their success. You often hear, sometimes in praise of Rose's offensive prowess, people wondering aloud about how the Bulls can be playing so well with Keith Bogans at shooting guard and only two good scorers.

    The answer is that, offensively, they're not playing so well. They're just so awesome on defense that it doesn't matter.

    And in particular, it's been the supporting cast that's been dominant defensively. Speaking of which

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Thanks Bigway for posting the entire article! I don't have Insider.
    Excellent read and great statistical analysis!

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Nice compliment to the D, Thibs, and the bench but as usual, I don't think he gives Rose enough credit. As good as this D is, it isn't enough by itself -- ask the Bucks. Without Rose, the Bulls become a lot more similar to the Bucks than they do to the Celtics.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Rose also deserves tons of credit for his leadership. With everyone taking his cue, this team works its ass off, and who knows how much they would have bought in if they didn't have such a worker in Rose.

  • Nice post Doug.

    Sure you remember the game earlier this year v Boston where Derrick just acted like a rubber ball driving into the paint and aiming for the player to get the foul rather than look for the fade or and-1. [After even Chuck was asking him why he never goes to the line lol]. Hopefully he'll use the same method against Dwight. He knows Dwight will be coming over to block him every time so rather than try to get the shot off, draw the foul, take the hit and protect don't worry about the shot. If Derrick can get Dwight in foul trouble he will open the lane up for himself since there is no Gortat to protect the rim with Dwight on the bench. I think Dwight does as much for the Magic as Derrick does for the Bulls (don't shoot me but I think the MVP race should be between Derrick and Dwight (and maybe Dirk) for the reason of what the team would be like if they were not playing). So the Magic's Achillies heel is Dwight in foul trouble. Exploit that weakness and the game gets a whole lot easier for Derrick and Luol to drive the lane.

    Looking forward to another tough battle

  • Nice post, I think this is definitely the recipe for taking down the Magic...Let Dwight beat you and stop everyone else.

    Also, was anyone else's TNT coverage in Spanish last night? Might just be my local Comcast service in PA that's screwed up. It was really weird. All of the commercials and the half time show were in english, but the play by play coverage of the game was in spanish.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I had no idea what they were saying, but I have to admit that it was borderline more entertaining than watching a crazy soccer game in spanish.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I definitely agree with the "make Dwight beat you alone" strategy. And while they're at it, I'd like to see Noah run the court in transition every opportunity he has - the Bulls would gain an advantage if both centers get winded from lots of sprinting.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I don't think Orlando will have a let down after a big win like last night. If anything they will be riding that momentum even tho it will be a back to back for them. Tight defense on the perimeter and the 3 point line is a must for the Bulls and I think they should play Asik some significant minutes along with Thomas when subbing for Noah against Howard. With the size from Asik and the strength,experience and the scoring ability from 10 to 15ft. from Thomas it just may throw Howard off his game some. I agree that it will take a good defensive effort from the Bulls to pull this one outand something that I have been saying since the beginning of the season ..."FOCUS" for 48 minutes and not 47 minutes like the Atlanta game.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I don't think Orlando will have the legs tonight. They might show some weakness in 3pt shooting in the 4th quarter because of all the energy spent today. That said, they didn't have a long flight of 2/3 hours.

    I agree with Reese1 that Asik and Thomas should get some time against Howard and let them frustrate Howard a little bit. Noah will be more valuable on Sunday than today. And the Bulls need to shoot a decent percentage as a team not in the low 40s..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Asik ok but thomas isn't enough tall imo.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I've noticed that the Bulls often play at the level of their opponent. They will play great games (even if they lose) to the upper echelon teams, and only mediocre against the rest of the league. They need to stop doing this and develop the killer instinct to put all teams down. The loss against ATL is case in point.

    I think they'll beat ORL since DRose will dominate Nelson. This will also be a good test for Noah, but I think he can handle Howard.

  • In reply to MarkOlberding:

    Nelson has been playing really well as of late

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I definitely expect a huge game out of Deng, I think he's our key for tonight. Is there any chance we keep Noah and Thomas/Asik at the same time for a few min at a time (just to rough Howard up)? The Magic love to shoot 3's, so we need to stop them from getting open looks. I hope the Bulls come out with some fire in the belly, because the Magic have been playing really well as of late.

  • You want Asik on Howard? You think he's stronger than Noah? He's not stronger or even that taller. They are about the same height, 7 feet tall. Asik is a stick! If you don't like Noah, don't cloud it with asinine comments like "He's just too big and strong for Noah." You're just proving to be a clown!

  • In reply to Normie:

    Someone needs glasses, from day one everyone(players & coaches) has been describing Asik as huge, even Noah himself.

    While I don't think that he is huge he is tall and his length bothers people. Noah is "only" 6'10" and change. Asik is a legit 7 foot plus.

    Functional Basketball(athletic) strength comes from your lower body, Asik has a stronger base than Noah and always will. Noah has worked hard to increase his upper body strenth, but he is still slightly built in the hips and legs.

    I am not saying that Asik can guard Howard, how many people can, but Noah does not have the lower body strength to compete with Howard and by trying to we lose everything else that he normally gives us. I would like to see Noah and Asik together or even Thomas and Noah together just to get a different look against this team before the playoffs.

    I'd say someone(the Boss) needs to look in the mirror before calling anyone assinine or a clown.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    NOAH IS OFFICIALY LISTED AS 6 FT. 11 INC. tall. People on the inside swear he's at least 7 ft. tall but doesn't like the label. This is not new news. In fact, his height listing is a running joke in basketball because he's a legit SEVEN FOOTER.

    Mr. Bigway what did you do with those inches you took off of Noah's height. ONLY 6'10"? You, Mr. Bigway, are laughable.
    I'm going to guarantee you one thing and that's that Noah won't go in a gym and pump his body up with steroids or live on weights to to transform himself into a modern-day HULK. The ladies like him just as he is.

  • In reply to Normie:

    the point is, Boss, if you've seen noah on howard the past 4 years, and asik, or thomas on howard this year, you would not think it was crazy to suggest that asik or thomas spell noah for a bit. they have the lower body bulk/strength/leverage to hold position against big guys like dwight and shaq better than noah does.

    also, the name calling is unnecessary.

  • In reply to Normie:

    Boy, every time I think a game shows that the Bulls won't be able to competee with the big boys (see Atlanta) they come back with a victory against a quality team. Thibs deserves a lot of credit for that.

  • In reply to Normie:

    Actually, douche bag his official measurement at the pre draft camp came in a 6'10.5, which is exactly what I said he is.

    Go look it up and tell me who is laughable, especially now that we have watched the game.

    And by the way I am Noah's original and #1 Chicago fan, as well as Asiks.

  • If you read the post by c4 and are telling me that his comment is not stupid then you are also a CLOWN! Go ahead, put Asik on Howard and be on suicide watch! He'll pick up so many quick fouls, Thibs will have to assign him to the bench.

  • In reply to Normie:

    By the way, you mentioned the Atlanta game where according to you, Asik was the best defender on Horford, What was Horford's line?

  • In reply to Normie:

    boy, why do psycopaths keep appearing on this board

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    no kidding

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    They must be coming over from Mappy's face book page.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    LOOK IN THE MIRROR!!!

  • In reply to Normie:

    Keys to the Game:
    Get off to a good start, finish great, and play well inbetween

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    This of course is my little joke after my last key to the game, get off to a great start, didn't work out so well in Atlanta.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    lol - so basically play a good solid 48 minutes!

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    ha, exactly. Actually Thibs preaches extraordinary importance in the 1st & last 5 minutes of each hale. Bulls did that very well in the first half of Atlant, but extremely poor in the 2nd half.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I like the idea of Noah and Asik together if we are up late in the game. Yesterday, much of Orlando's comeback was due to Nelson's ability to drive the lane. With the two of them in there i dont think he would even try. the only problem is making sure there is enough offense on the floor to keep things balanced. Maybe Rose, Korver, & Deng?

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    I like that idea a lot, and I have been saying it since Asik was brought over.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    It might be actually a good idea today because of the energy spent by the Magic in making a comeback yesterday. They might go be a little short on their 3 pointers today and might try to drive in which Asik/Noah combo can combat well. But, that said in normal times, I doubt it will work well. They are too slow to cover especially Asik if the Magic have four 3 pt shooters with Howard.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Will they be Kyle Korver short.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    The Blog Post I want Doug to Write

    OK, this is a special request for Doug: various article topics.

    I think this article is a good start on how the Bulls can beat the Magic, in theory. How about flipping it? What will the Magic try to beat the Bulls? This blog cries out for a how will the Magic attack the Bulls article.

    Down the road, the Bulls will need to beat the Heat, Celtics, or Magic. How will the Bulls do this? Conversely, how will the Heat, or Celtics, or Magic try to beat the Bulls.

    Those are the articles i'd like to see. For example:

    1) How the Bulls can beat the Magic.
    2) How the Magic will try to beat the Bulls.
    3) Aftermath on predictions. Who was more accurate? Doug or the readers?

    Reading Doug's comments (if he has time, very precious) will make watching these upcoming big games against the Magic, Heat, and Celtics even more fun.

    (And congrats Doug, your "other" career seems to be doing very well...)

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Thanks for the congratulations, time has become a precious commodity.

    I like your idea of putting in a section on how the opponent can attack the Bulls. Sometimes I write a bit about both when discussing rebounding etc, but there are some good things I should put in that type of section.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    with time as precious as it is, why not tap into a valuable resource and farm out "assignments" to posters on occasion?

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    Now that we have such great front court depth do you think Thibs will go hack-a-Shaq on Howard??

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    i don't think Thibs is a cheater ! lol. i hate the hack-a-Shaq technic. Besides Howard isn't that bad at the line.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    He is bad lol Shaq is shooting a better percentage than he is this year!!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    seriously ? lool. i thought he improved it !

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Doubt it. It's, statistically, even on Shaq, a bad idea and typically causes losses.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    but it worked when gregg popovich did it against the suns. didn't it ??

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Hacking doesn't really work, most teams average about a point a possession in the half court so to be worth it you're banking on a guy shooting under 50% and you hack them well enough that they never make the shot to get the and-one. Howard shoots around 60% from the line (although he will go sub-50% around one night in four) and is strong enough that even if you're deliberately fouling him he'll get at least some shots to go in.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Yep go back to the make Dwight beat you technique. Throw as many different lineups as you can at him...make him hesitiate, make him use his brain instead of his body. Put Noah on him, front him, double him on his 1st dribble, double him right when he catches it, play Asik on him, Kurt as well. Bulls gotta do these things to make it as tough as possible for Dwight.

    If Noah was 7ft i think the Bulls would say that. Being 7ft in this league gives you a ton a value. I believe he is 6'11 but who really cares, not much difference.

    Asik actually played well against Dwight the last game. He will deff. pick up the fouls though, especailly in Orlando but trying Asik on Howard isnt a bad idea. Same with Kurt.

    I like the hack-a-shaq idea...but only if its used properly. Hack him if he is right under the basket. Serously, grab both of his arms so he cant go up. Make him make free throws. I think last game against us he made alot, which imo probably wont happen again. He usaully misses. Bulls just gotta be smart with their fouls...we have a bunch of bigman....just foul him at the right times.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I think Asik plays Howard as everyone feels a lot better. Noah needs a double team from someone else when playing Howard

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    I really agree with that first key -- make Howard beat you by himself. When Orlando beat Miami last night, it wasn't just Howard who beat them, it was also Richardson and Arenas who played a big role. When other teammates help out, Howard can put more of his focus on defense and rebounding. And, as Miami found out last night, that makes it really, really tough on your offense.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Exactly, Howard was not a factor offensively against Miami, they simply killed them with 3 point shooting, something that we are not equiped to do.

    But they did break down Miami's offense in the second half, something that seems to happen to Miami quite often.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Howard was a big factor because Howard forced them to double team so much that the shooters are able to kill them. It's a tough situation there.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Obviously it helps to have a guy who can get some easy buckets down low, but drawing double teams and freeing up shooters may be Howard's greatest value on offense. It keeps everybody in the game yet still have Howard as an option down low.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    they were getting a lot of their 3's on run outs before the defense was able to set and Howard was able to establish position.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think once things start to go downhill, Wade and James go into super-hero mode and Miami starts to break their own offense down.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    i think miami lost shows us how good is thibs ! Miami was double-teaming howard and leaving shooter wide open. It's a bit mistake and you play Magic. Thibs was smart when we played Magic : you have to make howard beat u and focalize on the shooters because their strengh are 3pts shoots. If we play like that tonight, i think we will win !

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    if Noah is on Howard. i don't think Asik is enough fast to guard a shooter( they PF is shooter, i think it's torkoglu of ryan anderson since Bass doesnt play much time)

  • In reply to Normie:

    Going to be tough tonight juggling Noah, Asik, & OG's minutes. Big Sexy definately needs to play against Howard, does that mean Asik sits? Probably, and that's too bad given how well he has played as of late. I would pull Noah early in the first, keep him out of foul trouble, body up Howard with Thomas, and play Dwight straight up the whole time. play Noah the whole time Dwight is on the bench

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    How about less Boozer and more of everybody else. If Boozer isn't having a dominant game offensively he is useless, and he hasn't had a dominant offensive game in months.

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