The first time around, the Bulls gave up a 19 point lead to fall in Atlanta. The Bulls then proceeded to blow the Hawks out at home. They now travel back down to Atlanta where an early lead could give them a home court vibe amongst the crowd as Atlanta typically is filled with fans for major market road teams.
Maybe they'll sell Derrick Rose shirts in the stadium.
Keys to the game
Slow down Al Horford
The Bulls dominated the Hawks when they kept Horford in check and lost when he went off against them. The Bulls need to make sure not to give up easy points inside the paint to Horford who can hurt them if they let him. Force Horford to work hard for his points and hit from the outside, and you're in good shape.
Run them off the three point line
The Bulls do a great job of defending the three most nights, and they'll need to make sure to run the shooters off the three point line. I'm not scared of Jamal Crawford or Kirk Hinrich driving the lane. I've seen how that works for many years, and it's not too dangerous. Don't let their shooters get open clean looks from the outside, and the defense should be in good shape.
Move the ball on offense
While Derrick Rose needs to play well for the Bulls offense to go well, I'm a bit concerned, up until that Sacramento game, on how much they're relying on Rose to create everything. One of the problems with the Indy game was that by the time they got to overtime, no one else felt comfortable taking a shot because they had spent too much time going Rose ISOs.
Road games are always a bit scary for the Bulls, and they fell to Atlanta on the road once already. However, I don't think the Bulls are going to take the game lightly. The Hawks, meanwhile, are coming off a terrible loss to the Heat while the Bulls are coming off a slaughter of the Kings.
Do the Hawks come in dejected or motivated? Do the Bulls come in on a role or cocky? Watching on tape delay tonight, we'll see if I make it to the end without cheating and finding out the score.