So the Chicago Bulls are going to be missing Carlos Boozer after he sprained his ankle due to Kwame Brown's flagrant foul at the end of the Hornets game. Fortunately, Boozer won't be gone for too long based on present reports (where he's listed day to day).
Unfortunately for Chicago, Luol Deng is also questionable for tonight's game with a quad injury from taking a Gerald Henderson knee in the same game. My guess is that Deng will go, but we'll have to wait and see.
Keys to the game
Derrick needs to be special tonight
With the injury situation the Bulls are facing, whether they're missing just Boozer or both Boozer and Deng, the Bulls will need Derrick Rose to bring his A game. The Bulls don't have a lot of offensive options, and they'll be missing one without Boozer.
Expect Atlanta to create the Rose wall, and Rose will have one to two less options to pass to when they do.
Kyle Korver needs another nice shooting night
Without having some of your better offensive options, the Bulls will role players to hit their open shots. Korver knocking down some threes would probably make the largest difference for the team, because when he has it going, he can really help light up the scoreboard.
Defend, defend, defend
The one advantage of not having Carlos Boozer is that the Bulls defense should be much stronger on the inside. Taj Gibson gives the Bulls vastly more help defense than Boozer and still is able to finish on cuts to the basket. He's not going to take the contested jumper that Boozer does, but he'll knock down the open 17 footer. Look for Gibson to make a big impact given that he typically plays much better with a larger guaranteed role.
Energy and focus
The Bulls can come out flat, but with the injuries on this team, they're going to need to play at a high energy level with great focus for a full 48 minutes. After blowing a 19 point lead last game against the Hawks, I expect there to be a sense of urgency in the game.
Tough game for the Bulls with the injuries, but I'm never betting against them in Chicago.