Bulls @ Lakers 4pm on ABC

Bulls @ Lakers 4pm on ABC

A Christmas day game. Just one more reminder of how the Bulls fortunes have risen. Somehow, despite the national hype of the big national game and tip off of the season, it still managed to sneak up on me.

Kobe vs Rose

Much has been made of the Kobe vs Rose matchup, but in reality, it's Kobe vs Rose that we'll see. They may not check each other, but they'll key the offensive push for each team. They'll both see plenty of double teams and carry the scoring load.

Kobe enters the game with a torn ligament in his wrist, something he'll play through all season. He's also likely pissed about the trade of Lamar Odom away.

At this point in their careers, I'd say the two are similar caliber players, but I think Derrick Rose is more focused and ready to go at the immediate moment.

Noah vs Gasol

I imagine Gasol will shift to center where Joakim Noah will have the task of slowing him down. With Bynum out and role players filling out the rest of the LA roster, this defensive matchup will become one of the most important of the game. If Noah can keep Gasol in check, L.A. will have few scoring options.

Carlos vs Josh McRoberts

Josh McRoberts isn't a stud, but he does take some effort to defend. He shots from the perimeter and plays with a high motor. That combination is difficult for a guy like Carlos whom doesn't want to chase guys around outside and can sometimes lack energy defensively.

On the other hand, McRoberts shouldn't be a particularly tough matchup for Boozer either. He doesn't have the size or athleticism to truly disrupt Boozer. The Lakers may swap matchups and put the taller Gasol on Boozer to bother him more while banking on Noah not having enough offensive game to take advantage of the size matchup against McRoberts.

Can Deng and Hamilton fill it up?

The top scorers have been mentioned above, and the Bulls still have Deng and Hamilton left while the Lakers will probably start Derrick Fisher and Devin Ebanks. Seems like a home run for Chicago.

Coming off the bench,the Lakers have Blake, Murphy, and World Peace, but they're no match for the Bulls bench with Gibson, Korver, Brewer, Watson, and Asik.

Keys to the game

1: Move the ball

As noted above, the Bulls have far more scoring options than the Lakers. If they have quality ball movement then they should get plenty of good looks and take advantage of that depth.

2: Push the pace of the game

The Bulls are, by far, the deeper team. They're also the younger team. Pushing the pace will wear the Lakers out far more than themselves.

3: Don't let up.

Derrick Rose hasn't beaten the Lakers on the road yet. This is the still the Lakers in L.A. No matter what their problems are, they won't go down easy.

Prediction

Unless Kobe beasts the Bulls on his own, this looks like a win for Chicago. If Bynum were playing it might be different, but he's not, and I don't think the Lakers have enough depth to take out the Bulls without him.

That said, the Lakers have a ton of pride, are playing at home, and Kobe loves the spotlight. While the Bulls should have a sizable advantage, I wouldn't ever take the Lakers lightly.

Filed under: Game Threads

Comments

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  • "Coming off the bench,the Lakers do have Blake, Murphy, and World Peace."

    Man... I still can't get enough of that "Meta World Peace" name.
    That is toooooooo funny. I think he thinks this is like, WWE or somthing.

    Anyways, I'd say Bulls win this one, 91-84.

    GO BULLS!!!!

  • 1. The Lakers might be inspired in this game but they are due for a bad season. The Bulls have come a long way. A few years ago, Noah was quoted as saying....It is too tough to play these guys..they are too lengthy. Even when the Bulls played them close in 2008,2009...you knew they were just going to lose finally.

    2. I think the scary thing about the Bulls is their season is kind of dependent on two aging guys(Boozer, Rip). If these two stay healthy, the Bulls will be the favorites in most games against the elite teams. It is not about big names or young athletic guys. It is who can help Rose on his weaknesses and when he needs help at the right time.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I agree completely with your statement on RIP and Boozer. As I stated on the last thread, the Bulls ultimately will have much success if the two oldest Bulls have great seasons this year. The Lakers will see that losing Phil will be this teams downfall. It may not show immediately but it will definitely be seen and hopefully it starts today.

  • Besides the Boozer X factor. I'll be watching how the team shoots from the 3 line, something they did not do too well in preseason. Maybe they should have better use of the corner 3 which Deng and Hamilton could hit more consistently. I aslo like to see Korver get his touch back for the bench mob.......but we'll see what happens...

  • FINALLY, CHICAGO BULLS NBA BASKETBALL!!!

    p.s. a win today and all my Christmas wishes will have come true.

  • Bulls tied at 28/28, and Derrick Rose has yet to score. I'll take that.

  • what's Noah's trade value right now?

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I guess with his ridiculous contract, not much

  • Bulls still need more athletisisum. They need a slasher, a wing player that can create his own shot at go hard to the basket.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I felt the same way watching this game, Bulls lack athleticism.

    Korver looks like he doesn't belong on the court and should be replaced by Jimmy Butler, imo.

    Hamilton looked very unathletic - skinny, weak, slow, old. But its still too early we must give him more time to integrate.

  • In reply to Edward:

    If Korver hits 2/3 instead of going 0/3, that might not feel that way. You obviously can't justify a pure shooter when his shot doesn't fall, but it looks like He's being pushed out of the rotation some anyway.

  • Does anyone feel Noah has regressed or he just doesn't how to play with Boozer?

    And CJ Watson is a scoring PG...We need a distributor for this 2nd team offense

    And Asik is totally out of sync on rebounding, positioning

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    not very impressed right now with much other than rose's 3pt shot. The Lakers are way too white to be any good right now, cant lose this one.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Have been saying

  • In reply to Reese1:

    since last year that Boozer and Noah is not a good fit together

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I've always thought Noah and Boozer never developed much chemistry together. They haven't really had that much practice time together given that they missed out on opposite chunks of time last year, and then were both playing hurt when they did play together.

    Hopefully they can get it together, but it's a concern.

  • Bulls shooting far too many jump shots, not drawing any fouls. They need a slasher.

  • The Bulls are in panic mode big time. Looks like they are in the 4th quarter of the ECF game against Miami

  • Let's start the fire Thibodeau bandwagon right now

  • o, boy, this is embarrasing

  • Preferably Boozer or Noah will have to be traded. Those two just do not fit together on the court.

  • This offense is doing great...taking off from where it ended in the 4th quarter of the ECF. just bad non-movement offense.
    Boozer was dribbling and waiting for somebody to cut and trying to pass....and the other 4 are waiting and watching too. Awful offense ...Hopefully, they are out of sync.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    this team has no confidence on offense, nobody wants to make a play, everybody is looking at the next guy

  • fb_avatar

    http://www.basknet.info/live/ - live nba games

  • Actually, Boozer is playing pretty well except when he starts looking for his rebounds rather than cover his man

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Boozer looked better on offense, but still horrible on defense. He gives his points back on the defensive end.

  • lot of bad precedents set in this one.

  • merry shitmas

  • Too many long jumpers and not enough attacking the basket and geting to the line. The second unit struggled to score and rebounding wasn't great, maybe they should give a look to Jimmy Butler who was very good at getting to the line in college. We won ugly but nice......Boozer with a nice game.

  • Nice win.

  • Hell of a defensive stop for the win by the Bulls, its a win but the offense stinks and they took too many jumpshots. Good win overall tho. Way to hang in there Bulls!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Lots of stuff to work on in this one for sure, but there are no bad wins against top 5-6 teams on the road.

  • This one goes out to my dog, D-Rose:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=106yI2pENSw

  • Great win. Noah better get his offense going or he might have to stay back in California for Lakers or GS. Hopefully, he and Asik were rusty which is understandable especially Noah.

    Positives was Boozer's play and Rose's form of shooting 3 pointers.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Also, Deng was huge!! He scored most of the points at the end of both halves when Bulls went on runs to close.

  • In reply to Edward:

    They say the great teams close quarters, well the Bulls did a great job of closing the 2nd and 4th.

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