How bad ass is it that we get another game tonight? Shortened seasons may suck, but Bulls basketball four days a week is awesome. The Bulls and Warriors both played last night with the Bulls pulling out an amazing victory and the Warriors falling to a mediocre Clippers performance.
Watching Mark Jackson give a speech to the Warriors at half time tells you all you need to know about this Warriors team. Paraphrasing, he said something like "I know we got back into this game freestyling, but we need to find a focus to our offense".
Now, I've never thought Mark Jackson would be a good coach, but boy is he entering a crappy situation. A team with no structure, defense, or discipline with a moderately unhappy best player in Ellis that also gets no practice time to learn structure, defense, and discipline even if Jackson had some hope of teaching it.
The Bulls escape from L.A. should keep them from getting too overconfident, while Jackson will likely be pushing his club hard to try and get his first win as head coach.
Key to the game
Lock down the perimeter
Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis key Golden States explosive perimeter attack. Both are undersized, and the Bulls have the physical defenders to potentially beast them and take them out of their games. On the offensive end, the Warriors have no answer to check Derrick Rose, so Rose should aggressively look for his own shot.
Don't get caught up in and up and down game
The Bulls have a unique advantage in being able to play well fast or slow. Against the Lakers, it made sense to push the pace. Against the Warriors it makes sense to slow it down. If this game turns into a battle of half court execution, the Bulls are significantly better on both ends than the Warriors.
Keep a body on David Lee
Carlos Boozer is a solid defensive rebounder, and he'll need to focus on his box outs against David Lee, one of the NBA's premier offensive rebounders. He'll also need to make sure to check Lee on the perimeter as he'll knock down the mid range jump shot consistently.
On the offensive end, Boozer should have his way with David Lee who lacks the strength, length, or athleticism to defend Boozer down low.
Let's see if Rip can get going
Not necessarily a key to the game, but after a relatively frustrating opening game against the Lakers, it'd be nice to see Hamilton come in and have a nice night.
He was visibly frustrated with his performance last game, however, he'll have another tough defensive matchup tonight playing against either Stephen Curry or Monta Ellis, both small quick guards who might take advantage of Rip's lack of quickness.
Hopefully, Rip will get used to trusting the help defense and using his length to bother guys at the perimeter while knowing he has some elite help on the inside if beaten off the dribble.
The Bulls should win this one fairly easily as long as they play their brand of basketball. Worst case scenario for them is extremely hot shooting by Golden State, but other than an elite shooting performance, the Bulls should roll.