Bulls at Grizzlies noon on ESPN - Rose out

The Chicago Bulls ride a five game win streak into Memphis for today's day game. They offense hasn't always looked pretty, they've struggled against the zone, gotten off to slow starts, and given up big leads. However, at the end, they're the team coming away with the win every night.

The Grizzlies will be anxious for some revenge after they lost by 40 points in a massacre at the United Center on New Years day while the Bulls will look to keep their win streak alive.

Keys to the game

Attack the rim

The Memphis Grizzlies don't have a flurry of shot blockers at the rim, so Derrick Rose should find his way into the paint repeatedly and score at will. update --Rose is out for the game, but CJ Watson is back. Doesn't look pretty for the offense.

Long day for Luol

The Grizzlies will run their offense largely through Rudy Gay; Luol Deng will draw the task of defending him all day long. Gay has a ton of athleticism, but Luol has historically done a nice job of staying in front of him and making him take tough shots and not get going.

On the other end, I expect Luol to struggle a bit on offense with Gay's athleticism when trying to get his own slashing game going.

Asik and destroy

Joakim Noah is a tremendous defensive center, but his greatest strength is his help defense and pick and roll defense. He struggles against big strong physical centers. Omer Asik is the type of center who can come in and have some solid success against Gasol one on one in the paint.

Both players will need to avoid foul trouble as Gasol has an array of craft veteran moves and is an expert at drawing fouls around the rim.

Final thoughts

Zack Randolph is still out from the injury he suffered the last time the two teams met which limits the Grizzlies low post attack. I expect Chicago to bring too much defense for the Grizzlies to handle. Of course, as always, this is the NBA, and any given day...

Update -- With Derrick Rose out, this game now seems like a mammoth challenge for Chicago. A nearly sure win going to a likely loss.


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  • Who's the genius that came up with a noon tip-off on a Monday afternoon?

  • I guess I'm the genius that forgot about MLK day. Haha still sucks to miss the game.

  • Looks like an unproductive afternoon at work today...thank you espn3 and the minimize button!

  • This game will more than likely be a loss for the Bulls with Rose sitting this one out with his turf toe and the way the Bulls humiliated Memphis a couple weeks ago. Or can someone else step up with a big game... I'm doubting it.

  • Agree, things don't look pretty so far. It's going to be really tough to make hay in this one without Rose.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Unfortunately, your entire well written game preview went out the window the second we(you) found out that Rose was out.

    The only part that resonates now is the last sentence.

  • Just going to close my eyes and forget about this one. It's surprising that we're not rebounding well and we're playing defense so poorly. Way too many dunks for Memphis. It's also surprising that Boozer has the ability to steal the ball and dribble down court for a lay up. Nice to see CJ back in good form. Still no excuse to be down by twenty at half--even without Rose.

  • It sucks that the Bulls don't have a player that can step up against a quality team when Rose is injured. This is why some roster adjustments need to be made, (trade) but I doubt there will be cause of the fear of going over the dreaded luxury tax which Reinsdorf said he would pay for the right players. Rose could play shooting guard, go get Derron Williams, he's out of N. J. any at the end of the year and it just may attract D Howard to come to Chicago since those 2 are buddies. Now that would be a Hell of a reason to pay the luxury tax.

  • Again, Noah not showing up in this game. Not that others are playing great. But, Speights is killing Noah. There is something going on with him. Just saw Asik play Gay one-on-one and Noah got schooled by Gay..

  • I'd rather see Hamilton rested until his injury is "healed," but missing this many games at 34 yrs old in a few weeks, starting to wonder..?

  • I Bulls must trade Boozer and Noah, paying 25 million for what. These players are useless, aren't in the game during the 4th quarter or critical moments. Allowing no name players to look like stars in the paint. We got bums dunking on them. Neither plays defense,get rebounds or score. Let them go please...Somebody wake up Gar and Paxson I know they see this crap. Rose will never win a championship with them in the lineup period. I wonder what happened to that superstar Noah I use to watch at Florida. Boozer I would keep if he comes off the bench but must take a serious pay cut like 50%.

  • We will see how they perform with a couple of days off this week. The two guys who completely lost most of the time are Noah and Brewer. Even Korver with his 'I don't want to take the shot' hands draws a defender all the time. Boozer is basically neutral...when he scores, he is giving up an easy shot on the other side. But Noah needs to be benched and dare I say should be sitting next to Mike James and Scalabrine for now and play only garbage minutes.
    On top of his offensive liabilities, he has regressed defensively and is not focussed. It is not a slump...slump is something where you miss your shots. There is no slumping for lay-ups and rebounds for a NBA player.

  • There are some things that bother me about Thibodeau...his love of his former players and his hate of rookies. When the Bulls obviously lacked energy, they should of put jimmy butler in and see what kind of energy he would provide much ealier. The Bulls management probably are on to this and that is why they didn't resign Keith Bogans... we need athleticism and people that can create their own shot, something Butler does better than korver or Brewer. Noah is not a consistent defender, that is why you want to put someone like Gibson next to him. I hope the Bulls make moves based on whats best for the team and not whats best for the money/financial situation.

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    During Taj GIbson's rookie year he averaged 27 minutes over all 82 games. If Taj was played like Jimmy Butler we'd never have known Bulls drafted a capable player at No. 26.

    I believe Jimmy Butler is as good as Taj. If only he was given an honest chance.

  • I am assuming that the Bulls got to Memphis Sunday afternoon.

    I don't know how many Bulls joined Noah for an excursion to Beal street, but it appears that Noah didn't go alone.

    Couple that with a noon(local time)start, and you've got an NBA scheduling loss.

    Isn't this what Toronto counts on every home Sunday by scheduling early Sunday starts, knowing the NBA players can't resist partying in Toronto on Saturday night.

  • At this point in the season, who has more trade value? Noah or Asik?

    I'm incredibly disappointed this is a legitimate question. Incredibly disappointed.

  • I agree, Jimmy Butler has some interesting upside. In limited time, he has displayed good handles, sound defense and the ability to finish in the paint and draw fouls. We still have to see if he can shoot the midrange and spot up corner three but if he doesn't get any kind of playtime...how will the Bulls know what they have? Iman Shumpert and Marshon Brooks are picking up valuable experience and are already major contributors to their teams while Butler rots on the bench and we get to watch John Lucas the third jack up shots.

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    And perhaps more importantly, while Butler languishes on the bench, Luol Deng piles up enough minutes to grind him into exhaustion and a fatigue that may not be recoverable from during the playoffs.

    There is no point to overusing Deng, it serves no purpose. Playing Butler 8-10 minutes per game would allow the rookie to develop and keep Deng fresh for when we need him - the playoffs. It's a win-win situation.

    I don't want Bulls to once again exit the playoffs with the regular season best record. That's irrelevant.
    PLAY JIMMY BUTLER - he's another Taj Gibson.

  • Looks like the Bulls had a late night out. That game ended in the 2 quarter with that awesome effort by the Bulls hot garbage. Goes to show you how much Derrick Rose covers up including the coach.

  • Bring back Vinny?

  • In reply to boogernights:

    How about a coach who knows more than just defense and nothing outside his 10 man rotation. God forbid he play anyone else outside his ten guys.. oops I forgot about white mamba of course we need to rub it in the other teams face and pander to the crowd of tards.

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