Bulls at Magic 7pm on ESPN - Rose expected to play

Bulls at Magic 7pm on ESPN - Rose expected to play

The Chicago Bulls get another stiff test in the early part of their season when they roll into Orlando to play a Magic team that hasn't yet traded Dwight Howard.

The Magic are 5-2 and have largely decimated teams in their wins, but they lost to their only quality opponent, the Thunder, on opening night. They also lost a road game to the Pistons. Still, the Magic are 4-0 at home, and Dwight Howard can make things difficult for the any team.

Derrick Rose expects to play [per KC Johnson story] but will need to be wary of Dwight Howard who has injured Rose twice by upending him mid flight.

The game itself is yet another early test for the Bulls who've fought through a tough opening schedule. After tonight, the Bulls will have played 6-8 on the road and faced the five likely playoff teams (Lakers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hawks, and Magic). So far, the Bulls are 4-0 in those games but required considerable luck to get past the Lakers and Hawks.

Keys to the game

Boozer needs to play D or sit on the bench

Who's the Magic's leading scorer? Ryan Anderson. Yes. Stretch PF Ryan Anderson. You have to get your ass out of the paint and put a hand in his face Ryan Anderson. If I had started my breakdown of the game last night and considered Boozer trying to defend Ryan Anderson at the three point line last night I'd probably have had nightmares.

Will Carlos be up to the task? If he's not, Thibodeau needs to sit his ass fast and get Taj Gibson in the game. The Bulls can't hide Boozer on the center either, because that's Dwight Howard and Boozer on Howard would cause instant cardiac arrest for half the Bulls fans in Chicago.

Cover up the three point line

The Magic are going to launch a whole lot of threes, and the Bulls need to be quick on their rotations to avoid allowing uncontested looks. So far, Anderson and Hedo are killing it behind the line, but Richardson and Redick are just as capable of crushing the Bulls from downtown as well.

Hedo doesn't scare me as much as a shooter despite his early success, but any of these players can get ridiculously hot. The Bulls need to focus on stopping the perimeter play and efficient three point scoring more than stopping Howard. The Magic can't go to Howard in the clutch, so even if he puts up 40/20, they'll be helpless in the end game if the perimeter players are cold.

Asik and destroy

I don't know how many centers in the NBA defend Dwight Howard better than Omer Asik, but I'm wagering the number is less than five. The Bulls have leaned heavily on Asik this season so far, and they'll need to do so again. Joakim's a great defender, but his greatness is in playing free safety on the defense.

Watching Joakim, he's constantly rotating to help on any guard penetration and does so much that doesn't show up in the box score to dissuade perimeter drives to the basket. When playing against Miami, that's extraordinarily valuable. Unfortunately, against Orlando, Joakim's pedestrian man to man post defense is on display.

Omer has played some really strong minutes against Howard in the past, he has no fear and plenty of size. If the Bulls win, I expect Omer to be a big part of the reason why.

Looking for some Deng dominance

Hedo Turkoglu is still likely having nightmares of Luol Deng defending him. The guy plays on pure grizzle and veteran savvy, but Deng is too strong fundamentally to get sucked into his tricks and uses his superior size and athleticism to completely beast him.

In three games last season, Turkoglu wqas 5 for 36 against Luol Deng while Deng shot 23 for 40 from the field. The Bulls are going to need to dominate this matchup again to help ease some of the pressure on Derrick Rose.

What can Derrick give the Bulls tonight?

He's expected to play through the elbow bruise, but if the pain throws off his shooting or limits his mobility then who knows what Derrick will give the Bulls tonight. We've seen Rose play enough that he'll play with no fear going up against Dwight Howard, but he'll need to watch himself to make sure he doesn't go down hard again.

If Derrick gives the Bulls an MVP night, they'll be hard to stop.

Will Rip play?

Richard Hamilton re-aggravated his groin injury against the Pistons, so we'll have to see if he's ready to go tonight or not. Having an additional scorer in the game will help tremendously if Rose isn't quite 100%.

Final thoughts

There's few games I would ever pick against Chicago, but this one will be tough. They'll still have an excellent chance to win, but they've got a lot to overcome with a banged up Rose, playing on the road, Hamilton potentially out, and CJ Watson still gone. I give them about a 45/55 chance tonight.

Comments

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  • If Rip can't go, the Magic are the perfect team for Korver to get lots of minutes against.

    He can take Hedo on the defensive end, since he's one of the few SG/SF in the league who isn't much (if any) quicker than Korver. He can certainly get Kyle into foul trouble with his deceptive moves, but it's not like he'll be blowing by him all night.

    I hope Rip can go, though, I'm looking forward to seeing him a JRich match up. Rip has been about 50% better than JRich so far this season, though it means nothing if he's in street clothes.

  • Hopefully Derrick isn't limited and Rip can play. This will be a tough game if we're without Watson, Rip, and have a limited Rose. Hopefully Deng can dominate Hedo like he usually does to help take some pressure off of Derrick.

  • I was telling you last year Doug, that Ryan Anderson was a good player, better than Vince Carter at that point in his career. He's not just a scorer either.

    If the Bulls defend the 3 they will win the game, simple as that. Let Dwight Howard beat you, but don't give up the 3.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I liked Anderson last year also, especially when he played against us. Anderson as a stretch 4 definately benefits by playing with a dominant post player like Howard. I wonder if he would be as effective if he played with Noah on the Bulls.

    Tonight would be a perfect night to sit Bozo and start Asik or Taj. I would go with Asik, since Noah just piles up fouls against Howard, and becomes totally ineffective in his normal "free safety" mode.

    Tonight could also be a night when we will really miss Kurt Thomas, just because of his 6 additional fouls to give on Howard.

  • I wonder what odds Vegas would put on whether or not Asik gets Howard fouled out of the game? I see a couple technicals in Dwight's future tonight!

  • I think the Bulls have a better chance of winning if Rose doesn't play kind of like the Heat.
    The Magic are like the Hawks(no aspirations for c'ships) but just going through the season and also having some good professional players. They are prone to take it easy and get out of rhythm.

    Maybe Rose dresses but doesn't start. He comes over to close as a closer if the game is close in the 4th quarter.

  • Orlando and Stan Van Gundy are one of the teams that might try to agressively extended double team Derrick to get the ball out of his hands. Stan aka "no neck" has done this in the past at times with success. Guys like he and Riley will just sit Dwight(Mourning) under the basket to shut down penetration, and make the other team jump shooters/mid-range.

    In games like this it might benefit the Bulls to step outside the box, and perhaps run plays with Derrick off the ball. Then that comitted double can really become a distratcion as Ronnie, Deng, and Joakim cut to the open areas/weak side off the vacated space of the double.

    Asik's impact defensive play of late begs the question: will he see a lot of minutes tonight covering Dwight? If Boozer starts, which he will, you defenitely do not put him on Dwight Howard. He will release, and Lob(Disney?) World him to death.

    Anderson is a(three point) shooter, and Deng, Taj, and even Jo, depending on Asik's minutes, will have to take turns getting up on him to deny good looks. My guess is Boozer guards Turk, and you double any penetration on the strong side baseline to back up Carlos. Keeping an eye on a cutting howard.

    Couple of other points: my man J-Rich while the majority of his minutes last year and previously have had very good offensive numbers/production, since coming to Orlando there's no denying Jason has laid an egg. In Hamilton we trust(barring serious injury time). Speaking of which I just wish he'd quit "tweeking" his groin/injury, and take a couple of games off until he says he's 100%. His future health and availabability are crucial to this team.

    Also, Derrick did it again. Against Detroit he didn't get caught up on screens, and stayed in front of his man. And he continues to double down to harass bigs in obvious black hole or post situations which is the sign of a superior defensive guard.

    Finally, in regards to minutes being played, personally, I think it really depends a lot on the individual player. Luol Deng. I just don't get the sense as do many other Bulls fans that he is a guy you can throw out there for 39 minutes a night. 36-37 sounds right to me. And Derrick I'd say 38 which is about or near what Scottie and Michael played once help arrived. And speaking of minutes I've always believed Jo plays better as the game goes on with minutes on the court. Despite the injuries of the past, I'd like to sink or swim with Jo at 37 minutes every night. That is if he can shed his foul(ing) ways.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I agree about Noahs minutes. Even though, or maybe because he appears to be one of the less conditioned Bulls, he seems to play better the more minutes that he gets game after game. He is one of those guys who needs to play or work himself into a froth.

    My sense is that Rip played against Detroit because he wanted to play against his former team. He probably should have rested against a crappy team(Detroit) so that he could have been ready to go against Orlando. Hammies can be a pain to get over, and usually rest is the only option.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He pretty much admitted that too, that he wouldn't take no from Thibs.

  • I wish Thibs gets into Boozer into stop shooting his rainbow fadeaways. He is not even looking at the basket when he releases the ball. That's a very low percentage shot. I am curious if somebody had a stat about how much of those he makes? It might be less than 25%.

    And in his interview, Boozer has already told that he is just looking to help Noah in guarding Howard rather than him guarding. He knows his limits i.e. he is best at guarding Mbah-Mbah-Moute of Milwaukee.

  • All numbers from Hoopdata

    Booz is hitting 45.5% from 10-15 feet and 42% from 16-23%. Both numbers are about 5% better than his performance from the same ranges last year.

    He is also hitting 58% from 3-9 feet which is leaps and bounds ahead of what he did last year (40%). His shots at the rim are about the same at 65%-ish. .

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Thanks for digging it up. But, this doesn't separate the ones where he is already turned facing the basket and is wide open (this is ok to take) to when he has a defender and is facing the opposite way to make a turn-around, shoot without a look at the basket
    I am talking about that shot which I have no idea why he keeps taking. It never seems to go in.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Besides Boozer's terrible defense, he puts the ball on the floor WAYYY too much. Even if he doesn't need to he takes a dribble to set himself up. He's already slow, so when he does this defenders have a fairly easy time positioning themselves against him.

  • The strategy the Bulls used last year was shut down the 3 point line and let Howard get his. They might want to hack-a-shaq Howard some since he's been struggling from the free throw line(42%). The main thing to me is if the Bulls frontcourt get the ridiculous touch fouls called against them while howard wildly throws his elbows around, they'll be in for a long night. The NBA referees have to be consistent if they get whistle happy. On offense, we need to be uptempo with Hamilton and Rose leading the break.

  • We need to sign a backup PG quick?
    Why didn't we sign lil Nate Robinson? I know we have lil John Lucas already but Nate is a proven NBA player and amazing leaper!
    Do you think we could sign Carlos Arroyo to the NBA vet minimum?

  • In reply to smiley:

    Nate Robinson signed with the Warriors. Earl Boykins and Agent Zero are still out there.

  • I wish we did more to keep Kurt Thomas because the Trail Blazers are going to surprise alot of teams in the West this year especially after landing Gerald Wallace!

    We could use a backup PG and PF/C.
    Noah is having problem foul problems and we are leaning too much on Asik. Also Boozer is playing better D put after Taj there is nobody as well. I so wish Big Sexy retired a Bull! I miss you big guy! ;-(

  • In reply to smiley:

    Scalabrine can play all positions...

    At the same time.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    Scalabrine is like the Chuck Norris of the NBA!

  • In reply to NateTags:

    Chuck Norris is the Brian Scalabrine of karate.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    So; Scal = The Most Interesting Man in the World + Chuck Norris.

    That's a lot of awesome to keep on the end of the bench.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Boozer is playing better D, common guys open your eyes and your mind, he is the same phony slug as he's ever been.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Yea, I watched the Blazers against the Lakers, and Kurt was still Kurt. I don't know how he does it, but he would have been a nice security blanket as our 5th big. I don't see how it would have hurt us at all to give him a second guaranteed year as Portland did just to keep him around.

  • Spot on analysis of the Noah/Howard/Asik dynamic. Your analysis of the role that Noah plays and its importance to the team should be obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes, yet everyone keeps joining him at the hip with Boozer as being a problem. He is not the problem, and he only has one problem(other than injury), and that is being forced to play with Mr Amnesty(MA) aka Missing in Action.

    Obviously, I could not agree with you more on TOAH(Bozo), except for the fact(or is it just my opinion)that he will never change his act and actually play defense. We should all give up hoping/praying/dreaming for that. Therefore as you said, Thibs should sit his phony ass and fast.

    I won't even wait for the game today, Can't we just trade Bozo for Ryan Anderson.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    While I'm still not of the mind that Boozer is worth all that they pay him, I'll give him some credit for getting in better shape and making a much better effort on defense. He's been adequate for the most part and better than that on occasion, which we never saw last year. Actually see him and Jo have a little chemistry and grudging mutual respect.

  • In reply to FriendofJoakimN:

    He has not been anywhere near adequate. If everyone else on the Bulls played the same level of "adequate" defense as Bozo we would be 1-6 right now, not 6-1.

    I know that everyone thinks that you are being a good Bulls fan but making excuses for Mr Amnesty is not going to change the reality that he has established in his 8-9 years in the league, that reality being that he is the BG7 of power forwards.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Well, adequate for him is a different standard than it is for, say, Joakim. Last year was painful - this year is far better. He still does some stupid stuff, but if you watch him on P&R, he's closing out much better. You don't like him - that's fine. I think he's putting in effort on D for the first time maybe ever. Let's see what happens.

  • In reply to FriendofJoakimN:

    The problem with Boozer is he gives this "great line" when anybody talks to him. Is he being polite company man or is he full of it. You never hear anything which seems honest from him and on the court all you hear is "gimme that rebound"..
    That said, I think you are right. He appears to be putting a lot more attention to his defense and also his rebounds are more of a "real" variety than the crappy defensive rebounds he got last year where he forgot his defensive position or he pushed Noah for the rebound.
    I think if the Bulls fail against Miami this year with everyone being healthy...he is definitely gone next year to a team which might give a lesser player even like Al Harrington or Cousins in return.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Can't wait until Mirotic comes over

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You have had an irrational hatred for Boozer for a while. Give it a rest for at least one thread.

  • In reply to dreverts:

    Irrational would imply that my disgust for TOAH has no empirical basis, it clearly does to anyone with 2 eyes, some knowledge of how to play the game and an open mind.

    I simply do not tolerate phonies, fakers and malingerers, Bozo is all of the above. I would enjoy each and every game more than I do now if I Noah, Asik and Taj were our 3 man bigman rotation, and someone who is not the BG7 of power forwards was our 4rth. There is nothing irrational about that, we would be a better team, and more enjoyable to watch.

    I am with ChiRy, I can't wait for Mirotic.

  • I am right there with big way in having frustration with boozer, but I have to give it to him tonight... Playing very well... Hitting the boards hard.

    Lucas defense is atrociuos. He shoots well enough, but it is no wonder why he gets no burn.

  • Great first half... I really like how Korver is fitting in with the starting unit this game.

  • Bulls are single teaming Howard and defending the 3pt line. It worked very well in the first half.

    Good ball movement on offense for Bulls resulting in nice shots. Both Deng and Rose got 5 minutes rest to begin the 2nd quarter. It was probably a good 12 minutes actual time including the break between quarters - a very nice breather.

    The bench mob really struggled to score without Deng, Rose, Hamilton, CJ, but Orlando couldn't score either so game stayed close. Deng playing great! Boozer good tonight.

  • This is a very impressive performance. All the Bulls look really focused

  • Glen Davis is a tank, he makes TOAH look like an anorexic wimp.

    I doubt that many of you will agree with me, but even though Boozer is more talented offensively, I would trade him for Davis in a hearbeat, especially since Davis has one and Bozo doesn't.

    Davis would fit this Bulls team well due to his fire in his belly attitude. Actually, speaking of his belly, he seems to have lost a lot of his Baby fat, maybe he should change his nickname to the Infant Bull Moose or IBM for short.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Your Boozer hatred is getting to maniac levels. C'mon, I wouldn't trade JL3 for Big Baby

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Leave him alone, I love being able to watch yet another Bulls win and then come here for some comic relief after the game. It works out perfectly.

    I'll tell you who WOULD gladly do that trade- the Magic, and they would do it right away before GarPax sobers up and changes his mind.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    You want to bet the difference between their salaries($65 million over 4 years vs what $25 million over 4 years) that the Magic would not do that trade?

    Wait, those numbers almost sound like FACTS vs you OPINION that the Magic would gladly make that deal.

    I am sure that you have an extra $40 mill laying around.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I believe the proper word would be manic, not maniac.

    I simply don't change my beliefs every other game depending on the box score.

    Before he got hurt Davis was throwing Bozo around like a tin can in the wind.

    Additionally, I was clearly factoring in the extra $40 million that TOAH will make over the next 4 years vs Davis.

    Think the Bulls could do something usefull with $10million per.

    Check back with me after tomorrows game, you Bozo gives us 20 & 10(what we paid him for at a minimum) again.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I have to believe that you are using hyperbole with the JL3 comment, but on this site one never knows.

    If you don't believe me on Davis here is what Thibs thinks of him, and he correctly points out why I like him, he defends with gusto.

    Thib's diagnosis
    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is a former Boston Celtics assistant coach, so he knows former Celtics big man Glen Davis well.

    Thibodeau thinks Davis will fit in just fine with the Magic.

    "He'll figure it out," Thibodeau said. "He's a really good player. He's a great defensive player, both individually and as a team defender. He can hit spot-up shots and post-up some. He gives them a different look. When you have Howard and Davis upfront, it's a very physical presence. [Ryan] Anderson, of course, is having an incredible year shooting the ball."

  • Is Thibs trying to prove that he is some kind of evil genius or is he on crack

    TOAH at center against Howard, did Noah and Asik do something wrong that Bozo doesn't do on every defensive possession. Coaches, sometimes I just don't get them

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I was very surprised by Boozer on Howard as well. It was kind of shocking. But surprisingly, it worked out OK - I'm still trying to figure out how, haha.

    Maybe because leaning on Howard doesn't require Boozer to move his feet on defense much? Just a guess.

    But I think it shows Howard cannot lead a team. He's a physical beast, but he just doesn't have the skill set. He didn't really assert himself after the 1st quarter.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I also think that he doesn't have the mindset to dominate when he needs to nevermind every night. He clearly needs to be Robin to someones else's Batman, as Rose would say why not me(him).

    I occurred to me during the game that it seems obvious to any bulls fan that we would not trade Rose for Howard straight up, I wonder how the rest of the NBA would vote on that one.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think Howard is one of the better matchups for Boozer ... he can't shoot at all and he doesn't really get past you by tricky moves, just by brute strength. Boozer's biggest weakness on defense is he seems like he's about 3 seconds behind the game, so guarding a guy where his only job is "stand there and be as strong as possible" is actually a task he can do reasonably well.

    I also think Thibs wanted a PF/C combo that could both shoot a bit to try to drag Howard out of the paint, hence Gibson and Boozer playing together.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    A good/great coach, Jackson, Riley, Popovich, with a dominant center(Shaq, Ewing, Duncan) would have gone at Boozer every single trip down court and had him fouled out of the game in less than 2 minutes. The Magic just kept chucking jumpers, and Howard lost interest. Thank you SVG and Dwight.

  • Nice to see Korver stroke a few, he seemed to get most of his 3's tonight on catch and shoot or spot up opportunities, not so much running around like a mad man off screens like Thibs usually has him doing. A much better way to use him, in my opinion.

    Nice, solid win, although we probably shouldn't have let them back into the game in the 4rth.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I Agree. Korver is not athletic enough to run cross court, change directions off a screen and rise up on balance with a jumper. He is as you say - a spot up shooter. And tonight he was spot on!

    Hope Thibs continues to use him this way. It occurs to me that he may get more spot up opportunities with the starters/Rose, than with the Bench Mob.

  • I wrote before the game:

    If Rip can't go, the Magic are the perfect team for Korver to get lots of minutes against.

    He can take Hedo on the defensive end...

    Korver's season highs tonight:
    Minutes, FGM, FGA, 3PtM, 3PtA, Points, STEALS.

    Damn, I'm good.

    Another very, very nice win, I'm curious as to what people will find to complain about tonight?

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    If you weren't so busy patting yourself on the back and telling yourself how great you think you are, I'd have to give you kudo's for the pregame call on Korver, although I think he did the bulk of his damage against Reddick, not Turkey.

  • It looks like Thibs followed my advice. He told Boozer to shot more instead of playing in the paint. It's very good idea since Boozer is only good at shooting. Nice win bulls !

  • When was the last time 4 Bulls scored 20 points? (almost)
    21+21+20+18 = 80 points for Rose, Deng, Boozer, Korver.

    Our Bulls were impressive tonight.

  • Hey bigway keep up the boozer hate, he's playing well lol!

  • In reply to rob32:

    If playing well means 3 "average" good games out of 8 and good on offense only for a guy making max money then keep loling because the joke is on you.

    We paid him to give us 20 & 10 everynight, not just once in a bluemoon. And as we have discovered even when he does deliver his stats are among the emptiest in the league, the kind that a selfish guy puts up on a bad team.

    Of course you are sure to be one of the Bozo appologists who insist that everytime he puts up a reasonable game in terms of points and rebounds(exactly what we paid him for) that he somehow played defense. He never does, never will because he never tries, that is why I hate on him and why I will never be wrong for doing so. People don't change their stripes when they are 30 years old, Bozo is what Bozo does.

    As a Bulls fan since at least 1970 I value defense, effort, blocking out, and real rebouding above most else. If Bozo's offense was as good and consistent as Jordan's I might cut him some slack, but MJ was not only the best offensive player of his generation, he worked as hard on defense as anyone in the league and was at least the best defensive guard of his generation

    The Sportscenter highlight & boxscore only fan can lol all they want, it just shows how little you know about the game, and certainly how little you've played it.

    One game does not a season make. I could not have been more correct in my overall evaluation of Ben Gordon, as has been proved by the disaster that he has been the last 3 years in Detroit.

    Boozer, at least at this point in his career is nothing more than the Ben Gordon of power forwards. I was proved right last season, especially in the playoffs, and I will be this year as well, especially in the playoffs, and ultimately when the Bulls Amnesty Boozer with at least $30+ million left on his deal.

    Until then you can keep on laughing once a week or so when Bozo actually has a 20 & 10 game, ultimately I will have the last laugh(if I was that kind of guy). Heck, check back with me tomorrow night, I'll likely be crying after watching Bozo return to form.

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