Rose vs Rubio - Bulls @ Timberwolves 7pm on CSN

Ricky Rubio is enjoying some success in his first year displaying incredible passing instincts and sports center highlights. The PG position is as deep with young stars as it's ever been in the NBA, but how will Rubio fare against Rose?

Not very well I'm thinking. Derrick Rose loves to dominate "elite" PGs. He takes the matchup personally when he goes up against another great young PG. Who knows if Rubio has performed well enough to break into that list for Rose, but I expect he'll struggle to contain Derrick and that Derrick will put in extra effort defensively against him.

Of course, Rubio is coming off the bench, so their minutes matched up against each other may be somewhat limited.

Keys to the game

Contain Kevin Love

It's not often that you're scared to death of a player on the offensive glass and shooting three pointers. Those two things typically involve a guy being in opposite places on the court, but Kevin Love hurts you from everywhere. Inside, outside, Kevin Love's got game, and the Bulls need a team effort to contain him.

Carlos Boozer will struggle keeping up on the outside, Gibson and Noah may get bullied on the inside. I wonder if Omer Asik is the best defender to put on Love tonight. It's going to take a team effort to slow him down.

Defend the three point line

The Timberwolves are shooting 22 threes a game, so the Bulls need to make sure to defend on the perimeter to prevent getting knocked off on a hot shooting night from the field.

Make it a game of fundamentals

The Bulls have far better execution than the Wolves. They have bigger guards and more well rounded players. The Wolves have some great specialists, but they haven't figured out a way to put all the pieces together to form a great cohesive offense or defense. If the Bulls can turn it into a game of execution by controlling the defensive glass and limiting their turnovers, they should easily win the game.

Attack the basket

The Wolves don't have a whole lot of interior defense, so Chicago, particularly Rose, should spend a whole lot of time attacking the rim and scoring in the paint. Rose should have little trouble slicing through the defense to do whatever he feels like all game long.

Enjoy the show

I'm personally looking forward to the game, the Timberwolves are a favorite league pass candidate team to watch, so it will be fun to see the Bulls face off against them.


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  • Why do you think Noah and Gibson will get bullied inside. If there is a match-up where they are physically not getting beaten up(like Howard or Bogat), this is one of them. Gibson/Noah should match-up inside against Love. But, the 3 point line is the issue though.

  • This game will be a good gauge to measure how well the team defends the pick and roll/pick and pop.

    I'd like to see Noah on Love. Noah is the best pick and roll defender big man and most fundamentally sound rebounder. Amir Johnson proved last night that you can limit Love's effectiveness on the offensive glass if you make a conscious effort to box him out. I also don't mind that Boozer ends up matching up against Milicic.

    I'm just excited to see Rubio play.

  • In reply to stepbackJ:

    You correctly called the matchup. And that is a smart move by Thibs, put the good defender (Noah) on their best player (Love). And hide Boozer on Milicic. It worked quite well in the first quarter.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The key word being hide. If Bozo had an ounce of professional competitiveness he would be smoking pissed if not downright embarrassed that Thibs has to do this every night. Of course, he isn't, he is thrilled as a pig in slop.

    The Refs put/let the wolfs back in the game in the second quarter, calling every tickytac foul on the Bulls and letting the Wolfs hack away at will.

    Wow, do I even want to watch the second half?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Sound like you're watching a recording of the game?
    If you just want to watch the Bulls, skip the 3rd quarter and watch the 4th. You'll save yourself some stress and frustration.

    But if you want to watch Rubio take in that 3rd quarter as well.

  • Pity MrHappy isn't still around, I wanted to tell him that it may have only been 3 minutes, but those 3 minutes from Wayne Ellington were quality.

    Brewer continues to make the case for why he should be the starting SG ... come on Thibs, don't make the same mistake as last year and keep him on the bench just because Rip comes back!

    Good that Rose had a strong game, he's been a touch below his best the last few games but I guess he wanted to show the new PG darling in town how it's done.

    Carlos Boozer doesn't look so good when the jumper doesn't go in ... it has nothing to do with weak or strong front courts (the Wolves are just as rubbish as the Pistons), it has everything to do with Boozer sometimes hits his jumpers and has a good day, but mostly will struggle and score a middling amount on crappy efficiency. If he can't do more than shoot jumpers because he's lost even the mediocre athleticism he had from his Utah days he's not just not worth his contract, he's not even worth playing.

  • Ricky Rubio can really play. He has excellent skills and what I appreciate most is his driving under control with full control of his dribble, keeping all his options open. He improves the play of his teammates and really kept the game close.

    Of course he takes a back seat to Rose, but he was pestering Rose for quite a while until Rose turned it on in the 4th quarter. I believe both Rose and Deng played the entire 2nd half to secure this win. Some of the better shooting percentages from the Bulls including 3s.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Rubio is a bad man, I was so impressed with his game tonight. Like the Wolves announcers kept saying, he sure isn't soft- and while he's no lock-down defender, he does a lot of damage on D with his quick hands and anticipation in the passing lanes.

    We can only hope that Mirotic is half as good in his first year over from Europe.

  • Doug, you really need to change the name of your blog to "We Hate Boozer".

    I'm sure you remember 9 years ago, when Skiles took over the Bulls and took Rose and Crawford out of the starting lineup. The two of them were ripped (rightfully so) for complaining about their minutes in a game that their team WON.

    Now Boozer doesn't publicly cry about his minutes, and he gets ripped for being unprofessional.

    I'd like to see your next blog credit Boozer for being happy that the team won, even though he didn't "get his".

    You know that true professionals who are good teammates don't bitch about their lack of minutes when the team is WINNING.

    The first time Boozer says anything about his minutes (which he won't do), some people will be all over him for being a malcontent.

    That being said, I should be clear that I appreciate the hell out of the laughs I'm getting over this.

  • Every foul tonight on Asik has been horseshit, in fact the only call they got right all night on Asik was the 3 second call in the fourth when he spent the entire possession in the paint.

  • I'll have to check with the STAT man but unless I blinked and missed it both Rose and Deng had to play the entire second half. This just should not be necessary against the JV teams, especially when you have them down 48-24 in the first half.

    There is no cracking the Skull(thibs) as we found out last year, so I guess that this is something that we are going to have to live with, knock on wood that nothing tragic happens because of it.

    Anyone notice who disappeared from the game faster, Milicic or boozer? Is anybody LOLing now? again.

    Rose was great for half the game, the first and fourth, but he pretty much got abused by Rubio at both ends in the middle of the game.

    I never watch the Euro league, but how is that these guys can't get off the bench in Europe then come to the NBA and their numbers blow up. Do they have a union seniority system for playing time?

    Noah showed some of his normal energy tonight, but he just couldn't hang onto the ball, even if he was getting hacked to death.

    Wolves became the first team to lose game 3(6-0 going into tonight) of the BTBTB, hopefully the Bulls do not become the second tomorrow, if they win they become the second to sweep the BTBTB.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Actually, it IS pretty much a seniority thing in Europe- young guys rarely get to play over veterans, which is why what Mirotic is doing right now is so impressive.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Besides, what does it matter if their "numbers blow up"? I thought you didn't care about stats, only watching the games? What do stats have to do with anything?

    This is what you said last night:

    "You keep watching the stat sheet, I'll keep watching the game."

    You saw Rubio tonight, can the boy play or not?

    "I'll take my 40+ years of watching nearly every Bulls game against any stat geek any time anywhere."

    That's what people always say when the stats don't agree with what they are trying to sell.

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