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.