Bulls at Nets 6:30 pm on CSN [and some Bulls/Bucks thoughts]

Bulls at Nets 6:30 pm on CSN [and some Bulls/Bucks thoughts]

For those who are readers and not listeners, I'll start with some quick thoughts from the Bucks game. Derrick Rose, again, absolutely shredded the Bucks defense. After a quick scoring burst to start the game, he destroyed them with the pass rather than the shot.

Rose scored 14 of his 26 in the first six minutes of the game, draining all three of his threes, and going five of five from the field. However, even after that outburst, the Bucks climbed back to within six, and Rose was only six for 19 the rest of the night. Unfortunately for the Bucks, the lowered shooting percentage on Rose came at a hefty price of wide open shots for everyone else.

Rose racked up 13 assists generating easy looks for everyone else on the team, and the Bulls offense was rolling as all the shooters drained their shots. They shot 14/30 from the three point line, and Joakim Noah had a bunch of easy baskets inside as well. The Bulls made it to the free throw line a record low four times during the game, but it hardly mattered as they absolutely rolled the Bucks.

The biggest news of the night was Luol Deng playing 41 minutes in his first game back from a torn ligament in his left wrist. Luol downplayed the injury saying he knows what to expect since he tore this ligament before in his other wrist [of course he didn't try to play through that one, so how he knows what to expect is a mystery to me].

Deng also made it through Sunday's full practice without incident, and for now, looks good to continue going. Another coach would have probably considered toning down Deng's minutes given it was his first game back, but Thibs went full bore with Deng. I guess he figures if Deng isn't able to play 41 minutes then he shouldn't be playing at all. It's a move which doesn't mean much given that Deng seems to have suffered no setback but would have caused an uproar if he did.

I wonder if John Paxson tries to strangle Thibodeau with his tie if the Bulls players reaggravate an injury due to Thibs use of them. My guess is no.

As for tonight's game, the Bulls roll into New Jersey, the favorite destination to land Dwight Howard.

I want to see Chicago blow up New Jersey big time. I'm talking 50 point win. Win by 50 and send the tape to Howard with a note that says, you really sure you want to be there when you could be here?

According to basically every source you read, Dwight Howard has his heart set on New Jersey as it's the one location where he can be the man and still has a star to play along with him. It also puts him in a huge media market for him to further his non-basketball related goals.

What boggles my mind is why he wants to leave Orlando just to get to New Jersey/Brooklyn. I think I'd take the tax-free, warm Orlando winters over New Jersey if I'm going to land on a team with no better chance to win than the one I'm on now.

Back to the game [made it pretty far in this game thread without actually discussing it, eh?]

Derrick Rose goes for 25+/10+

There seems to be nothing Rose loves more than completely destroying, humiliating, and beating up on the other "elite" point guards of the NBA. Whenever Derrick is matched up with one, he plays with an unmatched intensity and brings out his "A" game. Through Chris Paul on the Heat, and it'd be guaranteed victory for the Bulls, because Derrick would score 150 in a refusal to let another A list PG beat him.

The Nets also have little in the way of players to stop him. Deron Williams is an excellent defender, but he's not excellent in the right ways to slow down Rose and will have little help and no shotblockers. Look for Derrick to slide through the lane over and over again.

On the other end, I expect Rose, one of the league's most underrated defenders, to force Williams into a tough night from the field. When Rose applies himself he tends to shut down even the elite PGs.

Bulls defense will roll

The Nets don't have a lot of offense outside of Deron Williams. Marshon Brooks missed the first game against the Bulls, and he looks like he'll miss this one as well after breaking his pinkie a week ago.

Anthony Morrow can light it up from beyond the arc, but he can't generate his own points, and unlike Korver, he's not a deft passer. Just stand next to him at the three point line, and he won't do a whole lot.

Kris Humphries can do it with hustle, but he's not going to do it with skill, so as long as the Bulls active front court remains active they should nullify him as well.

Defend the three point line

There's only a few guys that warrant watching, but Farmar and Morrow shoot a ton of threes at a high percentage. Williams and Okur aren't necessarily shooting great percentages on the year but can both get hot from beyond the arc as well.

The Nets don't really have the inside game or slashers to attack in the paint, so the Bulls need to make sure to run NJ off the three point line to prevent them from simply having a hot shooting night that raises their offensive efficiency.

Hit the glass

What do you get when you cross one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the NBA with the league's best offensive rebounding team? I'm guessing a big nights for Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. They should both get plenty plenty of easy shots on put backs tonight.

However, the Nets are one of the better offensive rebounding teams in the league, so the Bulls will need to watch their back on that end and do their best to box out, particularly Kris Humphries who's averaging over four offensive boards per 36 minutes.

Easy win

As noted above, go in, dominate, send the mix tape to Dwight Howard and ask him if this is what he really wants.


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  • Morrow is out due to a death in the family. Keith Bogans will start, looking to avenge himself on the team that kicked him to the curb. The Bulls have to find a way to hold him below 6 points if they're going to pull this one out.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Haha Lets hop he doesn't shoot 10/10 from behind the arc.

  • From the looks of some of the reports out there the Nets will be without Okur, Stevenson, Brooks, and Morrow. This might be a blowout.

    This will probably give Bogans a chance to extract his ultimate revenge against us tonight too.

  • In reply to ManOnNeptune:

    KC Johnson wrote an interesting article about Bogans.
    Bogans claims that he played with a bad knee all season long, taking pain killers before each and every game.
    I can understand why the Bulls cut him, but it seems to me that they should have kept him regardless of available playing time. I bet he would have been ok with being the 14th guy on the team. And if the Bulls really needed to sign a player for a different position due to injuries, they still could have bought him out of his contract, or am I missing something?
    If the Bulls management doesn't change their image anytime soon, they really will never get any marquee free agent to sign with them.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    The Bulls were very professional from their statements. What does Bogans expect? He sucked at his job last year although he put in a lot of effort and work. He feels upset because he had to go to NJ and play hard on a lottery team which is not a great situation.
    And, I don't think a marquee free agent cares how this situation was handled(it was handled correctly BTW).

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    First of all, I think that Bogans did a reasonable job last season. You can't judge him like a starter when he was just playing around 18-20 minutes in most nights.
    Secondly, I didn't say that the Bulls front office was unprofessional about this whole thing. They had every right to do so and said all the right things. It's just that they could have handled it differently.
    Do you really think that the Bulls would have lost anything other than his salary if they kept him?
    The "Bogans story" might not be very interesting for most NBA fans, but it's one of those things that lead to the believe that the Bulls organization is unthankful and cheap. I know that this isn't true, especially the unthankful part, I'm just saying it would be nice if they could work on their image.

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    a little correction: I do believe that the perception of the Bulls ownership being cheap is mostly true. It's all about the profits, winning is definitely second on the priority list.

  • When did Deron WIlliams become an excellent defender? Always seemed average at best to me. Plus, it's not like he's a good steals guy.

  • If Lopez and Morrow are out for New Jersey, perhaps the Bulls get out to an early lead. It would be nice to see Jimmy Butler continue his solid play of late with 20 plus minutes.

    "Play Butler! Play Butler!"

    Everybody wants to see more of the kid from Marquette. Of course the grass is always greener as we fans know. You always think(or imagine)the new guy aka draft pick is a stellar player in waiting.

    Yet Jimmy Butler has shown some signs. Thibs certainly bought in defensively against Melo in the fourth at MSG. His defense and polished play got the attention of TNT's Reggie Miller and Kevin Harlan aka "Right Between the eyes!!"(I somehow always disturbingly picture a money shot right then) .

    I hope Butler slips some screens and sags to open spots against any zones or distracted defenders. On a straight line cut or dribble he seems lively enough to get to the rim(for a dunk maybe..?) It would be a huge boost to the team to start seeing some dunks from the kid along with some offense in general.

    Similar to Taj, if he can score inside(out) then I think his jumper will fall. Though obviously you hope on a larger scale i.e he's a better shooter then Taj, but same principle.

    Speaking of boosts, how about C.J. Hawwwaaaatttsssonnn(S.K.) now a double figure scorer shooting .480 from three with solid D. He has looked good including alongside Derrick in certain matchups. One thing about C.J. is he's a decent slasher. You get the attention of defenders and teams shooting .480 from three. Draw out the defenders and a solid slasher becomes an unstoppable one. Creates some nice set ups for Derrick also especially on driving assists.

    I hope C.J. and Jimmy both get plenty of burn in this one. Sub par teams like N.J.are supposed to be the proving ground or confirm the quality of a contending team's(like the Bulls) depth. Let's hope that's the case tonight against the Nets. Though they stil have D-Wil(as in Will turn on his coach - hah!).

  • I hope Rose and Deng gets lots of rest and we play our bench mob big minutes!
    Great game for CJ, Brewer, Korver, Gibson, and Asik...Butler to get lots of minutes! :-)

  • You would think if the Bulls were in NY last week, they would have played NJ, Boston immediately after that before playing the Bucks so that their travel is minimized. That's NBA scheduling I guess.

    Speaking of rest, Deng seemed to have such fresh legs...hope Thibs noticed it yesterday in his video session as I think Thibs is too intense to notice during the game. That should tell him that a fresher Deng is much better against LeBron than a tired Deng and it is just not this 10 day rest but also in-game rest for the 4th quarter.
    Watching the Heat, you get a feeling that LeBron and Wade try to play hard in the 1st and 4th quarter thinking they are some kind of super-men. I hope Thibs realizes the season hinges on how the last 7-8 mins of every game against Miami is what matters in the grand scheme of things.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Agree completely about rest in general and about being rested in-game to withstand the 4th quarter surges of Miami. That is definitely Miami's pattern - and it is so completely obvious!
    WWhich means, playing all 24 minutes of 2nd halves is a no-no. And Thibs mostly does that with Rose and Deng. Will Thibs learn and adjust?

  • Lets hope the bulls can continue to shoot well. If they shoot well they can beat any team, if they dont they can lose to any team.

  • I'm going to be watching if the Bulls interior defense holds up, last game guys like Farmar attacked the basket at will. Secondly lets hope Boozer shows up, you would think this is the kind of team the big soft jump shooter can have a big game against, maybe even a rare dunk??? It's also a game for Noah to dominate with a 12 pts 12 rbs type of game.

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    Looks like boozer showed up lol!

  • ***k, Rose is out...hopefully it's not long-term...

  • Another indication that we made the right move signing Rip instead of JKRich, even if Rip can't get on the court yet.

    The other suggestion seems (very) counterintuitive, but the numbers show it'd be a good idea: play J.J. Redick full time at shooting guard. It sounds crazy when talking about defense, but consider some numbers. The Magic have been 3.8 points per 100 possessions better defensively when Redick is in the game. The difference between him and Richardson is about 5.4 points. Orlando has allowed just a 10.2 defensive PER to shooting guards with Redick on the floor, although you have to acknowledge that much of that number might be thanks to the way Van Gundy deploys him. The more granular MySynergySports data has Redick slightly worse than Richardson -- .85 points allowed per play to .83. Still, when you add the difference in offensive efficiency, what can it hurt?

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