Bulls vs Jazz 7pm on WGN

The Chicago Bulls look to rebound after a tough loss to the Orlando Magic when they take on the Utah Jazz tonight. They'll likely have to do it without Hamilton, Deng, and Watson.

Bad omen for Chicago

Luol Deng missing three or four games now in order to lessen the pain in his wrist isn't a particularly big deal in the sense of the missed games, however, what it portends for the future should scare Bulls fans.

How will Deng play through the pain the playoffs? Will he miss playoff games due to pain? Will he simply play poorly due to dealing with the pain? This isn't a criticism of Deng merely a realistic assessment. Deng's got a significant injury, and he's doing his best to play through it.

His determination is admirable, but it doesn't mean the results on the court will be equally admirable.

How do the Bulls fare against the inside attack?

Al Jefferson has historically torched the Bulls, and the Jazz can throw out Paul Milsap to beat them up inside as well. The combination means that Chicago will need to focus heavily on interior defense in order to get past the Jazz.

Chicago should jam the paint on the Jazz and force them to take shots from the perimeter.

No shooters to worry about

Unlike the Orlando Magic, Utah really has no shooters worth mentioning. Raja Bell is perhaps the one guy who bares extra attention outside the three point line, but the rest of the team shoots threes rarely and mostly inefficiently. Due to their lack of shooters, Chicago can afford to play the drive and the post with more bodies and cheat to the interior.

Lots of chances to attack

Derrick Rose should slice through this Jazz defense which lacks a shot blocking persence. Devin Harris is an athletic guy who can probably make a passable attempt to stay with Rose on the perimeter, but no one in the NBA can stay with Rose without help and Harris is no exception.

Once Rose beats Harris off the dribble, where does the help come from? Milsap and Jefferson are both shorter guys for big men and neither has tremendous athleticism to challenge shots. Rose can certainly expect more traps, and the Bulls will need to be ready to defend against the trap.

Who steps up?

With Rip, Deng, and Watson out, the Bulls will have little perimeter attack outside of Rose. Korver can knock down some open shots while Lucas can shoot the three if he sets his feet. Can Boozer deliver another quality game? Can Noah give the Bulls some scoring to complement his rebounding? Will Brewer play well?

Chicago's going to need to find some offense somewhere, and it's not necessarily going to be easy.

Bulls win

Utah's a solid team, and the Bulls have plenty of issues with injuries to weaken them. However, at home, coming off a loss, I like the Bulls to find a way to win this game.



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  • It's time for the bench players to show up today. Deng, CJ, Rip are out which means a lot of pressure on Rose to do more when he already is carrying the team. Hopefully, Korver bounces back from his awful game and he is a semi-Boozer anyhow(show up usually against the weaker teams and disappear against the good teams)

  • Noah is also a game time decision with illness ... real tough game if he's out too since the Bulls don't even have a 3rd center on their roster and with Deng out playing small isn't as much of an option either.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Omer is starting ... White Mamba time tonight?

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Noah seems to be the only guy on the Bulls who seems to keep getting the flu many times...maybe just a coincidence:-)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    He needs to wash his hands more maybe? Stop kissing babies and get some sleep...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Weird that he was sitting on the bench if he has the flu ... you'd think you'd isolate him from the rest of the team.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    schaumburgfan, why don't you go back to Turkey, you Asik ASS KISSER!

  • Have the refs really sucked lately? Or is it just me? Korver didn't even touch that Hayward and they call a foul. Our guys have like people hanging on them and no call. It's not just tonight either they swallowed the whistles in Milwaukee. Really hard to watch games like this.

  • Jimmy Butler really changes the game for the Bulls he's so active and quick to loose balls. It's great to see the rookie.

    Man you gotta wonder if he could improve his shooting could he become a two guard? Already a solid defender. He almost seems like a younger version of Ronnie Brewer but with a better looking shot.

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Jimmy Butler deserves to be part of the regular rotation. Even with Deng healthy, Butler should get 8-12 minutes per game including a stint in the1st half. That Thibs hasn't don't that so far this season is foolish and short-sighted.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree but when Rip gets back it's going to be tough. I will say Butler should probably replace Brewer next season if the Bulls decide to let him walk.

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Rip has been absent nearly the entire season and won't be back until sometime in April. His shoulder injury is far worse than Bulls admitted. Day-to-day is a joke! So that's no excuse not to play Butler a few minutes.

    And Butler's minutes should come mostly from Deng, not from a SG, imo.

  • at the 7:30 mark of the 4rth quarter, snoozer finally gets an " and one" call correct. What a jackass, how can any serious NBA player stand listening to his shit all game long without wanting to punch him in the mouth.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BigWay:

    You are the jackass, saying it would be good for the bulls if boozer got a season ending injury. You are miserable.

  • http://www.suntimes.com/sports/basketball/bulls/11135358-579/shoulder-injury-will-keep-rip-hamilton-out-for-a-while.html

    Bulls Lied about Rip Hamilton's Shoulder Injury.
    They called it a "Mild Sprain" and listed Rip as "day-to-day."
    HA, What a joke! We now learn Rip felt a "pop" when the injury occurred and doctors told Rip he would be out a full month. Currently, Rip's arm is still in a sling. That's no mild sprain, Rip has a serious shoulder injury and Bulls aren't being honest about it.

  • Further, KC Johnson of the Tribune, doesn't write the truth, we have to learn it from the Sun Times.


  • Good win, still the Bulls need to quit going for those cheap pumpfakes, too much free cheese given up that way. Too many turnovers but a great shooting night with over 30 assists. Butler looked solid and he does have a post up game, they should try going to him a few times to see if he can score or draw contact. Asik looked much better on defense and not so clumsy as he has recently. Korver is a game changer if he can ever shoot with consistency, he's rebounding well and playing better defense.

  • One real change this season is Korver's defense. If you compare it to his defense last season when he was a complete liability, he is pretty decent now. That shows even a veteran can improve upon a skill in which he was terrible.
    And even Boozer is playing better defense compared to last year. Will he do the same against Bosh? But, atleast he is better than last year. As of now, as long as he is with the Bulls...we can use his games like the last two ones.

  • If the Utah victory shows anything, its that Bulls strength is their depth. Bulls don’t have 3 legit all-stars like LeBron, Wade, Bosh. We have 1 legit all-star, Rose. The rest of Bulls success comes from depth, defense, teamwork, hustle, and coaching. So come playoff time Bulls must toss aside the conventional wisdom and coaching cliches about shortening the rotation, going with your big stars, etc. In playoffs Bulls must use their strength to their advantage and that means playing the Bench Mob in both the 1st and 2nd half, and keeping Rose, Deng, Noah fresh enough to close out the game the last 6-8 minutes of the 4th quarter.

    In some ways what Thibs has been doing the last 2 regular seasons has been Fool’s Gold. The intense effort and grinding Deng and Rose into exhaustion to win a few extra regular season games does not translate to the playoffs. Bulls can’t out-hustle every team in the playoffs like they do in the regular season. Opponents will match Bulls hustle and effort in playoffs – so something else is required. That something else is what opponents don’t have – the Bench Mob – the team within a team. If Bulls win it will be because the Bench Mob outplays opponents’ benches. Not because Rose and Deng average 42-44 minutes over four 7-game playoff series. That won’t work. So Mr. Thibs, keep your starters fresh and trust your Bench Mob - they are as good as your starters, Rose aside.

  • Good win by the Bulls, and its strange that Noah all of a sudden comes down with the Flu and Asik starts. There's a possibility that the Bulls were showcasing Asik along with Butler in the starting lineup for a trade this coming trade deadline.

  • If Boozer could play this well each game, he would be my favorite bulls since I like big men more than perimeter players.

  • He doesn't often play like a traditional big man. You don't really want your 6'9" power forward taking 15 foot fadeaway jump shots. Also, Millsap scored 26 points. Boozer managed some terrible help defense lapses to go along with that.

  • Seems direct replies are broken ... got a feeling that it's bold text that does it, since they broke in another thread after bold was used too ...

    Reese: In this age when every team has every play of every player on a computer they can call up instantly I don't believe showcasing goes on. If anything Noah being out makes it more likely Noah is the one being traded: you rest the guys you plan to trade so they don't get hurt.

    Edward: I wouldn't say there's no difference between the starters and the bench, what I'd say is that if you have a good coach with a working system and players that are willing to buy into it and play their role then the gap in talent can be made to seem smaller. After all we saw the team perform pretty well even without Rose.

    As far as the playoffs go, I don't think it's the shortening of rotations that is the defining aspect, it's the concentration of shot selection. The top two players typically get more shots at the expense of everyone else. Even the model of a team iwth no stars, the mid-2000s Pistons went more to Billups and Hamilton in the playoffs than they did in the regular season. So the real challenge for the Bulls is whether they can resist this urge, since I think their strength lies in being unselfish and not trying to force the ball to players but letting it end up with whoever has the best shot.

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