Will the Bulls supply Christmas joy?

The Chicago Bulls come off two days of rest after they looked visibly worn out in a blowout loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta on Saturday. Chicago struggled to get back on defense, struggled to defend the paint and overall looked like a team who's starters play too many minutes, something they've avoided in the past despite a heavy workload.

No easy task

The Houston Rockets are rolling. They've beaten the Knicks, 76ers, and Grizzlies in their past three games and have won five of their past six overall. That's a nice streak against some quality competition. Jeremy Lin has been revitalized since heading to Madison Square Garden and has scored 22, 18, 15 to go along with 8, 6, and 11 assists in his past three games.

With Lin playing better, the Rockets have a two pronged perimeter attack which is much more difficult to defend than when he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. James Harden still provides the volume offense for the Rockets attack with a ridiculously good 60% TS% despite moving from a third option to a #1 option this season.

Harden proved he's a legit star player in this league rather than someone who required other star players to help him get quality looks or deflect some of the attention from him.

Offense vs defense

The Rockets are above average offensively and below defensively. The Bulls are obviously the reverse. Chicago typically defends well against teams with a primary offensive focal point like the Rockets which force most of their action through Harden. The Rockets will become dangerous if Lin is on and much more containable if he's not.

On the other side of the ball, the Bulls should look to Luol Deng who should be able to score well against Chandler Parsons as well as Carlos Boozer who matches up against the undersized Patrick Patterson.

If Chicago struggles with Marco Belinelli defending James Harden they may look to play Jimmy Butler significantly more at SG to give a more defensive look.

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  • Merry Christmas Doug & to all the Bulls Confidential followers!

  • Whoa. Did not get to watch the game but that might just be counted as a blessing. Granted it is only one game but Omer looks like he kicked Noah's butt up and down the court. Can't believe we let that guy walk for nothing. I agree it was too much payroll for one position (and a poison pill in third year) but how about a little foresight. Perhaps I am being a Monday morning QB as he was a vital piece in waht should have been a legit title run until Derrick's injury ended those hopes. But still.

  • In reply to takdan:

    You are not being a Monday morning quarterback, nor are you being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to work in the Bulls front office. A team that constantly over values their own players under values the one they should have kept. They should have signed him before he became a restricted free agent where he would have cost them less money. At the very least they should have traded him so they would have got back an asset. That is the job of a team Vice President (Pax) and General Manager (Gar). What do they do all day?

  • In reply to takdan:

    It is obvious that you didn't watch the game, or that you don't watch many games at all. Asik did not kick Noah's ass, he kicked the Bozo's ass, since Thibs went with his usual strategy of trying to hide Bozo on defense and assigned him(not Noah) to "guard" Asik.

    Bozo turned Omer into Kareem Abdul Asik.

  • They couldn't sign him before he was a restricted free agent because he wasn't eligible for an extension. They could have traded him, but they thought they had a shot to win the title that year, so they decided to go for it.

    If Rose doesn't tear his ACL how bad would you have felt if you dumped Asik for a pick?

    Management was in somewhat of a tough spot with Asik. The biggest problem they had with him is not getting him to sign a 3 year deal initially.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Totally agree on the 3 year deal. I guess that we will never get an answer to that question.

    The other question that intrigues me, is would they have matched on Asik if Rose had not blown out his knee. As I've said from day one, I would have swallowed hard and matched, worrying about 3 years from now in the summer of 2014.

    Maybe a big part of the reason that Gibson's play this year has been disappointing is that he lost his running buddy and security blanket, Asik.

  • this defensive meltdown started in the 4th quarter of the Knicks game, opposing teams are attacking the basket at will against the Bulls who don't have much shotblocking or athleticism. Boozer has lost his touch on the rainbow jumper and pretty much looks like he wants out by amnesty....don't hold your breath boozer, jerry loves money above winning so your stuck with the bulls until they can trade you for an expiring so hold off your plans to play for your hometown Miami Heat for a few more years. Hinrich sucks on offense but he knows it, he often passes it to Boozer who passes it right back, putting the paxson favorite in a bad situation. He can't shoot nor drive, he wants to pass the ball and play "pesky defense" well thats not working too well. The Bulls Front Office never gets criticized and they should be, you can't blame Thibodeau for everything but he does deserve some. It's time to start Marquis Teague to develop him and have Hinrich and Nate start with the second unit while deng gets more rest. Taj Gibson doesn't seem right, he's not shotblocking like in past years, wonder if he is still injured.

    The Rockets organization is one that I like, they put a premium on young athletic players that can score and believe in developing them. The Bulls on the other hand seem confused and fear taking risks with youth, they much rather try to search out for the next kurt thomas but that usually fails. The Bulls are going to need to develop young talent next to Rose or at the very least "young veterans" like a jarrod bayless or oj mayo. They need to wake up and realize the athleticism and scoring thats needed to win in the NBA.

  • I completely agree. I'd also like to add that the Jersey's may have had something to do with the loss. Did you guys take a good look at them..There so ugly when I 1st turned to the game I thought the Bulls were a college team.

  • In reply to J Man:

    IMO, the Bulls could update their uniforms. Something akin to the style that Boston uses for their alternate road uniforms might work.

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