The real road trip begins tonight in Brooklyn

The Chicago Bulls officially started their road trip in Wednesday to a home town crowd of Bulls fans in Milwaukee. Now, the Bulls hit the road to play a series of quality opponents starting with the resurgent Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have improved considerably since Brook Lopez returned and Avery Johnson was fired.

Noah vs Lopez

The Nets have played much more through Brook Lopez with P.J. Carlesimo than they did under Avery Johnson. Lopez isn't exactly a banger, but can score in the post as well as with the mid-range jumper. Joakim Noah will draw the assignment of keeping Lopez in check. In the last matchup, Lopez had the advantage early, but Noah shut him down in the second half as the Bulls came from behind to win by a point.

Chicago will depend on Noah to dominate the glass against Lopez who's been a relatively weak rebounder despite his size as well as chase him on the perimeter to shut down the mid range jumper. On the offensive end, Noah should create some openings by beating Lopez down the floor and can take Lopez off the dribble with his speed occasionally. That said, I expect Lopez's big body to give Noah trouble on the offensive end and don't look for a big impact from Joakim on that side of the court.

Stopping Deron Williams

The other primary piece the Bulls need to stop is Deron Williams. Williams isn't much of an athletic freak for a star PG. Kirk Hinrich lacks athleticism, but plays strong fundamental defense and should force Williams into tough looks and limit his easy opportunities. Williams can still have a big night through strong defense though, and the Bulls will need to keep him in check.

If the Bulls can hold Williams and Lopez in check, then they'll force the Nets to rely on Wallace/Johnson and while both players are talented, neither are likely to provide consistent, efficient offense for Brooklyn.

The Bulls may need to limit Nate Robinson's role against Williams as Deron is too strong and fundamentally good for Nate to stick him for any length of time, and the Nets typically aren't running with a second smaller guard for Nate to cover if the Bulls wanted to switch Butler onto Williams or play a Hinrich/Robinson backcourt. If Nate's playing time is limited, the Bulls need the rest of the team to step up their scoring.

Jimmy Butler time

With the Nets likely playing Johnson/Wallace together for considerable portions of the game, it's the perfect opportunity to give Butler more minutes next to Deng. Butler can provide the extra defense the Bulls need and matched up against Johnson he can likely score a ton of energy points by crashing the glass, sprinting down the court and playing hard.

Moreover, Butler has played fantastic basketball recently and has earned a larger role with the team. This game gives him a perfect venue to utilize his skills on both sides of the ball and create a mismatch in Chicago's favor.

INJURY UPDATES

Kirk Hinrich has flown back to Chicago to have his elbow evaluated and is definitely out for tonight's action. Joakim Noah may also miss the game with a sore foot (plantar fasciitis) and Boozer is out for the game. The Bulls now look like they'll need a pocket full of miracles to pull this one out.

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  • Any chance the Bulls can beat the Heat and if so, the Thunder?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Way to stay on topic Aquinas.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    I'm looking way past the Nets, my friend. Aren't you?

  • I expect a lot of effort from Lopez... he must feel slighted by the All-Star snub, and this is the perfect time to show everyone how he compares against Noah.

    That being said, I am confident that Noah can match the energy and hopefully does a good job.

    Great point about this not being a good matchup for Nate. Whole heartedly agree. He will have a much better matchup tomorrow night.

  • upto I looked at the receipt saying $8791, I didnt believe ...that...my mother in law was truly taking home money part time on their computer.. there uncle has done this 4 only about 11 months and recently cleard the loans on their house and purchased a gorgeous BMW M3. this is where I went, =====>>bit90.com<<=====

  • Bulls & Heat in the Finals...seven games......and the winner will be....Da Bulls knocking off the Heat in Miami.

  • Hinrich out yet again ... how many different injuries can one man have?

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Actually, it is the same old elbow injury/infection.

    Worse yet Noah is out with PF, which likely means that he will struggle with that for the rest of the season. Hope that it doesn't turn into that Lisfranc thing which might require surgery.

    Tonight is one night where I would almost welcome the sight of bimbo the bozo.

    What the hell are we going to do when Taj and Naz both foul out.

    Is forfiet and option. What would Pop do.

  • Obviously, could not realistically expect a victory, but after competing and leading for the first 3 quarters, it turned into a painfull tease.

    Couldn't stop Andray Blatche at the end, or anybody in the 4rth for that matter(31 points). Where is Asik when you need him.

    For the most part a great effort, but they ran out of gas at the end. I guess we should have seen it coming, but Deng and Taj play 48 minuntes, and most of them out of position. What the hell are they going to have left to give tomorrow night.

    Almost didn't want to watch the game, figured a major blowout was coming, I guess this was better, but it left a bitter taste as we clearly could have won the game, if either our double fake all star Deng(6-18) or Nate(4-16) could have shot straight.

    Deng was especially disappointing as he just kept launching lazy long jumpers and barely hit the rim on his 3 point attempts. He had no business jacking up 6 of those. and he got annihilated on the boards by Wallace. Nate is Nate, but he didn't seem to have his mojo going tonight as he almost looked reluctant to take his usual selection of longer range jumpers.

    Valiant effort by Taj all night long, but as I have always maintained, he simply cannot play center for extended minutes, we got manhandled on the boards. A game like this makes you think that Deng is more of a Taj Gibson level player than an all star. Valuable, very valuable, but not an 8 figure guy, especially 2 years from now. Would you want Deng back in 2 years if he got Gibson contract, 4 yrs @ $33-36 million? Can we even afford that.

  • I was going to ask this after the Bucks game, and now with Noah going down it becomes timely, as Noah's injury really exposes the Bulls lack of depth and size among their bigs.

    Why don't we go after Samuel Dalembert, (money)? He always seems to do well against Noah and the Bulls, 14 & 13 in only 24 minutes Wednesday.

    The Bucks don't seem all that enamored of him, I guess that he can be a bit of a flake as teams always seem to be trying to get rid of him.

    How does this deal not make sense, at least for us, Rip and Nazi for Dalembert($6.7 million expiring). Throw some cash($1 million for Rips buyout) and/or a second rounder at the Bucks. We are going to need a legitimate backup center in the playoffs, especially if Noah's foot is a season long problem.

    Of course, I'd trade Bozo the Bimbo for him, but now that you guys all think that he has played like an all star for a couple of weeks, that's not even a consideration. Fairly certain that the Bucks aren't taking bozo's contract under any circumstances, but Dalembert and Gooden should work cap wise.

    Would you take 2 more years of Drew Gooden @$6.7 million per to get rid of the final 2 years of Bozo @$16 million per. It does put a dent in the 2014 plan as the final year of Gooden's deal would not be amenstitizable. To me, when he plays, Gooden is virtually identical to the Matabozo, as in mostly useless.

    I don't know if we would have the ability to offer him anything more than the MMLE, but, I would consider signing Dalembert to a extention if he was amenable to being a backup and willing to play for $5-6 million per.

    As I have maintained from the moment that we let Asik walk, we are undersized and undermanned upfront, and we clearly need a long term solution to Noah's backup. Dalembert at the right price is not a bad choice. He rebounds, has some offensive game(likely slightly better than Noah) has enough size(length) to be a shot blocker. I am sure that working for Thibs would only make him better on defense than he has ever played before.

    The more that I think about it the more that it seems like a no brainer, especially since we need to get Rip off the roster to keep minutes for Jimmy, Kirk, Bellini and Nate when Rose returns.

    What do you say, Bulls fans?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    No one should look for the Bulls to make any moves at the trade deadline, F O too cheap and conservative. This is somewhat of a throw away season in my opinion even though the Bulls are between 3rd and 4th in the east and I'm sure the owner wasn't expecting this team to do this well this season. Bulls are not the sacred White Sox so no moves will be made... sorry Bulls fans.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You have interesting things to say about basketball and the bulls. What really detracts from your posts are your childish nicknames for boozer, it's a real shame.

  • In reply to dreverts:

    I can see why you might feel that way. Unfortunately, there are certain behaviors in life that I simply have no use for, and Boozer epitomizes almost everyone of them. I was raised the old fashioned way by European immigrant parents who were children of the depression and WWII.

    I root for guys that I can respect by the way the play the game, not just the skill that god gave them. I like the Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Steve McMichael types. Silent warriors who play with their head and heart and are going to kill themselves trying for their teammates. Kind of like what the undermanned Bulls did the last couple of nights.

    I was never anything but an average athlete, but I played just about every sport that I could, gave it everything that I had, and kept my mouth shut. The best compliment that I ever got, came on the basketball court, when a guy saw me coming and said, Oh no, not you again, everytime that I play against you, I smell more like you, than you do. Somehow, I think that is what Jimmy Butlers opponents think. I think that you can see that by the guys that I root for and the guys that I can't stand. I like talent as much as the next guy, but I root for effort. What made Jordan the GOAT, was that he had both, or should I say all three, Talent, heart and brains.

    I despise big mouth phony clowns who can't even be bother to put forth any effort especially when they earn more for one game than 80-90% of Americans earn in a year. You know, that corny thing about to those who much is given, much is expected.

    If you are going to be a dog, be a silent dog, not a clown. boozer is the worst of all, I am sure that if I sat courtside, I would hate him even more. I'd probably have to be restrained and sedated.

    Frankly, I have no idea how guys like Noah, Deng, Taj, Butler and Thibs can even stand the sight of Boozer. I can't believe that one of them hasn't gone Russell Westbrook on him and punched him in the face.

    To me boozer is absolutely despicable and deserving of absolute ridicule.

    There is no other way that I can express the depths of my contempt for him other than calling him out for what he is.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You could potentially make the trade if you add Vlad to it, but in those circumstances the Bucks need to waive a player to fit in the roster requirements. I'm not sure if they'd have someone else they could waive or not.

  • God, I am so fucking sick and tired of injuries. (And I am also sick and tired of the regular season.)

    Plantar fasciitis? Again? Oh, good. I mean, it's not like that has a chance of lingering for the rest of the season or anything.

    I swear to God, it's like this stupid universe does this to us on purpose, because it knows damn well that this team, at full strength, would rampage through all the various assortments of trash that it likes to call ''competition''. So the only way it can stop us is by sending swarms of injuries at us.

    Take us on at full strength you cowards. Oh, wait, you won't? That's because we'll make you lick our plump, freshly-pushed shit, and you all know it. Fucking pussies.

  • ... Homer.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    Don't you want to see this team without the bastard universe/Galactic Federation cuntdrop/Communist Sternism beatstick taken to it?

    I worry more about injuries than who we play against. I think this team can compete with anyone in the postseason if healthy. I even think we'd make it to the finals (regardless of who we play) if healthy. Beyond that, who knows.

  • Understand the frustration my fellow blogger but dont blow a gasket. This is what the owner wants cause hd wont give this Bulls team his undivided attention and give Thibs the kind of players that are needed to stay in competition for the east. The players are breaking down before our eyes just when Rose is in the final stages on his return to the court. If injuries are going to sideline the other players, the Bulls shouldn't bring Rose back this year. Players are logging far too many minutes and it's starting to show. When there's players that are riding the bench and aren't good enough to be on the court it just shows how contracts were wasted on unproductive players.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You may well be right on ownership, God knows, I don't trust them either. Trust is something that's earned, not just given out freely. Perhaps over the course of the next few weeks they'll take a step towards the direction of proving us wrong about them (depending on what they do/don't do).

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You have to bring Rose back as soon as he's ready to come back. He needs to come back this year to get over the mental hangups of his injury.

    I think it's clear that the Bulls aren't going to rush Rose back onto the court or into larger minutes when he does come back. I'm sure they'll put a cap on him in terms of how much he can play.

  • Butler/Deng/Gibson works as a combo ... I wasn't sure you could play Butler/Deng as forwards without Noah but it certainly looks like something worth persisting with. Hopefully Thibs will Boganize Boozer and give his minutes to better players.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    If you can't amnestitize him, Boganize him, that is awesome. Thibs isn't going for it though.

  • Its only been 2 or 3 games, but the way the Bulls competed with their effort guys virtually proves that getting rid of bozo is indeed addition by subtraction. Same goes for Rip, or should I say brick Hamilton.

    Hamilton could disappear tomorrow and the Bulls would be better off for it. Yet, our clown homer announcers actually thought that Brick was playing great, and didn't think that he had missed a shot while he was in the process of shooting 3-14. What kind of drugs do those guys get.

    Unfortunately, Belli wasn't much better 1-8, even though he appears to be trying, which keeps me rooting for the guy.

    As for the Matabozo, all we need is any other effort guy upfront and we would be a better team. Would you rather have bozo or another Taj, another Noah, another Deng, another Butler, or sight unseen, Mirotic. It is simple as that, bozo never causes a win, while often being the single biggest cause of a loss.

    The Bulls have about 4 guys who don't belong on this team, they are not Thibs kind of guys, they are Bozo, brick, Nazi and Vladrad.

    The sooner they get rid of those guys, the sooner that they can compete for a championship.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    i agree that brick, nazr is just done but he is a good guy, vlad-bad really is hard to look at and I never understood why the Bulls rushed his signing with a guaranteed deal.......he's awful and most of us saw that coming. The one thing I don't understand is not picking up another big when early on it appeared Nazr was done. I understand they wanted to take a look at D. Cook but we badly needed another big body that could at least play 15 minutes a game with some defense. They still have one more spot open and if this plantar f situation with Noah lingers on, they have to use it and bring in another serviceable big or trade for one.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Well, I'd rather have Boozer than Nazr or Vlad ;)

    I don't think it'd be easy to find another Noah or Taj.

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