Game Thread: Bulls vs Denver (7:00 pm)

Game Thread: Bulls vs Denver (7:00 pm)

After a surprising and intriguing win over the Spurs, the Bulls are now hosting the Denver Nuggets. Usually, I'd make a note of how this could be a trap game, seeing as the Bulls have a tendency to return to Earth after big wins, but I'm not going to do that. Scrappiness and defense won the game against San Antonio, and I have a feeling those things have returned for good.

Chicago is currently sporting the 5th best defense in the NBA, which admittedly no one really anticipating going into the season, and the cost - at least so far - has been the glorious offensive improvements expected to be implemented by Fred Hoiberg. We've seen moments and flashes of that gloriousness, but that's about it. 60% of the starting line-up remains sub-40% shooters, and a fourth (Pau Gasol at 41.9%) is nearing that mark pretty damn quick too. Due to that, reverting back to a Thibodeau-styled defense has been crucial. It's kept the Bulls from free-falling in the standings, and for the first time in 18 months, these Bulls are actually looking like they give a damn on that end of the court.

Which brings us to tonight's keys:

- Keep the defensive consistency going. The Bulls have allowed a hundred points just twice over their past eight games - both losses - and against an offensive-lacking Nuggets squad, this should be an area in which they won't allow more than 80-85 points. Pack the paint, keep Will Barton from the glass (this isn't a joke), and make sure to never collapse on Emmanuel Mudiay, and they should be fine.

- More touches for Taj Gibson. Outside of Jimmy Butler, Gibson is the Bulls' most effective two-way player. While his offense is unspectacular, it's enough to dent the Nuggets' bench unit considerably, and his defense allows for lead-protection. If this game should end up getting close, Gibson should also close out the game.

- Sit Jimmy Butler. The next game is against Charlotte on Saturday, giving Jimmy a full four days off to take care of that heel. Not having him around would make this game closer than it perhaps should be, but Jimmy's long-term health is quite simply more important than early-season wins. In fact, I'd probably sit him against Charlotte too if I had any say.

The Nuggets are one of those teams where you can allow yourself some wriggle room to sit players or test things out. So if, by some chance, it'd be possible to give Bobby Portis some extended run tonight, this should be prioritized.

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  • I am waiting for another Pau bashing "empty stats" post from the The BigKnowNothing. You know, the guy who claims he graduated at the top of his 6th grade class. I guess the WiFi signal in his trailer is out tonight.

    In any event, glad the Bulls were able to close out a mediocre team. Who would think fans are anxiously asking when Kirk will return? Even Klank couldn't miss as many shots as Rose did tonight.

    Hope Hoiberg keeps using Noah off the bench even with Mirotic out. Great role for him at this stage of his career. Also would like to see Portis get some burn. Want the team to look for McDermott more on offense.

  • Hey, genius, maybe you should read and respond to Mark's Derrick Rose is Kobe Bryant post, which provided a chart that shows Gasol has the worst net rating on the Bulls, at minus 4.4 points per 100 possessions. Both his offensive and defensive ratings are the worst among the Bulls 4 big men(Noah, Niko and Taj). This basically supports my contention that a healthy Bulls team would win just as many games without Gasol(likely even a few more) as they have with him.

    Maybe, Mark is a know nothing just for posting it, maybe the guys that created the chart are no nothings just for reporting the facts. Maybe the people who created a net rating are know nothings just for creating a stat that denigrates the world's greatest human being masquerading as a basketball player. Or maybe, as the resident genius on this site you've determined that Net Rating is a useless stat that doesn't hold a candle to PER despite the fact that Net Rating pretty much sums up a player's contribution to winning and losing, you know scoring more points than you give up while you are on the floor, which obviously Gasol has seldom done this season.

    As Mark said in the post "Pau Gasol should be in the D-League, not Cameron Bairstow. Net rating says so". Gee Mark better go into hiding before you lead a Jihad against him for denigrating such a great player by reporting the facts. After all, the FBI recently reported that 25% of all the Americans that have traveled to the middle east to train with ISIS are from Minnesota. Gee, I wonder why that is, and where those people came from originally.

    So Gasol had his Gulliver game for this season(like his Milwaukee game last year, 46 & 18 if I recall, so even there he's slipping). Too bad that Nurkic wasn't available to physically kick his ass all game long. Luckily the FIBA D league center team was available with Nurkic out.

    Since you're so damn jealous(typical of the leftist lunatic fringe) of my academic credentials, why don't you take me up on my standing offer. Put 100k in escrow and we'll meet in Chicago where I will prove that as usual I'm speaking the absolute truth and you're just full of shit. In fact make that 100K for my undergraduate credentials and 100K for my graduate. You're so fucking smart, why not make an easy 200K. Typical of your ilk, you're simply a chicken shit afraid to put your money where your mouth is. Since you're such a tough guy why not take me up on my other standing offer to meet me in the boxing ring at the local gym, another chance for some easy money.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Why should I be jealous of trailer trash like you? Typical of your ilk you always want to settle disagreements with violence. You're no better than the jihadists you constantly bring up in your posts.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    No, actually I want to settle it with money, but you are just a typical internet weasel and a coward, who won't put his money where his mouth is. Maybe there is no room do to all the feet and asses. The only jihadists that I bring up are the cowardly internet kind like you who cannot tolerate anyone who has different views than they do about something as trivial as a basketball player.

    FYI, we don't have trailers in Carlsbad, CA, an affluent coastal suburb north of San Diego, the ocean views are just too expensive. But there is a very nice state park at the beach, where people like you can park their trailers and their trash while visiting from whatever frozen shithole you live in. You really have to stop assuming that the rest of the world live's by Hgarbage family values, most of the rest of humanity are not inbred ignoramuses.

    Based on the let sleeping dogs(or mutant sloths) lie theory, I left you alone for months, but you had to crawl out of your frozen shithole and start up again. Obviously, people of your ilk just can't help themselves.

    Maybe you want to pony up another 100K to "prove" that I don't live where I say I do, which I'm sure that you will dispute just like you do my academic credentials. Typical leftist lunatic liar fringe strategy, deny, deny, deny, lie, lie, lie. This should be easy money for someone as smart as you like to make yourself out to be. That's at least 400K that you are leaving on the table, that should buy a pretty nice trailer park in frozen shitholesota.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You don't have to live in a trailer to be "trailer trash." You are trash because of who you are and what you represent. You call me a coward but I don't hide behind a phony name on a basketball blog. You're just a Ted Nugent type who claims to be a Bulls fan.

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