Low expectations for Bulls vs Nuggets tonight

The Denver Nuggets are 21-3 at home, second only to the Spurs. They’re also one of the hottest teams in the league right now having won seven straight and 13 of their last 15 games overall. That combination doesn’t play well against a Bulls roster missing Kirk Hinrich, possibly Marco Belinelli, and likely playing with a banged up Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.

The funny thing about the Bulls is that in many games in which I’ve expected them to get schlacked, they come out win or play well enough to have a chance to win in the final few minutes. In that sense, despite how lopsided the game may appear on paper, I’m never counting this team out.

Can the Bulls win the battle in the paint, particularly on the glass?

Chicago’s one of the better rebounding teams in the NBA, but Boozer looked like he was playing on one wheel still last game, and Joakim Noah still may not go tonight and who knows how well he’ll play if he does. The Nuggets have an array of strong rebounders and could easily have a big advantage on the glass.

I’m definitely concerned that Faried will outwork Boozer on the glass most of the night by playing at an energy level Boozer will simply not match. For the Bulls to win, they’ll likely need to find a way to win the battle on the boards, especially if Belinelli can’t go which will considerably lessen the already slim odds of them outshooting the Nuggets.

Attack Galinari

When looking at where the Bulls can create an offensive mismatch there aren’t many possibilities. Maybe Boozer can bully Faried in the post a bit, maybe Nate Robinson just has one of those games, but the guy whom has the best shot at scoring at a high level is the guy being defended by Danilo Galinari.

Given that Andre Iguodala is a three in twos clothing, he’ll likely draw whomever the larger wing threat on the Chicago Bulls is and leave Galinari to defend the weaker threat. That means Iguodala probably matches up against Deng leaving the Bulls hoping to have Jimmy Butler or Rip Hamilton create some offense for them.

Either way, it doesn’t seem too hopeful.

Slow it down

The Nuggets want to get out and run, and they’re probably more accustomed to it in the thin Denver air. Don’t get sucked into that type of game. The Bulls have worse finishers and won’t be as productive in an uptempo game as a slowed down one. They obviously want to take their chances when they get fast break opportunities but don’t look to turn it into a track meet. Particularly with several guys playing hurt and a thin bench.

How do you like your miracles?

If the Bulls win this game it probably trumps wins against Miami and New York as the best win of the season given how well the Nuggets are playing, how banged up the Bulls are, and the fact that it’s on the road against an absolutely dominant home team. It’s going to take something special by someone to notch out a victory and while the Bulls have shocked me before, I’m keeping my expectations low.


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  • Anyone hear about bulls raptors trade? Boozer for bargnani?

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Yes and Yes. What'd you think? Could be awesome. Could be terible

  • Well, it looks like we have something to get excited/argue about between now and the trade deadline. ESPN is reporting that the Bulls and Raptors are discussing a boozer for Bargnani trade.


    This should be interesting to debate, you have to take back what looks like crap to get rid of crap. In this case Bargnani makes $5 million less per year than bozo does, but the Bulls lose the amnesty option. The Bulls would have to take back another contract or 2 to make the salaries match as both teams are over the cap. I don't know if the 125% plus $100,000 rule is still part of the CBA, but if so the Bulls only have to take back another $2 million not the full $5 million difference. Bargnani's final year 2014 is an early termination clause, but no details on whose option that is and how much it would cost.

    While I am not likely to like Bargnani's effort/defense much if any better than I like the Matastatue, at first glance I am leaning toward jumping on this deal before the Raptors wake up.

    I suppose that Taj starts and Bargnani comes off the bench. I don't know if anybody noticed but Taj has quietly indicated that he expects to be a starter sooner rather than later. and this occured before the last few games when he started due to injuries.

    Can Thibs light a fire under Bargnani in a way that he couldn't under bozo, or is Bargnani a non competitive dog just like the Matabozo?

    Just like the Bulls, Toronto is already a tax payer at $74 million next season, so unless they can get rid of some extra salary for next season, tax considerations could kill the deal. The Bulls could take back the contract of Linus Kleiza who has a player option for $4.6 million for next season, but that just transfers the tax risk to the Bulls for both this season and next.

    Depending on the terms of that 2014 early term option, and who/what the other player/contract is, this might be a no brainer for us. Toronto has always complained that Bargnani doesn't rebound, so maybe they are willing to absorb the extra money on Bozo's contract for those extra rebounds that bozo appears to provide.

    My gut is that Toronto says no to this deal and/or finds something more to its liking. too bad, both Taj and I will be disappointed.

  • on the money with this one, Doug... haha

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