The Starting Five: Bulls vs. Magic

The Starting Five: Bulls vs. Magic

Friday, Jan. 28, 2011
1:24 p.m.
By Aggrey SamCSNChicago.com

1. Derrick Rose talked about facing the Magic, who throttled the Bulls in both the preseason and their first regular-season matchup, in which Carlos Boozer made his Bulls debut. Oh, this is huge. Theyve been beating us bad every time we played them, so this is our chance to go out there and let them know were ready to play, said Rose. Theyve been playing well, shooting the ball great. At first, they had to get used to each other, but they jelled very quickly. Theyve got Turkoglu; hes playing very well for them. Everybodys shooting the ball good and Ryan Andersons playing great. He also discussed how Orlandos midseason blockbuster trade improved their roster. Orlando is more of a threat now. The way theyre shooting the ball right now is unbelievable. Theyre averaging nine three-pointers a game and nine can easily change a game, so if a team like that has the green light to just shoot whatever shot they wantespecially threesit can get ugly out there.

2. Thibodeau also talked about the threat Orlando poses. Magic All-Star center Dwight Howards dominance and athleticism, strength and ability to get deep into the paint. If they throw the ball anywhere near him, hes got great hands. It pulls you in. It requires you to have more than one person on him, said Thibodeau. Because of the way they shoot, you have to pull in, but you also have to react out. If they hit a couple threes, now they really set up his post-up and its probably the best way to set up a post-up in todays game, is through the pick-and-roll. It allows him to get deep position and if he gets two feet in the paint when he catches, its either a score or foul. The guy, hes dominant and their shooting really spreads you out. He continued: Magic power forward Brandon Bass has really played well for them, but when backup power forward Ryan Anderson comes in, now its another three-point shooter theyre putting on the floor, so they spread you out pretty good. Ive said this before: Magic point guard Jameer Nelson doesnt get enough credit. The guys a terrific player I think each game tests you in different ways. Certainly when you look at the make-up of their team, it puts a lot of pressure on you. Were concerned with whoever is front of us, but theyre a well-balanced team and a team to be reckoned with.

3. Thibodeau also talked about how the Bulls three-day break between games could benefit the team. We had an opportunity to get some practices in and well see tonight. Itll reveal how the practices were, said Thibodeau. I think it did give us a chance to get our legs under us and there were a number of things we wanted to clean up that you could only really do in practice. He also shed some light into whether injured center Joakim Noah would travel with the Bulls on their upcoming, five-day, West Coast road trip. Depending on what the doctors say and Fred, what they have in store for him Noah, in terms of getting his cast off, said Thibodeau. At some point, Im hopeful that hell be on the trip.

4. Rose talked about playing with fellow Chicago native Dwyane Wadethe Miami Heat star was voted the Eastern Conferences other starting guardin the All-Star Game. Ive never played with himexcept for the All-Star Game last year and that was only for a little bit, because I was injuredso its going to be exciting, said Rose. When asked about whether anybody big contacted him in the wake of selection as an All-Star starter, Rose quipped, I dont have Obama on speed dial or anything. I dont hang out with a whole bunch of celebrities. Rose is also a nominee for the All-Star weekend Skills Challenge. Four finalists--Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, Baron Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers, Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder are the other candidateswill compete against New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul in the com

5. Dont forget to follow me on Twitter at @CSNBullsInsider.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors


Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

Is there any better way to break in your new Black Friday television than Bulls-Warriors tonight? We think not. Coverage starts at 9 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live, and the game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports app

Here are three things to keep your eye on: 

1. Not the score. Let's be honest: the Bulls probably won't sneak out a win at the Oracle. In fact, ESPN's matchup predictor only gives Fred Hoiberg's young squad a 2.9 percent chance to come up victorious. UIC has three times better odds against juggernaut Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Sunday, in case you needed some context.  

With the talent gap in mind, though, it will be important for the Bulls to come out with high energy. The Warriors will likely take the contest lightly in the first half, so starting off strong reflects well on the coaching staff and starters. Stay within 10 points by the half, and that's considered a massive triumph. 

2. Lauri Markkanen vs. Draymond Green? Assuming the Dubs start out with Green on Markkanen, this will be rookie's biggest test of the season. Green is an elite defender, capable of wrecking gameplans from the tip. He's physical, quick and athletic. 

Markkanen is coming off two duds on the West Coast trip, but his aggressiveness hasn't wavered. It'll be important for him to continue to attack even with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year hounding him. 

3. Steph, KD and Klay doin' work. The Bulls offense hasn't exactly been a thing of beauty through the first 16 games. Their offensive rating is a brutal 94.4, ranked last in the NBA. Golden State, on the other hand, sits at the top with a rating of 113.1. 

Take some time to admire the skills of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson because when it comes to working cohesively on offense, they've set the gold standard. 

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

On the second (turkey) leg of a back-to-back, the Bulls didn't bring much energy in a 110-80 loss to the Utah Jazz. 

Instead of diving into the nitty-gritty of the uninspiring effort, though, we decided to just serve you up a Thanksgiving meal of highlights. Here are the top blocks from Wednesday's game: 

5. Derrick Favors is no Rudy Gobert -- that we know -- but imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

4. Are Bobby Portis chase down blocks the new LeBron James chase down blocks? Let's not get carried away... yet. We'll chalk it up to just a real nice hustle play by Bobby. 

3 and 2. Speaking of hustle plays... Jonas Jerebko isn't exactly known as a dominant defender. He sure made it hard for the Bulls on what should of been an easy fast-break bucket in the third quarter, though. First, he silenced Kris Dunn's reverse. Then, he met Lauri Markkanen at the rim and sent the rookie packing. The Baby Bulls 2.0 can blame it on fatigue, but they just handed Jerebko a highlight tape for years to come.   

1. In fairness, Jerian Grant had to get up a shot as the quarter was coming to a close. It is as vicious as it looks, though.