[Thanks to paddyfairview for today's game preview -ed.]
If predictions were reality, this would be a major matchup. Also, LeBron James would be a Bull, Durant would be having an MVP season, and Portland would be a top team in the West. (Take this moment to appreciate that someone has worse frontline injury issues than the Bulls.) On the trade front, the F.O. would be attempting to choose between acquiring J.R. Smith, sending Taj and JJ to Charlotte for Stephen Jackson, or helping Heisley and Wallace atone for their many, many managerial disasters by exchanging our every available trade asset for O.J. Mayo. Thankfully, predictions are not reality. ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard (I'll bet it says that on his driver's license) can take his premature speculation problem elsewhere.
This is actually a pretty meaningless game, despite both fanbases being desperate for a win. Chicago fans hope a 46 game win streak will erase memories of the 4th quarter debacle at MSG (nope, keep drinking), while Milwaukee fans hope to keep their season afloat while Jennings is out. Oh yeah - Brandon Jennings is out. You probably knew that, but it bears repeating. (Remember that Canis Hoopus game preview a couple weeks back that listed Rose/Luke Ridnour as a compelling matchup? Well, bring on Keyon Dooling and Earl Boykins. Forget the shoe ads - between the refs, Hollinger and everyone else, Rose is quickly becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of NBA stars.)
Bulls castoffs John Salmons and Drew Gooden return, along with the rest of Milwaukee's ill-fitting pieces. Look for Andrew Bogut to give our weakened frontline fits. Hopefully Sheek will be taking notes. Keith Bogans will undoubtedly continue to suck. I predict a Bulls victory, under the highly arcane Transitive Property of Basketball, which states (according to Hollinger): "When an occasionally-feisty-but-generally-mediocre team missing its starting PG takes on a very good team missing its defensive anchor, the team from a better, less Wisconsin-y city will generally beat the one coached by Scott Skiles".
(How many of you were waiting for Skiles to get fired on Christmas Eve for the second time in his career? I guess only Portland and Seattle's basketball gods are that cruel.)
Game is at 7 on CSN
Shit talking should be done here: Brew Hoop