[Thanks to Cosmis for today's game preview (sign up!) -ed.]
The now Officially Noah-less Bulls attempt to take what might be the only winnable game on this home stand tonight, when the surprisingly decent Memphis Grizzlies come into the United Center. The Grizz are currently 9th in the West, and fading. One could say that they're the West's version of the Charlotte Bobcats, except, you know, they're in the West, which makes them good (or so ESPN tells me).
The Most Important Bulls in the World: Brad Miller
With Noah possibly done for most of March, B-52 becomes not only the starter, but the only Center on the team (sorry Chris Richard). Against a team with two major post presences (don't try to tell me that Marc Gasol isn't a top 15 Center in this league), we're going to need Brad at his best. That's right, all the shot fakes, behind the back passes, inhumanly slow drives, flailing attempts at rebounds and Frankenstein-like screaming
I've you've come to love accept will have to been on full display tonight. We need Brad to be SuperBrad tonight. B-Rad. Bradass. Whatever moniker we bestow upon him when he's actually trying. We need that guy against the Grizz.
Keys to victory: Matchups
With apologies for using VDN-Speak, matchups really are the only thing that will win this game. Brad and Taj are almost hopelessly outclassed by their respective counterparts under normal circumstances, so the frontcourt is a decisive advantage to Memphis. Rudy Gay vs. Luol Deng is more or less a wash, especially if Rudy Gay is in Bad Rudy Mode, where he just jacks up shots like
a crazy person Larry Hughes. Hinrich might actually be able to guard O.J. Mayo, but if he shoots like he did against Atlanta then we've already lost. The only true, decisive advantage the Bulls have is (stop me if this sounds familiar) Derrick Rose. Mike Conley might be playing better lately, but...yeah, he's no Pooh.