[Thanks to sin for today's game preview. Noon (!) start on WGN/ESPN. -ed.]
Boom we're all feeling good. Bears just won last night and our Bulls coming off that awesome win against the Heat on Saturday. So it's MLK day today which means a triple header on TNT, and the best part is the Bulls are one of the featured games!
By the way what's up with such an early game today? And I mean REALLY early (and that's coming from me living on the west coast). Anyways onto the game preview after the jump.
Of course, there's always some negative we here at BaB can find and point out after two incredible days of Chicago sports and some days it's easier than others to spot. The issue at hand? Boozer spraining his ankle on that game winning three by Korver. As if Noah going down wasn't bad enough now Boozer too? But the great thing about this team is we have the pieces to compensate for such a loss.
(I expect/dread seeing lots of him this game)
All kidding aside it is great that we can pull a starting caliber player off the bench to slide right into that hole. Count me in as a fan of Taj finally (however I have to admit that I was in the camp that only hated him because more Taj meant less Tyrus). The dude has really proven his worth and especially defensively. I really liked the way he played early in the year with Noah when the two were hoarding the boards and swatting everything that was thrown at them. Taj should be able to hold his own against Zach Randolph today although Randolph has been putting up some pretty monster numbers lately. However once again with every positive there's some damn negative to point out and with Taj starting that means Scalabrine is likely to get some minutes. Sigh. Why can't you play James Johnson Thibs?! I really am hoping that Johnson gets some burn this game as opposed to the alternates of either Scal getting minutes or Deng playing 40+ minutes (which also means more excuses for his loyal band of supporters).
Also today we get an up and close look at one of the players management is supposedly targeting, Tony Allen. Okay, was that as depressing to read as it was to type? I know the majority of us here at BaB will be focused on O.J. Mayo. There are many big questions! Will he get off the bench?! Will he triple Bogan's production?! How good is he? All these questions and more can be answered after this game hopefully. I hope he shows us something, but at the same time I don't exactly want him thinking its an audition and decide to shoot lights out from three point land.
Other fun things to look forward to during the game? DENG VS GAY. I know this was a huge debate on this site at one point and it definitely came to focus this summer when Gay was handed that huge ass contract. Both players are clearly overpaid but the question that was being debated was who is better? Deng has been frustrating beyond words at times this season, but also at times shows us he can somewhat play at the NBA level. Gay on the other hand seems to have really benefited from the USA experience summer like a number of other players and has been playing very well this year. Personally I think Gay is the better player, but for all you Deng supporters out there, here's your chance to watch Deng prove me wrong and totally shut down Gay. And at the shooting guard match-up we have Bogans against Xavier Henry (I know Tyger can't wait to see this one). The point guard match-up should easily go to Rose but then again he did just give up a game to D.J. Augustin, so who knows what might happen if he lets his guard down.
Should be a good game today and hopefully the Bulls take advantage of being on national TV to get D.Rose some more love nationwide as well as raise the hype for the MVP season our boy is putting together. Really hoping the Bulls don't decide to play down to competition again because I feel like the Heat win really gave us a moral booster that this team really needed after some terrible losses the last week or so. Really hoping we can ride this momentum into the All-Star break and then look forward to getting the heart and soul of the team back. 3rd place in the East and only one game in the loss column behind the Heat. Just saying.
Head over to Straight Outta Vancouver for the Memphis side of things.
(Also remember to vote for D.Rose!!)