2010-2011 Game Preview / Open Game Thread #80: Bulls at Orlando Magic

[Thanks to rainman1003 for today's game preview, since gametime is at noon we'll just call this the game thread too. -ed.]

With the #1 seed in the East already sewn up, the Bulls look to grab another accolade: an MVP for D-Rose against his number one rival, Dwight Howard. Surely another electrifying performance would seal the deal for Derrick, right? Wait, what? Dwight's suspended? Well, sh--


With D-12 out of the picture as well as possibly Jason Richardson with tendinitis, this nationally televised game isn't going to be as compelling as it should be, and probably would have been if each of the casts were complete. Instead, let's look at 3 objectives the Bulls can tick off against the Magic, before we go to the lineups:


A lot of our guys are banged up with nagging injuries. In fact, i don't think there's a player in the NBA at this stretch of the season who isn't at least nursing something sore in their bodies. So while it would be awesome to get to 60 wins, I hope we don't lose anyone due to any freak accidents or unnecessary risks. With that, I'm hoping we can take care of business early to rest our starters, especially Joakim and Lu. In fact, I'd be happy if we can rest Noah. I'd want him fresh to wreak havoc on the East in the playoffs.


The last thing I'd want to see is for Chicago to lose their competitive edge entering the Playoffs. The match against the Celtics was definitely a statement game, but we need to remember that prior to this matchup, there was a noticeable slip-up in our league leading D. I'd love for Rose and Boozer to take advantage of an utter lack of inside presence for the Magic tomorrow on Offense, as well as take care of business on the other side of the floor.

3) WIN to put pressure on San Antonio

If you are of the belief that the Spurs have enough to beat the Lakers to make it to the Finals, then this game might have a bit more meaning for you. Ultimately though, the most we can grab is a coin toss when we meet in the NBA Finals. But that wouldn't be too bad, yeah? The Spurs still have to play the Lakers and Suns, who are still taking every game seriously and relishing the spoiler role at this point. And with Coach Poppovich already resting his starters during the win against the Utah Jazz, a win against the Magic may bring us closer to possibly starting the NBA Finals at home against the Spurs.

Quick rundown of matchups, assuming J-Rich won't be playing. If he is, he wins against Bogans. Whatever.

PG: Jameer Nelson vs Derrick Rose

We haven't gotten a really good luck at Nelson this season against the Bulls, because he always seems to be injured or off his game. But what game he does have will definitely pale in comparison to Mr. Rose. And with no Howard to dish to when breaking down the defense, Rose can play him for the jumper. Although Nelson kinda looks like Rey Mysterio Jr, so he has that going for him.

SG: Gilbert Arenas vs Keith Bogans

Ahh, Mr. Hibachi. Mr. Agent Zero. This guy is probably the wild-card who could make this game competitive. If he mans the Shooting Guard position tonight, he will have the freedom to jack up as much shots as he can, which proved to be effective against the Bobcats (25 points on 9-14 shooting, 6-11 3pts). And actually I like Bogans on Gil. I think Bogans will be able to pester him much like he did Ray Allen.

SF: Hedo Turkoglu vs Luol Deng

Turkoglu has been hilariously abysmal for the past two games again the Bulls. Deng has made him look lost on the court, and has been content to simply jack up treys on offense, and refrain from using his strong court vision. Eventually he will have a decent game against us, but it's not happening, especially with no Howard in the middle. Deng has been the x-factor for the team, and should be 1st team All-Defensive this year. He will take out the Turk.

PF: Brandon Bass vs Carlos Boozer

Brandon actually had success against the Bulls last time, because so much attention was given to Mr. 2nd place. But since he will be alone in trying to establish an inside presence, he will have a harder time trying to score over Booz and Noah combined. Booz will--


What he said!

C: ? vs Joakim Noah

Seriously, who? Earl Clark? Do they slide Ryan Anderson to the 4 and bring Bass to the Center position? Do they play 4 on 5 and just shoot three pointers all day? Does it really matter?

Orl bench vs CHI bench

Q-Rich: Suspended. JJ Redick: Out with injury (strained stomach muscle). That leaves really only Chris Duhon and Ryan Anderson. We have Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, Omer Asik, CJ Watson, Kurt Thomas and Kyle Korver to throw at them. This doesn't seem fair.

My prediction: 12 point win, similar to the Cavs game.

I think Rose will be on standby mode, and will be content to let Booz and Noah work out their chemistry on the court, as well as give Deng and the others their time to shine. If for some miraculous reason the Magic are still in this in the fourth, then we will see another MVP performance to close this out. Either way, win # 60 is on the way tomorrow. And THAT is the kind of stat I like. 


Talk some stat-less MVP smack over at

FanPosts are user-created posts from the BlogABull community, and are to be treated as the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Blog a Bull

You must be a member of Blog a Bull to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blog a Bull. You should read them.

Join Blog a Bull

You must be a member of Blog a Bull to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blog a Bull. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.