[Thanks to wrigleyrocker12 for today's game preview. We need some for the next 2 weeks, so please sign up if you're interested. Special Monday game for TNT -yfbb]
What can I say? I was bored, and thought I would take the time to do my first game preview! (and, of course, to bash Dwight Howard some more, and talk about how him being in a Bulls uniform would suck!). So, onward with the preview!
The Bulls (37-10) travel to Orlando (29-17) to face the Magic for seemingly, like, the 15th time this year. In all seriousness, although it feels like the Bulls have faced them 15 times, this will be the third, and final battle between these two teams. The Bulls come in with just a one game lead over the ever-loved Miami Heat, which, contrary to belief around here, makes every game important. Grabbing the one seed and home court advantage would be great to have, I don't know why people wouldn't think it is. It doesn't take precedent over health, of course, which reminds me, Derrick Rose will likely not be playing tonight, and Rip Hamilton will be on the sideline as well, but hopefully he's wearing some kind of Lord of the Rings Mithril Armor (hopefully I'm not the only person here that's a LOTR nerd?). Regardless, it's time for WRIGLEY'S KEYS TO THE GAME!
1. Keep the bigs out of foul trouble.
This isn't really as much of an issue as it is a caution. Omer Asik has proven that he can hang with D12, but I would still rather see Jo on the floor because he's still Joakim Noah. Carlos Boozer, of course, is prone to some stupid reach in fouls, but I'm not too worried about him, because he can't guard Ryan Anderson anyway, and Taj has been pretty awesome lately.
2. Guards need to hit open shots
This is, of course, more directed at C.J. than anyone else, though it would be nice to see Brew hit some twisty turny, elbows to the side jumpers, although, I wouldn't like to see him hit some as much as I would just like to see him stop taking them altogether (warning: clicking on link will expose you to Rondo-esque jump shooting numbers). Anyway, C.J. needs to hit shots, because when he does, the Bulls tend to be better, and someone other than Carlos Boozer is going to have to score. They didn't hit jumpers last time, and it didn't end well.That goes for you too, Mr. Luol Deng, and of course, Mr. Ashton Kyle Korver. HIT THOSE TREYS.
3. Play team defense
Shouldn't really be too hard of a task for the team that is top tier in the league, and possibly the best in the league, at defense, however, they struggled to do so last time, and the "let Dwight get his, guard everyone else," seemed to abandon the Bulls when the Magic came out guns blazing, but I'm not too worried, Thibs knows what he's doing, and these guys should be plenty ready to execute a defensive game plan that has already worked several times.
Jameer Nelson has kinda fallen off the side of the earth, even though he was once considered an up and coming point guard. He's not nearly as good as he was, but he's still dangerous and can hit shots from a lot of places and go off at any time. Then again, so can C.J. Watson, and C.J. is a much better shooter, and defender than Nelson. Advantage: Bulls
JRich has shown, lately, that he still is indeed JRich, minus the dunks. He can still shoot, and that is probably what he does best, because when he gets hot, there's really no stopping him. Ronnie needs to keep a hand in his face all night, and on the other end, JRich will probably be encouraging Ronnie to shoot. Wonderful. Just what the Bulls need. More Ronnie Brewer jump shots. Advantage: Magic
Of course, Luol Deng hasn't been the same since his unfortunate wrist injury, however, for everything Hedo Turkoglu does well, which would be... shoot and pass, his poor defense probably evens it out. Advantage: Bulls
Power forward: Ryan Anderson vs. Carlos Boozer
I'm not sure what to expect from this. Boozer has struggled to guard Anderson in the past, but he's played very well against the Magic so far this year. Expect a lot of "GRAB DAT JO" as Carlos will (hopefully) be guarding Ryan Anderson at the three point line. Regardless of what he's doing, Thibs will still probably use a lot of Taj Gibson, because the last time these two teams met, pairing Boozer and Taj while allowing Boozer to guard D12 worked pretty well, because one on one defense is a kind of defense that Boozer is pretty decent at as he gets his hands on a lot of balls. Advantage: wash
Center: Joakim Noah vs. Dwight "loyal" Howard
Dwight Howard is the best center on the league, but he shouldn't be on the Bulls. Jo is awesome.
Need another win tonight. Don't feel good about getting the one-seed with the possibility of DRose being out for weeks, so every game is a must win, and there's no reason this game can't be won.