Bulls vs. Suns preview: Luol Deng gone, Bulls soldier on

Jonathan Daniel

A Season Full of Gut-Shots

[Thanks to BigSmooveDucky for today's game preview -yfbb]

Today is bittersweet for many Bulls fans, as NBA Iron man and hometown favorite Luol Deng has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers essentially for cap flexibility and draft picks. What the Bulls plan to do with this newly found financial freedom remains to be seen, and is a different soap opera for a different day. In the meantime, the Bulls are hosts to the visiting, and surprisingly competent, Phoenix Suns.

It has been a trying season for the Bulls offensively, but things seem to be straightening out as the team has won 5 of its last 7 games despite the fact that they average a league worst 91.3 points per contest for the season. Ball movement has seemed more fluid compared to earlier in the season and DJ Augustin has done a very good job of generating decent looks when the offense breaks down. Couple that with some good Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell showings and the Bulls have looked pretty well.

On the opposing side of the court are the Phoenix Suns who, at 20-12, are currently third in the Pacific Division and only 1.5 games out of first. They have received very stellar backcourt play out of their guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe who are averaging 19pts per game and 18pts per game respectively, while Channing Frye and the Morris twins have held the paint together as well. [Eric Bledsoe is out for tonight, fyi -yfbb]

The Bulls have flat-out struggled to defend the 3pt line, and with the departure of Lu, things are only going to get more difficult. Bulls' guards need to be diligent this evening and communicate. A lot of responsibility will fall on Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich to direct rotations for the wings and try to force the Suns backcourt into contested threes or long twos. We may also see significant minutes for Tony Snell which I think will be good for him today and the rest of the season.

Today marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new journey. Whatever the future brings is still a mystery to everyone outside of the front office. But rest assured, we will all be strung along for the ride.

Tip-off is at 7:00PM CT, WGN-TV/WGN America and ESPN 1000AM

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
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.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

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.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker