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Game Thread #55: Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks

Finally, a game to talk about. If only I was at a computer today I could've limited the meandering Gasol diaries today to just one. Ah well.

Nocioni is still doubtful for tonight's game against Atlanta.  Luckily Skiles didn't go to the Dusty Baker school of deflecting blame and tried to downplay the significance of losing the sixth man. Then again, any excuse would ring hollow to me, because losing Noc shouldn't separate this team from being the best in the conference to a team that loses 5 of 6. Unless it's the revelation that this team can't lose anybody, which would fly in the face of preseason assurances that this team was deep. As usual, I'd suggest that playing Tyrus Thomas more and Khryapa/Allen/Griffin less would likely help. But the below-even-my-meager-expectations performances of the reserve frontcourt is pretty troubling regardless of their minutes.

Atlanta's playing better, and have the type of players that gives the Bulls trouble. (good ones? heh) They have big and athletic forwards like Marvin Williams and Josh Smith, as well as a bigger (and similarly explosive) guard in Joe Johnson. But I'm sick of this team coasting against teams they should blow out. A convincing victory tonight would be a nice nudging of my confidence in them.

But when you follow a team that seems to only win when they're playing their best, not even the brighter moments bring much long-term solace. I'd like instead for the Bulls to have a clear talent advantage leaving room for error. Against the Hawks that exists on paper, but after the past half-dozen games (and a whole weekend to stew over it) I'd like to see verification once in a while.