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Open Game Thread #41: Bulls vs Indiana Pacers

Luol's out. Duh's still out. So it'll be a stretched-out guard/wing group. I'm also not quite sure we have a coach.

Nocioni will start at the 3, and I'd like Thabo getting some minutes sliding over to the 3 after Noc starts the game 0-5 from the field and Gordon checks in.

What I like less is Tyrus as Noc's backup, as although it's always pleasing to a depressed Bulls fan like myself to see him play, I feel Tyrus' best position is the 4. (where he can use his athleticism to an advantage, not just to be competent). If Boylan really wants to go nutty, play Tyrus and Khryapa together, with Tyrus playing the 3 on defense and the 4 on offense, keeping Veektor on the outside where he can dazzle us with his passing wizardry. There's also Nichols and (ugh) Griffin, but if it gets to that point I'd rather watch a misused (or just not ideally used) Tyrus.

Main strategic worry for this game, as pointed out by Mike McGraw, is defending the 3-point line. In case you haven't noticed, the Bulls are awful at defending the long ball (and not so hot at stopping penetration either, hmmm), and their offense sucks so it's hard to make up the quick deficits a hot-shooting Pacer team (with the freedom of not having to incorporate Jermaine O'Neal) could force.

The end of this month's schedule is favorable, but this Bulls team needs to beat its record win-streak of the season (2 games) for me to even worry about such things. And speaking of apathy: if you're not like me, who already got suckered into buying tickets (not for tonight's game though), but still a sucker enough to want to see the Bulls live, discounts can be had!

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Indy Cornrows