[Thanks to 'slowmotion' for today's game preview -yfbb]
The Bulls are coming off a bad loss to the Warriors (18-2) that exposed the ongoing problem of this year's Bulls defense. After the loss, Taj Gibson reported that the players are "not trusting each other right now" on defense, and Joakim Noah added that the Bulls are "not where we need to be, and that's in every area on the defensive end." Joakim Noah plans to sit out tonight to rest his sprained ankle, but the defense will be something to keep an eye on in this game and as the season moves forward.
The Nets come off of a blowout loss to Cleveland (13-7), and seem demoralized as a team. Trade rumors swirl around Deron Williams as a rebuild looms over the team after another disappointing start to the season.
Deron Williams on report Nets are open trading him: "At least I get a little notice this time! ... Instead of finding out on SportsCenter."— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) December 10, 2014
Starters Brook Lopez (back) and Joe Johnson (flu) are out tonight and backup center Mirza Teletovic is questionable. How do the Nets think they fare with such a thin frontcourt?
Cryptic from Kevin Garnett when asked if there's belief within team that group can still get it done: "I don't know how to answer that."— Stefan Bondy (@nydninternets) December 10, 2014
Look for the Bulls to exploit Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson in tonight's matchup.
BULLS PROBABLE STARTERS:
F MIKE DUNLEAVY: 10.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.65 spg, 30.7 mpg
F TAJ GIBSON: 12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 bpg, 0.7 spg, 28.2 mpg
C PAU GASOL: 20.1 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.82 bpg, 0.65 spg, 36.0 mpg
G JIMMY BUTLER: 21.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.50 spg, 39.9 mpg
G DERRICK ROSE: 15.6 ppg, 5.2 apg, 3.2 rpg, 0.50 spg, 27.0 mpg
NETS PROBABLE STARTERS:
F ALAN ANDERSON: 4.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.5 apg, 19.1 mpg
F MIRZA TELETOVIC: 10.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 24.5 mpg
C KEVIN GARNETT: 7.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 23.6 mpg
G BOJAN BOGDANOVIC: 9.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 30.3 mpg
G DERON WILLIAMS: 17.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.5 apg, 36.5 mpg
Betting line: Chicago Bulls are favored by 11
Per the Bulls' media guide, "Chicago has scored 100 or more points in six straight games and has averaged 108.8 ppg over that stretch."
Let's hope to see those Big Mac signs in tonight's game. Go Bulls!