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The Bulls try to snap a two-game losing streak tonight as they host the Houston Rockets at the United Center.  The Bulls are coming off a rough game in Boston, where Kevin Garnett dominated with 20 points, 17 rebounds and the Celtics cruised to a 104-92 victory.  

The Bulls shot poorly once again, and were outrebounded once again.  Joakim Noah was worked by the "ugly and mean" Garnett, but Noah still managed to put up 14 points and 10 boards.  Carlos Boozer, in his second game back from a broken hand, scored 12 points, but only managed two rebounds.

"We got outrebounded and they made some good shots," Carlos Boozer said.   "We missed our shots. That was the game right there in the third quarter." 

The Bulls hope to rebound, both literally and figuratively against Houston tonight.  The Rockets put up an offensive show vs. Memphis last night, dropping 127 points, and shooting 59.5% from the field.  Since I don't know a lot about the Rockets, I asked Mike Kerns from Bloguin's Rockets Retro a few questions about the surprisingly struggling Rockets.  Thanks to Mike for answering a few questions.  He also asked me some questions about the Bulls.  Go check out Mike's site, it's a good one.  


1. Where did you have the Rockets finishing in October?  Where do you have them finishing now?
I didn't really do a month-by-month analysis in my preseason predictions. But I will tell you this; They would have to go 49-15 the rest of the way to hit my preseason prediction and I don't see that happening. I do still contend that they aren't as bad as their record indicates, but they aren't near as good as I projected.
2. With Kevin Martin and Luis Scola playing at all-star levels, why is the team struggling to start the season?
Several things. Coach Adelman's rotations have been questionable. They added Brad Miller in the offseason for some size and Coach elects to play the 6'6" Chuck Hayes over him and Jordan Hill on most nights. Also, two of their three biggest offensive weapons are out because of injury (Yao Ming & Aaron Brooks). But the biggest thing is they don't have that guy that can close a game out. They've been in every one of their losses this season in the the 4th quarter with the exception of blowout losses to OKC & Dallas. But they just can't get the big shot at the end of games.
3. How does Yao fit into the team's plans this year and moving forward?
Hopefully as either a backup or a spectator. I am on the side of the fence that thinks the Yao era in Houston needs to end. They waited two years too long to end the Tracy McGrady experiment and I fear they're doing the same with Yao Ming. Sure, he's a hell of a player and a presence when he actually plays, but the team just can't count on him to stay on the floor.
4. What is the team's biggest strength?  Biggest weakness?
Biggest strength would be their depth. They have 15 guys that could be solid contributors on any NBA team and they're young. But, again, the lack of a superstar or closer to finish up games is costing them big time in close contests.
5. How can they beat the Bulls tonight in Chicago?
First, Kyle Lowry needs to take Derrick Rose out before the game and get him hammered. In all seriousness, just do what they did on their game earlier this year and just execute better in the 4th quarter. And for god sakes, make Rose work for it a little. They made it way too easy for him in their last meeting.


Probable Bulls StartersRoster and Statistics

Guard 1 Derrick Rose 6-3 | 190 
Guard 6 Keith Bogans 6-5 | 215 
Forward 9 Luol Deng 6-9 | 220 
Forward 5 Carlos Boozer 6-9 | 266 
Center 13 Joakim Noah 6-11 | 232 

Probable Rockets StartersRoster and Statistics

Guard 7 Kyle Lowry 6-0 | 205 
Guard 12 Kevin Martin 6-7 | 185 
Forward 31 Shane Battier 6-8 | 220 
Forward 4 Luis Scola 6-9 | 245 
Center 44 Chuck Hayes 6-6 | 238

TV/Radio Information

Game time 7:00 CT
TV: Comcast Sports Net or ESPN
Radio: ESPN 1000