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Written by Mike Loszach | 20 January 2011

The Mavericks limp into this game having lost 4 straight road games and 9 of their last 12 games. Despite their recent struggles, Dallas still posts an impressive 27-14 record and a 12-6 road record. They did post a 109-100 home victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers last night. The Mavericks shot 55% in that victory. 

The Bulls are coming off a rare home loss 83-82 to Charlotte on Tuesday night. Unless your name was Derrick Rose, offense was hard to come by Tuesday night. Rose scored 33 but his game winning shot attempt came up just short. In his last 4 home games Rose has averaged 33 points and shot just under 50% from the field. The Bulls will look to right the ship tonight but again may be without Carlos Boozer who is questionable tonight. If Boozer can't go, they will have to find someone else besides Rose and Deng to contribute offensively, much like the way Kyle Korver did against Memphis on MLK day.

Stat of the Day:

The Bulls are 7-1 at home this year against Western Conference teams averaging 105.3 ppg.

Probable Mavericks Starters:

G – Jason Kidd, 8.1 ppg

G – DeShawn Stevenson, 6.9 ppg

F – Shawn Marion, 11.8 ppg

F – Dirk Nowitzki, 23.5 ppg

C – Tyson Chandler, 9.0 ppg

Probable Bulls Starters:

G – Derrick Rose, 24.7 ppg

G – Keith Bogans, 3.5 ppg

F – Luol Deng, 17.8 ppg

F – Taj Gibson, 7.8 ppg

C – Kurt Thomas, 4.0 ppg

Prediction:

Current Line: Chicago (-3.5), Over/Under 185.5

If Boozer can’t go the Bulls will have to find some sort of combination of offense from the likes of Gibson, Thomas, Korver, Brewer, and Asik. However, despite their win last night the Mavericks have still struggled lately and playing the back end of a back-to-back should help the Bulls. It’s also tough to see the Bulls drop 2 in a row at home given how well they have played at the UC this year.

Bulls 96 Mavericks 88

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Written by Mike Loszach | 17 January 2011

The Bulls travel to Memphis today for a matinee game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Like many games behind played today, this game will tip off during the day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day. The Bulls are coming off an exciting victory against the Miami Heat in which they saw Derrick Rose hit big shot after big shot and Kyle Korver came up with a game winning 3-point shot. However, during that possession Carlos Boozer sprained his ankle badly enough that he didn’t even make the trip to Memphis for today’s game.

Taj Gibson is expected to start in place of Boozer today. This will be the first game all season that the Bulls will be without both Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. It is possible that we will see some James Johnson or Brian Scalabrine coming off the bench in today’s game as we’re getting thinner and thinner with another post injury. If it turns out that Boozer will miss more time than just this game I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team sign a post player to one of those short 10-day contracts.

Probable Bulls Starters:

G – Derrick Rose, 24.5 ppg
G – Keith Bogans, 3.5 ppg
F – Luol Deng, 17.8 pprg
F – Taj Gibson, 7.7 ppg
C – Kurt Thomas, 3.7 ppg

Probable Grizzlies Starters:

G – Mike Conley, 13.1 ppg
G – Tony Allen, 6.1 ppg
F – Rudy Gay, 21.0 ppg
F – Zach Randolph, 20.1 ppg
C – Marc Gasol, 11.3 ppg


Prediction:

Current Line: Chicago (+5), Over/Under 188


This definitely won’t be an easy game. The Bulls are without one of their main scorers and rebounders in Carlos Boozer. Many players will have to pitch in to match his production. Also, the Bulls have struggled against Memphis losing their last 3 against them. Memphis has been tough at home this year (12-6), while we have struggled on the road, especially lately. Day games on Christmas Day and MLK Day have a history of starting slow and going under the posted total. I think that continues today.


Grizzlies 88 Bulls 85

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Written by Marco Radenkovich | 16 January 2011

"C'mon, that is how guys get hurt, that is how serious injuries happen," Chris Bosh said.

"You've got to watch people's legs. I know guys want to hustle and everything but we all want to play and provide for our families and have a job."

Bosh was immediately frustrated with Asik, who has worked his way into coach Tom Thibodeau's lineup mostly through hustle and fighting for loose balls. Before he left the floor, Bosh shook hands with Asik but still was salty about the play after the game.

"We all want to be healthy and that is very important," said Bosh, who had 11 of his 17 points in the third quarter before the injury. "If it is by somebody's leg, don't dive for the ball, it's too close."

 I read these comments by Chris Bosh last night and kind of blew it off.  The Heat lost a close game, in which Bosh couldn't participate in because of a twisted knee.  The Bulls ended up winning 99-96, giving the Heat its third straight loss.

Then I saw the play again today, and read the comments again, and I remembered what a piece of shit Bosh is.

Omer Asik made a fair attempt at the loose ball, diving on the ground for it behind Bosh.  If Bosh would have went for the ball, instead of being a lazy piece of shit, he wouldn't have gotten hurt.  But instead, other guys "want to hustle" and Bosh just wants to play and provide for his family.  Don't hustle around Chris Bosh, or he might get pissed off.  Get the fuck out of here, with your Latrell Spreewell-esque quote.

I think we can say that he's been exploited in Miami, and is showing how overrated he was in Toronto.  Bosh has dropped  his PER by 5 since he came to Miami.  He seems content with shooting jumpers.  He doesn't like to be physical, even though he's bigger than most players on the floor.  He shot 3-of-fucking-12 when being defended by Kurt Thomas and Carlos Boozer.  He's one of the most talented players in the NBA, but doesn't use it, because that requires hustling.  He can't hustle, because he wants to play and provide for his family and have a job.  What a vag.

I'm so happy the Bulls signed Boozer instead of Bosh.  no comments

Written by Mike Loszach | 15 January 2011

Still a fun matchup but it loses a bit of its luster since Lebron James and Joakim Noah are both out. Despite that, it is still a nice measuring stick for the Bulls that seem to find themselves in the "very good" but not "elite" category. I should be around tonight and commenting from time to time during the game. Feel free to stop on by and add your thoughts on the game.

Prediction:

Current Line: Chicago -2.5
Over/Under: 188

Tough game to call. I would advise just putting your feet up and watching the game. But for you action junkies out there, it's tough to see the Heat dropping 3 in a row, even without Lebron.

Miami 95 Bulls 91 no comments

Written by Marco Radenkovich | 14 January 2011

I'm back from Mexico after a week, and it's nice to see the Bulls come out strong and handle the Pacers tonight in Indy 99-86.

You've heard a lot from Tom Thibodeau regarding hustle and energy, and the Bulls came out with energy tonight, taking a 12-point lead into halftime.  D. Rose started the game off by connecting on four shots for 8 points.  

UPDATE - Apparently, I lost everything that I wrote on the article, but I'll quickly recap.

Kurt Thomas had a huge game, collecting 18 rebounds, and even he looked more active.   Even though his shot hasn't been falling, he's helping in other ways.  Same with Kyle Korver, who had a tough game shooting, but he made a couple nice passes that led to Bulls layups.  

The bench, which has played better as of late, was key in the game.  CJ Watson distributed and ran the offense very well for the Bulls tonight.  Ronnie Brewer and Taj Gibson were thrown into the lineup early due to foul trouble, and they came out with energy, especially Taj who had six quick points on dunks.

Anyways, I wanted to do a quick poll here at HttH.  Out of these five, who would you want as the Bulls starting 2G?

Ronnie Brewer
Courtney Lee
JR Smith
Tony Allen
Anthony Parker

Also, you might have heard that the Heat visit the UC to play the Bulls.  I wonder how the fans will take this one.  no comments

Written by Mike Loszach | 09 January 2011

Derrick is getting to the line more

Derrick was awesome last night, no doubt about it? But doesn’t the Box Score look so much better when he is getting to the line more. Last night he scored 36 points in the win over the Celtics, but a career high 15 of those points came from the free throw line. The 19 Free Throws Derrick shot last night easily the most he has shot in a game all season.  This followed a perfect 10-for-10 performance from the charity stripe in Philadelphia. Prior to those 2 games he had only shot 10+ free throws 3 times this season. This is huge for the Bulls and hopefully the trend will continue and we will see a lot more of Derrick at the line in the 2nd half of the season. I don’t know if the refs are giving in and finally giving Derrick some calls or Rose has just figured out what he needs to do to get whistles in this league, but it needs to continue. Not only does it give the Bulls a much better shot of winning but from a selfish fan’s perspective it will also do wonders to Derrick’s scoring statistics and post season award chances.


The Boozer/Thibodeau Situation

By now the situation has been very well documented. Boozer sat the entire 4th quarter in the loss at New Jersey and by all accounts, wasn’t too happy about it.  To me it was blown way out of proportion and really was much ado about nothing. I can understand why Thibodeau didn’t want to go back to Carlos in the 4th quarter of that particular game and I can understand why Carlos wasn’t too happy about it. That’s not important. What was important was how Carlos reacted to it. Quite frankly, he couldn’t of reacted better. He said the right things, implying that he was mad at the game’s outcome and not at this benching, and that there was no problem between the head coach and himself. More important yet, is the way that he has played since then. Instead of pouting he has gone out and made sure that he earns his playing time going for 31 points and 13 rebounds in Philly and 22 points and 10 rebounds against Boston. That is the type of response that I want from one of the leaders of my team.


The Bulls at Home

With the win over Boston the Bulls have improved their home record to a very impressive 16-3 on the season. Included among the 16 are some quality wins against the likes of Boston, Oklahoma City, and the Los Angeles Lakers. It is very impressive to see the Bulls protecting their home court the way that have. They have tremendous fan support at the United Center at it’s great to see the team rewarding those fans. It appears the UC is once again becoming a very difficult place for opposing teams to come in and win. With the Central Division looking like it is the Bulls’ to lose, we will almost certainly see the Bulls host a playoff series this year. Obviously their performance at home could be a huge factor this postseason.

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Written by Marco Radenkovich | 05 January 2011

This game was bound to happen, it's just a shame it happened in New Jersey.

The Bulls fell to the Nets 96-94 tonight, snapping a five-game win streak.  

My thoughts are simple - Bulls FT shooting cost the Bulls this game, even with an awful third quarter and Carlos Boozer on the bench for the fourth.  The Bulls stormed back late, as Derrick Rose came back into the game, and had a quick 6-0 run of his own.  Then, with the Bulls down 94-92, Luol Deng went to the line, and promptly missed two free throws.   

Again, Luol Deng hasn't had a good year offensively.  He defends the best player, and does a pretty good job.  He hits open jumpers, and can slash to the hoop when he feels like it.  But this year, his PER is at 14.80, lowest since his rookie year.  He doesn't shoot particularly well from the field at 45.5% and while he's hit some big three's, he's also been just terrible at the line at 70%.  

But everyone says he's had a great year.  Stacey King, Neil Funk and especially Chuck Swirsky.  
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Written by Marco Radenkovich | 28 December 2010

Tonight, the Milwaukee Bucks travel down I-94 to play the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.  The Bucks are scuffling a bit this year, partially due to not having Andrew Bogut at 100% and now losing Brandon Jennings to injury. 

The Bucks were overrated to begin with, and it's showing now.  I can't believe they spent $70 million on John Salmons and Drew Gooden, two fringe starters.  And they threw away expiring contracts for the fragile Corey Magette, who has had his minutes cut.  Especially since neither of them like to play defense.  The Bucks can't score, play pretty good defense, and play at a slow pace.  I just never saw why some "experts" had them to win the division. 

Prediction:  The Bulls will win by 12.  They should win by 25, if they shoot around 50%. 

I'll be at the game tonight, so I'll try to add comments periodically, if it works on my phone.  But check out twitter for any interesting news.
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Written by Marco Radenkovich | 28 December 2010

Hope everyone had a good Christmas! I just have some sporadic thoughts from this past weekend.  

Free-Throw Shooting
It's been repeated on HTTH that free-throw shooting is shitty for the Bulls.  Unbelievably shitty.  It has cost us a few games already, and almost cost us the game vs. Detroit.  The Bulls sit at 70.2% from the line on the season, and if the season were to end today, it would be the worst percentage in Bulls history.

There's no reason that the shooting should be this bad.  A quick glance at the numbers shows that James Johnson and Omer Asik are by far the worst, but it shouldn't matter much because they don't get to the line often.  Luol Deng is 7% behind his career mark from the line.  Ronny Brewer's stroke looks terrible, and is at 61%.  Carlos Boozer is shooting 3% worse than last year.  
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Written by Marco Radenkovich | 22 December 2010

The Bulls travel to DC to face the Washington Wizards tonight, the first of a three-game trip.  The Bulls thoroughly demolished the 76ers last night, winning 121-76.  With the big victory, the Bulls were able to rest all five starters in the fourth quarter, leaving them rested for tonight.

 

The Bulls took care of the Wizards at home on November 13th, winning 103-96.  Gilbert Arenas had 30 for the Wizards, but he's in Orlando now, after a recent trade for Rashard Lewis.  Lewis will be making his debut for Washington.  The plan for the 6'10'' forward is to move him around in different spots, between the "three and four," and help spread the floor. 
 

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