Well its time… The folks at ESPN didn’t seem to think so a couple of weeks back when they listed noteworthy match ups coming for the new league darlings, the LA Clippers, but I knew this would be a great matchup to circle on my calendar.
This matchup is obviously about more than D. Rose and Chris Paul, however it has been interesting to see how fans react to these two. I think because Derrick is not your archetypal point guard, coupled with the fact that CP3 did not get the MVP award the year Kobe won, it has created additional passion when discussing who the best is at the point guard position. Common arguments: Chris Paul is a visionary, he makes offensively challenged players more effective, he doesn’t need to score to impact a game, etc.
Recently when asked by a reporter (the day he signed his 5-year deal), about this very argument, Derrick said: “…there are so many good point guards in the league, I’m not worried about [having that distinction], I just want people to remember me as being a winner and being willing to do whatever I had to do for my team to win.” That did it for me. I’m no longer even arguing with anybody about who’s the best point guard in the NBA. Chris can have that. Derrick just wants to win basketball games.
Moving on to tonight’s game… The way I see it, there are four things we have to worry about with tonight’s contest:
- The Clippers have BOTH CP3 and Chauncey Billups – Both players possess superior ball-handling skills and court vision… They must be well-defended.
- Early Turnovers will kill us – I know that Deng, Boozer and Rose especially have been fumbling the ball around, but the improved transition play and yes, I’m going to say it: “Lob-city” potential on the fast break will energize the crowd and will give the Clips early confidence.
- Containing the Clips bigs – Bulls must gang rebound, stay out of foul trouble and JUMP up in the air to break up some of these lob passes. Lot of dirty work required tonight from our bigs…
- Transition “D” – Its always a foot race when we go play the Clippers… With the added playmakers they are going to be looking to run. The Bulls need to make everything tough on them and I wouldn’t be surprised if this contest is full of charges deflections and blocking fouls.
The Clippers also look to be tough because this is their home opener and they will want to not only match the intensity and excitement of the crowd, but also manage their expectations. Plus, they were just blown out by a motivated Spurs team on Wednesday night.
|Point Guard||Chris Paul||Mo Williams||Eric Bledsoe|
|Shooting Guard||Chauncey Billups||Randy Foye|
|Small Forward||Caron Butler||Ryan Gomes||Travis Leslie|
|Power Forward||Blake Griffin||Brian Cook||Reggie Evans||Trey Thompkins|
The game airs tonight at 9:30P.M. CST on WGN and ESPN 1000…
See you on the other side Bulls fans, LET’S GO!!!