Chicago Bulls Host Grizz in New Year’s Day Home Opener

The Bulls are home! I really, really think I’m gonna end up going to the UC. If that happens I won’t be able to in-game tweet from @ChiTwnBullsBlog, but I’m going to end up with a great video! Last time I was at the UC, I only got Rose at the FT line (boring) and would love to get some better footage.

Plus, its the opener and I probably won’t get back til’ March/April if I don’t go now. Heat comes to town on 3.14 and 4.12 and those two games should be meaningful in terms of playoff seeding. I’ve already decided I must attend one or both of these games… We’ll see…

On to the game preview…

Z-Bo and the Grizz shocked the world last season, dropping the Spurs in the Western Conference Quarter Finals and pushing OKC to 7 games in the semis… I was actually rooting for the Grizz. They made me a believer!  Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol played so well together and Z-bo was just unstoppable. His post-season play made his all-star snub a much bigger deal than LeMarcus Aldridge. I’d love to have a beer with this dude, he’s a baller, a beast and just looks like he likes to laugh. Also glad to see him with some positive headlines.

He famously commented last season (when told by reporters that Kevin Durant stated he was the best power forward in the league) that he “would have to agree, and thanks KD!”

They are entering the UC with a 1-2 record. Rudy Gay is back in the starting lineup and he looks to be in good form. Would have been nice for him to have a decent pre-season with that shoulder, but oh well.  Mike Conley went down in the opening minute of the contest against OKC, rolling his ankle on Perkins, and will miss this contest. Darrell Arthur is out for the entire season (achilles). It’s widely known that Battier is now with the Heat, so they’ve lost some of their perimeter shooting, which was already a weakness. Tony Allen fills out the roster at shooting guard. He has been getting limited minutes though.

POSITION STARTER KEY RESERVE 3RD 4TH
Point Guard Jeremy Pargo  Josh Selby
Shooting Guard Tony Allen O.J. Mayo Xavier Henry
Small Forward Rudy Gay Sam Young Quincy Pondexter
Power Forward Zach Randolph Dante Cunningham Josh Davis
Center Marc Gasol Brian Skinner

Things to look for:

The battle for the boards – Z-Bo and Gasol will need to pick up some steam as the season wears on, but they will need to be contained even at this point of the season. They are both capable of pulling down rebounds in traffic and hitting heavily contested jumpers.

Bulls Turnovers – I knew this without even looking it up, but just so I could have an accurate number in here I did. Memphis led the league in steals per game with 9.4 spg. Every time I watched them last season, I noticed that they would just take the ball from the opposition… Just take it. I knew they had to be the best at that. It was this defensive prowess that catapulted them so far in the playoffs last year. Tony Allen led the charge and I’m not sure why his minutes are being cut as I haven’t seen them play yet this year. Bulls need to take care of the basketball.

Tony Allen – He was a real jerk last time he was in Chicago… Taunting the crowd and the Bulls bench (he got a technical too) acting silly and he also tripped Derrick as he was racing towards the basket on a drive. He could have killed our playoff hopes with this play. D.Rose said before the game that Tony Allen’s younger brother is one of his best friends too so how embarrassing that Tony would clown like this upon return to his hometown.

Tony Allen not trying to take a charge here, but sliding in and tripping Derrick. This is not defense, just a dirty play. D.Rose had to be going about 40 mph and was clearly shaken after the play.

Grrr! I just got an email confirming I lost out on a GREAT deal for some 100 level seats so I’m definitely not going now. I’ll see you guys tonight on twitter… Follow for in-game tweets! @ChiTwnBullsBlog

See you on the other side Bulls fans and LET’S GO!!!

Pre-game: 6PM CST to 7PM CST
Game-time: 7PM Game Time!
Channel: Comcast Sportsnet

–ct

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