The Bulls will take you on a high and then crash you back down to Earth. Real quick. Such was the case with the recent euphoric, intoxicating win on MSG’s big stage, to a wonk, wonk, wonk style drubbing at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks in the “Highlight Factory” the very next evening.
Kyle Korver and Lou Williams were allowed to get off early and like Thibs says, when you allow guys to get going and get in a shooting rhythm, they are tough to stop. Horford had a huge night as well. Although the Bulls led after one quarter, they couldn’t match the energy level of Atlanta, who had also played the night before (an embarrassing 19 pt. loss to Philly). You kind of figured the Bulls wouldn’t get BOTH games though, so I’m satisfied that they won in NY.
I’m worried about the Bulls tomorrow night against the Rockets. Its an ESPN prime time slot, and the Rockets are a quality opponent. They’ve gotten head coach Kevin McHale back in place and they seem to be settling back in. They share the ball, Harden and Parsons are both volume scorers and they have Asik (who is doing way more than rebounding and blocking shots) in the middle. They also have Lin, who has been underwhelming aside from a couple of scoring outbursts, but both he and Harden need the ball to be effective, so there is a learning curve for that backcourt.
I just don’t know where our scoring is going to come from. Houston is FIRST in PPG with an average of 105.4. Bulls are a less than pedestrian 26th with 92.8. Defense is a must in this contest. The Bulls just don’t have the firepower to outscore this opponent. Sometimes, when the Bulls hit shots early, they can get lulled into that kind of game.
We have already lost to Houston once. A very winnable game earlier in the season that saw the Bulls not able to execute down the stretch. It’ll be interesting to see how this one goes. At least the game is in Chicago.
Have great holidays everyone. The game is coming on ESPN at 7:00 CST/8:00 EST. I’ll be in game tweeting from @ChiTwnBullsBlog. Probably most of the day. I’ve been working really hard for a while now so that I can relax and enjoy a day of basketball, so I hope to see everyone around.