The Bulls will be gone for approximately 2 weeks and will play 7 games… Rose is again, a wildcard, but like Thibs says, next man up. Let’s take a look at the matchups.
Mon | Nov 17th – Bulls at L.A. – NBATV (9:30P CST) #CHIvsLAC
I feel good about winning here. Haven’t lost 2 games in a row yet and Bulls will be licking their chops after the beating taken from IND on their home floor. Rose has officially been ruled out and Paul is playing at an extremely high level right now, getting 32 pts. (5-6 from three) and 9 assists against PHX in a win last night. Amazingly, as a team, they are 29th in rebounds and 21st in points allowed. The Clippers are content in their offensive attack and look to outscore their opponent. That will play right into the Bulls hands as we will likely force them into a half court game and make them execute and play defense. The Clippers also haven’t won 2 consecutive games since starting the season 2-0. Real up and down performances from them so far. If we can take care of the ball we can also cut down on their fast break points. W Bulls 102 Clippers 93
Thu | Nov 20th – Bulls at Sacramento – TNT (9:30P CST) #CHIvsSAC
This is a winnable game for Chicago. They will have had a chance to rest a little bit after travelling to Sacramento from L.A. Another nationally televised game will have both teams amped. SAC is a better rebounding team than the Bulls period. Cousins is a MONSTER inside and he produces, period. He’s also more mature and getting more fouls called his way. He will dominate his matchup with Noah so the front court will have to guard him as a team. If our bench can score some points in bunches, we could escape with a W. I still feel like we lay an egg here though, even though it will be close. SAC also just impressively took down the Spurs 94-91. L Bulls 99 Kings 106
Fri | Nov 21st – Bulls at Portland – ESPN (9:30P CST) #CHIvsPOR
Ahhh, going back to Portland. The scene of last season’s torn meniscus. Rose might feel like Buckner walking back into Shea (I’ve always wanted to use that, I got it from the movie “Rounders”, Matt Damon narration). Another nationally televised game too so I’m sure they will replay Rose going down over and over regardless if he plays or not. If Rose is healthy and playing (I get so tired of writing this disclaimer) then I fully expect him to dominate his matchup with Dame. Butler is also capable of making Matthews shots tough. Other than those 2 matchups, I just think Portland is better than the Bulls right now. They lead the league in rebounding, they can play up tempo or execute in a half court offense. They share the ball and they are committed to defense. Only way Bulls pull this one out is if they play out of their minds in response to (my predicted) loss to SAC. Also, if we do beat the Clippers, we will still not have lost 2 games in a row yet this season, so there is some hope. L Bulls 103 Trailblazers 109
Mon | Nov 24th – Bulls at Utah – CSN (8:00P CST) #CHIvsUTA
Bulls should be able to handle Utah as long as they pay attention to detail. Utah will rely on the jumpshot, which they can hit at an average clip. Our backcourt will certainly dominate their backcourt no matter if Rose plays or not. Their front court doesn’t scare me, however Trevor Booker will need to be kept in check. Hayward is the anchor for this team and can hit big shots. Trey Burke is a good floor leader for Utah but shoots a low FG %. Like the Bulls, the Jazz play til’ the clock reads 0:00 and are certainly capable of beating a team if its allowed to hang around. Two buzzer beaters already this season vs. CLE and NYK. W Bulls 104 Jazz 93
Tue | Nov 25th – Bulls at Denver – CSN (9:30P CST) #CHIvsDEN
Denver has struggled early this season, but they’ve already played (and lost) two home-and-home’s with both POR and SAC. They recently ended a SIX game slide by beating IND on the road, only to fall to the struggling Knicks on their home floor. They still have Afflalo, Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried. They are 8th in rebounding and can put points on the board quickly. This is not a team that should be under estimated even though they have sort of stumbled out of the gate to a 2-7 record. I feel like the Bulls should be able to beat them, but with the way Chicago plays down to the level of competition, on Denver’s home floor, I dunno. Denver seems like the more desperate team to me. L Bulls 108 Nuggets 114
Fri | Nov 28th – Bulls at Boston – CSN (9:30P CST) #CHIvsBOS
Bulls got dominated on their home floor by Boston and will want to return the favor. The Celts out rebounded the Bulls 45-38 and scored seemingly at will against us. Brad Stevens has Boston moving the ball remarkably well (league leading 26.3 assists per game) and 5-6 players can easily score in double figures for them every night. They don’t have enough defenders however and its noteworthy that Lebron needed to score 41 to beat them the other night. They should be 4-5. I think Chicago will gut a win out here and will have both the rebounding edge and will play better defense. W Bulls 112 Celtics 98
Sun | Nov 30th – Bulls at Brooklyn – WGN (2:00P CST) #CHIvsBKN
This will be our first meeting with Brooklyn this season and they are w/o Paul Pierce (WAS) and under a new head coach, Lionel Hollins. They are currently coming off of a winless road trip with losses at PHX, GSW and POR. Joe Johnson (leading scorer 19.1 ppg) has recently publicly stated that there is a lot of selfishness on the squad so I guess he’s not getting his “touches”. He named no names, but I wonder how does DWill feel about that? Kind of messy. Deron has been playing a sort of resurgent kind of a game now that his ankles seem to have mended and is dishing out 6.4 asts per game. They are still jump shot reliant and I feel that our front court can’t be stopped by them. W Bulls 106 Nets 99
Good luck to the Bulls on the trip. I’ll be live tweeting from @ChiTownBullsBlog .