December 29, 2011; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Tyreke Evans (13) drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer (5) during the third quarter at Power Balance Pavilion. The Bulls defeated the Kings 108-98. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Chicago Bulls (23-7) vs. Sacramento Kings (10-17)

Bulls vs. Kings – 7pm on WCIU

The Bulls return home after a brutal nine game road trip that ended up claiming Derrick Rose for at least the next game. Rose will miss his third straight game with lower back spasms but Chicago may not need him.

Sacramento is rolling into downtown Chicago and frankly they don’t stand much of a chance against the league’s best team. The two teams met during Chicago’s California Tour and the Bulls beat the Kings by 10. Tonight should be no different.

If anything it’s a good thing Rose is sitting out for two reasons. The obvious of which is that he needs to rest and playing against the Kings and risking further injury isn’t a good gamble. But it will give the other Bulls players (yes, they do exist ESPN) a chance to prove their worth after being bombarded by various media pundits after their near victory against the Celtics Sunday.

The talk immediately went from the Bulls being the best team in basketball to the Bulls being a lottery pick because without Rose Chicago can’t function properly.

Tonight’s game against the Kings will be the perfect opportunity for the other guys to show they can bury a team — albeit a terrible Kings squad — sans Rose and can therefore function without him.

After all the Bulls nearly beat the Celtics without Rose and surely would have if he was playing. The other guys surrounding Rose are just as crucial as he is and it’s an insult to them to just assume without one of the league’s best players they are just a rag tag team of misfits that can’t win anything.

If tonight’s game means anything, it’ll mean that. When the Bulls have a chip on their shoulder, they usually throw down their opponent hard. Expect that tonight against the Kings.

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