Bulls vs. Blazers — 7pm on Chicago SportsNet Chicago
The buzz is still all around Chicago after the Bulls trumped the Heat without Derrick Rose. It’s still a mystery whether or not he’ll be back tonight, but the Bulls most likely won’t need him to topple the lowly Blazers who arrive in Chicago on Stacey King Bobblehead night.
The Blazer roll into downtown Chicago reeling from a nasty loss to the Knicks that prompted the firing of their head coach, cutting long time experiment Greg Oden and the complete facelift of the roster. At the deadline Portland traded Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace for Jonny Flynn, Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, Hasheem Thabeet and draft picks.
It will be the first game that the Blazers play post the facelift and the chances they come out of the gates firing are laughably low. Okur and Williams won’t be ready to play and Jamal Crawford is questionable as well leaving a skeleton crew for the Blazers against the NBA’s best record.
But the Bulls haven’t had much of that problem this season when it comes to the next man up strategy. When Derrick Rose went down, Lucas stepped up in a big way as did Luol Deng who helped carry the team.
“We’re like a brotherhood,” said Lucas. “When one brother goes down, we have their back.”
One thing to watch will be the rebound performance of Joakim Noah — and yes that’s a pun. Noah was horrible against the Heat which added to the excitement and surprise of their win. Noah needs to put together a more then strong night against the lowly Blazers because if he turns in two underwhelming performances in a row, one of which against the Blazers, then the heat is right back on Noah.
Same goes for Boozer who had a poor night Wednesday as well. But the pressure seems to always be on Boozer who only marginally and occasionally tries to buck the criticism.
But for the guys who did perform, their energy and production was rewarded with no move being made at the deadline to add depth, which was a major vote of confidence from Gar Forman and Tom Thibodeau.
The guys we have on our team are the right guys,” Thibodeau said. “They have the right attitude, approach and there’s the belief we can win.”