The Chicago Bulls (34-27) host the Utah Jazz (32-29) at the United Center Friday night. The Jazz come into the game losing 5 of their last 6, with their lone win being against a lowly Charlotte team. To say things lightly, the Jazz are plummeting, only holding their playoff seed by 1.5 games over the all of a sudden hot Los Angeles Lakers. To be fair, they have been playing without their star in Al Jefferson, who will be returning tonight after missing three games due to an ankle injury, but this Jazz team is falling quickly.
The Bulls are coming off two tough losses to Indiana and San Antonio and are looking to bounce back at home. After being embarrassed on national TV Wednesday night against the Spurs, the Bulls badly need this win.
Obviously, the story of this season has been injuries, and that doesn’t change tonight. Gibson and Rose are still out, with Hinrich and Hamilton very questionable at this point to go. If the latter two can’t go, that means that Robinson and Belineli, who is coming off a 21-point 7-assist game at San Antonio, will get the start. Along with those two, we have the normal Deng, Boozer, and Noah filling the frontcourt.
The story of this game, however, is going to be the bench play. Enes Kanter, the second year center, has been playing great off the bench as of late. The even scarier part is matching him with another big post, Derrick Favors, also off the bench. With the absence of Taj Gibson, look for the Jazz to pound it in the post in the second quarter. If the Bulls can shut down the posts Jefferson, Millsap, Kanter and Favors, they will be in much better shape to get a win.