The Phoenix Suns are coming to town tonight to play the Bulls at the United Center. The game has taken a back seat to the big trade that went down last night with Luol Deng being sent packing to the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Deng gone, it will be interesting to see how the team reacts tonight. Who will fill the void of Deng’s scoring and defense. Phoenix has been one of the league’s pleasant surprises at 20-12 which includes them winning 11 out of their last 14 games. New coach Jeff Hornacek has done a magnificent job of putting a system together around the exciting backcourt of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe the new acquisition from the L.A. Clippers. Couple that with a flashback to the old days when the Suns ran and ran some more, the Bulls have to find a way to stop Phoenix’s fast break.
Eric Bledsoe has been out for the last week with a sprained knee, so you will not see him tonight. Remember when I said the Suns are going throwback? They have signed former guard Leandro Barbosa to a 10 day contract. The message is clear, the Suns are going to run every chance that they get for four quarters. DJ Augustin should get minutes because he is going to have to help Jimmy Butler keep these guards out of the middle.
Carlos Boozer sat out last game with a bum knee. With the Bulls short (again) Carlos will have to make an impact tonight for the Bulls to stay in it. The frontline of the Suns is not that strong so Boozer should have some room to operate. When Deng was out with his Achilles injury, Carlos was more aggressive and maybe that intensity will be back tonight. The Bulls will need it. Joakim Noah now takes on the role as the steadying force for the Bulls as they look to run the offense through him. It has worked for the last couple of games playing teams that don’t look to run. It will be interesting to see what happens tonight. If trade puts Bulls in a funk then Phoenix wins.