What to Watch For: Bulls-Hornets


The Chicago Bulls bounced back on Sunday night with a 92-87 victory over the Orlando Magic. On Tuesday, the Bulls travel to Charlotte to take on the winless Charlotte Hornets. Here’s a few things to watch for on Tuesday night.

Michael Jordan‘s new(er) team has yet to register their first victory of the regular season in 2015-16 after going 7-1 in the preseason. One of Michael Jordan’s old teams has won three of their first four games of the regular season and will look to make it two in a row on Tuesday night in Charlotte.

The Bulls travel to Charlotte to take on the Hornets and will look to improve to 4-1 on the young season. Charlotte defeated the Bulls on Oct. 19 in Charlotte, 94-86. The Hornets got 40 combined points from Kemba Walker and the newly-acquired Jeremy Lin in their eight-point win over the Bulls in the preseason.

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As for Tuesday’s “rematch” if you will, the Bulls will have Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose in the lineup this time around. Gasol sat out the game on Oct. 19 and has been the same productive Gasol since a poor outing in the season opener against Cleveland, and Rose has shown flashes of his former self, but is still struggling with double vision after his orbital bone surgery back in September.

Along with Gasol and Rose being in the lineup, here’s a few things to watch for on Tuesday night in Charlotte.

Fred Hoiberg balancing the Gasol-Noah minutes

There’s a couple things to bring to the light in terms of balancing the playing time of Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. On Sunday night against Orlando, Noah actually played more than Gasol did for the first time this season (24:13 to 23:47).

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Also, in the preseason meeting against Charlotte, Noah scored 12 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out seven assists in 33 minutes while Gasol rested.

It will be interesting to see how things play out on Tuesday in terms of the minute rotation. Both bigs looked sharp on Sunday, so if one finds himself in foul trouble, the Bulls should be just fine (despite Noah’s offense not being as advanced as Gasol’s).

Derrick Rose’s “new role”

“Right now, there’s no point in shooting the ball (much) if I can’t see. I’m just paying attention to the way (defenses) play me. I need to either drive, shoot a floater or get the ball to my teammates.”

That’s what Derrick Rose has said about his “new role” until his conditioning and vision catch up with the rest of his game. In the first four games of the year, Rose has only taken five three-pointers (good), but is only shooting 35.2 percent from the field in the early going.

Rose shot 2-of-8 on Sunday, but he dished out eight assists against the Magic. The Bulls only shot 37.6 percent back on Oct. 19, so having Rose’s potential for explosive plays on offense will be a nice change from the preseason loss.


For the Bulls, the recovering Mike Dunleavy will miss Tuesday night’s game in Charlotte. Dunleavy is still in the process of recovering from back surgery back in late September.

From three days ago:

Also, Kirk Hinrich will sit out again on Tuesday night due to a toe issue. Hinrich missed Sunday’s game with the toe injury and has only played just five minutes in the first four games of the regular season.

As for the Hornets:

Tip-off for Bulls-Hornets is set for 6:00 p.m. CT.

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The Bulls will continue to start their usual five of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Tony Snell, Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol. The winless Hornets will roll out a lineup of Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams and Al Jefferson. The question mark is Cody Zeller, who has been suffering from some health issues as of late.

The weight loss is concerning, but there’s still a shot that Zeller suits up and plays on Tuesday night. If not, look for Hornets head coach Steve Clifford to insert Spencer Hawes or possibly Frank Kaminsky into the starting lineup.