Game Preview: Suns vs Bulls (plus Daily Links)

The Bulls are a funny team. They have a lot of talented players but they don't seem to have the right mix and their play has been inconsistent all year.

They went on a losing streak where they dropped 11 of 13 between mid November and mid December culminating in a "Fire Vinny Del Negro" rage that seemed at one point to be inevitable. And then those crazy Bulls started winning.

Since December 17th the Bulls are 10-17 with victories over the Hornets, Magic and Celtics. That stretch included two four-game win streaks.

The Suns meanwhile are 8-18 in the same period with losses to the Pacers and Warriors.

So who's the hot team? The Suns after breaking a four-game losing streak by beating the hapless Nets or the Bulls who've started their road trip with losses to the Warriors and Clippers.

I have no idea. Both teams are inconsistent and unpredictable on a nightly basis.

What we do know is that the Suns are still a good home team (16-4) and are well rested and trying to convince everyone (themselves included) that they've turned the corner on the funky part of their season. A loss tonight to the Bulls would be a big set-back in that regard.

Match-ups

There's a couple of fun match-ups in this game. We get to see the battle of two big-haired big men as Robin hopes to continue his great play as a starter against Joakim Noah who is turning out to be one of the best rebounders in the game.

The combination of that much hustle, energy and competitive zeal could should be a lot of fun to watch. Way better than watching Noah out work Channing Frye in the paint.

Derrick Rose after starting the year a bit slow with some ankle issues seems to be picking right back up where he left off and we all know (or should know) what a treat he is. Like Rondo, he has the ability to drive the ball and finish which will force the Suns defense to go under screens and collapse in the paint hoping that his jump shot isn't on.

If you haven't figured it out by now, the Suns entire defensive philosophy is built around making team beat them "over the top".

That's why you saw so much zone against the Grizzlie who were the 29th ranked 3 point shooting team but were hot that day. The Bulls rank 30th in three point attempts so this game figures to have more of the same. Except this time, the opponent doesn't feature a front line scoring duo of Gasol, M and Randolph, Wow.

The Bulls appear to get most of their point from Rose getting to the rim and/or line and Deng with his mid-range and penetration game.

The Suns should be able to handle that just fine as long as they are active and vocal on their defensive rotations.

Window Shopping

The Bulls continue to be mentioned as a possible destination for Amare (although I don't know if he would consider them a team that is willing and able to build a contender). Like the recent Miami Heat game, we should keep an eye on a couple of their players - Tyrus Thomas and John Salmons in particular except Salmons may not play due to the flu in which case watch Derrick Rose, because he's a lot of fun and maybe Luol Deng because you never know.

Daily Links:

Bulls vs Suns coverage

Bulls vs Suns preview

The Original B - Blog a Bull


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