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Open Gameday Thread - Suns vs Bulls

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Phoenix Suns
vs.

Chicago Bulls
4-1 2-3
6:30 PM Mountain / 8:30 PM Eastern
TV: My45 HD
Probable starters:
Steve Nash PG Derrick Rose
Raja Bell SG Ben Gordon?
Grant Hill?
SF Luol Deng
Amare Stoudemire
PF Tyrus Thomas
Robin Lopez C Drew Gooden
Official Suns Game Notes

The Suns coming off the Amare Show against the Pacer's face a Chicago Bulls team that seems to be in state of chaos according the senior NBA Blogger at Blog a Bull.

They are a team lead on the court and on the bench by a rookies and seem to be dealing (poorly) with two disgruntled self-imagined super stars in Deng and Gordon. The only good news is that Vinnie Del Negro's back hair issues are less likely to create personal distress in the bitter cold of the Windy City where he can layer up in fuzzy sweaters and bullky parkas.

Like the last two teams the Suns have faced, the Bulls lack an inside scoring presense and seem to be dependant on the various individual brilliance of Rose, Gordon and Deng to put up points.

This will test the Suns perimeter defense which will likely employ the penetration denial scheme we've seen from Porter and force the Bulls to hit from the outside. With Shaq on the floor the zone will also be used and just like it was effective against a young Blazers team it should work well here too.

In several games now we have seen teams get hot from the outside against the Suns early but there are very few teams that can sustain a high enough level of 3 point shooting to outscore the uber effecient Suns offense that gets easy buckets in the paint and gets to the line.

There are several open questions for tonights game that will surely become clear as the day progresses:

  • I assume that Matt Barnes will not return for this game after leaving the team to attend to the birth of his twin tattoed boys. This leaves the Suns thin on the wings against the team that is strongest on the wings
  • I will be surprised if Shaq plays much tonight with a game against the Bogut Bucks tomorrow and with the Bulls lack of a true banger down low
  • The Bulls have started Thabo Sefolosha but there are signs that Ben Gordon may get the nod after scoring 31 in their last game (a loss to the Cavs)
  • AmundSun or RoFor? This is another game where Lopez may not be the best choice against the Chicago mobile bigs (Gooden, Thomas, Noah and Nocioni) but OTOH it's way too soon to predict what Porter will do with his rotating rotations

This is another very winnable game against an Eastern Conference team that seems to be struggling with a lot of issues.

It should also be fun to see the leading candidates for ROY and MVP on the same floor.

Who's your early season ROY? Here's the stats.

[Note by Phoenix Stan, 11/07/08 1:46 PM PST ]

Update on Shaq - I got a Twitter from him (crazy huh!) saying that he was sitting out tonight.

Check out this preview on the game from this Bulls Blog

And finally Matt from Blog a Bull answered some questions for us about this game:

1) Tell us something about Derek Rose that we don't know and we will be surprised to learn about him and/or his game.

Not sure if it's a surprise anymore, but he's already good. The consensus coming into the draft was that Beasley would be NBA-ready, while Rose would need time to adjust. But Rose is already the best player on the Bulls, and a component of his game that is a surprise is how aggressive he is with his shot attempts, especially in transition.
2) How is your new coach doing? He was best known around here for being the Suns executive most in need of a back shave so I was surprised when he got the nod from the Bulls. What's the initial feeling in Chi-town?

When Vinny Del Negro came in, he said all the right things. Said that he believed in the young talent here (this was before Rose) and even targeted some of the same players as a member of the Suns front office, namely Sefolosha and Noah. Said that he'd concentrate on putting the players in a position to succeed rather than forcing them in to his vision. But he seems to have fallen into the traps of the previous regime, benching young players early and going small, either 3-guard lineups or Nocioni at the PF, or both.

In his defense, the young players are NOT playing well. But I had hoped VDN would give them more rope, even it was to hang themselves. The Bulls need to know if these guys can play. As far as schemes, the Bulls (especially Luol Deng) are having trouble getting comfortable with VDN's sets, but they do seem to have more of a commitment to getting out on the break, which is a nice change.

3) Does having a local in White House improve the Bulls chances of making the playoffs? For example, should we all be worried that the full resources of the federal government (CIA, NSA, EPA) will be used to benefit the President's home team?

Perhaps, but even after all that help it wouldn't be enough for this group. I will say this for President Obama: he suggested after the Bulls won the lottery that the Bulls take fellow Chicagoan Derrick Rose, and that's looking like the right decision.

Poll

Rookie of the Year so far is...

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Derrick Rose
    (59 votes)
  • 3%
    Michael Beasley
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    O.J. Mayo
    (3 votes)
  • 31%
    Rudy Fernandez
    (32 votes)
  • 3%
    Other
    (4 votes)
102 votes total Vote Now