Last night, the Chicago Bulls pulled off one of their best wins of the season after coming back from double digits in the second half to beat the Brooklyn Nets. Chicago was playing without five key players last night including starting point guard Derrick Rose, starting center Joakim Noah, sixth man Taj Gibson, backup guard Marco Belinelli and starting guard Rip Hamilton. Still though, behind the gritty defensive style of coach Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls got it done.
Carlos Boozer had the game of his season, putting up 29 points and 18 rebounds, while Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler both finished in double digits. Butler also grabbed 10 boards and notched a double double.
Tonight, Chicago goes up against the Orlando Magic in what could end up being a trap game. The Bulls are in the second of a back-to-back game and will be short-handed again.
The fun part about this Bulls team this season has been the fact that they are incredibly unpredictable. On most nights, they will give you quite the battle regardless of who is on the floor. Even third point guard Nate Robinson has stepped up and given the Bulls a huge offensive lift this year. Butler’s emergence has also been very pleasing to see as he is definitely on the rise.
The biggest thing the Bulls must do tonight is shut down center Nikola Vucevic, who now has the role of filling in for Dwight Howard after he left to the Los Angeles Lakers. Vucevic has been under the radar for much of this season, yet has been the consistant in the post.
In a season that hasn’t gone anywhere, a win against the Bulls would be huge for the confidence of the Magic. They will need Aaron Afflalo to step up tonight and provide the offensive ammunition, as they don’t have a whole lot of other options on the floor to create their shots.
In a game that appears to favor the Bulls, Orlando will attempt to sneak out a win that would do wonders for their morale as a team. It will undoubtedly be tough for the Bulls to win a second game in two days with a banged up roster, so the Magic would be wise to do everything possible to take advantage of that.