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NBA Chicago Bulls

5 Things the Chicago Bulls Must Do To Win On Christmas Day

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Things the Bulls Must Do To Win On Christmas Day

Debby Wong - USA TODAY Sports

To many casual fans of the NBA, the season doesn't start until Christmas Day. This season does not disappoint on the matchups either. The Chicago Bulls are slated to play on Christmas against the Brooklyn Nets. Regardless of the records by these two teams, this should be an intriguing game.

When the schedule makers made this game as the first one on Christmas, they were anticipating a Derrick Rose vs. Deron Williams battle. But with Rose out for the year with a knee injury, this changes the dynamic of the game. Also, Nets' center Brook Lopez is out with a broken foot. This contest still should be entertaining for the fans.

The Bulls will come into this game with a lot of their players injured. Besides Rose being on the shelf, Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich have been in and out of the lineup. Not sure if they will be back for this matchup or not, but the Bulls must continue to find guys to compete. This team has been decimated by injuries and this has affected the way they have played this season. The offense has really struggled with their continuity and rhythm.

This game will be a rematch of last year's first round playoff series in which the Bulls won in seven games, 4-3. That series was must see TV and very compelling. It had everything you would want in a series: overtimes, big shots made and adjustments by both teams. We will see if this game will live up to that hype. Here are the five things the Bulls must do to give their fans a winning present on Christmas.

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Crash The Boards

Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

This is one of the Bulls' strengths and they must rebound with authority in this game. Even with the Nets not having Brook Lopez, they have guys who can compete against the Bulls on the boards. The Bulls must control this aspect of the game.

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Neutralize Joe Johnson and Deron Williams

Debby Wong - USA TODAY Sports

This will not be easy, especially if Butler, Hinrich and Deng are out. The Bulls will have to defend Johnson and Williams collectively. DJ Augustin, Tony Snell, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Marquis Teague must try to keep those guys from scoring 20 or more points.

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Play Solid Defense

Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

This is still the Bulls' biggest strength and they must be prepared and ready for the Nets' attack. Even with guys out, coach Tom Thibodeau still emphasizes defense as the staple of the Bulls.

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Find Some Kind of Offensive Identity

Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

This is where the Bulls have struggled all year. They have been very inconsistent and have a hard time scoring. They must make shots and have good ball movement to beat the Nets.

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Joakim Noah Must Come Up Big

Joe Camporeale - USA TODAY Sports

The heart and soul of the Bulls. Noah came up with one of his finest and dominant games in that deciding Game 7 last season against the Nets. This was his stat line: 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks. He has to take advantage of Lopez not being in the lineup for the Nets and set the tone for the Bulls.