No Derrick Rose? No problem. Well, at least for one more night. Chicago Bulls fans hope they won't have to ask that first question too many times, because eventually the answer will change, but everything worked well against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night as the Bulls won 114-75. The team set a franchise record for blocks in in a game with 16, and the offense hummed along against an inferior team. On Saturday night, the Bulls will return from Cleveland to host another inferior opponent, the Charlotte Bobcats. Again, the biggest question is whether Rose will take another rest to nurse his turf toe injury.
For the Bulls, this is the second game of a back-to-back, and resting Rose would mean the guard will have eight full days off before the next game, so don't expect the player or the organization to push their luck and force him in against the 3-12 Bobcats. Backup guard C.J. Watson has filled in very well as a scorer for the Bulls, averaging 18 points per game on better than 50 percent shooting during games Rose has missed. Still, the defense is what has kept the Bulls winning. SB Nation's Bobcats blog, Rufus On Fire, takes a look at the challenges that await the Bobcats on Saturday night at the United Center:
Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah easily outclass the Bobcats' frontcourt, in most, if not all, aspects. Noah doesn't have great offensive firepower, but it should be interesting to see Biyombo defend one of the more talented rebounders in the league. Gerald Henderson faces a tough matchup against 6'9" Luol Deng. Deng's a very good defender and a pretty versatile scorer on offense. Much of good defense is played by positioning, but you have to wonder how much height and length can factor into Deng's play on offense. On defense, Henderson will have a much more difficult time than against Orlando. Deng's much quicker than Hedo Turkoglu, so driving to the paint won't be easy. And Deng's length and defensive quickness make him a tough defender closing out on jump shots. Could be a low-scoring night. For everyone.
Here is some basic information to help you find the game:
Game time/ date: 7:00 p.m. CT, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Radio: ESPN 100 AM
Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Bulls be sure to visit Blog a Bull. Bobcats coverage is available at Rufus On Fire. Visit SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.