The Bulls finish off the calendar year at home versus the struggling Charlotte Bobcats at 3 PM Eastern today.
After struggling entering Christmas Day, the Bulls squeaked by the league-worst Washington Wizards while welcoming back the returning Rip Hamilton, who had been out since December 1st, missing 12 straight games. The Bobcats, losers of their last 18 games, are 25th in the NBA in rebounding differential. They have lost their last nine games on the road during their current losing streak.
On paper, this game seems like a relatively easy win for the Bulls, who have won 6 of 10 and still remain one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. If the Wizards game taught us anything, it's not to expect easy victories with this team.
Key Matchup: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs Luol Deng.
Deng scored a paltry 11 points on 4-13 shooting Saturday night after spraining his ankle in the Christmas Day massacre. MKG (as the kids call him) scored 22 on 11-14 shooting in Charlotte's come from ahead loss to the Hornets. Both players have similar defensive profiles, and while MKG is the better athlete, Deng is at this point the better shooter. This is the first time these two will have played one another in the NBA, and it would serve Deng to outplay MKG now, while he still has a chance.
Probable Starting Lineups
C Joakim Noah
PF Carlos Boozer
SF Luol Deng
SG Rip Hamilton
PG Kirk Hinrich
C Bismack Biyombo
PF Hakim Warrick
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
SG Gerald Henderson
PG Kemba WalkerTags: Chicago, Chicago Bulls, NBA