I previewed a Bulls v. Nuggets game last year on Blog-a-Bull, interesting to look back to about 8 months ago.
And with that, I may have to predict a Bulls win based on this headline ...
Carmelo's Nuggets vs Aaron Gray's Bulls
Let's see how healthy Derrick Rose is Tuesday night as he'll take on Chauncey Billups--maybe the only point guard stronger than him in the NBA.
While Billups is already in his 30s, he has hardly lost his physicality at his position. He also has three elements of his game that Rose needs to develop: three-point shooting, a post game and defense.
Of course, the storyline will feature Carmello Anthony against Luol Deng, who has played solid defense this year. He even managed to hold LeBron James in check a few days ago.
What we're seeing early on is that Deng is apparently healthy--much healthier than the guy we've seen last season. His shot is falling, he's taking better angles on defense and has been an active and aggressive rebounder.
Hard work gives Noah a real shot
Of everything Joakim Noah did on the court Saturday night in the best performance of his career, one move excited everyone connected with the Bulls, from the players to the coaches to the front-office personnel.
Late in the third quarter of the 93-90 comeback victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, Noah got the ball in the post, made a nifty move toward the baseline, turned and released a feather-soft left-handed hook shot that swished through the hoop.
It was an element of the game -- polished post moves -- he wasn't supposed to possess. Afterward, Noah was asked where that shot came from.
''A lot of work,'' he said with a smile. ''It came from a lot of hours in the gym this summer.
Chicago Bulls Post-Ben Gordon: Addition by Subtraction
There was much debate about the identity of the Chicago Bulls when Ben Gordon signed with the rival Pistons last summer. Experts, broadcasters, and most fans seemed to agree that Chicago would miss its leading scorer from the past four seasons.
What no one saw coming was a fundamental shift in the complexion of the team.
Through six games this year the Bulls have four wins and are in first place (for the time being) in the Eastern Conference Central Division, ahead of Ben Gordon and his new teammates in Detroit.
It may be early for this kind of talk, but gone are the days of top-of-the-key and baseline jumpers when the Bulls are down by five in the fourth quarter. In the past, some of these jumpers went in and some missed. When they went in, the opponent’s lead was cut in half. When they missed, the Bulls would run back down to the end of the court and play a little defense (and I do mean a LITTLE).
Up Close With Derrick Rose
Few players in the NBA have higher expectations set for them than second-year Bulls guard Derrick Rose—by his team, by his fans, and even by the companies for which Rose is endorsing their products. So far it's been a relatively slow start for the talented guard, but few believe he isn't on track to being one of the league's top point guards.
HOOPSWORLD's Joel Brigham sat down with Rose recently and talked about these expectations and how he's handling them.
Considering how well you played last year, we're hearing that adidas really would love to push you as one of their biggest rising young stars. So what's your relationship like with adidas? How do they see you?
"They've been great. From the first time I met them they were real with me. They said that I wouldn't have my own shoe or anything until I proved myself, so it was right there for me. I'm happy that I'm back and I'm so glad that I came on board with them. They know what they're doing in terms of marketing, and that's what they're doing now."
Have you felt any pressure early this season coming out and building on that Rookie of the Year season you had last year?
"Oh no, there's no pressure. I'm just loving it all right now. It's fun, playing in my hometown. All that does is give me more confidence go out there and try to be the best player on the court."