Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Bulls’

BULLS AT PACERS, 7 P.M. ET

TV:  ESPN

  • George Hill will miss a third consecutive game with a sore hip, keeping C.J. Watson in the starting lineup against his former Chicago teammates. Hill participated in portions of practice Monday but was ruled out after an individual workout Wednesday. “Better, but not quite ready,” coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s literally day-to-day. We thought there was a chance he could go tonight. He’s better, not quite there yet, hopefully he plays Friday.”
  • Watson started 25 games for the Bulls in 2011-12, averaging 11.3 points and 4.6 assists. He also had extensive practice time against Derrick Rose. So to whose advantage is that experience?  “Familiarity will help some but Derrick Rose is a unique athlete,” Vogel said. “Just because you know him doesn’t mean you’ve got all the answers.”
  • Rose received clearance from the NBA to use protective tape to help stabilize his sore neck. The tape was originally banned but the league reconsidered. “Anything that makes him more comfortable, I’m in favor of,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
  • Though Rose has struggled thus far, averaging 14.3 points, shooting .288 overall and producing more turnovers (17) than assists (13), neither coach believes that’s anything other than a short-term hiccup. “Great players always figure it out,” Thibodeau said. “Some shots aren’t dropping for him, that doesn’t mean they won’t drop tonight or the next game. If he’s not shooting well he’s got to find other ways to help us, which he’ll do. We have great faith in him. We have no doubt that he’ll come around. Some of it is just being out there playing in games.”
  • Said Vogel: “I don’t look at it like he’s been struggling. It’s only been three games. We’re always leery.  I think he’s capable of going for 40 every time he’s out there.”
  • With Danny Granger out at up to two more weeks with a strained left calf, Lance Stephenson will remain in the Indiana starting lineup. As well as he has played (16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, .531 shooting), might Stephenson remain in the lineup when Granger does return? “Who starts and who doesn’t is less important to me than who’s getting the most minutes,” Vogel said, “and the way Lance is playing, Lance is going to earn the bulk of the minutes.”

– Conrad Brunner

BULLS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich is fully recovered from a strained groin and will not have his minutes monitored tonight, according to coach Tom Thibodeau. The nine-year veteran will be matched up defensively against NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. “Kirk is fine, so he’ll start on Kyrie,” Thibodeau said. “It’s not an easy assignment because Kyrie is a very good cutter and puts a lot of pressure on you in a lot of ways.”
  • The remainder of Chicago’s lineup is center Joakim Noah, power forward Carlos Boozer, small forward Luol Deng, and shooting guard Richard Hamilton. “We have two experienced passers in Joakim and Carlos, which we’ll try and take advantage of,” Thibodeau said. “The ball has to move and the body has to move (when we’re) passing in order for us to be successful right now.”
  • The Cavaliers will start Irving, center Anderson Varejao, power forward Tristan Thompson, small forward Alonzo Gee, and rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters. Cleveland and the Bulls have now played four times since Irving was drafted first overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, but he and Chicago point guard Derrick Rose have yet share the same court because of injuries.
  • Cavaliers coach Byron Scott plans on keeping his 10-man rotation that includes a second unit of rookie Tyler Zeller at center, Luke Walton at power forward, C.J. Miles at small forward, Daniel Gibson at shooting guard, and Donald Sloan at point guard. “We’re gonna give it a go with those guys for a week or so,” Scott said. “If we have to make some changes at that point, then we will.”
  • Chicago and Cleveland are both 1-0. The Bulls beat Sacramento 93-87 on Halloween, while the Cavaliers topped the Wizards 94-84 in the opening game of the 2012-2013 NBA season on Tuesday.
  • Rose (left knee reconstructive surgery) remains out indefinitely for Chicago, while Cleveland’s inactives are point guard Jeremy Pargo and power forward Luke Harangody.
  • The Bulls have won eight straight games over the Cavaliers, including all three meetings last season.

– Brian Dulik