Wolves at Bulls
7:00 pm CST
The Chicago Bulls host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight without two of their most important players, as Derrick Rose is out following meniscus surgery and Pau Gasol is ill. Fortunately for the 36-22 Bulls, Gasol shouldn't miss more than tonight's game, but it certainly gives the Wolves a better chance at grabbing a rare road win.
The Bulls still do a good job at limiting opponents' good looks while not fouling, a trademark of Tom Thibodeau's teams, but aren't quite as ruthless defensively as they have been in years past. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson remain formidable, but aren't quite the dominant defensive pairing this season. Jimmy Butler has emerged as a star on the wing, however, following a somewhat down year last season. He's scoring 20 a night, getting to the line, rebounding, and still guarding the opponents best perimeter guy at the other end.
It was Butler who won the game for the Bulls in the first meeting between these teams back at the start of November, when he drew a foul (cough he travelled cough) on rookie Andrew Wiggins on an attempted buzzer beater, then drained both free throws as the Bulls escaped Target Center with a one point win. Rose didn't play that night either. Since then, the Wolves have gone through half a season of injuries to key guys, but now have almost everyone back and have been playing solid basketball for the last couple of weeks.
The Bulls had been rolling along, winning six of seven, prior to the Rose injury, but are coming off a rough home loss to the Hornets.
The Wolves will likely be without Kevin Garnett, who isn't going to play back to back games and will be saved for tomorrow's home tilt with the Grizzlies. Adreian Payne is likely to get another start at power forward. The rest of the regulars should be available, however, and with the Bulls short handed, the Wolves will be looking for their 2nd win in a row.
Here's a link to our blogging buddies at Blog a Bull. Be excellent.
No no and no.
Enjoy. Chat. Go.