The Utah Jazz are playing well through stretches of the game, but haven't quite had that complete game yet this season. They are 5-9 with 3 of their wins coming at home. They are 3-3 in the ESA, and that's frankly not good enough for my sensibilities. The Chicago Bulls are a very talented team that is a leader in their conference; but they are an even more impressive 6-2 on the road. They are hurt, in a long road trip, but still going to give our team fits if they continue to try to coast during parts of the game. The Jazz are unfortunately 44-48 against the Bulls in the regular season (and 2-8 in the playoffs), and this is one of the few teams out there that has our collective goat. However, in Utah the Jazz are 27-19. Does history help the team tonight?
Maybe not, but injuries could be a more serious helping hand. The Jazz will once again be without Rodney Hood. The Bulls are without Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich. Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose are both game time decisions.
Thibs says he wants to see how Rose and Gasol warm up first. If they look OK, he expects them to play.— Fred B. Mitchell (@kicker34) November 25, 2014
Depending on how that shakes up this could end up regressing into a pretty competitive game. They still have Tom Thibodeau, who has been coaching for longer than most of our players have been alive. (Even if you just look at his years as an assistant coach it's still older than Trey Burke and Enes Kanter, and everyone younger)
Thibodeau on his ailing Bulls: "When they are ready to go, they go. If someone’s injured, we don’t want them out there."— Fred B. Mitchell (@kicker34) November 24, 2014
So who is going to be ready tonight? After a while it shouldn't matter which team is on what kind of Western Conference road trip, and weary, and which of their rotation guys are injury. Frankly, the UTAH JAZZ should be ready tonight. And for me that's what matters.
- Point Guard: Derrick Rose or Aaron Brooks vs. Trey Burke
- Shooting Guard: Jimmy Butler vs. Alec Burks
- Small Forward: Mike Dunleavy vs. Gordon Hayward
- Power Forward: Pau Gasol or Nikola Mirotic vs. Enes Kanter
- Center: Joakim Noah vs. Derrick Favors
Obviously there's a huge difference between Gasol and Mirotic, or Rose and Brooks, but relatively you could argue that either point guards are better than Trey Burke. Kanter would have a fun time against both Gasol (whom he has had some success playing against because he does well against Lakers players for some reason) or Mirotic. Both are big, can make shots, and work on the glass. Eventually our starters have to START well. Last night the wheels fell off when Gordon Hayward sat for a rest in the first quarter. And the game was over in the fourth when he was exhausted from carrying the team in the third.
If there ever was a time for Alec Burks to show up and cause chaos tonight would be a great night.
Oh, and Noah almost has as many APG as our starting point guard. Yeesh.
Do the Bulls have enough healthy players for a mob? Maybe if Gasol and Rose are both playing? Doug McDermott can make shots, and Jerry Sloan loves Tony Snell. E'Twaun Moore seems to be the only other healthy guard on the roster right now behind Rose, Butler, and Aaron Brooks. Interesting. The Jazz bench looks big inside with Trevor Booker and Rudy Gobert doing well in smaller minutes. I would like to see a scoring punch off the bench, but we presume that Rodney Hood will fill that void. But it's a big void right now.
It's cold in Chicago tonight. I predict it could be as well in Utah. Winter is here.
GO JAZZ GO!
Who is going to win tonight?
This poll is closed
The Utah Jazz
The Chicago Bulls