10/31/07 – Bulls vs. Nets preview

A quick preview of tonight’s action. 

6:30 Bulls’ time – Comcast Sports Net – Bulls vs. Nets

Joakim Noah is out for tonight’s game.  As far as we know at this point Ben Wallace is expected to play.  The Tribune is interestingly projecting Joe Smith to start at PF.  I would have guessed it would be Tyrus.  Everything else should go according to the default plan.  If Wallace doesn’t play I’m guessing Smith moves to C and Thomas starts at PF, but it could always be Noce too.

The New Jersey Nets aren’t, in my opinion, anything for the Bulls to worry about this season.  They haven’t played well against the Nets in the recent past, but the both teams are a year older this year and that’s a good thing for Chicago while it’s a bad thing for New Jersey.

The Nets have Nenad Kristic back this season which should make a huge difference.  He showed some great progress in his young career before missing last season with an injury.  They also added Jamaal Magloire who is a solid big man if not spectacular and should add much needed depth up front.  Mikki Moore is gone, but shouldn’t be missed too much.  He had a decent season statistically because he had a lot of playing time for a guy with his limited talents.  Overall, the Nets are a more complete team this season than they were last season but they’re also getting old.  Jason Kidd is 35 and his age is going to show up in his play sooner rather than later.  He looked good in the Tournament of the Americas this summer, but in the NBA he’ll be playing with far less talent around him and far more on the opposing teams.  Vince Carter, coming off of a great year statistically, also isn’t as young as he once was and, more importantly, isn’t in a contract year.  Vince has shown himself to be the Randy Moss of basketball, an amazingly talented player who only tries when it suits him. 

The Nets suffered a lot of injuries last season and very well could again this season.  If they don’t, they should have a decent record.  If they do, they’re done for.  I think the age of Kidd and Carter will become more and more evident as the season progresses.  However, they should be fresh enough on opening night.  I think this game will be close for a long time and then one team will pull away.  New Jersey is a -2.5 favorite.  I’m not sure who will win, but I think it will be by more than three points.  Since it’s the first game of the season and I don’t have much to work with, let’s say Chicago wins and covers the spread.

I plan to do a mini diary during the game and post it afterwards, so look out for that later tonight.  Go Bulls!

2 Responses to “10/31/07 – Bulls vs. Nets preview”

  1. 1 312chill
    October 31, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    I have to correct myself. It looks like Noah will play tonight. Wallace is likely and Tyrus did indeed practice with the first unit at the shootaround, so he’s likely to start at PF now.

  2. 2 Joe P.
    November 1, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Well it looks like my prediction has come true. Since the Bulls only lost by a few–mainly because of their inability to score a last minute basket–Kobe talks are more wild then ever. Take a look at ESPN.com’s front page story (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=sheridan_chris&page=Deng_Bryant). I think Kobe is worth taking a shot at, so long as Deng isn’t included, but I wouldn’t be suprised if this “talk” continues for some time. While disaster looms for the Lakers, the same is not true for the Bulls. We are in the power position. The Bulls as is will be competitive and it is in our interest to stall while Kobe gets more infuriated with the Lakers. Kobe apparently does not hold the Lakers front office in any regard and blames their ineptitude for just about everything under the sun. Strategically, what the Bulls need to do is wait, allow Kobe to become more disgruntled, allow the Lakers to get in a really bad spot, and then wait for the asking price to fall, which it probably will.

    This is especially true since the Bulls are the only show in town with the pieces and the will to make a fair trade to the Lakers. Also, since we can’t get Gordon and Deng to resign, there is no rush to force a trade before the negotiation deadline ends.

    Get ready for the long haul Bulls fans. The fat lady isn’t even close to making her appearance in the Kobe Bryant soap opera.

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