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Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls: 12/8/07 - Game Preview

Boston: 16-2
Chicago: 6-11

Projected Started Lineups
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins
Bulls:Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Joe Smith, Ben Wallace

Match Ups
Pierce/Deng - Right now I can't think of anyone in the Association that guards Pierce tougher than Deng does. Last year he frustrated the hell out of Pierce with his quickness, long arms and all around strong defensive play.

Gordon/Allen - I sat seven rows back from the hoop at a Celtics/Lakers game and came away impressed by Allen's defense on Kobe Bryant. And Bryant had 28. I would feel better if Allen remembered how to shoot before tonight's game.

Scheduling Note
The Bulls grabbed a big W on the road in Detroit last night. Meanwhile, the Celtics cruised to a victory at home last night and no one player saw thirty minutes of time. The United Center is the venue. I'd give a slight edge to the Bulls because they are at home and the game means a whole lot more to them.

Getting to Know Random Players on the Bulls
Chris Duhon - I'm comfortable with him playing thirty minutes tonight. And even thought fantasy sports has questionable value in evaluating players I still want your to check your league and see if Duhon is available. I guarantee you that he is and you are not interested at all.

Tyrus Thomas - Every time I saw the Bulls play last season I liked Thomas' game. And now he barely plays. I have actually been following the Bulls better than I do most NBA teams, mainly because of their poor start and the non-stop trade rumors. Let's just say Scott Skiles and Thomas have a rocky relationship. This is good for the Celtics.

Thabo Sefolosha - He is one of my favorite players on the Bulls. And like Thomas he did not play against the Pistons last night. Are these guys hurt? Are they actually bad? What the hell is going on in Chicago?

Ben Wallace - Does he have anything left in the tank?

Biggest Strengths
They have a lot of young guys with potential and are much better than their current record indicates. Most of the Bulls were winners before their arrival in Chicago.  

Biggest Weaknesses
There is a decent chance they hate their coach and can't stand his constant yelling and crazy, inconsistent allotment of minutes. Also I'm not sure anyone knows exactly how good the young Bulls are. Deng might be the best of the bunch. But is he really untouchable? For example Al Jefferson was untouchable. And then Kevin Ganrett was available.

Miscellaneous Notes
Garnett was born in South Carlonia and played most of his high school ball there. However, he graduated from Farragut Academy and credits his time in Chicago for much of his development as a player. It is a homecoming of sorts. Furthermore, I wish I had a nickel for every KG to the Bulls rumor. Somewhere Sam Smith is still furious that it never went down. And to be fair there is some doubt over whether the Timberwolves ever seriously considered sending KG to Chicago. But I can see Garnett convincing himself that the Bulls organization chose their current roster over him.

Random YouTube Clip
The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

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