The Bulls come to town tonight well-rested and hungry after falling 99-91 to the Golden State Warriors on Monday.  Luol Deng leads the Bulls in scoring, averaging 21.5 points per game over the team’s first two contests.  Last years MVP, Derrick Rose came out flat against the Warriors, scoring 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting, including a dreadful 1-of-8 from three.  Carlos Boozer is off to a very slow start, averaging 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 29 minutes.  While the Kings are struggling to get their offense going after two games, the last thing they need to see is Tom Thibodeau-led team.  He is one of the NBA’s best defensive minds and the Bulls have some nice defensive pieces to work with in Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Luol Deng.

Meanwhile, the Kings are coming off a very unimpressive loss Tuesday in Portland.  Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and John Salmons all had off-nights, leaving the Kings offense to flounder.  DeMarcus Cousins showed well, but for the second game in a row, he allowed foul issues to limit his production.  The Kings got a nice boost off the bench from Jason Thompson, J.J. Hickson and Jimmer Fredette in the first half, but the lack of production from the starting unit was too much to overcome.

Gametime: 7 pm PST
Television Coverage: Comcast Sportnet California
Radio Coverage: 1140 AM The Fan
For perspective on the Bulls, visit fellow THN blog “By The Horns“.

Kings Starters (1-1)

  • Tyreke Evans
  • Marcus Thornton
  • John Salmons
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Chuck Hayes

Coach Paul Westphal has continued with a tight 10-man rotation.  Thompson and Hickson had a huge impact early in the Kings last game against the Trailblazers.  Jimmer is looking more comfortable as the Kings primary back-up at point guard.  The rookie out of BYU has done a nice job of setting up his teammates either off the dribble or in a crowd, but he has yet to show confidence in his own  shot.  Travis Outlaw has given the Kings a nice defensive spark off the bench, but he’s shooting only 20-percent (2-of-10) from the field during the Kings first two contests.  Westphal continues to show confidence in rookie Isaiah Thomas.  The pint size dynamo out of Washington is fearless going to the basket and has impressed on the defensive end as well.

Bulls Starters (1-1)

  • Derrick Rose
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Luol Deng
  • Carlos Boozer
  • Joakim Noah

Thibodeau is still tinkering with his rotation, going ten players deep over the Bulls’ first two contests.  C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer are providing the backcourt depth, with Taj Gibson, Omer Asik and Kyle Korver consuming front court minutes as reserves.  Only Watson and Korver are known for their scoring prowess, leaving Thibodeau little option but to play leaders Rose and Deng major minutes.

Matchup of the Game

Derrick Rose vs. Tyreke Evans:  Evans spent a considerable amount of time this summer working out in Southern California with Rose.  Both guards played college ball at Memphis and both won rookie of the year awards, but only Rose has taken his game to a significantly higher level.  In just his third season as a pro, Rose won MVP, leading the Bulls to an impressive 62-20 regular season record during the 2010-11 season.  Evans would like to reach the same stardom in his third season and the team success that follows would be welcome as well.  While Rose is quick and explosive, Evans is long, strong and a beast going to the rim.  This should be a very fun match-up to watch, as long it doesn’t turn into a tit-for-tat shootout between two of the leagues premiere young guards.