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3-on-3: Previewing Bulls @ Hornets

Published: February 8, 2012

The legendary Michael Pina joins Mason and me to preview Bulls-Hornets.

Maybe we can sign this dude?

Michael Pina is the creator of the NBA blog Shaky Ankles. He also writes for Red94 and HoopSpeak of ESPN’s TrueHoop Network, and Follow him on Twitter.

Don’t forget that it’s 80’s night tonight at the Hive, so wear your best outfit.

1. Which matchup most favors the Bulls?

Mason Ginsberg: His last name may be the same as a type of flower, but this match-up smells nothing like it for the Hornets. Whether it’s Jack or Greivis starting, Derrick Rose should have his way with either one all game long (unless back spasms force him to miss this one).

Michael Pina: It pains me to write anything positive about Carlos Boozer, but he could have one of those stat-stuffing, front runner type of nights going up against a Hornets’ front line that’s lacking Carl Landry, and possibly Jason Smith.

Joe Gerrity: If Rose is healthy enough to perform at even 80% of his usual level, then it’s him. If not, it’s the front court. Okafor and Ayon will do their best to contain the Bulls, but at some point there are going to be a lot of easy buckets inside for Chicago.

2. Which matchup most favors the Hornets?

Mason: I think we need to temporarily amend this question to “which matchup least favors the Bulls”, because the Hornets don’t really have an edge at any one position. Okafor and Noah are fairly similar players and post similar numbers, so I’ll go with that one. That being said, the Bulls as a team play some of the best interior defense in the league, so it won’t be easy for him.

Pina: This may sound like blasphemy, but it’s looking like Jarrett Jack could have an opportunistic night (if he overcomes that sore left knee). Derrick Rose is suffering from chronic back spasms, so early aggression with the intent to force Rose into a few lazy fouls could be a tone-setting development in the Hornets’ favor. Success against the elite at his position isn’t anything new for Jack; this season he’s scored 26 on Tony Parker, 21 on Rajon Rondo, and 20 on Russell Westbrook.

Joe: Honestly I don’t see a matchup that favors the Hornets unless Rose sits out.

3. Care to make some predictions about the game?

Mason: I feel like “Hornets lose by less than 20” is a bold enough prediction on its own, so I’ll go with that. Chicago takes a comfortable double digit lead into the 4th & beats New Orleans 96-82.

Pina: The Bulls are bar setters right now. With no Carl Landry adding an inside scoring touch, expect Chicago to swallow New Orleans whole every time they get near the basket. Unless the Hornets can knock down more than half of their outside jump shots and go on a barrage from downtown, it’s probable they’ll walk away with their 22nd loss of the season.

Joe: Gustavo Ayon is going to play much better defense on Carlos Boozer than most people think, but he won’t do much on the offensive end. I’ll pass on picking a winner, since my mother told me that if I can’t say anything nice, I should just shut my hole.


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