Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Bulls

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (8-1) vs. CHICAGO BULLS (6-3)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 21.3 Tim Duncan 8.9 Tony Parker 7.7
BULLS Derrick Rose 24.7 Joakim Noah 12.8 Derrick Rose 9.2
The San Antonio Spurs will look to match their best 10 game start in franchise history when they host the Chicago Bulls at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Spurs (8-1) are coming from a nice road 117-104 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder last Sunday with Matt Bonner connecting 7-7 from beyond the arc.

The Bulls (6-3) started off their seven game road trip with 95-92 hard fought win over the Houston Rockets and are riding high on four game winning streak.

Tim Duncan has been struggling on offense lately and the Spurs will need a good effort from him to get the win. While the Bulls will lean heavily on Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah on the offensive end. This will also mark the first time Keith Bogans will play against his former team.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — Even with Duncan struggling with his shots, the Spurs find ways to score. Manu Ginobili leads the team in scoring and will get ample help from Richard Jefferson, Tony Parker, George Hill and Bonner. However, it will be important for the Spurs to get their inside game going against a physical team like the Bulls.

Defense
– It will be key for the Spurs to try to limit Rose on offense. In their recent win over Houston, Rose scored 17 of his 33 points in the final period and they have to be wary on Bull’s outside shooting too. In their last game, the Bulls hit 8-12 of their shots from the three-point line.

BULLS:

Offense — Their offense starts with Rose and Deng. Also, Noah, Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver helping out on the scoring department.

Defense — It will be key for them to limit the Spurs’ inside game and dribble penetrations, but they also have to be wary of the Spurs’ outside shooting. The Spurs are making 44.0% of their shots from behind the arc — currently best in the NBA.

INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out)

Bulls — Kyle Korver – knee (day-to-day), Carlos Boozer – hand (out)

PREDICTION: The Spurs are well rested and will take on a Bulls team that is on a four game winning streak. The Bulls will try to use their momentum from a close win against the Houston Rockets to challenge the Spurs and get another win on the road.
However, the Spurs know what to expect against a young team like the Bulls. They will use their veteran smarts and start the game on high note to put away the surging Bulls team. One streak ends tonight. It will be a close one in San Antonio, with the Spurs winning it by five points or less.
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