The matchup for the game tonight between the Chicago Bulls and the hosting San Antonio Spurs will be between Bulls' forward Carlos Boozer and Spurs' forward Tim Duncan.
In their first meeting of the season during the Rodeo Road Trip, the Spurs easily defeated the Bulls in a 103-89 victory. Duncan was out for that game with a knee injury, but the team didn't need him as they easily handled the Bulls. Boozer had a good game with 14 points (7-15 shooting) and 8 rebounds in 29 minutes. While he had a good game, the team had a +/- of -24 with him on the floor and he'll be sure to make up for that this game.
What Duncan must do on offense:
He has to keep attacking Boozer every chance he gets. Carlos Boozer is very passive on defense and probably a worse help defender than man. With Duncan picking and rolling or popping for most of the time, he'll be leaving Boozer thinking twice about his defensive assignments. That will help the Spurs break the Bulls' defense early and may give San Antonio an early lead they won't give up later on.
What Duncan must do on defense:
He has to keep watch of Boozer in the mid range area. Carlos Boozer is shooting a good 63% (198-316) from the restricted area, but he's taking the majority of his shots from mid range where he's shooting just 38% (129-342). This tells you of Boozer's "soft" game as he's not the physical type of player. If Duncan can keep tabs on him in mid range, the Spurs will be ok. He can't let Boozer get in the paint since the big man is a savvy vet who can find a way to score inside. While Duncan may not want to give him an open mid range jumper, it'd be the best option between the two shots as Boozer is preferring to shoot farther away from the basket even if he isn't shooting it well.
The matchup of the game when the San Antonio Spurs continue their Rodeo Road Trip to Chicago will be between Kawhi Leonard and Luol Deng.
Kawhi Leonard is known as the Spurs' defensive stopper and defends the best player on the opposite team. Leonard will have his hands full with Luol Deng, who's leading the Chicago Bulls in scoring with 17ppg and also chipping in 6.8rpg. Leonard is not the focal point of the San Antonio offense, so he'll have fresher legs on defense when guarding Deng this game but Leonard is not guaranteed being fresh on the court tonight after playing last night against the Brooklyn Nets. Leonard's defense will likely determine the outcome of the game as the Bulls are ranked 26th overall on offense (93.7ppg) and will likely need Deng to score as many points as he can to come out with a win tonight.
What Leonard must do on offense:
He has to keep Deng in motion on offense. Leonard is a versatile small forward the Spurs have not had in a long time. He's able to rebound and push the ball by himself in transition whlie shooting three point shots and driving to the basket. With San Antonio having a deep bench, Kawhi's movement on offense may force Deng to spend more energy on defense than he wants to.
What Leonard must do on defense:
Deng is shooting 60% (145-242) in the restricted area and that will force Leonard to likely force him to put the ball on the floor but quickly recover to proect the rim. Leonard's strength and long arms should play a huge factor in the paint against Deng on post ups or drives and will disrupt any shot that will be taken. Deng is shooting less than 35% in every other part of the court except the corner three where he's shooting 46% (15-33). He looks to be comfortable in that spot, even if he hasn't shot many shots from there. With Derrick Rose still out for Chicago, look for Leonard to not give Deng any space and that will be especially true when Deng is looking to spot up shoot.