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Charlotte Bobcats at Chicago Bulls preview -- Game 56

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The Big Picture: After a satisfying victory at home over the Lakers, the Bobcats are in Chicago tonight to face the Bulls. Though they don't have Joakim Noah back yet, the Bulls are running away with the Central division on the strength of the best defense in the league and a middling offense.

But even that characterization undersells what they've been able to do under Tom Thibodeau, because their defense is neck and neck with Boston's, and a leap and a bound better than the third-best team by DRtg, Orlando. The difference between Chicago's DRtg and Orlando's this year is roughly the same as the difference between Charlotte's league-leading DRtg and 10th-best Utah's last season. Yup, that good.

The Cats have beaten the Bulls twice this season, and in those games, four and five players each took at least ten shots, implying that offensive responsibility was spread fairly evenly. Of course, I'd prefer if the Cats continued that, but because Stephen Jackson hasn't displayed much faculty for limiting his shots and spreading the opportunities, I'm not sure that'll actually happen.

Musical Interlude: Kid Rock -- "I Am the Bullgod"


Key to Victory: Boris Diaw is probably going to draw Carlos Boozer duty for most of this game. That's perfectly fine, as Diaw is a generally underrated defender, and he is more comfortable on the block and the high post than Boozer is outside the three-point line.

Detail That May Interest .08% of You: I may have mentioned this before, but I shoot my free throws Rick Barry style, and I'm available to teach Kwame Brown if Barry himself isn't.