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Charlotte Bobcats at Chicago Bulls game preview

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Gametimes: 8 p.m. EST

Today's Tunes:

Arctic Monkeys feat Dizzee Rascal - "Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend" (via Seebbew)

Game Overview:

Last time the Bobcats and Bulls met in Chicago, Charlotte was reeling from an 18-game losing streak. And through exercising greater will, the Bobcats won. Gerald Henderson, Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions and Ben Gordon combined for 64 points on 45 shots. Meanwhile, the Bulls looked sluggish and unprepared. Joakim Noah was the only player anywhere close to shooting over 50 percent from the field and he went 1-for-2. Luol Deng led the way with 20 points in the losing effort.

This time around Chicago might not even have Luol Deng. Deng, who's missed time with a bum right hamstring could return tonight, though the Chicago Tribune speculates that they'll keep him out another game. If they do, Jimmy Butler will get another start. Butler's a nice young player who can defend well with good basketball IQ.

Normally I'd expect Chicago's defense to shut down the Bobcats offense, which often struggles to beat the shot clock. But the Bobcats' strengths lie in where the Bulls weaknesses are: the backcourt. Charlotte's guards can draw fouls at a higher rate, which is what they did against Chicago last time. If the Bulls can shut off the paint and get strong performances from Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, they should be able to take care of business.

But if they again struggle, failing to get to the free throw line well and shooting poorly from three while taking a bunch of jump shots, well, it'll be another rough night in Chicago.