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Preview and Game Thread #49: Chicago Bulls @ Atlanta Hawks

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Atlanta Hawks 09-10 Season Game # 49

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@ Atlanta-hawks_medium
23-24
31-17
Philips Arena
February 5th, 2010, 8:00 PM EST
ESPN, Hawks Radio Network, NBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Derrick Rose
PG Mike Bibby
Kirk Hinrich SG Joe Johnson
Luol Deng SF Marvin Williams
Taj Gibson PF Josh Smith
Brad Miller C Al Horford

Hawks Injury Report: None

Bulls Injury Report: Joakim Noah is out. Taj Gibson is a game time decision.

Blogging With the Enemy: BlogaBull

Predicted bane of the Hawks' existence: Taj Gibson

Game Preview:

The Hawks could easily go 5-0 into the All-Star break, it is hard to say that kind of extended win streak is necessary, but teams rarely have opportunity for such. It would be nice to take advantage. The only thing standing in the way is four of those games happen in five nights, Memphis is no longer Memphis, and focus.

Until the two game skid the Bulls find themselves on now, they were one of the hottest teams in the league. Derrick Rose is not the Derrick Rose we saw in the first two meetings. He is more playoff Derrick Rose. Check that, no one is playoff Derrick Rose, but he is good, really good. To help matters for the Hawks though, Joakim Noah is out, and that is good for everyone but the Bulls. So those floaters by Rose that Josh Smith will certainly alter will have a much less likely chance of being offensive rebounded, dunked, and then spastically celebrated.

Atlanta needs to come out the aggressor, attack Brad Miller, force jump shots, and work the advantages on the floor. This should be much more the 20 point variety win than the double OT loss, but that depends more on rebounding and defensive effort. Poor showing in those areas and Rose will look like an MVP, Taj Gibson the rookie of the year, and Brad Miller will be annoyingly slow instead of horribly slow. We don't want that, and we don't have to see that. The Hawks just need to play unselfish, focused basketball.

Naturally, I have no idea if that is going to happen.

Go Hawks!