Magic face formidable opening-night challenge vs Bulls
The Bulls are coming into Orlando on a high after going into Miami and absolutely crushing the defending champions 108-66. All 12 players for the Bulls scored, led by Kirk Hinrich's 26 pts and Chris Duhon off the bench with 20. The Bulls are very deep, as their reserves combined to score 55 pts. The Bulls interior defense is much-improved, and they tended to run out on the break after getting a defensive rebound, and burned the Heat on the fast break.
Many experts gave the Bulls a chance to be a championship contender this season. After watching them obliterate the Heat, you can see why. Granted though, it's only one game, and as we've pointed out on previous posts, the Heat have lots and lots of problems.
The probable Bulls starting lineup: PG Hinrich SG Ben Gordon C Ben Wallace PF P.J. Brown SF Luol Deng. Key reserves: Duhon, Andres Nocioni, Tyrus Thomas, Adrian Griffin, Victor Khryapa.
In what could be a big break for the Magic, Chris Duhon, who shot 7 of 8 against the Heat, re-injured his sore foot, and his status for tonight's game is not known. Also, talented rookie Tyrus Thomas suffered a broken nose in a hard collision, and probably will miss tonight's game. However, Scott Skiles was able to give his regulars rest, as only Hinrich played more than 28 minutes.
Some key questions for tonight's game:
-How much playing time will Darko receive?
-How will the Magic fare offensively against imposing Bulls C Ben Wallace? I know Dwight won't be intimidated, but will he have success?
-If Jameer starts slow, will Hill bench him and give Carlos the majority of the playing time? Carlos is coming off a solid preseason.
-Can the Magic hit their outside shots to spread the Bulls defense, and open things up in the low post for Dwight?
We'll find out the answers to those and many more questions tonight!