The Bulls are as confident as they've been all season coming from an impressive win (118-86) on Saturday against Boston.
This team is stronger than it was at the beginning of the season. While the Bulls' defense gets most of the credit for that, their offense has been just as good over the past 3 games (Chicago has an excellent 53.6 percent shooting in that stretch). The starting backcourt of Chris Duhon and Kirk Hinrich have gotten much more aggressive. Mike Sweetney, who had 24 points and 7 rebounds in the Boston game, is getting stronger and more familiar with his new team. Also the bench with Gordon, Songaila and Chandler have executed really well in recent games.
Charlotte produced a small miracle, when they managed to win Sacramento last night. It was an emotional OT victory in which three starters - Felton, Wallace and Brezec - all logged at least 40 minutes. Already in that game the Bobcats were heavily short-handed missing both Melvin Ely and Brevin Knight because of injuries. The situation, however, got even worse as Emeka Okafor and Kareem Rush both left the game with ankle injuries.
The Bobcats have lost 9 of its last 10 games and will be even more vulnerable tonight against the Bulls. They will miss two of their best perimeter shooters, their best playmaker and their leading rebounder. So they got 50 points and 20 rebounds minimum, sitting at home. Last night the Kings underestimated their opponent and got their punishment. The Bulls wont make that same mistake. Right now they are too strong and healthy for the Bobcats to compete. Medium stakes.
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