NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 22nd (All times Eastern)
Chicago Bulls (31-23) at Charlotte Bobcats (13-41), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls were embarrassed on national television by the Miami Heat Thursday, but have little time to stew over the loss as they travel to Charlotte to meet the Bobcats Friday night.
The Heat held the Bulls to a season-low 67 points in a 19-point blowout. Chicago committed an astonishing 27 turnovers, which is just seven fewer than the franchise record.
"It was supposed to be an exciting night," said Joakim Noah. "To come out and play like that is disappointing. They kicked our (butt). You got to give credit when credit is due. They're very, very good."
They certainly are, but the Bulls aren't that bad either. Chicago was once again without point guard Kirk Hinrich, who sat with his lingering elbow issue. The Bulls are 4-9 this season without Hinrich.
The Bulls shot 37 percent from the field, 20 percent from the 3-point line and no Chicago player had more than 14 points. Nate Robinson, who started for Hinrich, hit that number, while Carlos Boozer chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds and Noah had 11 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks.
Thursday's loss marked the second time in the last three games the Bulls failed to reach 70 points. They only managed 69 against the Boston Celtics on Feb. 13 and Chicago has dropped three of its last four and five of its last seven.
To make matters just a tiny bit worse, star point guard Derrick Rose's brother and agent, Reggie Rose, blasted the Bulls organization for not making any trade deadline moves on Thursday.
Derrick Rose, in an attempt to defuse the situation his brother started, released a statement saying, "I have always felt that the Bulls organization's goals have been the same as mine and that is to bring another championship to this city."
The Bulls travel to Charlotte to take on a team that is 2-7 in February and is 2-8 at home since the new year.
On Wednesday, the Bobcats fell at home to the Detroit Pistons, 105-99. Kemba Walker led the way for Charlotte with 24 points and five Bobcats scored in double figures.
"We missed a lot of rotations and we just weren't in sync tonight. We have to get that back," Walker said.
Byron Mullens scored 15 against the Pistons and has been borderline sensational since his return from an ankle injury on Feb. 4. He has averaged 17.7 ppg and 8.8 rpg while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc.
The Bobcats made small trade before Thursday's deadline. They moved forward Hakim Warrick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward Josh McRoberts.
"Josh McRoberts is a quality young big man who can play either post position for us," said Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins. "We look forward to adding his size and energy to our rotation."
The two teams split this season's two matchups, which were both in Chicago. The Bulls have won three straight and four of their last five in Charlotte.
02/22 10:30:37 ET