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Game 20 Preview: Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls

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The Bulls are 9-8 and have lost two in a row. The Rockets are 7-12 and have won two in a row. The Rockets couldn't miss in Memphis, but that's yesterday. Now, they have to play a struggling Chicago team.

The Bulls were bested in Chi-Town by the Orlando Magic a few nights ago and then lost to the Celtics last night. They played with Boston for the first half, but allowed the Celts to pull away in the second half.

The Rockets couldn't hold off the Bulls in their first meeting in Houston. The Rockets had a lead going into the fourth quarter, and then in a surprise move, blew the lead quickly. D-Rose hit several long jump shots and the Rockets lost down the stretch.

Now, it appears the Rockets have temporarily solved their fourth quarter problems, but it's only been two games, so don't get your hopes up.

Onto the matchups...

Matchups:

PG: Kyle Lowry vs. Derrick Rose:

Rose is averaging 26/8/4 this season. He's really worked on his jump shot, as we saw in the first matchup this season. If we can keep him out of the paint and force the other Bulls to beat us, we have a real shot to steal this game.

Lowry had arguably the best game of his career against his former team. 28/12/3 is a great stat line, and I'd like to see more of it before AB comes back. He's making that contract look good.

Advantage: Bulls

SG: Kevin Martin vs. Keith Bogans:

K-Mart got out of his mini-slump against the Grizz. Next up, Chase Budinger.

Keith Bogans just isn't very good. We all know this.

Advantage: Rockets

SF: Shane Battier vs. Luol Deng:

OK, Rudy Gay ate Shane's lunch, but Shane still played well and hit a big three in the fourth quarter. So there.

Deng is shooting 41% from the field, so the Rockets need to let him shoot those long twos like he enjoys partaking in.

Advantage: Even

PF: Luis Scola vs. Carlos Boozer:

Boozer has only played two games since coming back from injury, He's shooting 40% and averaging 9/2. Hopefully he's still a little injured and plays ineffectively against us. Which we all know won't happen. I see him getting 25/10 tonight.

In his last five games, Luis is averaging 14/6 and 61% shooting from the line. What's wrong with him?

Advantage: Even

C: Chuch Hayes vs. Joakim Noah:

I think Brad Miller will get a lot of burn tonight. He should against his former team. We all remember how he killed the Rockets since he knew our offense and defensive schemes.

Noah is a beast. Last time, there was a lot of talk about Noah and whether or not he was an actual good player. He is. Get over it.

Advantage: Bulls

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Bench:

Bulls: C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Omer Asik, Taj Gibson

Rockets: Ish Smith, Courtney Lee, Chuck Hayes, Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger

Advantage: Rockets

Injuries:

Bulls: None

Rockets: Brooks out, Yao out

Prediction: Bulls

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