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Chicago Bulls (19-13) V. Milwaukee Bucks (17-16) Preview: Boylan Over

January 9th, 2013 at 4:41 PM
By Avi Saini

Tonight, the Chicago Bulls will be hosting the Milwaukee Bucks in yet another divisional battle. The Bulls enter this game on a three game win streak since the calendar changed to 2013. The Bucks on the other hand, enter this game seemingly where the Bulls were quite some years ago.

As of yesterday, the Milwaukee Bucks have agreed with ex-Bulls coach Scott Skiles to part ways thus putting veteran assistant Jim Boylan in charge of the team for the foreseeable future. As many of you Bulls fans will recall, Skiles was fired from his position as the Bulls coach around the same point in the season back in the 2007-2008 which put Boylan in charge before everyone's favorite punching bag, Vinny Del Negro, was hired.

So how will this affect tonight's game? To me, it shouldn't do too much. Boylan should continue to run the same system that Skiles is running with perhaps some slight variations. The only thing that could happen is the Bucks play with more short term energy and intensity that normally comes with a mid-season coaching change. However, that may not even be the case as it seems Brandon Jennings isn't entirely too pleased about the coaching change.

(Editor's note: Skiles reportedly "hated his team," so there's that.)

Overall, the coaching change will not affect the Bulls either. As stated earlier, the Bulls are on a three game win streak during which Carlos Boozer has been absolutely lights out. So far in 2013, Boozer is averaging a staggering 27.3 points on 60% shooting and 11.5 rebounds. His hot streak should hopefully continue against Ersan Ilyasova.

Chicago should also continue to play the smash mouth defense that they've become known for across the league. While the Bulls continue to struggle on the offensive side (fifth worst offensive team in the NBA), they continue to put themselves in a position to win by limiting opponents. The only thing I can hope is that Chicago doesn't blow a 20+ point lead against Milwaukee like they did last time.

Overall, I expect the Bulls to win this one given how the team is playing on defense and the way Boozer has come alive as of late.

Key Matchup: Carlos Boozer v. Ersan Ilyasova

As stated earlier, Boozer has been on absolute fire on offense. While Boozer is a fairly streaky player, his hot streak has a good shot at continuing tonight. Ilyasova, for a big man, is not very adept at defense, at least in Milwaukee's system he isn't. Offensively, Ilyasova also is not the greatest scoring presence on the Bucks in either wins or losses. Finally, Ilyasova is not the greatest rebounder as he only averages about 5 rebounds per game which is pretty poor for big man. If Boozer plays aggressively, the Bulls should have a solid advantage on the boards.

Tags: Brandon Jennings, Carlos Boozer, Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Ersan Ilyasova, Jim Boylan, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, Scott Skiles, Vinny Del Negro

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