Bulls hope to even season series against Clippers


Feb 2

By Adam Fluck

It’s easy to forget the last time the Bulls lost after tearing through five consecutive above-.500 teams on the road, a first in NBA history.

But it’s a safe assumption that the players and Head Coach Vinny Del Negro haven’t forgotten. It was the Clippers, of course, who handed Chicago its second loss during the second game of a seven-game road trip.

“I didn’t think we played particularly well,” said Del Negro on Tuesday of the 104-97 loss on Feb. 20. “We didn’t have John Salmons and [Chris] Kaman had just come back from his injury. We didn’t play very well and we didn’t execute. Hopefully, we’ll play better tonight in our first game back after a long road trip. We need to take care of our home court and protect it.”

As for the Bulls’ walking wounded—Taj Gibson (left foot), Brad Miller (left knee) and Joakim Noah (left foot)—Del Negro was optimistic that all three would play when he met the media an hour before tip-off.

“We’ll see how they warm up,” he said. “They’re sore, but they’re going to go.”

Having that trio of bigs out on the floor will prove valuable against the likes of Clippers forward Marcus Camby and his 12 rebounds per game.

“He always hurts us on the glass,” Del Negro said of Camby. “You’ve got to get a body on him and he’s so long. He keeps a lot of basketballs alive for them, which you can’t afford.”

Del Negro also indicated that Devin Brown’s Bulls debut would likely come against the Clippers. Brown (6-5, 210) has appeared in 39 games (37 starts) for the Hornets this year, and averaged 9.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 1.5 apg in 24.8 mpg. On the season, he has shot .394 from the field, .367 from behind the arc and .802 from the line.

“We’ll try to get him in the game tonight and see what he can give us,” said Del Negro. “He’s a veteran guy and knows how to play. It was good to have him for practice the last couple days. He’s a little bit more familiar with what we’re trying to do.”

Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on Derrick Rose’s participation at All-Star weekend, playing four games in five nights, and facing the Clippers (02.02.10):

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