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Bulls looking for payback against Warriors
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Feb 26
It’s not unusual for a lockdown defense to face a high-powered offense when teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences meet.
That will be the case again on Wednesday when the Chicago Bulls try to hand the Golden State Warriors an 11th loss in 12 visits to the United Center.
The Warriors are 10th in the NBA in scoring at 103.3 points per game, while the Bulls allow just 92.3 points per game, second best in the league.
“People fall in love with our offense, but we are a defensive-oriented basketball team that takes pride on the defensive end,” said Warriors coach Mark Jackson following his team’s morning shootaround. “It gives a chance to win ballgames no matter how well we play (on offense).”
Golden State’s offense was certainly on display when the teams met on Feb. 6 during Chicago’s six-game road trip. The Bulls led 29-16 after a quarter, but All-Star guard Stephen Curry recorded 34 points and nine assists as the Warriors rallied for a 102-87 victory.
“We saw them two weeks ago and they jumped out to an early lead,” recalled Curry. “We were fortunate to come back and win that game at home. I think they’ve gone 6-1 since then. So we know they’re playing good basketball right now and we’ve got to try to keep our momentum and start out the game better than last time in order to get a win on the road.”
But as Jackson’s team goes for a fifth win in a row, they’ll have to do it in a venue where they’ve had little success in recent seasons. And, as Curry noted, they’re facing a team that is playing well, winners in six of their last seven contests with the lone defeat coming Sunday in Miami.
“We expected them to be in the playoff conversation,” said Jackson of the Bulls, who at 30-26 own the East’s fourth best record. “So there are no surprises. They’re doing a good job once again. Hard playing, talented basketball team.
“At the end of the day, they lost to a good team in their own building,” Jackson added. “I don’t think you overreact. They’re a good team, they play extremely hard, and they have experience and depth. It’s no surprise at all. In the Eastern Conference, they’re going to have to be dealt with.”
Warriors forward David Lee participated in the full shootaround after missing the last two games due to a stomach flu. Jackson said that the decisions on whether he will play and/or start would be made later in the day.
“Obviously he’s had time off,” said Jackson of Lee. “So we want to make sure he’s in rhythm.”
Lee is officially listed as questionable, though Curry sounded like he expected his teammate to be back on the court.
“We’re obviously glad to have D-Lee back—that makes us an even more powerful lineup,” said Curry. “But we’ll see how he feels tonight and hopefully he provides that punch that we need from him.”
Audio—Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau talks about facing the Warriors (02.26.2014):
Audio—Warriors coach Mark Jackson meets the media following shootaround (02.26.2014):
Audio—Warriors guard Stephen Curry on the possibility of a four-point line in the NBA (02.26.2014):