Magic-Bulls Preview

14-53. 26 percent. No, that’s not the percentage of roller coasters Nate Robinson is allowed to ride at amusement parks. That’s what the Bulls starters shot from the field against the Hornets. The bench wasn’t much better, as the team as a whole finished 29-88 (33 percent). You aren’t going to win many games against high schoolers shooting like that.

“Tough day at the office,” Joakim Noah said after the game. That’s an understatement. At a lot of offices that would be grounds for firing.

And this horrendous shooting didn’t come against some defensive powerhouse like the Heat or the Celtics. It came against the Hornets. When they were without Anthony Davis. Orlando’s starting bigs were Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez. Those guys are not known for their spectacular defense (both had 105 defense ratings last year).

But then again, Chicago isn’t known for its offense.

This was the worst fear of Bulls fans. When the offense wasn’t working, who was going to start creating? Would Rip start moving off the ball and hit some shots? Would Boozer get in the post? Would Deng find ways to score? Nope. All wrong. The answer was that nobody would score.

The Bulls went 3-17 from deep to continue their terrible long-range shooting. That puts them at 25-percent from three point range on the season.

If there is one good thing from this game, it’s that we have now, hopefully, seen rock bottom. Oh, and Marco Belinelli put in his best game as a Bull, against his old team. Marco scored 13 points on 4-10 shooting. He added two assists and a steal as well. So he’s got that going for him…which is nice.

That’s enough about last game. It’s giving me terrible flashbacks.

Today is a new day, and possibly another chance for the Bulls to be horrible. Or maybe not, because they are facing the Magic. Orlando decided to get rid of Dwight Howard and start over. They got Arron Afflalo from the Nuggets and…well that’s really where the good news ends. But with that said, the Magic are 2-0 on the year, thanks to great play from two holdovers.

Remember the Magic not only lost Dwight Howard, but also Most Improved award winner Ryan Anderson (who the Bulls just lost to). You’d think they would be struggling on offense with those two guys gone, but they haven’t been. Orlando scored 102 points against the Nuggets, and 115 against the Suns. J.J. Redick is averaging 22.5 points and 6.0 assists per game, while Glen Davis is putting in 25.5 points per contest.

It’s an extremely small sample size, two games, but Orlando has played well, and currently has a better record than Chicago, and most of the NBA. Don’t expect that to last, as the Magic are in a rebuilding year, and also have some injuries early. They will be without Hedo Turkoglu (hand) and Jameer Nelson (hamstring) tonight. But this Orlando team, although overmatched on most nights, is fighting for wins.

The last time these two squads met was the Bulls 85-59 domination of the Magic. It’s that type of game that can make some people forget about the embarrassment Chicago is coming off of.

Coach’s Corner: Some thoughts on last game and what I’d like to see: We all know the Bulls offense was bad. Rip and Boozer were terrible and when that’s happening no one can create. I’d like to see the Bulls stat running on the break more. They have bigs in Taj and Jo that can run the floor. Heck, Noah even likes to lead the break as if he’s a guard. And if Boozer isn’t shooting well, there isn’t a reason for him to be playing over Taj anyway. The Bulls defense is great so when they create turnovers, they should look to run. Because this offense needs all the easy points they can get.

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