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Courtside in Chicago

My plane finally made it out of Washington this afternoon and I was able to hustle my way to the United Center for tonight's game which tips off in about 45 minutes. I just spoke with coach Eddie Jordan and he said he will go with a starting lineup consisting of Gilbert Arenas and DeShawn Stevenson at guard, Jarvis Hayes and Antawn Jamison at forward and Etan Thomas at center.

Hayes is starting for Caron Butler, who had a minor thigh bruise in practice yesterday. He'll dress but won't play. Jordan said he plans on giving every starter a night off at some point during the preseason but I find it hard to believe that Gilbert will actually take one.

Gilbert, by the way, is wearing a black and blue version of his Adidas Pilrahna sneakers tonight after wearing brown shoes Monday night against the Raptors. And I just saw former GW forward Mike Hall bounding down the hallway towards the court to warm up. He was beaming. Hall is from Chicago, still considers himself something of a Bulls fan and is obviously hyped up to play in front of family and friends. Jordan said Hall will see some action tonight after not getting in Monday.

Jordan's goals for the night: handle Chicago's pressure defense, see better execution out of his second unit and "score in double figures." The last part was another tongue in cheek reference to all of the talk about the Bulls being a basketball version of the Bears this season.

Overheard during warmups: Andray Blatche making a three-pointer and then telling me: "I'm going redeem myself tonight." Blatche was 0-5 with 5 turnovers in Monday's game against Toronto.

Gotta go and get ready for the game. I'll check back tomorrow with observations on the game.

By Ivan Carter  |  October 11, 2006; 7:43 PM ET
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Just a few notes: That Lang guy looked nice tonight, nothing flashy but solid nonetheless. Is there any chance he makes the squad? Was it just me or did the Bulls and their fans seem a little "excited" about a pre-season game. Surely, the Wizards bench clapped in support when something good happened. But the Bulls bench nearly did back flips after scoring the "game winner." A lot of talk is made that the Bulls are contenders this year. But would the Heat get so excited over a pre-season game when the court was full of training camp space-fillers?

Posted by: DC Wiz | October 11, 2006 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Seems Blatche didn't redeem himself really, still shot 2-9. Didn't get to see it so I can't offer any advice other than to slow down and let the game come to you.

Posted by: Zonker | October 12, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

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