The Chicago Bulls aren't the same when reigning MVP Derrick Rose isn't in the lineup and, fortunately for the home team, there's a chance he could return Monday when they host the Atlanta Hawks in an early-afternoon game on ESPN. With Rose likely to return, the television executives are probably happiest as it lessens the chance for a third sloppy game between the two teams.
The first two meetings of the season for the Hawks and Bulls have been split with Chicago grinding out a 76-74 win in the first game before Atlanta cruised to a 109-94 win just four days later. The third likely will feature the return of Rose, though, making the game a bit more enjoyable to watch
In lieu of Rose, the Bulls have counted on a hodgepodge of point guards including C.J. Watson, John Lucas III and NBA D-League call-up Mike James. They've all had their moments this season, but the good doesn't always outweigh the bad when it comes to said "moments."
The Hawks have been without Horford for quite awhile as he recovers from a shoulder injury, forcing them to play a bit of smallball -- though the recent addition of Erick Dampier was designed to help that. In the meantime, the team's been counting on All-Star Joe Johnson and Josh Smith to carry most of the load on the offensive end.
As far as other interesting storylines are concerned, the Bulls will be trying their hardest to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time this season.