Atlantic

Bulls Face Nets In The Windy City

James Harden will lead the Brooklyn Nets into an important matchup against Lonzo ball and the Chicago
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 04: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets in action against Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls at Barclays Center on December 04, 2021 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Chicago Bulls defeated the Brooklyn Nets 111-107. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bulls host the Brooklyn Nets in a must-watch game for the third time this season. Chicago won the first two matchups on November 8th, 118-95, and on December 4th, 111-107. But those two matchups did not include star PG Kyrie Irving. Irving has suited up for only two games this season and has averaged 22 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Entering January 12th, Brooklyn is 2.5 games behind Chicago for the top seed in the eastern conference.

Keys to Bulls Getting Important Win

Get Vucevic Going Early

If the Bulls want to be contenders for the NBA title, Vucevic has to be the team’s third scorer. Vucevic scored 11 points in each game against the Nets this season in the first two matchups. That’s going to cut it when Brooklyn is now getting Kyrie Irving back in the lineup. Chicago must spread the floor with Vucevic’s three-point ability to create more slashing opportunities in the paint for LaVine and DeRozan.

Quick Start

The Bulls have been hot, winning nine out of their last ten games, but they struggle to start games out well. Last night against Detroit, they didn’t control the game until late in the first quarter. This Brooklyn squad will come out with firepower, and Chicago must respond fast before it’s too late if they struggle to start the game tonight. Ball movement and not standing around will be critical for a great start and get the Nets on their toes.

Bench Production

The number one reason for the Bulls getting the lead back was the bench production, especially Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu. White and Dosunmu are the leading players off the Bulls bench watch for when LaVine and DeRozan can’t get any buckets to fall in or get double-teamed. On defense, Dosunmu was playing like Alex Caruso and being a lockdown defender all night long against Cade Cunningham last night

In the first two matchups against the Nets, the Chicago bench averages 29.5 points. The Bulls previous game against the Pistons got 57 points, including White with 13 points in 23 minutes and Dosunmu with 10 points in 27 minutes.

Injury Report

Bulls

PlayerStatusInjury
Alex CarusoDoubtfulFoot, NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Javonte GreenOutGroin
Tyler CookOutNBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Patrick WilliamsOutWrist

Nets

PlayerStatusInjury
Kyrie IrvingQuestionableAnkle
James HardenQuestionableKnee
Nic ClaxtonQuestionableHamstring
LaMarcus AldridgeOutFoot
Joe HarrisOutAnkle

Game Prediction

Coming into this big-time matchup, the two critical factors when predicting a winner in this game are the home team and both teams’ records in their last ten games. Chicago has the best home record in the eastern conference at 15-4 and has won nine out of their last ten games. While the Nets have an argument with having the best road record in the eastern conference at 14-4. Brooklyn has lost six out of their last ten games. Therefore, the Bulls get the season series tonight to 3-0.

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