Weekly Preview: Hornets, Suns, Wizards – February 20-23, 2020

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Weekly Preview: Hornets, Suns, Wizards – February 20-23, 2020

Chicago Bulls

ANDDDDDDD … we’re back.

We’re Going Streaking:

  • Chicago Bulls (19-36): The Bulls are riding a six-game losing streak into this post-All-Star break stretch. With four of the next five games against below .500 teams, plus the (potential) return of several starters, the Bulls should able to pick up a win or two. However, as we’ve come to learn, never underestimate this team’s ability to lose a ballgame.
  • Charlotte Hornets (18-36): The Hornets rely heavily on their two guards, Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham, to carry the load. And while it hasn’t necessarily resulted in a winning formula this season, it’s been enough to beat the Bulls twice this year already. Chicago will try and split the season series with a win Thursday night.
  • Phoenix Suns (22-33): Ever since a surprising early-season start, the Suns have struggled to find any true level of consistency. With that said, this lineup still has the ability for some explosive performances thanks to Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre. The Bulls will surely have their hands full trying to slow down those two.
  • Washington Wizards (20-33): The Wizards won five of their last seven games and have surpassed the Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings. Chicago took the first two games in this season series but lost big in their matchup before the All-Star Break thanks to big performances from Bradley Beal and Rui Hachimura.

Game Times and Broadcast Info:

  • Game 1: Thursday, February 20th – Hornets at Bulls (7:00 CT) on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score
  • Game 2: Saturday, February 22nd – Suns at Bulls (7:00 CT) on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score
  • Game 3: Sunday, February 23rd – Wizards at Bulls (6:00 CT) on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score

Chicago Bulls Roster Notes:

Expected Starters:

  1. Coby White(!?)
  2. Zach LaVine
  3. Tomas Satoransky
  4. Thaddeus Young
  5. Luke Kornet

Unavailable/Injured: Otto Porter OUT (foot), Wendell Carter Jr. OUT (ankle), Lauri Markkanen OUT (pelvis), Kris Dunn OUT (knee), Denzel Valentine OUT (hamstring), Chandler Hutchison OUT (shoulder)

Additional Roster Notes: Otto Porter and Wendell Carter Jr. have both been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Hornets, but the two are close to a return. While there has been no specific date set, each player has participated in practice and it feels quite possible both could see time on the court sometime this weekend. Chandler Hutchison is new to the injury report with an apparent re-aggravated shoulder injury. We have yet to learn the extent of this injury and how long he will be sidelined. As for Kris Dunn, bad news came out earlier this week that he will be re-evaluated for his MCL sprain in 4-6 weeks.

Opponents’ Roster Notes:

Unavailable/Injured:

  • Hornets: Clean slate
    • Cody Martin who previously suffered a concussion is available for tonight’s game against the Bulls.
  • Suns: Frank Kaminsky OUT (knee)
    • Deandre Ayton (ankle), Aron Baynes (hip), and Dario Saric (ankle) are all questionable for the Suns’ Friday game against the Toronto Raptors.
  • Wizards: John Wall OUT (Achillies)
    • Center Thomas Bryant missed the last four games before the All-Star Break with a foot injury but returned to practice this week.

Keep An Eye Out For …

Bulls: IT’S COBY WHITE SEASON, BABYYYY. In the past, I was against throwing White into the starting lineup, but with only 27 games to go and any sense of true direction lost, it’s time to let the lottery pick run free. Before the break, he had already shown more promising signs in the facilitating department, and while his shooting percentage hasn’t necessarily improved, he’s been taking better shots. Allowing White to run with the big boys and play alongside some of the team’s starters could help shape his development heading into year two.

White has been a fun microwave scorer off the bench at times, but a role in the starting lineup could allow for him to start shooting cleaner looks and practice his playmaking ability. The Bulls avoided throwing him into the spotlight for long enough, it’s time to see what he’s got.

Hornets: One constant for the Hornets all season long has been Devonte’ Graham. The guard has put together a breakout campaign with the departure of Kemba Walker, and he’s currently the team’s leading scorer, averaging 18.1 points per game. Over the three games he’s played against the Bulls this season, Graham has averaged 19.0 points and 8.0 assists per game. Uh, yeah, that’s pretty darn good. For the Bulls to split this season series against the Hornets, they are going to have to not only limit Graham’s sharp-shooting but also limit his clean passing. No Kris Dunn could make this a pretty tough challenge on the backcourt.

Suns: Devin Booker. I’m not even going to say anything else.

Wizards: Rookie Rui Hachimura had a very solid game against the Bulls when these two teams met before the break. The big man scored 20 points while recording 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. With the Bulls expected to get Wendell Carter Jr. back any game now, this could limit some of the success Hachimura had last time around, but if he and Beal get going again … this could be another messy one for the Bulls.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.