It’s the start of the new era, and it feels so damn good.
Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls at 7:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago
1. Coby White
2. Zach LaVine
3. Patrick Williams
4. Lauri Markkanen
5. Wendell Carter Jr.
Injury Report: Thaddeus Young OUT (lower left leg infection)
Note: The Chicago Bulls will have back Denzel Valentine, Garrett Temple, Tomas Satoransky, Devon Dotson, and Adam Mokoka for tonight’s game. Considering these players were not able to participate in at least the last two preseason games (Valentine, Temple, and Mokoka didn’t participate in any), it’s hard to say if they will see much playing time tonight. However, it is still worth noting this is the healthiest the team has been since the start of training camp.
1. Trae Young
2. Bogdan Bogdanovic
3. De’Andre Hunter
4. John Collins
5. Bruno Fernando
Injury report: Here just look at this …
An @emoryhealthcare injury report for tomorrow’s game (2/2):
K. Dunn (cartilage disruption, right knee): Out
O. Okongwu (inflammation, sesamoid bone, left foot): Out
R. Rondo (health and safety protocols): Out
T. Snell (inflammation, cuboid bone, right foot): Out pic.twitter.com/C4n5CL22h6
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 22, 2020
What to Watch For
• What is the rotation? Billy Donovan did not have a fully healthy roster to experiment with during the preseason, and the head coach has no other choice but to use his meaningful games to figure out exactly what he’s dealing with. Whether or not he will choose to do just that in the first game of the season will be interesting to see, but with guys like Denzel Valentine and Garrett Temple finally available, it might be worth giving them a shot sooner than later.
• Tonight will be Lauri Markkanen’s first opportunity to show the front office they made a mistake. The two sides failed to reach an agreement over the weekend on a rookie-scale extension. This season was already going to be an incredibly important one for Markkanen to prove he can bounceback strong, but this failed negotiation brings things to a whole new level. Oh, and for what it’s worth, he started last season with one of the best games of his career (35 points, 17 rebounds), so with Hawks starting center Clint Capela out for the game, and a brand new chip on his shoulder, maybe history can repeat itself!
• Does anyone else get an instant headache when thinking about this backcourt trying to stop Trae Young? I mean, the guy who did all the dirty work on defense last season (Kris Dunn) is now sitting on Young’s bench. Zach LaVine and Coby White are really going to have their hands full trying to keep him in check.
• Bulls should be staggering their starters all season long. While the team’s depth looks good on paper, they have a lot of unproven pieces on their bench. And when we also consider how many offensive-minded players are in the starting lineup, it makes sense to give them some time to be the first option with the second unit.
#Bulls coach Billy Donovan said he'll play a 9-man and possibly a 10-man rotation tonight.
He added that he expects to mix and match starters with reserves. A full 5-man 2nd unit playing together is something he wants to avoid.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) December 23, 2020
Get Caught Up
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 23, 2020
Bulls Weekly Preview: Hawks, Pacers, Warriors – December 23-27, 2020https://t.co/XdGVLwxOdX
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 22, 2020
Bulls and Markkanen Were “Roughly $4 Million Apart” in the First Year, Alonehttps://t.co/XHb9gKATUO
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 23, 2020