Portland Trail Blazers at Chicago Bulls (7:00 CT) on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score (Audio)
1. Coby White
2. Zach LaVine
3. Patrick Williams
4. Lauri Markkanen
5. Daniel Gafford
Injury Report: Wendell Carter Jr. OUT (quad)
Portland Trail Blazers
1. Damian Lillard
2. Gary Trent Jr.
3. Carmelo Anthony
4. Robert Covington
5. Enes Kanter
Injury Report: CJ McCollum. OUT (foot), Jusuf Nurkic OUT (wrist), Derrick Jones Jr. OUT (foot), Zach Collins OUT (ankle)
What to Watch For
• Clearly, the Blazers are heavily short-handed tonight. The Bulls have a pretty remarkable ability to shoot themselves in the foot – specifically with loads of turnovers – but if they are able to limit their mistakes tonight, this does feel like a winnable game. The Bulls are still one of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA, and that should be bad news for this 28th-ranked Trail Blazers defense.
• Patrick Williams could have a big night. The rookie scored 14 points against the Blazers the last time these teams met, and that was with the long, athletic Jones Jr. guarding him on the other end. With Jones Jr. out this time around and more potential defensive matchups with Carmelo Anthony, this could prove to be a great opportunity for Williams to breakout out of his mini offensive slump. Not to mention, with Wendell Carter Jr. off the court yet again, the Bulls will need him to continue to play a big role on defense and on the glass.
• Coby White has two career double-doubles and one of them came in earlier this month in the Bulls first matchup against this team. The Bulls starting point guard has looked out of sorts over the past few games (12.3 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game), so maybe this can the night White needs to get back on track.
• Gafford’s time starting at center this season hasn’t gone the best. Tonight should be an easier matchup thanks to Nurkic’s absence, but Kanter is a frisky rebounder, especially on the offensive end. Gafford is averaging only 3.3 rebounds over his first three starts, so let’s hope he can outperform that mark tonight.
Get Caught Up …
Beginning tonight, Bulls are scheduled to play 18 games in 33 days.
Markkanen: "Playing basketball games is normally a lot more fun than practice. I don’t mind playing."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 30, 2021
LIVE: Head Coach Billy Donovan media availability prior to tonight’s game against the Trail Blazers https://t.co/EX5OauVOor
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 30, 2021
What to do at Center, Markkanen Up for the Challenge, the Injured Blazers, and Other Bulls Bulletshttps://t.co/PA7sl28maD
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 30, 2021