Bulls Weekly Preview: Wizards, Pelicans, Clippers – February 8-12, 2021

How many wins?

Meet the Opponents:

•   2/8 vs. Washington Wizards (5-15): Whatever you heard is wrong! Bradley Beal and I are made for each other, and we are going to get married and live happily ever after in a fancy mansion with a bunch of Larry O’Brien Trophies! Right, Brad!? *camera pans to Bradley Beal sitting on the bench holding back tears.* 

•   2/10 vs. New Orleans Pelicans (10-12): We hear you might be interested in Lonzo

•   2/12 vs. Los Angeles Clippers (17-8): Remember how you only lost to us by 2 last time? Yeah, what was that all about 

Bulls Roster Notes

Expected Starters:

1. Coby White
2. Zach LaVine
3. Patrick Williams
4. Lauri Markkanen
5. Daniel Gafford

Unavailable/Injured: Lauri Markkanen OUT (shoulder), Wendell Carter Jr. OUT (quad), Otto Porter OUT (back)

Additional Roster Notes: Markkanen will not be leaving the injury report any time soon …

Opponent Roster Notes

Wizards Expected Starters:

1. Ish Smith
2. Bradley Beal
3. Deni Avdija
4. Rui Hachimura
5. Alex Len

Pelicans Expected Starters:

1. Lonzo Ball
2. Eric Bledsoe
3. Brandon Ingram
4. Zion Williamson
5. Steven Adams

Clippers Expected Starters:

1. Reggie Jackson
2. Paul George
3. Kawhi Leonard
4. Nic Batum
5. Serge Ibaka

Unavailable/Injured (at the start of the week):

Wizards: Russell Westbrook OUT (rest)

Pelicans: N/A

Clippers: Jay Scrubb OUT (foot)

What to Watch For …

Bulls: Zach LaVine has a big-time opportunity in front of him. While an All-Star nod feels just as hard as ever to achieve despite LaVine’s improvements, this week could change things.

With Lauri Markkanen joining Wendell Carter Jr. on the injury report – all while going up against several potential All-Stars – the team will truly be on LaVine’s shoulders. That said, we saw the Bulls star step up against the Orlando Magic – scoring 39 points, hauling in 7 rebounds, and dishing out 4 assists – in one of his more dominant performances yet (it became clear from the moment the ball tipped that he wasn’t going to let his team lose). The question now is whether or not he can keep up this kind of leadership over the next couple of weeks. If he can, and the Bulls sneak in a few extra W’s, his case for an All-Star roster spot becomes that much better.

Wizards: Speaking of All-Stars, the Bulls likely aren’t going to stop Bradley Beal. The leader among Eastern Conference guards in All-Star votes has averaged a league-high 33.2 points per game, so for Chicago, it might as well be all about stopping the supporting cast. I know that may not seem too difficult – especially when we consider that they are 2-7 in their last nine games with each loss coming by double-digits – but let’s remember the Bulls defense can be pretty atrocious. The team ranks 24th on that side of the ball this season, and allow opposing teams to shoot 47.4 percent from the field (also 24th). Now, fortunately, Chicago is coming off one of their best defensive performances of the season, as they held their opponent under 100 points for the first time since 2017. Can they keep it up? One would only hope against this Wizards team.

Pelicans: Patrick Williams is going to get some run as the team’s starting power forward over the next several weeks, and this is going to be one hell of a matchup for the rookie to face. Second-year star Zion Williams is currently averaging 23.7 points per game and shooting 59.6 percent from the field. He is an absolute beast at the rim and averaged 75 percent of his points in the paint. We have seen Williams successful defense some of the best players in the league this season, but Williamson is just going to be a different beast. Good luck, Rook.

Clippers: Lowkey … I’m very scared of Serge Ibaka. A strong all-around center, the Bulls have not matched up well against versatile big men so far without Wendell Carter Jr. on the floor. If they even want a shot at staying competitive in this game – which they somehow managed to do last time around – they have to keep Ibaka in check.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

more bulls news

Sounds Like Change is FINALLY Coming for the Chicago Bulls

Less than 24 hours after the Chicago Bulls' season ended unceremoniously, Arturas Karnisovas showed face. The organization's head of basketball operations sat down at the podium with a sigh and unfolded a highlighted piece of paper. What came next – to...

Bulls Will Monitor the Availability of a “Star Player” in a Trade (Uh … With What Assets?)

The second the Chicago Bulls' season came to a close was the second the rumors started. This upcoming offseason is expected to be stuffed with storylines for a franchise that has now faced back-to-back Play-In Tournament exits and below-.500 finishes....

DeRozan Addresses His Future, Vucevic is Brutally Honest, Donovan Talks “Continuity,” and Other Bulls Bullets

I'm trying to find the words to describe the feeling of waking up after the Chicago Bulls' second-straight Play-In Tournament collapse. It doesn't quite feel like the morning after some bar hopping. It also surely doesn't feel like the morning...

Exhale, Relax … It’s Finally Over: Miami 112, Bulls 91 – April 19, 2024

The Chicago Bulls started the game still sizzling from Wednesday night. Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, and DeMar DeRozan each hit a 3 within the first 3 minutes of the game. The Bulls' offense looked like they were ready for the...

What the Play-In Loss Means for the Chicago Bulls’ Lottery Odds

As frustrating as it is to see the Chicago Bulls miss the playoffs for a second straight season, it was probably for the better. It doesn't take a basketball savant to know this franchise is currently on a fast track...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

The Bulls and Heat go at it for the last spot in the NBA Playoffs. Let's get it. https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1781299357574213738 Game Info Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls – 6:00 p.m. CT on ESPN (TV) and 670 The Score (Radio) Chicago Bulls Coby White...

Scottie Pippen’s Youngest Son Will Play at Michigan

A familiar last name will be in the Big Ten next season. Scottie Pippen's kid, Justin, has committed to the University of Michigan, according to Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. The youngest son of the Chicago Bulls legend, Pippen started...

Fans Aren’t the Problem, Fun With Coby White’s Big Night, Miami is Still Scary, and Other Bulls Bullets

I was sitting at an empty table with my legs crossed sipping on some white wine. The rest of the group was up on the dance floor, sending over the increasingly frequent wave to join them. I followed up each...

Adama Sanogo’s Great Play in the G League Led to Some Nice Recognition

One Chicago Bulls player has already taken home some hardware. As the NBA waits to announce its end-of-season awards, the G-League has started to share its top accolades. While the Windy City Bulls finished an underwhelming 15-19 on the season,...

Alex Caruso Expects to Play Against Miami

Alex Caruso could be missing a foot and would probably still suit up for a do-or-die game. The Chicago Bulls' defensive anchor told ESPN's Jamal Collier that he expects to play in tonight's Play-In Tournament game against the Miami Heat....

Latest News

Mavericks vs. Clippers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets for NBA Playoffs Game 2 – Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Dallas Mavericks are slight 2.5-point favorites heading into Game 2 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday, tipping off at 10:00 PM ET on TNT. The Clippers lead...

Bucks vs. Pacers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets for NBA Playoffs Game 2 – Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Milwaukee Bucks are slight 1.5-point favorites for Game 2 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday, starting at 8:30 PM ET on NBA. The Bucks hold a 1-0 lead...

Thunder vs. Pelicans Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats and Best Bets for NBA Playoffs Game 2 – Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Oklahoma City Thunder are 8-point favorites in Game 2 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs against the New Orleans Pelicans at Paycom Center on Wednesday, tipping off at 9:30 PM ET on TNT. The Thunder have a...

Nuggets vs. Lakers Predictions, Best Bets and Odds: NBA Playoffs Game 2 – Monday, April 22, 2024

The Los Angeles Lakers are 7.5-point underdogs for Game 2 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on Monday, tipping off at 10:00 PM ET on TNT. The Nuggets are on top...

Knicks vs. 76ers Predictions, Best Bets and Odds: NBA Playoffs Game 2 – Monday, April 22, 2024

The New York Knicks are 5.5-point favorites heading into Game 2 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on Monday, beginning at 7:30 PM ET on TNT. The Knicks have a...

Giants vs. Mets: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The San Francisco Giants (10-13), led by Jung Hoo Lee, host Pete Alonso and the New York Mets (12-9) at 9:45 PM ET on Monday in a series opener.The article below will give you everything you need to know to...

How to Watch Angels vs. Orioles: Live Stream or on TV

The Los Angeles Angels (9-13), led by Taylor Ward, host Jordan Westburg and the Baltimore Orioles (14-7) on Monday at 9:38 PM ET.Keep reading to find out all the details on how to watch Los Angeles take on Baltimore live.When...

Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox Series April 22-25: Odds, Starting Pitchers & Predictions

On Monday, April 22 at 7:40 PM ET, a four-game series featuring the Minnesota Twins and the visiting Chicago White Sox will get underway.Twins vs. White Sox Series Info White Sox @ Twins Time: Monday, April 22 at 7:40 PM...

Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays Series April 22-25: Odds, Starting Pitchers & Predictions

A four-game series between the Kansas City Royals and the visiting Toronto Blue Jays will begin on Monday, April 22 at 7:40 PM ET.Royals vs. Blue Jays Series Info Blue Jays @ Royals Time: Monday, April 22 at 7:40 PM...

Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres Series April 22-25: Odds, Starting Pitchers & Predictions

The Colorado Rockies are hosting the San Diego Padres for a four-game series, with the first matchup getting underway at 8:40 PM ET on Monday, April 22.Rockies vs. Padres Series Info Padres @ Rockies Time: Monday, April 22 at 8:40...

more bulls news