Pre-Gamin’: Wizards at Bulls (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Odds, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Wizards at Bulls (7:00 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Odds, Game Thread

Chicago Bulls

LaVine vs. Beal? Yes, please.

Broadcast Info

Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls (7:00 CT) on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score (Audio)

Chicago Bulls

Projected Starters:

1. Coby White
2. Zach LaVine
3. Garrett Temple
4. Patrick Williams
5. Daniel Gafford

Injury Report: Lauri Markkanen OUT (shoulder), Otto Porter OUT (back), Wendell Carter Jr. OUT (quad), Hutchison OUT (personal reasons)

Washington Wizards

Projected Starters:

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

Injury Report: Russell Westbrook OUT (rest)

Odds

The Bulls are -4.5 point favorites for tonight’s matchup against the Knicks, according to the DraftKings Illinois Sportsbook (-112) and the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook (-110), and the PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook (-110).

You can sign up for each of those books below, and get yourself a nice deposit bonus in the process.

What to Watch For

•    Zach LaVine vs. Bradley Beal should be mutch-watch TV for all NBA fans. I know neither is necessarily leading the most exciting team, but they’re two of the most electric offensive talents in the NBA right now. Both guards are in a position to crack the All-Star game roster, but LaVine is the one on the outside looking in. During the first All-Star votes release, Beal sat in first place among Eastern Conference guards while LaVine was comfortably in 5th. LaVine’s chance at earning a “starting” spot feels almost impossible a this point (fan vote counts for 50 percent of the tally while the coach and player votes make up the other 50 percent, so sitting top-2 in fan vote holds quite a bit of weight), but he can still make a serious case for a reserve spot, which is entirely determined by NBA coaches. The more he goes toe-to-toe and beats his fellow All-Star competitors, the harder it will be for him not to be on the minds of coaches around the league. 

•   Patrick Williams put together the two best games of his career in the team’s back-to-back set against the Magic. He has been noticeably more aggressive on the offensive end, doing most of his damage in the paint over the past three games. Filling in now for Lauri Markkanen, he has a good opportunity to keep trending in the right direction in a pretty a Wizards frontcourt missing their starting center.

•   Coby White has gone four games without scoring 20+ points, and he’s only done it once over the team’s last three games. One has to think it’s only a matter of time before we get an explosive offensive showing from the second-year guard.

•   Like it or not, Denzel Valentine has played really well since becoming a steady part of the rotation over the last three games. In fact, he has played so well that head coach Billy Donovan gave him the start on Saturday night. Valentine pretty much excelled in that role too, scoring 20 points for the first time since the 2017-18 season. His decision-making at times might make me want to bash my head against the wall, but I can’t deny that he is beginning to look like a legitimate rotation player. Let’s see if that can continue tonight.

Get Caught Up …

•   So Hutchison is also out now …



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.