Bulls Weekly Preview: Suns, Jazz, Nets – March 31st - April 4th, 2021

Social Navigation

Bulls Weekly Preview: Suns, Jazz, Nets – March 31st – April 4th, 2021

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are flirting with a seven-game losing streak if things don’t break right.

Meet the Opponents:

•   3/29 @ Warriors: I was dumb and forgot to get this out on Monday, so this game already happened (duh). Bulls lost. Yippie.
•   3/31 @ Phoenix Suns (31-14): Got some shades? Because our future is so much brighter than yours.
   4/2 @ Utah Jazz (35-11):  Wait y’all got Vooch and Theis? Man, we thought Rudy could get a career-high in blocks again.
•   4/4 vs. Brooklyn Nets (32-15): Maybe we’ll let Kyrie take a rest day.  

Bulls Roster Notes

Expected Starters:

1. Tomas Satoransky
2. Zach LaVine
3. Patrick Williams
4. Thaddeus Young
5. Nikola Vucevic

Unavailable/Injured: Zach LaVine DAY-TO-DAY (ankle), Garrett Temple DAY-TO-DAY (hamstring)

Opponent Roster Notes

Suns Expected Starters:

1. Chris Paul
2. Devin Booker
3. Mikal Bridges
4. Jae Crowder
5. Deandre Ayton

Jazz Expected Starters:

1. Mike Conley
2. Donovan Mitchell
3. Bojan Bogdanovic
4. Royce O’Neal
5. Rudy Gobert

Nets Expected Starters:

1. Kyrie Irving
2. James Harden
3. Joe Harris
4. Bruce Brown
5. DeAndre Jordan

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

Suns: Abdel Nader OUT (knee)

Jazz: Udoka Azubuike OUT (ankle), Juwan Morgan DAY-To-DAY (calf)

Nets: Landry Shamet OUT (ankle), Kevin Durant OUT (hamstring)

What to Watch For …

Bulls: All of us expected there to be a transition period for the Bulls new talent, but I’m not sure how long we should expect it to last. The team has not only a lack of practice time thanks to the condensed schedule, but also no meatballs on the schedule any time soon. After two matchups against the Spurs and Warriors, things only get harder with the Suns, Jazz, and Nets this week. I’m sure each one of these games will provide some important learning experiences, but these might not be the best opponents for a team that desperately needs to (1) become more comfortable with one another and (2) string together some wins. With that said, this will be a good test to see just how competitive and motivated this new squad can be. Will they hang their heads like the old Bulls or will the new faces help keep things in check?

Suns: It is extremely difficult to find a team that is as well-rounded as the Suns. They have the league’s third-highest Net Rating (6.4) in large part thanks to their ability to shoot efficiently (6th in eFG%) and limit their mistakes commit (5th-fewest TOVs). To pick up a win against this squad, you pretty much have to play careful basketball, which unfortunately is not something this Bulls team has proven capable of doing. The specific thing I’ll be watching in this matchup is how the presence of Nikola Vucevic and Daniel Theis can impact the Suns’ success at the rim. The last time these two played, the Suns outscored the Bulls a ridiculous 66-44 in the paint. Phoenix isn’t necessarily a dominant paint team, but they used size and physicality to their advantage last time around. Vooch and Theis are way different than Wendell and Gafford.

Jazz: The last time the Bulls played the Jazz it was basically a slaughter-fest. Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points in 30 minutes, and the Jazz shot 43.6 percent from downtown. Similar to the matchup with the Suns, a much stronger defensive effort is what the Bulls will need to stay competitive (but this time along the 3-point line).

Nets: Just watch James Harden and Kyrie Irving and be amazed.

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Elias Schuster

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