The Wendell Revenge Game? Temple Upgraded to Probable, Poor LaVine, and Other Bulls Bullets

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The Wendell Revenge Game? Temple Upgraded to Probable, Poor LaVine, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I’m as cool as a cucumber [drop of sweat slides down forehead].

I’m not at all worried about tonight’s matchup with the Orlando Magic [a couple of more drops appear].

I mean, come on, it’s not like Wendell Carter Jr. is going to have the game of his life or anything [sweat floods down face as coffee flies about due to uncontrollable quivering hand]. 

•   OK. FINE. YOU GOT ME … I’m a tiny bit scared of tonight’s game, guys. The Orlando Magic have lost six straight games and have been outscored by double-figure in five of them. Since the trade deadline, they have had the second-worst Net Rating in the league at -13.5 and by far the worst effective field goal percentage at just 46.6 percent. While some of the young players have shown promising signs, this team is now easily one of the worst in the NBA as a collective unit (which is exactly how this front office wants it to be, by the way). Yet, still, thanks to years of defying logic and hitting disappointment bombs out of the park, I can’t say I’m fully convinced the Bulls will cruise to a blowout victory.

•   Obviously, I sure hope they do. If anything, this new Bulls team needs a ridiculously easy, firing-on-all-cylinders win to remind them of what they are capable of doing. We saw it against the Pacers and Raptors before a chemistry-busting three-game losing streak. And with the Grizzlies and Cavaliers left on Friday and Saturday, there is still a very real possibility this team can finish the week on a high note. If this Bulls team does somehow lose to this Magic team, however, we might all have to throw in the towel and build a shrine for the lottery gods. There is no question it would be one of the most disheartening losses in quite some time.

•   Also, I won’t be surprised if Wendell Carter Jr. somehow has the game of his life tonight. The Bulls’ former lottery pick is in a pretty prime position to have a flashy revenge game. The team could be without backup big man Mo Bamba as well as promising youngest Chuma Okeke (both are questionable), which leaves the door wide open for even more offense to run through Carter. Not to mention, Carter has played some of his better basketball of the season since leaving the Windy City. He has scored 15 or more points in five of his first nine games and he has grabbed eight or more rebounds in seven of those nine games. His 55.3 percent field goal percentage is also solid considering his uptick in usage. Of course, this can also be classified as a “revenge game” for Vucevic … so let’s hope he just dominates.

•   Garrett Temple could return to the floor tonight after missing the last eight games. Since he hurt his hamstring against the Spurs after only 2 minutes of action, the veteran forward has only played one game with his new teammates. With his defense and veteran smarts, it should only be a good thing for the Bulls to add him back into the mix, but it also begs the question: Whose minutes are going down?

•   I really hope the answer to that question isn’t Troy Brown Jr. While he has been up and down offensively, TBJ has provided quite the needed spark off the bench over the last few games. Not to mention, this team needs more defensive versatility along the perimeter … not less.

•   lol… poor Zach

•   Seriously, it’s pretty remarkable that LaVine can come up with the big buckets that he can yet this team as a whole can still be so atrocious in the 4th quarter. Since the deadline, the Bulls have the 5th-worst 4th quarter Net Rating, which is only one spot better than Orlando. Should be a fun final frame tonight.

•   This man is just entering his prime …

•   Watch ARod’s first move be to trade Anthony Edwards.

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Author: Elias Schuster

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