I feel so lucky to have attended yesterday’s Nets-Bucks game. The Greek Freak and KD were both at the peak of their powers from the opening tip and it was easily one of the best individual player duels I’ve seen in person. Also, it was easily an entirely different sport than whatever the Bulls have played recently. Are we sure these teams are in the same league?
• Things are not about to get any easier tonight.
We got Philly in town.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 3, 2021
• The Bulls will enter tonight’s matchup with the Philidelphia 76ers on a three-game losing streak. Two nights ago against the Atlanta Hawks, they ended up playing without both All-Stars after the team announced Nikola Vucevic as a late scratch with an adductor strain. To the Bulls’ credit, they fought hard and got the most out of their supporting cast in the first half, but Atlanta’s clear talent advantage made the 108-97 loss practically inevitable. I think most of us are expecting to see a pretty similar outcome tonight, if not worse. Still, hopefully, Vucevic can return to the floor to give the Bulls a fighting chance. After all, the 76ers are coming off a closely fought battle with the San Antonio Spurs last night. The game went into overtime before Philly walked away with the slim 113-111 victory. If the Bulls can bring the same energy we have seen over the past couple of games with an uptick in their consistency – who knows – they could catch this Philly team sleeping.
• I’m not going to pretend like I believe this team is still capable of making the play-in tournament. HOWEVER, if they want to right until the end and they need some motivation, they should stare at the Eastern Conference standings until tip-off. The
Toronto Tampa Bay Raptors took down the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday in an unexpected fashion. The win vaulted them ahead of Chicago into the 11th seed by a 0.5 game.
• On the other hand, for those of you who have entered tank mode, I wouldn’t expect the Bulls to excel at that. The team remains 5.0 games ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers and 5.5 games ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder as the league’s 24th-best squad. With both those teams actually in full-blown tank mode, it will be hard for either to make up some last-second ground.
• Zach LaVine has been upgraded on the injury report for the first time since entering the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols. No, I wouldn’t expect him to play tonight, but with the Bulls having Tuesday and Wednesday off, I guess it wouldn’t be crazy to think he can see some action toward the end of this week when the Bulls play three games in four days.
The Bulls still list Zach LaVine as in health and safety protocols but have upgraded his status from out to doubtful vs. 76ers. (He’s not playing) Billy Donovan has pointed to Monday as potential clarity for return timeline.
Troy Brown Jr. is out. Nikola Vucevic is questionable.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) May 3, 2021
• How much action could LaVine see when he returns? That is a good question. After sitting out a couple of weeks, there is a good chance he will be on a minutes restriction of some kind when he returns, especially with this weekend’s condensed schedule.
• The most important thing this week might not even be LaVine or Vucevic’s return, it will be whether or not Patrick Williams can officially get over his scoring hump.
P Will came out in attack mode! 😤 pic.twitter.com/Wa2KnMtWSa
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 2, 2021
• Lonzo Ball is trying to milk as much money from the Bulls front office as possible.
LONZO BALL 🔥
33 PTS (Career High)
8 3PT (T-Career High)
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 2, 2021
• In our latest edition of “this tight schedule causes injuries …”
Mistake here trying to watch in real-time – was Brown's right leg that he couldn't put any weight on. Either way, awful moment for the Celtics to have their two best players collide like that. Hopefully they are both OK. https://t.co/NU8IHdMjrl
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 3, 2021
MRI set for Monday morning on the left knee of Sacramento’s outstanding rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton, but there’s initial optimism he may have avoided a serious injury, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/qJDqEahPr5
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 3, 2021