It’s not the rematch we wanted, but it’s the rematch we’re getting. The Bulls and the Heat played a tight contest, with Miami eeking out a three-point win two Saturdays ago when they met at the United Center. Instead of a rematch of that contest, we’re getting a battle of the backups, essentially, with the Bulls and heat listing a combined 11 players as out for tonight’s game. DeMar DeRozan leads a list of seven Bulls in the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols, and Jimmy Butler highlights four Miami players who will miss the game with various ailments.
TWO MORE BULLS Hit the Freaking Health and Safety Protocols – Dosunmu and Johnson Out – https://t.co/2FxMudUC3i
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 11, 2021
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat – 7:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV), and 670 The Score (Radio)
Stream the game online here with your cable provider.
1. Lonzo Ball
2. Alex Caruso
3. Zach LaVine
4. Alize Johnson
5. Nikola Vucevic
Injury Report: Patrick Williams OUT (Wrist), DeMar DeRozan OUT (H&S P’s), Coby White OUT (H&S P’s), Javonte Green OUT (H&S P’s), Matt Thomas OUT (H&S P’s), Derrick Jones Jr. OUT (H&S P’s), Ayo Dosumnu OUT (H&S P’s), Stanley Johnson OUT (H&S P’s)
1. Kyle Lowry
2. Duncan Robinson
3. Caleb Martin
4. P.J. Tucker
5. Dewayne Dedmon
Injury report: Bam Adebayo OUT (Thumb), Jimmy Butler OUT (Tailbone), Markeiff Morris OUT (Neck), Victor Oladipo OUT (Knee), Duncan Robinson QST (Quad)
What to Watch For …
• With both teams decimated by injury and COVID cases, this one should be a crapshoot. Ultimately, if the Bulls want to get the road victory in Miami, this feels like a game where Zach LaVine has to throw the team on his back and score 35-40 points. The Bulls looked absolutely gassed on Wednesday in Cleveland, but they’ve had a couple of days off since, and they have two days off following this game before they host Detroit on Tuesday night. Empty the tank tonight and grind out a victory. That’s what contenders do.
• Alex Caruso was cleared to play tonight after it was initially announced that he wouldn’t be reevaluated until next week to see how the hamstring he has been nursing responded to the week off. Unfortunately, I can’t help but think that Ayo Dosunmu and Stanley Johnson hitting the H&S Protocols today impacted the timeline for Caruso. I hope that’s not the case because that would be shortsighted and silly, but I feel like that’s the case.
• Lonzo Ball and Nikola Vucevic have to step up for the Bulls tonight. Ball usually defers to LaVine and DeRozan as the two primary scoring options for the Bulls, and rightfully so, but he’s going to have to take some pressure off of LaVine tonight and get that jump shot working early. As far as Vooch is concerned, he shot the ball frequently despite not shooting well in Cleveland, and I’d like to see him keep that aggressive mindset tonight and hope that he can get some shots to fall for him tonight.