Seven players are sidelined for the Chicago Bulls and nine for the Los Angeles Lakers … but, hey, I’m still happy we get to watch basketball again!
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls – 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. Coby White
3. Javonte Green
4. DeMar DeRozan
5. Nikola Vucevic
Injury Report: Patrick Williams OUT (Wrist), Zach LaVine OUT (H&S P’s), Matt Thomas OUT (H&S P’s), Ayo Dosumnu OUT (H&S P’s), Stanley Johnson OUT (H&S P’s), Troy Brown Jr. (H&S P’s), Alize Johnson (H&S P’s)
Los Angeles Lakers
1. Russell Westbrook
2. Wayne Ellington
3. Carmelo Anthony
4. LeBron James
5. DeAndre Jordan
Injury Report: Kendrick Nunn OUT (knee), Trevor Ariza OUT (ankle), Kent Bazemore OUT (H&S P’s), Malik Monk OUT (H&S P’s), Anthony Davis OUT (knee), Austin Reaves OUT (H&S P’s), Dwight Howard OUT (H&S P’s), Avery Bradley (H&S P’s), Talen Horton-Tucker (H&S P’s)
What to Watch For …
• Coby White, Javonte Green, DeMar DeRozan, and Derrick Jones Jr. have all exited the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols and will rejoin the team tonight. Considering they each spent 10 days sitting on the couch, it will surely be interesting to see how all four look in their return to the court. White has had the most time in the gym before tonight’s game, whereas Derrick Jones Jr. has had just one day of work after clearing protocols on Saturday. Regardless, rusty or not, having these players back on the court should give the Bulls some of the energy they lacked in their previous two contests against the Cavaliers and Heat.
Bulls upgraded Derrick Jones Jr. to available vs. Lakers, per injury report.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 19, 2021
• The Lakers haven’t looked like the Lakers this season. So far the team sits just 16-14 and 6th in the Western Conference. The addition of Russell Westbrook has failed to create the three-headed monster this front office envisioned, and the team has allowed opponents to score the 6th-most points per game so far this year. The team has looked a bit better as of late, winning four of their last six games, but their most recent 110-92 loss to the Timberwolves showed everyone they still have a ways to go. The goal for the Bulls tonight will be to take advantage of the Lakers’ inconsistent defense, putting pressure on the paint to attack a frontcourt that allows the 4th-most point in the paint and is its best defender in Anthony Davis.
• Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball could be in for a big night. The Lakers cough up the 3rd-most turnovers per game, with only James Harden and Luka Doncic turning the ball over more than Westbrook. Caruso leads the league in steals per game, and Ball sits not too far behind at No. 11. Now, to be fair, the Bulls will also have to take care of the ball themselves. While the Lakers allow their opponets to score plenty of points they do at least force opponents into the 5th-most turnovers a night.
• Anyway, it’s hard to dig too deep into this matchup. Both teams are missing so many guys, so the season numbers for both squads may not provide us the best idea of how things will go. If you want some more on where things stand, though, make sure to check this out …
Bulls Back in Action, Tons of Missing Lakers, Can’t Wait for DeRozan Buckets, and Other Bulls Bulletshttps://t.co/gGbfaSf8yQ
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 19, 2021