Pre-Gamin’: Rockets at Bulls (7:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

A back-to-back set for a heavily depleted team doesn’t sit too well with me, but at least the Bulls have had plenty of rest this week!

Game Info

Houston Rockets 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.

Projected Starters

Chicago Bulls

1. Lonzo Ball
2. Coby White
3. Javonte Green
4. DeMar DeRozan
5. Nikola Vucevic

Injury Report: Derrick Jones Jr. OUT (hamstring) 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)

Houston Rockets

1. Eric Gordon
2. Garrison Mathews
3. Jae’Sean Tate
4. Josh Christopher
5. Christian Wood

Injury Report: Jalen Green OUT (hamstring), Kevin Porter Jr. OUT (thigh), John Wall OUT (personal)

What to Watch For …

•   The last time these two met, the Houston Rockets had exactly one win under their belt. No. 2-overall pick Jalen Green and Co. were on a 15-game losing streak, and it felt like an easy victory for a Bulls team that was off to one of the best starts in the NBA. But the moment you think something is about to be easy in this league, it usually turns out to be the exact opposite. The Rockets not only beat the Bulls 118-113, but they did in a pretty convincing fashion. A total of eight players scored in double figures, with the Rockets bench outscoring the Bulls 59-26.

•  Now, the good news for the Bulls this time around is that three of those players will be off the court (Porter, Green, House). The Rockets have also fallen back into their old ways after rattling off an impressive seven-game win-streak post-Chicago win. This young squad has won just two of its last six games, allowing opponents to score nearly 118 points per game over that stretch. The Bulls may still be missing a couple of their offensive weapons, but if the same team that showed up last night against the Lakers takes the floor in this one, they should be able to take full advantage of this Rockets defense.

•   Speaking of last night, the Bulls looked like an adrenaline-filled team. I’m sure there was plenty of excitement to get back on the floor after an 8-day hiatus, but I’m a tad worried that could lead to some tired legs tonight. Back-to-back games already tend to be difficult, and if we add in the fact that Chicago will need their starters to play extended minutes yet again, things could look a bit sloppier than we want.

•   Despite losing their first meeting with the Rockets, the Bulls did dominant in the turnover department. Seven Bulls players recorded a steal in route to 21 forced turnovers. Houston still coughs the ball up more than any team with 17.6 turnovers per game. After a 29-5 victory in the points off turnover battle last night against the Lakers (who average 2nd-most TOVs per game), this 7th-ranked Bulls defense should be ready to feast all over again.

•   Get ready for more Alfonzo McKinnie!

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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