On Monday night, the Chicago Bulls made the Atlanta Hawks squeal (… or make whatever sound a hawk makes).
The team’s “Big 3” absolutely dominated with a combined 89 points and 25 assists. Zach LaVine had his second-consecutive 30-point game, DeRozan shot a ridiculous 70 percent from the field on his way to 35 points, and Nikola Vucevic grabbed 17 rebounds and swatted four shots to go along with his 24 points.
Expecting the exact same tonight might be silly, but it’s also not like the Hawks have gotten any healthier …
The rest of the Hawks' available players beyond those 4 are recent additions and those on 10-day hardship contracts. They have the required number of players, but that's what McMillan meant by "roster guys" — those who are regularly on the team.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) December 29, 2021
Atlanta Hawks at 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. Coby White
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Javonte Green
5. Nikola Vucevic
Injury Report: Patrick Williams OUT (Wrist), Lonzo Ball OUT (H&S P’s), Alfonzo McKinnie OUT (H&S P’s), Tony Bradley OUT (H&S P’s), Alex Caruso OUT (Foot), Derrick Jones Jr. AVAILABLE (Hamstring)
It Looks Like Derrick Jones Jr. Will be Available for Tonight’s Gamehttps://t.co/71Iz3ph0Zx
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 29, 2021
1. Trae Young
2. Wes Iwundu
3. Cam Reddish
4. Chaundee Brown
5. Clint Capela
Injury report: Delon Wright OUT (H&S P’s), Bogdan Bogdanovic OUT (H&S P’s), Gorgui Dieng OUT (H&S P’s), Malik Ellison OUT (H&S P’s), Kevin Huerter OUT (H&S P’s), John Collins OUT (H&S P’s), Danilo Gallinari OUT (H&S P’s), Jalen Johnson OUT (H&S P’s), Oneyka Okongwu OUT (H&S P’s), Sharife Cooper OUT (H&S P’s), Lou Williams OUT (H&S P’s), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot OUT (H&S P’s), De’Andre Hunter OUT (wrist), Solomon Hill OUT (hamstring)
What to Watch For …
• The main person I’ll be watching tonight stands seven feet tall and likes to build Legos. Nikola Vucevic has found his groove over the past handful of games, scoring at least 18 points with at least 13 rebounds in three of his previous four contests. Vucevic has also shot 50.0 percent from the field of this stretch with a 44.0 percent clip behind the arc, finally resembling the consistent and efficient versatile scoring big man the Bulls traded for at the deadline last season. Even better, Vucevic recorded a season-high four blocks against the depleted Hawks on Monday, putting an exclamation point on his improved rim-protection this season. When Vucevic is firing on all cylinders, this Bulls team is almost impossible to beat, and he should have another strong opportunity to feast tonight against this depleted Hawks frontcourt.
• Coby White better not start on Trae Young tonight. The third-year guard was cooked by Young’s speed and ball-handling in the opening frame on Monday, and it was a big reason why the Bulls had to play catch-up after the 1st quarter. I have to imagine head coach Chris Fleming will start with a different body on the All-Star guard tonight. With that said, let’s not forget the positive impact White made in the second half. His 10 points and 2 steals were pivotal in the Bulls gaining a double-digit lead in the 3rd quarter. It was the perfect kind of offensive spark we expect to see from White, and it’s a spark we can only hope happens a lot more moving forward.
• Someone guard Cam Reddish, please. The forward dropped 33 points behind eight 3-pointers, and he single-handedly kept the Hawks within striking distance in the 4th quarter with 14 points.
• In uncharacteristic fashion, the Bulls dropped a season-high 18 3-pointers through the rim in their first meeting with the Hawks. Opponents do shoot the 9th-most 3-pointers against this Hawks defense each night, but considering that taking a high volume of 3’s isn’t the Bulls forte, I have to imagine we’ll see a greater emphasis on attacking the paint tonight. After all, they took 12 fewer free throws than the Hawks … which isn’t very, uh, Bulls.
• More in here …
Bulls Weekly Preview: Hawks, Pacers, and Wizards — December 28 – January 1st, 2022https://t.co/DZRvIYANHe
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 28, 2021