Pre-Gamin’: Bulls at Suns (9:00 CT) — Lineups, Odds, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Bulls at Suns (9:00 CT) — Lineups, Odds, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Bulls

Late-night hoops have not treated the Bulls well … but can that change tonight?

Game Info

Chicago Bulls (40-26) at Phoenix Suns (56-2614 – 9:00 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV) and 670 The Score (Radio)

Projected Starters

Chicago Bulls

1. Ayo Dosunmu
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Javonte Green
5. Nikola Vucevic

Injury Report: Lonzo Ball OUT (knee), Patrick Williams OUT (wrist), Zach LaVine PROBABLE (knee)

Phoenix Suns

1. Cameron Payne
2. Devin Booker
3. Mikal Bridges
4. Torrey Craig
5. Deandre Ayton

Injury Report: Jae Crowder OUT (groin), Cameron Johnson OUT (quad), Frank Kaminsky OUT (knee), Chris Paul OUT (thumb), Dario Saric OUT (ACL)

Odds

The Bulls walk into tonight as a +4.5 underdog to the Suns at PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook and a +5.0 underdog at the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook. Click on either link to sign up and pick the Bulls to cover (… or pick the opposite, I guess …)!

What to Watch For …

•   Punch them in the mouth. Zach LaVine has talked about the Bulls needing to do just that, and tonight is as good of a time as any. While the Phoenix Suns continue to be the best team in basketball, they will be without superstar Chris Paul and a number of other role players. Not to mention, only three of their past 10 games have come against teams with a winning record, and two of those they lost. With that being the case, it’s possible the Suns walk into this game with their guard down, which would present the Bulls a prime opportunity to bounce on them early.

•   FWIW: The Suns aren’t a particularly stout free-throw shooting team. They average the 4th-fewest free-throw attempts per game, which should be music to the ears of a Bulls team that has allowed 26 free throws in eight of the last 10 games.

•   Devin Booker scorched the Bulls in their first meeting with 38 points on a highly efficient 14-23 performance from the field. If the Bulls want to stand any chance at pulling off the win, they simply can’t let Booker get that hot again. Hopefully, accomplishing that should be much easier without Chris Paul on the floor. The Bulls’ best on-ball defenders like Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu can spend that much more time keeping an eye on the hot hand.

•   No Jae Crowder for the Suns tonight could prove somewhat significant. A winning player with a solid 3-point stroke and a physical presence on the glass, he grabbed 10 rebounds the last time these two met. The rim-protection of Ayton and on-ball defense of Bridges will still make this an uphill battle for the Bulls’ offense, but no Crowder should be helpful.

•   More in here …



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.