Pre-Gamin’: Bulls at Timberwolves (7:30 CT) — Lineups, Odds, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

If a 7-15 record after the All-Star break wasn’t bad enough, the Chicago Bulls could very well end the night with arguably the toughest first-round matchup possible.

Thanks to the Milwaukee Bucks tanking their way to a loss against the Cavaliers earlier today, the Boston Celtics can now surpass them for the No. 2 seed in the East with a win over the Grizzlies. Accomplishing that doesn’t sound too easy, but the Grizzlies have already ruled out practically every one of their normal rotation players, potentially paving the way for Boston to cruise to victory.

Game Info

Chicago Bulls (45-36) at Minnesota Timberwolves (46-35) – 7:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago (TV), and 670 The Score (Radio)

Projected Starters

Chicago Bulls

1.  Ayo Dosunmu
2. Troy Brown Jr.
3. Javonte Green
4. Patrick Williams
5. Tristan Thompson

Injury Report: Lonzo Ball OUT (knee), Zach LaVine OUT (knee/rest), DeMar DeRozan OUT (rest), Nikola Vucevic OUT (rest), Alex Caruso OUT (back), Coby White OUT (toe), Matt Thomas OUT (leg)

Minnesota Timberwolves

1.  Malik Beasley
2. D’Angelo Russell
3. Anthony Edwards
4. Jerrod Vanderbilt
5. Naz Reid

Injury Report: D’Angelo Russell QUESTIONABLE (illness), Patrick Beverley QUESTIONABLE (ankle), Karl-Anthony Towns OUT (rest)

Odds

The Bulls walk into tonight as +7.5 underdogs against the Minnesota Timberwolves at PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook and at the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook. Click on either link to sign up and pick the Bulls to cover (… or pick the opposite, I guess …)!

If you want some chaotic fun, bet on a game nobody wants to win!

What to Watch For …

•   I’m not sure what to say about tonight’s game. Both teams could be taking a rather cautious approach to this performance, allowing back-of-the-bench talent to run rampant. With that being the case, we should have absolutely zero expectations for the Bulls to walk away with this victory, but I guess we should expect players like Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu to get big minutes. Both players could use this matchup as an opportunity to gain confidence heading into their first postseason action. Williams, specifically, feels like he could benefit from a high-usage rate on the offensive end.

•   Tonight could also be an opportunity for a player like Derrick Jones Jr. to remind head coach Billy Donovan of his worth. The lengthy and athletic forward has been knocked out of the rotation since mid-March, but he’s promising in the recent minutes provided in blowout losses. The chances are likely slim, but perhaps that recent play mixed with an impactful performance in Minnesota could convince the coaching staff to reconsider his role next week.

•   Anthony Edwards could single-handedly destroy the short-handed Bulls tonight. The second-year guard just dropped 49 points on a 16-28 performance from the field on Thursday night. Inside, outside, midrange … Edwards can score lethally at all three levels when he gets in a groove.

•   More in here …

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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