Bulls Weekly Preview: Nets, Hornets, Celtics, and Raptors – October 31- November 6, 2022

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Bulls Weekly Preview: Nets, Hornets, Celtics, and Raptors – October 31- November 6, 2022

Chicago Bulls

Things were looking pretty good early last week with a come-from-behind victory over the Boston Celtics and a convincing win over the Indiana Pacers before dropping the latter pair of games on the schedule to the Spurs and 76ers.

The Bulls check in at 3-4 on the season and will open a four-pack of games this week against the struggling Nets on Tuesday night.

Meet the Opponents:

  • 11/1 @ Nets (1-5): Kyrie said things might be ugly sometimes, but this is, uh, really ugly …
  • 11/2 vs. Hornets (3-3): At least our Ball will be on the court
  • 11/4 @ Celtics (4-2): We’ll be ready this time …
  • 11/6 @ Raptors (3-3): Don’t expect any favors from us …

Bulls Projected Lineup

1. Ayo Dosunmu
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Patrick Williams
5. Nikola Vučević

Opponent Projected Lineup

Nets:

1. Kyrie Irving
2. Royce O’Neale
3. Kevin Durant
4. Ben Simmons
5. Nic Claxton

Hornets:

1. Dennis Smith
2. Kelly Oubre
3. Gordon Hayward
4. P.J. Washington
5. Mason Plumlee

Celtics:

1. Marcus Smart
2. Derrick White
3. Jaylen Brown
4. Jayson Tatum
5. Al Horford

Raptors:

1. Fred VanVleet
2. Gary Trent
3. OG Anunoby
4. Scottie Barnes
5. Pascal Siakam

Unavailable/Injured (at the start of the week):

Bulls: OUT – Lonzo Ball (knee)

Nets: OUT – T.J. Warren (foot), DTD – Seth Curry (ankle)

Hornets: OUT – Lonzo Ball (ankle), DTD – Terry Rozier (ankle), DTD – Cody Martin (quadriceps)

Celtics: OUT – Roberts Williams III (knee), OUT – Danillo Gallinari (knee)

Raptors: OUT – Otto Porter (personal), DTD – Fred VanVleet (back)

Four Factors

•   Bulls: 51.3 EFG% (25th), 14.2 TOV% (17th), 27.5 OREB% (20th), .319 FTA RATE (5th)

•   Nets: 53.3 EFG% (15th), 12.9 TOV% (4th), 25.7 OREB% (25th), .319FTA RATE (4th)

•   Hornets: 52.7 EFG% (18th), 13.2 TOV% (7th), 29.7 OREB% (11th), .268 FTA RATE (11th)

•   Celtics: 57.5 EFG% (1st), 13.9 TOV% (12th), 23.6 OREB% (28th), .265 FTA RATE (12th)

•   Raptors: 51.8 EFG% (23rd), 12.6 TOV% (3rd), 28.1 OREB% (17th), .265 FTA RATE (13th)

What to Watch For …

Bulls: The Bulls are looking to right the ship after back-to-back losses to the Spurs and Sixers this week, but the slate is pretty tough this week. All four teams on the schedule present a challenge for the Bulls, who need to get off to better starts. I was spot on with my “when will Zach play” prediction last week, so we’ll give that another whirl. He’ll probably play tomorrow against the Nets, then miss the back-half of a back-to-back on Tuesday, and then play against Boston and Toronto.

Nets: It’s easy to dismiss much of what Kyrie Irving says these days — and honestly suggested — but when Irving noted that “it’s gonna be ugly sometimes” regarding the Nets performance before the season, even he, the great Twitter philosopher, probably didn’t see the Nets stumbling to a 1-5 start to the season. Still, the Nets are not a team that the Bulls can take lightly.

Hornets: LaMelo Ball is dealing with an ankle injury, and his status for Wednesday’s matchup at the United Center is in the air. The Hornets come into the United Center this week as the middle of the pack as it gets. They have a .500 record and sit in the middle of the field in most categories, but if LaMelo is playing this week, the Bulls might have their work cut out on the back of a back-to-back.

Celtics: The Bulls’ come-from-behind win over the Celtics last week will surely be fresh in their minds. The defending Eastern Conference champions are struggling to stop teams from scoring on the perimeter, but the Bulls aren’t very good in that department. Jayson Tatum is playing some of the best basketball he’s ever played, and it’ll be hard to imagine the Celtics aren’t ready for the Bulls this time around.

Raptors: The Raptors don’t turn the ball over very much (12.6 TOV%, third best in the NBA), so they’re not going to do the Bulls any favors in that department, but while they’ve struggled to score inside early, they’ve been shooting well from the perimeter, a weak spot in the Bulls defense. If the Bulls can neutralize that, they’ll be in good shape against Toronto.



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.