Bulls Weekly Preview: Raptors, Pelicans, and Nuggets – November 7-13, 2022

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Bulls Weekly Preview: Raptors, Pelicans, and Nuggets – November 7-13, 2022

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are 5-6 after splitting their four-game slate last week, which included victories over the Nets and Hornets to open the week and losses to Boston and Toronto to close it out.

Fortunately, the Bulls have a lighter load this week, with only three games on the docket, all of which will be at the United Center!

Meet the Opponents:

  • 11/7 vs. Raptors (6-4): Round 2, fight …
  • 11/9 vs. Pelicans (5-4): Zion is back, baby!
  • 11/13 vs. Nuggets (6-3): Have you met the Joker?

Bulls Projected Lineup

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

Opponent Projected Lineup

Raptors:

1. Scottie Barnes
2. Gary Trent
3. OG Anunoby
4. Chris Boucher
5. Christian Koloko

Pelicans:

1. C.J. McCollum
2. Brandon Ingram
3. Herbert Jones
4. Zion Williamson
5. Jonas Valanciunas

Nuggets:

1. Jamal Murray
2. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
3. Michael Porter Jr.
4. Aaron Gordon
5. Nikola Jokic

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

Bulls: OUT – Lonzo Ball (knee)

Raptors: OUT – Pascal Siakam (groin), DTD – Khem Berch (knee), DTD – Justin Champaign (back)

Pelicans: OUT – Garrett Temple (personal), OUT – Kira Lewis Jr. (knee), OUT – E.J. Lidell (knee)

Nuggets: DTD – Jeff Green (finger), DTD – Zeke Nnaji (ankle)

Four Factors

•   Bulls: 52.0 EFG% (23rd), 14.9 TOV% (18th), 28.1 OREB% (18th), .283 FTA RATE (7th)

•   Raptors: 52.8 EFG% (18th), 12.1 TOV% (2nd), 32.2 OREB% (5th), .263 RATE (16th)

•   Pelicans: 53.8 EFG% (13th), 14.3 TOV% (11th), 33.3 OREB% (3rd), .250 FTA RATE (20th)

•   Nuggets: 57.8 EFG% (1st), 15.1 TOV% (21st), 27.1 OREB% (22nd), .237 FTA RATE (25th)

What to Watch For …

Bulls: With the light schedule, the Bulls should be able to get Zach LaVine into all three of their games this week, which will be an excellent development because they’re 1-3 in games in which he doesn’t play. It’s early, but the LaVine knee issue is making me uneasy regarding this team’s long-term success this season.

Raptors: The Raps have a trapping defense that gives opponents fits, and we saw it on display last night with Toronto limiting DeMar DeRozan to just 20 points on nine shot attempts. The good news is the Bulls have another shot at figuring it out tonight. The bad news is they get to do it less than 24 hours later and after a flight to Chicago from Toronto.

Pelicans: Even with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram missing some games this season, the Pelicans are just outside of the top ten in scoring efficiency. Their third-best offensive rebounding percentage plays a role in that. New Orleans is a pretty dangerous opponent on any given night, especially if C.J. McCollum can find his shooting stroke at some point.

Nuggets: The obvious guy you circle as a headache when the Nuggets are on the schedule is Nikola Jokic, and for a good reason. Not only is he a perennial MVP candidate and an elite scorer and rebounder, but his elite passing also prevents problems for opponents as well. Jokic’s outlet passing is one of the primary reasons the Nuggets have such an explosive transition offense. Denver’s transition-centric offense generates 130.2 points per 100 possessions, second-best in the NBA. However, the Bulls’ transition defense has held opponents to 98.9 points per 100, the second-fewest in the NBA, per NBA Stats, making the transition game an intriguing dynamic in this matchup.


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

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