THE JOKER IS NO MATCH FOR THE ZACH ATTACK.
- The Denver Nuggets may not be an unbeatable supernova, but they are surely one of the more intimidating teams in the west. Led by two-time MVP winner Nikola Jokic, they currently score the 6th-most points per game and run the third-best offense in the NBA. They share the basketball as well as anyone in the league and have six players currently averaging double figures.
- Both Kevin Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray have been able to return healthy to the floor. Porter is averaging an absurd 46.3 percent from downtown on 7.3 attempts per game. Meanwhile, Murray is still trying to find his groove post-ACL surgery, but he’s averaging a solid 15.5 points with 4.5 assists per game. Both are more than capable of having a big night, so I hope the Bulls worked extra hard on their defense during their time off.
- Speaking of Porter’s absurd 3-point clip, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is averaging an equally-dumbfounding 56.6 percent on 4.8 attempts per game. These two have helped the Nuggets start the year as the NBA’s best 3-point shooting team. Knowing how greatly this Bulls team can struggle to keep up behind the arc, they will need to prioritize perimeter defense tonight.
- Without a full-time rotational role available, I would expect to see Dalen Terry sport a Windy City Bulls jersey several more times this season. The No. 18-overall pick suited up in the G-League for the first time in his young career on Saturday, joining fellow roster members Marko Simonovic and Malcolm Hill. The three players helped lead the Windy City to a close 126-121 victory over the Iowa Wolves.
- Terry finished the game with the kind of well-rounded stat line we’ve come to expect from the rookie, scoring 18 points (7-12) to go along with 9 assists and 8 rebounds. His ability to make that strong of an immediate impact in his first G-League games shouldn’t be understated.
- Bulls fans will have yet another opportunity to watch Terry work his magic this afternoon in a rematch against the Iowa Wolves. The game starts at 2:00 p.m. CT and will actually be nationally broadcasted on NBA TV.
- With Terry expected to play again this afternoon, I think we can assume that he will not see the floor in tonight’s battle with the Denver Nuggets at the United Center. Still, this extra time on the court with the Windy City crew could go a long way toward helping him carve out minutes at the NBA level. While there may not be room at the moment for a consistent role, all it takes is an injury or two for him to sneak his way into the mix. Not to mention, between Zach LaVine’s injury management and possibly some nights off for old man Dragic, there could be even more opportunities for Terry to find some playing time.
- The chemistry on this team still feels pretty darn strong.
- Kostas Antetokounmpo will be another name to keep an eye on in the G-League. The Bulls signed the brother of the Greek Freak to a two-way contract, and this is now his third stint with an NBA team. The chance of him turning into a rotation player feels slim, but he’s still got the kind of wicked athleticism and defensive versatility that is worth further evaluation.
- According to the NBA’s official injury report, Coby White will remain sidelined for tonight’s game. This will mark White’s seventh-straight missed game due to a quad contusion. Fortunately, I don’t think his absence has significantly impacted how this unit wants to play, but he is still someone who was contributing 21 minutes per game on one of the best benches in the NBA. Over his last two games against the Spurs and 76ers, he showed signs of looking more comfortable in the second unit’s uptempo style of play. We also can’t forget that – despite a slow start – he remains one of the roster’s better 3-point shooters.
- Additionally, the more time he misses, the fewer games the Bulls have to improve his trade stock. Let’s not forget that he’s headed toward restricted free agency this summer, and the Bulls have demonstrated a willingness to deal with the fourth-year guard in the past. With possible payments to Ayo Dosunmu and Nikola Vucevic coming up, there may not be any real interest in keeping White around, especially if another team with cap space presents him with an offer. So I really do think including him as part of a trade could be on the table this season, but he’ll also have to get healthy and prove he has something more to offer before that can happen.
- This is a super random small thing, but I’ve been a bit surprised by how little Zach LaVine is mentioned in national promos. Whether it’s over the NBA account or on ESPN, DeMar DeRozan is always the name pictured or shared to represent this team. His play from last season surely has something to do with that, but I do wonder when LaVine will begin to slide into that role.
- Is that good?
- Hey, a win!
- Brotherly love!
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