Bulls Weekly Preview: Pelicans and Magic – November 14-20, 2022

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Bulls Weekly Preview: Pelicans and Magic – November 14-20, 2022

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have an even lighter schedule this week with just a pair of games against the Pelicans and Magic. And, if they ever needed a pair of wins, right now is that time.

Meet the Opponents:

  • 11/16 @ Pelicans (7-6): Round 2, fight …
  • 11/9 vs. Magic (4-10): We’re a walking MASH unit …

Bulls Projected Lineup

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

Opponent Projected Lineup

Pelicans:

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

Magic:

1. Jalen Suggs
2. Franz Wagner
3. Chuma Okeke
4. Bol Bol
5. Wendell Carter Jr.

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

Bulls: OUT – Lonzo Ball (knee), DTD – Coby White (thigh)

Pelicans: DTD – Zion Williamson (ankle), OUT – E.J. Lidell (knee)

Magic: OUT – Paolo Banchero (ankle), OUT – Gary Harris (knee), OUT – Moritz Wagner (unlisted), OUT – Markelle Fultz (toe), OUT – Cole Anthony (oblique), OUT – Jonathan Isaac (hamstring)

Four Factors

•   Bulls: 52.7 EFG% (21st), 15.6 TOV% (22nd), 26.8 OREB% (20th), .276 FTA RATE (10th)

•   Pelicans: 53.5 EFG% (17th), 14.1 TOV% (11th), 32.1 OREB% (6th), .268 FTA RATE (16th)

•   Magic: 53.8 EFG% (14th), 17.1 TOV% (29th), 29.5 OREB% (15th), .297 FTA RATE (4th)

What to Watch For …

Bulls: A 6-8 start isn’t quite the time to hit the panic button, but an 8-8 start heading into next week would make me feel a whole lot better. After dropping a game to the Pelicans last Wednesday, can Billy Donovan come up with a counter-punch in the game-planning department like he did last week against the Toronto Raptors? Let’s hope. Rebounding against the Pelicans — who might be without Zion Williamson — and taking care of the young and fiery Magic feels like a must at this point for the Bulls.

Pelicans: Zion Williamson is back on the injury report with an ankle sprain, which has been a problem for him all season long. They had the Bulls’ number last week, but can they do it again, this time possibly without Zion? Regardless, keeping a close eye on Brandon Ingram will be pivotal. The Bulls took care of the All-Star forward for three quarters before he almost single-handedly stole the game in the final frame. Ingram finished the night scoring 16 of his 21 points on 6-8 shooting in the final quarter.

Magic: The Orlando Magic enter the week with Bol Bol and Chuma Okeke in the starting lineup thanks to a long and deep injury report. The availability of Paolo Banchero will be something to watch out for, as the No. 1-overall pick has looked like nothing short of this season’s ROY. No matter who ends up on the court, however, this has to be a win for the Bulls. What helped last year’s team lock in a top-6 seed was its ability to take care of lesser opponents, and Orlando remains just that.


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

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