Bulls Weekly Preview: Spurs, Grizzlies, Nets, Cavaliers – February 6-12, 2023

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Bulls Weekly Preview: Spurs, Grizzlies, Nets, Cavaliers – February 6-12, 2023

Chicago Bulls

Well, this is a pretty massive week for the Bulls. They went 2-1 last week and really should have been 3-0 after (again) struggling to finish out a game against the Clippers. That said, they bounced back after the loss and finished the week 2-1.

The Bulls sit in 9th place in the East, just one game behind the Hawks for 8th and 2.5 behind the Knicks for 7th (those back-to-back home losses in December hurt). The deadline is Thursday, and the front office apparently wants to add some help.

It’s a tough schedule after the Spurs game, which makes tonight close to a must-win. But if they can beat the Spurs and Grizzlies early, they’ll get the Nets and Cavaliers at good times.

Meet the Opponents:

2/6 vs Spurs: I know the Bulls struggle against bad teams, but … like … not teams THIS bad, right?

2/7 vs Grizzlies: The 2-seed in the West has lost 8 of 9…timing is everything.

2/9 vs Nets: Hear me out, it times up perfectly. Just pull off the trade before the deadline and let KD switch locker rooms!

2/11 vs Cavaliers: Hold Donovan Mitchell under 71 points and I think the Bulls have a shot.

Bulls Projected Lineup

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

Opponents Projected Lineup


  1. Malaki Branham
  2. Josh Richardson
  3. Keldon Johnson
  4. Keita Bates-Diop
  5. Jakob Poeltl


  1. Ja Morant
  2. Desmond Bane
  3. Xavier Tillman
  4. Santi Aldama
  5. Jaren Jackson Jr.


  1. Ben Simmons
  2. Spencer Dinwiddie
  3. Dorian Finney-Smith
  4. Kevin Durant
  5. Nic Claxton


  1. Darius Garland
  2. Donovan Mitchell
  3. Isaac Okoro
  4. Evan Mobley
  5. Jarrett Allen

Unavailable/Injured (at the start of the week)

Spurs: Keldon Johnson QUESTIONABLE (ankle), Tre Jones QUESTIONABLE (foot), Romeo Langford OUT (hip), Jeremy Sochan OUT (back)

Grizzlies: Ja Morant QUESTIONABLE (wrist), Stephen Adams OUT (knee)

Nets: T.J. Warren PROBABLE (shin), Dorian Finney-Smith PROBABLE (recently traded), Spencer Dinwiddie PROBABLE (recently traded), Ben Simmons QUESTIONABLE (knee), Seth Curry QUESTIONABLE (adductor), Kevin Durant QUESTIONABLE (knee)

Cavaliers: Caris LeVert QUESTIONABLE (hamstring), Dylan Windler OUT (ankle)

Four Factors

Bulls: 55.3 EFG% (12th), 13.5 TOV% (9th), 23.2 OREB% (28th), 22.5 FTA/GM (23rd)

Spurs: 53.1 EFG% (23rd), 15.1 TOV% (24th), 30.7 OREB% (7th), 21.0 FTA/GM (28th)

Grizzlies: 53.0 EFG% (24th), 14.2 TOV% (14th), 32.8 OREB% (2nd), 25.3 FTA/GM (8th)

Nets: 58.0 EFG% (1st), 14.5 TOV% (17th), 22.6 OREB% (30th), 20.8 FTA/GM (29th)

Cavaliers: 55.5 EFG% (11th), 14.3 TOV% (16th), 27.5 OREB% (18th), 23.2 FTA/GM (19th)

What to Watch For…

Bulls: I mentioned it a bit in the beginning, but this week is yet another huge opportunity for the Bulls to gain some ground. The Spurs are terrible (of course the Bulls love playing down to their opponent). The Grizzlies have lost 8 of 9 and have Ja dealing with a wrist injury and Stephen Adam dealing with a knee issue. The Nets just moved Kyrie, KD is dealing with injuries, and the Bulls have played Brooklyn well. The Cavs have had the Bulls’ number this year, but the Bulls have played them well for the most part and Cleveland will be on their second end of a back-to-back and their third game in four nights. A 3-1 week is entirely possible, but it has to start with a win tonight. With the deadline looming on Thursday, it will be interesting to see if the Bulls roster looks any different this weekend.

Spurs: Well, as I said, they’re terrible. And one of their two best players in Keldon Johnson is questionable for tonight’s game. San Antonio has lost 13 of their last 14, so it really shouldn’t matter who’s in or out for them. If the Bulls don’t sleepwalk through this one as they have too often done against lesser competition, they should run away with this at the UC.

Grizzlies: Getting Memphis on the road, on a second leg of a back-to-back isn’t ideal. That said, with Ja Morant dealing with a wrist injury and Stephen Adams likely still out with a knee injury, the timing could be worse. Memphis leads the NBA in rebounding and offensive rebounding, and they also top the NBA in opponent FG%. So, essentially, the Bulls are going to have to work for a win in Memphis and earn every bit of that one. For as often as the Bulls have played down to competition this year, they usually play up to it as well. Plus, Memphis has lost 8 of their last 9 games. It’ll be an uphill climb but this one is winnable.

Nets: It’s really hard to get a read on this team. On paper, they got worse after trading Kyrie, but they did bring back some decent pieces from Dallas. Will the locker room be in a better place with the Kyrie situation dealt with? Will KD play? How quickly will the new pieces fit together in Brooklyn? Just so many questions with the Nets we don’t know the answer to. Another thing to keep an eye on, Zach apparently loves playing in Brooklyn. In his last two games there, he’s put up 29 and 31 points.

Cavaliers: The Cavs are just annoyingly good. Adding Donovan Mitchell to that core of young pieces makes them just so deep. Cleveland is 3-0 against the Bulls this year, with the first game being a blowout but the most recent two being a 103-102 thriller and an OT matchup that saw Donovan Mitchell put up 71 points (and commit a lane violation that went uncalled and forced overtime but who’s counting). Similar to the Portland game on Saturday, this one is going to come down to whether or not the Bulls can finish a tired opponent in the 2nd half. It will be the 3rd game in 4 nights and the second leg of a back-to-back for Cleveland. The Bulls HAVE to outwork them.

Author: Matt Rooney

Matt is from the Chicagoland area and has been working in Chicago sports since 2015 with stops at WGN Radio, the Chicago Blackhawks, Stadium, and NBC Sports Chicago prior to landing at Betsperts. Matt covers just about everything for Betsperts and Bleacher Nation but focuses on the NHL and college football.