A Big Game Against Toronto, NBA Injury News, HBD AC, and Other Bulls Bullets
Another splendid Spring Training trip has only made me more eager to finally make it to an NBA Summer League. I’ve only heard great things about the festivities in Las Vegas, so perhaps that will have to be my next journey out West.
I can’t wait to lose some money!
- We already talked about how the Chicago Bulls need Zach LaVine to have a scorer’s mentality, but the same can basically be said about DeMar DeRozan. While the two want to avoid that your-turn-my-turn play style, they’re also two of the most gifted individual scorers in the league. When the offense is struggling this much, you must find a way to let both do what they do best. DeRozan has yet to find any semblance of a nature-offensive rhythm since roughly late January. His performance against the Wizards was his first time reaching 29+ points since a month ago today.
- Finding a way for him to repeat that efficient night against this Raptors squad would be great, but this lengthy team has already given him problems this year. DeRozan dropped just 20 points with 2 assists in the Bulls’ Nov. 6 loss to the Raptors, only shooting nine times. One night later in the mini-series, DeRozan mustered just 9 points on a 2-6 performance from the field (although, to his credit, he did prioritize distributing and ended with 7 assists).
- Similar to the Bulls, the Raptors have plenty of individual talent but have yet to put it all together. Many thought they would completely blow it up at the trade deadline, especially with fresh paydays looming for several of their starters. However, the organization decided to go the other way and land the highly-coveted center Jakob Poeltl. While Poeltl could certainly prove to be a nice long-term investment, he’s averaged a fine 14.2 points and 9.8 rebounds since returning to Toronto. Poeltl has also failed to even reach double-digit points in three of his six contests thus far.
- Don’t get me wrong, though, Poeltl and the Raptors can undoubtedly give this specific Bulls team plenty of problems tonight. Not only do they average the 4th-highest offensive rebounding percentage in the league (Poeltl has grabbed at least 6 OREBS in two of the past three contests), but they also average the lowest TOV% in the league. So while they may not play the most pretty game in the league, they do continue to be one of the more athletic and disciplined.
- The Bulls have taken care of business since coming out of the All-Star break. I know wins over the Nets and Wizards aren’t anything to rave about, but they were both 20+ point victories. Not to mention, it was easily the most energy we’ve seen this group play with in weeks. If they can enter tonight with the same mindset as the last two games, they’ll have a chance to get right back into the Play-in Tournament picture. A win tonight would put them just a half-game behind Toronto, who currently sit 9th. A victory could also officially move them ahead of Washington if the Wizards fall to the Hawks.
- The Ball brothers just can’t find a way to stay healthy. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Hornets have lost their All-Star guard to a fractured ankle.
- What’s even more troubling is the fact that Ball appeared to suffer this fracture in a non-contact situation. How bizarre.
- Meanwhile, LeBron James is now at risk of missing an extended period of time due to a nagging foot injury. For a Laker squad that basically went all in to make the playoffs at the deadline … that’s rough news.
- Giannis with fighting words lol
- JIMMY G BUCKETS … WHAT DOES THE G STAND FOR, FOLKS!?
- Happy birthday to Alex Caruso! May his birthday be filled with lots of stolen cookies.
- Indeed, that is a bummer.