Some Shoutouts, High Stakes for Dallas, Injury Report, Trouble for the Big 3, and Other Bulls Bullets
I want to send a big thank you to anyone who came out for our first BN Live event in Wrigleyville last night! While I know most folks were there to see those two dudes who do Cubs stuff, it was still absolutely lovely to meet so many people and see so much support for this website.
I’m extremely fortunate to be able to call this a job for several reasons. One of the biggest, however, is the people I get to work with. Whether it be the direct BN crew or the newer folks at Betsperts, this is a team of really cool people who care a lot about making really cool content.
Anyway, I’m hoping we do more of these down the road so I can hang with more lovely Chicago sports fans. What a fun night!
Unrelated: Don’t expect a ton of content on here today. I’ll be at Wrigley with Brett taking in my first 1:20 game of the year. If you happen to be around, I’d love to say hi!
- The Chicago Bulls probably couldn’t care less about tonight’s game. Honestly, if anything, losing this one might very well be in their best interest. While I’m sure they’re hoping to be the first 10 seed to make it out of the Play-In Tournament and into a first-round series, the more likely (and sad) outcome is that they lose their first game. With that being the case, why wouldn’t you want to put yourself in the best lottery position possible? By losing these next two games, they would at least lock in a slightly better chance to retain their top-4 pick in the event that they lose in the first game.
- Head coach Billy Donovan didn’t shy away from saying that a rest day was likely over these final two contests. I’d be pretty surprised if we saw each member of the Bulls’ “big 3” take the court tonight, especially now that the injury reports lists Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan as “questionable.”
- Surprisingly, Nikola Vucevic isn’t listed on the report and appears prime to see some minutes tonight. Did you realize that he’s appeared in every single game thus far this season? He’s got a chance to play all 82 games for the first time in his career. Even if he does receive a rest day, appearing in just one more game would make a career-high at 81. Say what you will about the man, but he’s proven to be remarkably reliable since coming to Chicago. While I’m sure about the whole “availability is the best ability” saying in the NBA, there is no question that Vucevic deserves props for this. I also think it’s another reason why he’ll get a nice new payday this summer (whether that payday is from the Bulls, however, I do not know).
- Considering we have no clue who will be on the court for tonight’s game, it’s kind of hard to preview what the matchup might look like. What I am confident about, though, is that the Mavs will play with a sense of urgency. They remain a half-game behind the Thunder for the final Play-In spot in the Western Conference. OKC has one more game left against the Grizzlies, while the Mavs have both the Bulls and Spurs. If the Thunder wins that game, they’ll eliminate the Mavs. If they lose, the Mavs will have a chance to leapfrog them in the standings by winning out.
- I wanted to give NBC Sports Chicago’s Tony Gill a shoutout for giving me a shoutout on the latest episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast (so many shoutouts!). The two discuss a stat I shared about the Bulls’ “Big 3” playing more minutes than any other three-man combination in the league. The fact that this is the case and the team is nothing more than a 10 seed says a lot about the foundation of this roster. It’s hard to justify that moving forward with this nucleus makes sense. Anyway, be sure to listen to their full conversation here.
- I’m sorry to bum you out on this beautiful Friday, but …
- Bruh … Zion.
- So … much … losing.