Bulls (3 - 11) vs Lakers (7 - 10)
Time: 9:30 PM CST
Line: Lakers -6.0
Tuesday night the Chicago Bulls pay a visit to the Los Angeles Lakers, in what is sure to be a winner AND loser leaves town matchup. Let’s be honest… both of these teams suck. Los Angeles has essentially been tanking/pseudotanking since before the retirement of Kobe Bryant. I miss him every day.
So what do Bulls fans have to look forward too tonight? Well, I can tell you that Lebron James will not be looking to join the young tantalizing core of Justin Holiday, Ryan Zipser, Lauri Markkanen, and FORMER CAV’S TEAMMATE KAY FELDER next summer. Not to mention culture builders/locker room guys such as Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic. In the event that Chicago does not luck into signing the best player of the last decade, I think it’s safe to assume the Bulls will have to build through the draft. Which the Lakers have done with mixed results. I imagine that the Bulls will potentially follow a similar pattern of draft hits and misses with a variety of questionable personnel decisions in between. So how far do the Bulls have to go?
One could potentially trace the origin of the Lakers rebuild to their drafting of franchise cornerstone and future Hall of Famer Robert Sacre. I think this clip says it all. They went on to draft Ryan Kelly (who I can only imagine was extremely high on the Gar/Pax draft board), D’Angelo Russell (who might actually be good now), Larry Nance Jr. (who was recently supplanted by another sure-fire HOF’er KYLE KUZMA), Brandon Ingram, and basketball test tube baby Lonzo Ball (who might actually be bad now).
I doubt that any of the aforementioned Lakers will amount to anything more than quality NBA starter. However, it is at least exciting for Lakers fans beings as they DO have potential, a quality that is noticeably absent from this Bulls roster. It is easy to get excited about Markkanen, but his overachieving is based on the fact that he looks like a semi-serviceable player on an otherwise awful team. It’s the same thing as saying Gal Gadot is GREAT as Wonder Woman and it’s not her fault she’s stuck in that shitty Justice League movie. Can one fairly judge individual talent in such a bad environment? Does Markkanen=Gadot? Whatever the case may be, I’m sure in ten years we will all be talking about how we should have just drafted Dennis Smith Jr. instead. #FireGarPax
So why watch these two teams? Besides the fact that it is the only NBA basketball game on tonight. This is essentially a throwaway season for a Lakers team that could sign Lebron this summer in addition to: insert top 20 NBA talent here, and here. But, I suppose watching this every night could be fun?
Compelling work ESPN.
As for why you should watch the Bulls? That question is a much more difficult to answer. However, I may have stumbled upon a statistic in which the Bulls could potentially be league average (stunning I know). Through 14 games the Bulls are 3-11 overall, BUT they are sitting at a respectable 7-6 against the spread. Furthermore, they are 4-3 against the spread on the road which makes sense because this team couldn’t possibly be anything but a disappointment in front of their home fans. Am I telling you take out a second mortgage in the hopes the Bulls cover double digit spreads every other night? Hell no! But one might find some value betting Chicago to cover if given the right matchup. Regardless, it may be the only way to sit down and watch this team while holding onto any semblance of sanity.
So lets give it a shot. I do not see the Lakers as a great value team, especially at home where the public's irrational belief in this otherwise mediocre team tends to inflate the line. I won’t go as far as to call it a Moral Lock, but I’ll be putting a couple units on Chicago at +6.0. Side note: I may just be a degenerate.
Some things to look for:
Lonzo Ball has slightly elevated stats against bad teams, ala less athletic teams that don’t care about defense. The Bulls fit both of these categories. I think he could have a career night scoring 15 points on 3-13 shooting. Maybe we see another triple double?
Jordan Clarkson recently in an interview with the Los Angeles Times stated that he credits women for much of his professional basketball playing motivation/success, "I mean my pops, my family, that's always No. 1," Clarkson said. "But second probably the girls and stuff. Females. Know what I mean? I love women." Good to see Clarkson getting back out there after Kendall Jenner left him for the more successful Los Angeles basketball player, Blake Griffin. I think single Jordan Clarkson shows out tonight as well.
In six games coming off the bench for the Bulls chemistry/glue guy Bobby Portis is 10-24 (41%) from three. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues. Granted the whole team essentially has the green light, but he is already about a third of the way towards his total from all of last year.
[thanks to ‘worldjordo’ for today’s game preview. We have some openings for these in upcoming games if you’d like to sign up. -yfbb]