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Bulls vs. Grizzlies preview and open thread

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Another big tanking opportunity

NBA: Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (21-42) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (18-45)

7 p.m. CT NBC Sports Chicago

Injury Report:

Forward Paul Zipser will miss his sixth game in a row with left foot pain.

After the Bulls received a warning from the NBA for resting healthy rotational players, Justin Holiday will return to the starting lineup for limited action in the game tonight against Memphis. However, NBA resting rules state that at home games a team can rest one healthy rotational player, so Robin Lopez won’t play tonight.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have basically all their veterans out for this one.

Chandler Parsons is out for personal reasons, which is likely to attend a funeral for his former agent Dan Fegan. According to The Aspen Times, the funeral is today, so this is a super legitimate reason and condolences to Parsons and the friends and family of Fegan.

Tyreke Evans will miss this game with a rib cartilage tear and the Grizzlies ruled him out a full day in advance. Guard Andrew Harrison is out with a right wrist injury. Mario Chalmers continues to miss time with a right hamstring issue. Finally, Jarell Martin is questionable tonight with a right knee injury.

Preview:

This game is a joke.

Don’t sugarcoat it. The Grizzlies are playing to lose and their roster is so bad with all these injuries that it will take a Herculean tanking effort by the Bulls to pull out a loss tonight.

There is a reason the Grizzlies have lost 14 games in a row. They are hell bent on getting Deandre Ayton or Luka Doncic and won’t let anything stop them from doing it. Seven of those losses were by seven or less points. It’s not coincidental that they’re losing close games late ...

Like, look at their roster. Outside of the obvious holdover in Marc Gasol, it’s a bunch of strangers. Dillon Brooks is the second-leading scorer on the roster tonight at 9.2 points per game with all those guys out (Gasol leads the way at 17.9 points per game).

Relatively unknown guys like Myke Henry (DePaul University shoutout), Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and James Ennis have prominent roles on this team right now. The only thing that the Grizzlies are grinding out are losses.

From the Bulls’ perspective, the most interesting thing to watch tonight in a game that will be ugly (like game against the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics level ugly), is how much the Bulls test the rest rule with Holiday.

Do they play him for five minutes at the start of the game and five minutes after halftime and pull the plug? That may violate the spirit of the rest rule, but they’re still playing him ... so it really should be fine. Technically, couldn’t the Bulls play Holiday for two minutes tonight and get away with it?

We will see tonight how willing Fred Hoiberg, Gar Forman, and John Paxson are to stretch the limits of the rule.