Six more games. That’s it. We have six more games of Chicago Bulls basketball and the tank race is heating up. Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic was a huge one as with a loss, the Bulls could have been staring at the 5th spot in the draft order. But instead, in true Bulls fashion, they ended up beating the Magic 90-82.
After Chicago was up 13 at the half, they had an abysmal 3rd quarter, scoring only 9 points and saw the lead evaporate. It led to some hope of Chicago tanking this game away. However, Orlando did them one better and came back with an even worse 4th quarter. The Bulls outscored the Magic 24-13 in the final 12 minutes and it was enough for Chicago to pull out the victory. It was a bizarre game and we even saw guys making plays late in this game.
That win slotted Chicago directly back in 8th but thanks to a win by the Nets against Miami last night, the Bulls slid back to 7th. Looking at the draft order standings, the Bulls 1.5 games behind the Kings for 6th and 2 behind Dallas for 5th. Then there’s the Knicks who are 1.5 games behind Chicago at 9th. But let’s stop talking about tanking for now cause the Bulls have a Sunday afternoon game to play.
Their opponents will be the Washington Wizards. Scott Brooks’s team has had a good season thus far, despite dealing with some injuries. They are currently 6th in the East with a record of 42-34. Their last game, a win against Charlotte, was pretty big as it was also the return of star point guard John Wall. Despite missing the past two months with a knee injury, Wall showed no signs of rust as he notched a double double of 15 points and 14 assists. This was a huge plus for Washington as they are still in a hunt for playoff seeding and they need Wall to stay in the 6th spot. Washington currently has pressure from both Milwaukee and Miami. If the Wizards slip up, they could be sitting in 8th with a matchup against the Toronto Raptors.
The remaining schedule for Washington after this game has 3 more tough matchups for Washington. They play Houston, Cleveland, and Boston with games against Hawks and the Magic sprinkled in.
The only good news for Bulls point guards in this game is that Wall will be held out of this game as it’s a back-to-back.
However, the Wizards backup, Tomas Satoransky, also has had recent success against the Bulls as well. The last time these two teams met, Satoransky scored 25 in a Wizards win in the United Center. It was also the game where Bobby Portis got ejected for a flagrant foul 2 against Satoransky.
For Washington, we already know Wall is out but everyone else seems healthy.
As for Chicago, the same guys are still out of this game (Dunn, LaVine, Blakeney). It still remains to be seen if Lauri Markkanen or Paul Zipser will play.
Game Time: 2:30 PM CT