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Bulls vs. Hornets Game Preview and Open Thread

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Bulls look to extend win streak as fans mourn the death of the tank

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (26-51) vs. Charlotte Hornets (34-44)

7 p.m. NBC Chicago Sports Network

Injury Report:

Denzel Valentine joins the list of Bulls players out for the rest of the season, alongside Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Paul Zipser, and Antonio Blakeney

For the Hornets, Cody Zeller (knee) was recently ruled out for the rest of the season. After being ruled out for the rest of the season this morning with an Achilles injury, Nicolas Batum’s status has been upgraded to questionable. Dwayne Bacon is out tonight with a right ankle injury. [Irrelevant side note: spelling his first name was very difficult after getting conditioned to Dwyane Wade]. Shooting guard Treveon Graham is also out tonight with a concussion. For those feeling nostalgic about Michael Carter-Williams, I hate to ruin your day by pointing out that he won’t play tonight either as he underwent season-ending left shoulder surgery on March 13.

Season Series:

The Bulls are 2-1 against the Hornets this season.

Somehow, the Bulls weathered the storm of 47 points from Kemba Walker to beat the Hornets 123-120 on Nov. 17. The Bulls made it two in a row against Charlotte on Dec. 8 with a 119-111 overtime victory in the first game of the “Niko’s back” era.

On Feb. 27, the Bulls came to their senses and folded 118-103 against the Hornets in Charlotte. Walker and center Dwight Howard combined for 55 points.

Preview:

Have you ever wondered what Zach LaVine smells like?

Well, a Chicago Tribune story eliminated the mystery from this age-old question.

Last week, cologne company Hawthorne for Men rolled out LaVine’s signature fragrance, “Hawthorne for Zach,” and like its other regular customers, Hawthorne based the Bulls star’s line on his body chemistry, lifestyle preferences and other survey answers.

LaVine’s data — he’s a meat-and-vegetable, nonsmoking, street-clothes-wearing, juice-drinking extrovert who keeps a level body temperature — were thrown into Hawthorne’s proprietary formula, which pumped out the smells he’s most likely to favor. LaVine’s analysis served up a woody fragrance with hints of citrus and black pepper. Last week, cologne company Hawthorne for Men rolled out LaVine’s signature fragrance, “Hawthorne for Zach,” and like its other regular customers, Hawthorne based the Bulls star’s line on his body chemistry, lifestyle preferences and other survey answers.

You may need to run out and buy a bottle of this cologne before the game tonight to mask out the stink that will surely permeate through your television into your living room as you watch this matchup.

Both teams are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with just over a week of regular season to play. The Hornets at least have an All-Star in Walker and a player in Howard who though is far removed from the vintage iteration still does some fun stuff (he quietly has averaged 16.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game this season). Jeremy Lamb is fun to watch as a microwave scorer off the bench.

Moving past the Brooklyn Nets and/or Sacramento Kings in the Tankathon.com standings is still possible, but winning that extra game against the Washington Wizards on Sunday really put a wrench in those plans for the Bulls.

The Bulls are the Bulls at this point. It’s fun to see them compete, but it’s difficult for most people to get overly excited about game 78 of 82 in a 26-win season. Come for the player development, maybe stay to watch Robin Lopez fight Benny the Bull....?