Playing three games in five days can be draining for any NBA team, and it’s pointless to do so in the preseason.
The Bulls are taking precautions when it comes to protecting the key players, choosing to play it safe.
Chicago’s preseason schedule has mandated the Bulls play four games in seven days on the heels of a voluntary but strenuous September mini-camp. Bulls coach Jim Boylen has been mindful of the early workload and built in rest for his regulars, both in practices and in games.
Resting tonight for the Bulls in Indiana: Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr., Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky.
Out: Wendell Carter Jr. (tailbone), Chandler Hutchison (hamstring) and Shaquille Harrison (hamstring). Barring any setbacks, Carter is expected to make his preseason debut Sunday at Toronto.
It’s pretty telling that Chicago also rested Tomas Satoransky. This looks like a sign from Boylen and the rest of the coaching staff that they have found their starting point guard.
We should see a lot of action from the duo of Coby White and Kris Dunn. Denzel Valentine looks to be in line for a lot of the forward minutes. Both White and Dunn are battling for the backup point guard spot but tonight will also give us a peak of White’s ability to play off the ball. As Darnell Mayberry tweeted out, it’s possible to see White play at the two with Dunn as the main ball handler. If White gets the backup job, there is a good chance we see Chicago trot him out with Satoransky as a backcourt duo in certain lineups.
It’s been a good start for the Indiana Pacers. They played two games overseas in India against the Sacramento Kings. In both games the Pacers prevailed, including a 132-131 overtime thriller in the season opener. Indiana got 30 points from new Pacer T.J. Warren in that game and then blew out the Kings by 24 in the next game. If the Bulls really do want to push for the playoffs, Indiana is one of those teams where Chicago has to have some success against. Tonight will be a preview of how Indiana’s squad looks like. Newcomer Malcolm Brogdon will give them stability at the point guard spot and will be a formidable sidekick when Victor Oladipo comes back later this season. Along with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, Indiana has a solid starting lineup.
There are some guys missing from Nate McMillans team. Other than Oladipo, rookie Goga Bitadze is out with a sprained right ankle. Aaron Holiday is out with an illness and C.J. Wilcox has a right quad strain. T.J. Leaf, who just had his fourth year option picked up by Indiana, will be missing this game also with a right quad strain.
Game Time: 6 PM CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago