7 p.m., United Center
After taking a hard spill against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, the Bulls didn’t have point guard Kris Dunn practice yesterday and he’s listed as questionable to play tonight against Memphis.
For The Grizzlies, Kyle Anderson is out with a shoulder injury. Mike Conley missed their game last night with an illness but is expected to play.
The last time Joakim Noah played in a game at the United Center was Nov. 4, 2016. Every single time he steps onto the United Center floor, the Bulls should make him a new tribute video. When I run for Mayor of Chicago in 2023, that is my platform
In one of the happier stories of the NBA season, Noah has found a home in Memphis. He’s played backup minutes, but has averaged 5.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 28 games in Grind City.
With fellow veteran big man Marc Gasol recently getting shipped out to the Toronto Raptors, Noah has seen an uptick in minutes (24.2) and production (13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds). Regardless of numbers, it’s amazing to see the 33-year-old get another chance in the NBA.
Returning in the Gasol trade was Jonas Valanciunas who also plays in big lineups off the bench. They acquired even more new rotation players at the deadline in Delon Wright, Avery Bradley (scored 33 last night) and CJ Miles.
Since the NBA trade deadline, the Chicago Bulls most used five-man lineup is Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen, and Robin Lopez (52 minutes). This happens to also be the lineup that Jim Boylen has ran out there to start all three games.
Porter provides a solid 3-and-D option at a position that the Bulls had filled with guys who either didn’t fit there or weren’t good enough to play the position effectively. The Bulls now have legitimate shooting threats at three positions in their starting lineup (LaVine, Porter, Markkanen) which is an upgrade to what they had before.
Porter has been outstanding since joining the Bulls, putting up 17.7 points per game on a sizzling 57.1 percent from the field from long range.
This is a rare game where the Bulls are favored, with the Grizzlies being bad, further jumbled by the trade deadline, and losing a close one last night against the Spurs. This may be the Bulls first home win of 2019 as they look to head into the All Star break with ‘optimism’.