7 p.m., NBC Chicago Sports Network
This is the time of year when NBA injury reports read like the casualty list from the Battle of Gettysburg.
Unsurprisingly, the 76ers will hold out many of their stars in game 82 of an 82-game season ahead of what they hope will be a long playoff run. Joel Embiid is resting and former Bull Jimmy Butler won’t play because of a back injury. Tobias Harris (rest), JJ Redick (back and quad injuries), and Ben Simmons (recovering from a dental procedure) are all out too.
Less significantly, Jonah Bolden won’t play either because of a knee injury. Mike Scott is questionable tonight with a back injury and James Ennis III is out with a right quad contusion (all of these injury updates per NBA.com).
No surprises on the Chicago Bulls injury report. Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., and Lauri Markkanen are all still out. Chandler Hutchison, Denzel Valentine, and Wendell Carter Jr. aren’t miraculously going to return from their long-term injuries for game 82. Shaquille Harrison is listed as probable with a left ankle sprain.
Kris Dunn is listed as doubtful for the game tonight, but props to him for staying on brand amid the injuries.
Kris Dunn, on if the Bulls add a PG via free agency or draft: "I’m a dog. I don’t run from nothing."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 9, 2019
Someday, Chicago Bulls basketball will be super duper fun to watch again for everybody.
Someday, Bulls Twitter will be a less jaded and angry place. Someday, the Bulls will be the team in town that people will be most excited to talk about. Someday, the last day of the regular season will matter again and be a new beginning [as in the playoffs are about to start] as opposed to an end [as in we won’t be selling our souls so that ping-pong balls bounce a certain way].
Someday, it won’t be just the diehards wanting to watch and write about game 82 in an 82-game season.
But that day isn’t today.
The Bulls are sporting a glorified G League roster right now. That’s not a knock on any of the guys, a lot of them are talented and at least they play hard.
But when you have guys like Brandon Sampson, Jakarr Sampson, Shaquille Harrison, Walt Lemon Jr., and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot playing 30 minutes per game at the end of the season it isn’t hard to figure out why the Bulls own the fourth worst record in the association this season.
Most casual Bulls fans probably don’t know who any of those guys are.
Further eliminating the fun factor from the Bulls game tonight is the fact that this game means nothing to the 76ers, locked into the third spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.