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Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Injury Report, Preview, Open Thread

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Walt Lemon Jr. is a sensation

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls (22-57) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (49-30)

7 p.m., WGN

Injury Report

Bulls: The usual suspects are out.

Sixers: Jimmy Butler (back) and James Ennis (quad) are out. Joel Embiid (knee) is questionable.

Preview

Three more games to go.

If you have a special emotional attachment to one of the less prominent Chicago Bulls players, you should probably tune in because you may only get three more games of watching them.

Wayne Selden Jr., Shaquille Harrison, Antonio Blakeney, and all the G League guys are all playing for their future. Cristiano Felicio would probably be on that list if he wasn’t on a massive contract relative to his production. If the Bulls don’t retain Ryan Arcidiacono, Bulls Twitter will revolt.

We’ve come to the point of the season where an impending G League head coaching vacancy was arguably the storyline of the day for the Chicago Bulls:

Speaking of the G League team, half of its players are up with the Chicago Bulls. Walt Lemon Jr. has been legitimately good, averaging 16.3 points per game on 51.2% from the field to go along with 6.3 assists and 3.0 steals. He has outplayed every other Bulls point guard on the roster in this stretch.

It’s hard to know what to make of this. The New York Knicks and Washington Wizards are zombie-walking their way through the rest of the season like the Bulls, so who knows if the effort was there. The 19 points he put up against the Toronto Raptors to lead all Bulls scorers was legitimately impressive though. A matchup with Ben Simmons tonight could be a more telling barometer.

Regardless, Lemon is the best story on the Bulls right now, and the fact that he grew up idolizing Derrick Rose (wears Rose’s No. 25 from his time at Simeon Academy and with the Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves) makes the story even better.

Despite Lemon’s best efforts, the Bulls are somehow going to finish with a worse record than last season. That takes talent given they were literally trying to lose games last season.

And on that note, the Bulls have officially locked up the fourth-worst record in the NBA. That means a 12.5% chance at Zion Williamson.

As for the Sixers, there will be no opportunity for a Jimmy Butler revenge game due to his back injury. Joel Embiid didn’t go through shootaround, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he doesn’t play either as a precaution. Philly has already clinched home-court advantage in the first round and is in no danger of facing the Celtics in a 4-5 matchup.