The All-Star break didn’t seem to stop the breaks on the Chicago Bulls losing streak. On Thursday, they got into a hole early against the Charlotte Hornets and couldn’t climb out of it. The Bulls were in that game until the final minutes as their offense went ice cold. Now with the 103-93 loss, the Bulls are at a record of 19-37. This had ramifications in the standings as well. Chicago dropped to 11th in the Eastern Conference, now behind the Wizards and Hornets. The gap between them and the eighth seed grew too with the Magic now five games ahead of them. With the Nets now seven games ahead of Chicago, it seems like the clock is ticking on their playoff chances. If the Bulls are still serious about making a playoff push, they have to turn it around. They may be going through an easier stretch of games at the moment but things only get tougher in March. Chicago has another chance tonight to get back to winning ways.
Despite a good start to their season, the Phoenix Suns have fallen in the standings too. They have gone 3-7 in their last ten games. This will be the second game of a back to back for Phoenix. Yesterday they shot 17.6 percent from three in a 118-108 loss to the Toronto Raptors. Devin Booker was once again the Suns leading scorer with 21 points but only one other player for the Suns scored more than 15. Meanwhile the Raptors had six players score in double digits. The Suns are now 22-34, which is good for 13th in the West. They are still somewhat in the playoff hunt, being six games off the Grizzlies who are in eighth. But it doesn’t seem likely given the quality of the teams ahead of them in the standings. However, like Chicago, Phoenix should be working towards the development of their still young core. Booker and DeAndre Ayton are the two main guys and having veterans like Ricky Rubio are solid additions to any roster.
Injury Report: Denzel Valentine and Otto Porter Jr. have been ruled out and per this shoot around report by Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago, it looks like WCJ and Hutch won’t be playing either. Luke Kornet sprained his ankle on practice yesterday and is out too.
As for Phoenix, they are still missing Frank Kaminsky who is out with a stress fracture in his right patella. Ayton and Aaron Baynes are also on the injury report but are listed as probable.
Game Time: 7PM CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Betting Odds: The Suns opened up as a 1 point favorite but the line has now moved to -3. But you can find it at -2 or -2.5 at some places. The over/under for this one can be found at either 222, 221.5, or 219.5 (per Action Network).