After blowing out the Cleveland Cavaliers in their preseason opener, the Chicago Bulls came back with another great game, this time against the New Orleans Pelicans. Chicago got out to an early double-digit lead, 30-17, after the first quarter, and they never looked back. By the time it was the fourth, it was already garbage time as the Bulls won by a final score of 121-85.
Once again, Zach LaVine led the team in scoring with 21 points on 14 attempts. However, the star of the show was Lonzo Ball. He scored 19 points, shooting 5-of-6 from deep along with four assists. Although his primary role on this Bulls team is to be a playmaker and someone who will find open teammates for easy shots, he has shown he can be a threat from 3 as well. Ball has improved as a shooter throughout the course of his four-year career, including shooting 37.8 percent from deep last season on 8.3 attempts per game. If Lonzo can keep shooting well from 3, it can go a long way in helping Chicago’s offense. It will add more spacing to the floor, which helps out LaVine and DeMar DeRozan in terms of creating their own shot.
Now Chicago looks for their third straight win to start the preseason, and Sunday night’s matchup comes against an opponent they already played. The Cleveland Cavaliers have gone .500 in their games since playing Chicago last week. They beat the Hawks before losing to the Pacers on Friday. This will be the Bulls’ first road game of the preseason as well. Again, look for Chicago to test a lot of small-ball lineups in this one. They will be trying to test out the Cavaliers’ big men and how they operate in space as they did the first time these two teams met. This is also another opportunity for Lauri Markkanen and Denzel Valentine to play against their former team.
The Bulls will have three players out for this game in Tony Bradley (Lower back strain), Coby White (Right shoulder surgery), and Patrick Williams (Left ankle sprain). Meanwhile Cleveland will be missing their starting backcourt in Darius Garland (Illness) and Collin Sexton (Right shoulder sprain)
Game Time: 6 p.m. CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Odds: The Bulls are seven-point favorites but you can also find some places that have them at -6.5. The over/under is set at 219 for most sports books, but you can also find it set at 218.5. (All info via The Action Network)