The 2021-22 preseason could not have gotten off to a better start for the Chicago Bulls. Their offensive power was on display against the Cleveland Cavaliers as they flew up and down the court, producing numerous highlights. As a team, Chicago had an eFG percentage of 54.1 and scored 44 points in the third quarter in route to a 131-95 win.
Zach LaVine led the way with 25 points while DeMar DeRozan, Troy Brown Jr. and Javonte Green produced 13 each. Every who suited up for the Bulls got minutes as we even saw cameos from Tyler Cook, Daniel Oturu, and Ethan Thompson. Lonzo Ball also made his debut for the Bulls, scoring just eight points but he made an impact elsewhere on the court with five assists and five rebounds. Alex Caruso shined off the bench with a double double of 10 points and 10 assists.
Chicago’s defense was also locked in, limiting Cleveland to shooting 35.7 percent from the field (41.7 eFG%) and 30.3 from three-point land. In all, it was a fantastic debut for a new look Bulls team. However, it is just one game and they have to continue to stack solid games like this before they head into the regular season. Tonight’s opponent is one from the Western Conference and have some faces Chicago fans are familiar with.
The New Orleans Pelicans didn’t start the preseason with a win as they lost to Minnesota on Monday but bounced back two days later with a 104-86 win against the Orlando Magic. Rookie Trey Murphy lll scored 20 while Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 19.
Given the Bulls and Pelicans interactions this summer, this is already a reunion game for a handful of players. On Chicago’s side, it will be Ball’s first time playing his former team while the same could be said for Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple, who are now playing for New Orleans. So far this preseason for Chicago, it’s been games against familiar faces and this one is no different.
Patrick Williams (left ankle sprain) and Coby White (recovering from left shoulder surgery) are both listed as out with their respective injuries. Tony Bradley is doubtful with a strain in his lower back. Marko Simonovic and Derrick Jones Jr. are not on the injury report anymore so they should be expected to make their Bulls debut tonight.
Meanwhile for New Orleans will be a bit shorthanded as they are missing quite a few key players. Zion Willliamson (Recovering from right foot surgery), Brandon Ingram (Right knee soreness), and Jaxson Hayes (Left ankle sprain) are all out. Devonte’ Graham is listed on the injury report but is available tonight.
Game Time: 7PM CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Odds: Chicago is listed as a seven point favorite at most places but you can find them at -7.5 as well. The over/under is set at 223.5. (All info via the Action Network)