The west coast road trip for the Chicago Bulls didn’t get off to the best start. They suffered their worst loss of the season in a 119-93 blowout to the Golden State Warriors. After a good first quarter, Chicago’s offense stalled and against a good team, these types of things can’t happen. The loss dropped the Bulls down to third in the East, a game behind the Wizards and a half game behind the Nets. It was easily their worst performance of the year and things won’t get any easier in their next week of games.
Chicago’s next opponent will be the Los Angeles Clippers. This is the first of back to back games for the Bulls in the Staples Center as they also play the Lakers tomorrow. The Clippers have an identical record at 8-4 and are scorching-hot at the moment riding a seven game winning streak. Fortunately, this will be the second game of a back to back for the Clippers as they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves last night with Paul George scoring a team-high 23 points while Reggie Jackson had 21.
This will be a battle between two of the better defensive teams in the NBA. Both Chicago (104.5) and LA (108.1) are in the Top 10 in terms of defensive rating. But offensively, after their showing against Golden State, a bounce back game is needed. They are still missing Nikola Vucevic, which crunches their spacing but they need the other guys to step up. Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan shot poorly against the Warriors and will have to play better for the Bulls to win this one.
An interesting scheme related question will be which one of Chicago’s guards/forwards matches up against George. The Bulls have a couple options as they can deploy Lonzo Ball or even Javonte Green, and Billy Donovan is going to have to get creative.
Nothing changes for Chicago’s injury report.
As for the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard is still out as he recovers from an ACL injury. Marcus Morris is out with a left knee injury while Jason Preston (right foot) and Keon Johnson (left ankle) are inactive as well.
Game Time: 8:30 PM CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Odds: The Clippers are listed as a 3.5 point favorite but you can find them as -4 as well. In terms of the over/under, it’s listed at 217 at most places although there are totals of 216.5 and 217.5 too. (All info via the Action Network)