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Bulls vs. Heat preview and open thread: are they back on track?

Jimmy Butler returns back to the United Center

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Chicago Bulls v Orlando Magic Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

After two bad losses to begin the week, the Chicago Bulls rebounded with a 123-88 blowout win against the Orlando Magic last night. It was nice to see them take care of business against a team they are expected to beat. The game was tied after the first quarter but then Chicago took control by starting the second on a 16-0 run. They kept up the double digit lead and even got it up to 30 points in the second half. The win snapped the Bulls two game losing streak and now puts them at a record of 13-7. They are 1.5 games behind the Brooklyn Nets for first in the East. However, on the second game of a back to back, they face a tough challenger at the United Center. A team which is right behind Chicago in the standings and one, which like the Knicks, will make the Bulls grind out a victory. This is sure setting up to be a fun Saturday night matchup.

The Miami Heat have enjoyed a solid start to their season as well with a record of 12-7. However it’s been a bit of rough sailing as of late with them losing two of their last three games. Miami will be well rested in this one, having last played on Wednesday. Despite being up eight against the Timberwolves at halftime in that game, they got outscored by 20 in the second half, ultimately leading to a 113-101 defeat. Four Heat players were in double digits including a former Bull in Jimmy Butler.

This will mark another return for him back to the United Center and against the Bulls, he usually plays well. In his seven games against Chicago, Butler has averaged 27.3 points on 46.2 percent shooting. What’s a bit surprising is that his three-point percentage against the Bulls isn’t good at all at 19 percent. Miami has other guys who can beat you offensively in Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry but stopping Butler will be one of the bigger focuses for the Chicago defense.

Injury Report:

Devon Dotson, who played last night, is out due to being on G-League assignment. Tyler Cook and Marko Simonovic are out as well under the same designation. Other than that, the injury report remains the same with Patrick Williams being the only regular rotation player listed as out.

Meanwhile for Miami, Marcus Morris will miss this game with a neck injury while Victor Oladipo is out while recovering from a right knee injury.

Game Time: 7PM CT

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Odds: The Heat are one and a half point favorites in this one. The over/under is set at 210.5 but you can find totals of 211.5 in this one as well. (All info via the Action Network)