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Bulls vs. Hornets game preview and LIVE OPEN THREAD

Ball-game 2021

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Bulls are in somewhat of a precarious place right now, dealing with adversity for the first time all season after losing 3 of 4 games.

Or nah?

Things turned a lot more worrisome as news broke in the afternoon that Zach LaVine is dealing with an illness (thankfully non-Covid) and may not play tonight.

It then - even moreso -turns this game into the Ball show, where it’s our very own Lonzo against his brother LaMelo.

LaMelo’s Hornets were pegged either in the same tier or perhaps a bit below the Bulls preseason. And in practice so far this season they have performed like MANY thought the Bulls would: great offense (7th) and horrible defense (25th). They’ve been without their starting center Mason Plumlee the past two games, which isn’t horrifying in and of itself but this Charlotte team has very few bigs. In these two games they had a DRTG of 113 against the TWolves followed by a whopping 137.7 mark in their 146-143 OT loss to the Houston Rockets (hey, we did that too!).

Although Nikola Vucevic is back, the Bulls are still a bit undersized as well so it’s always good to see an opponent that won’t likely take advantage of that aspect of the Chicago roster. Charlotte is not a good rebounding team, so maybe the Bulls can gain a few more shots that way.

What they are good at is taking care of the ball, 3rd in the league with an 11.4% turnover percentage. So we’ll have to see if the Bulls can use their defense to disrupt, or do better in half-court offense if these ‘easy’ points don’t come. Maybe playing against the Charlotte half-court defense will be an antidote for any stagnation the Bulls offense has seen lately.

Injury Report

LaVine is questionable, ugh. Javonte Green is probable with a wrist injury that you could see him grabbing at a lot during the Heat game after he took a hard foul.

For the Hornets, it’s just a Plumlee who’s out. Cody Martin is questionable with an illness of his own.

Game Time: 7pm central, NBC Sports Chicago