Chicago Bulls (6-3) at Brooklyn Nets (7-3)
For the first time this season, the Chicago Bulls are facing adversity.
They are coming off two tough losses against a short-handed Philadelphia 76ers team. You hoped the Bulls could have won both those games, expected the Bulls to at least split, and are now disappointed after the Bulls got swept in that mini series. Part of that is figuring out how to unlock Nikola Vucevic’s game. The veteran big man is in the midst of one of the worst offensive cold streaks of his career. He’s shooting wildly inefficiently on that end and has been missing the open shots that he has been given.
The schedule doesn’t get an easier. After starting the season 2-3, the Brooklyn Nets are suddenly red hot winning five in a row. Of course, the two-headed monster of Kevin Durant and James Harden lead the Nets. Harden has had a tough season; his scoring average is only at 17.7 points per game and his field goal percentage is only 38.5 percent. He’s averaging only 4.7 free-throw attempts per game which is the lowest since his second year in the league which is part of the problem.
The Nets did play yesterday in Toronto, with a second-half comeback victory over the Raptors before flying to Chicago. Perhaps they will be tired, though interestingly this team of stars and former-stars-turned-role-players aren’t holding anybody out for this second game of a back-to-back. So instead of speculation that Durant, Harden, Blake Griffin, or LaMarcus Aldridge would get the ‘strategic rest’ treatment, the injury report has nobody listed besides center Nic Claxton, at least as of 3:30 central update.
For the Bulls, they need to get back on track. After the Nets game, the Bulls fly to Dallas for the first in a string of six matchups against Western Conference teams.
Game Time: 7:00 CDT, NBC Sports Chicago and NBATV