Following a split in their two games against the Knicks, the Bulls now have a similar opponent for a 2-game series. This time it’s on the road as they are in Orlando facing the Magic.
The Magic, Bulls, and Knicks are all in this putting-the-ass-in-morass part of the Eastern Conference standings. I’ve been told this embarrassing drop in quality between conferences is ‘cyclical’ for about twenty years now.
Alright maybe it’s charitable to put the Pistons and Wizards ‘in the hunt’, our guy Ricky firmly cemented them in the lottery for his initial mock draft.
The story of the Magic this year is injuries. Jonathan Isaac, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Markelle Fultz have been out for the whole season or at least much of it. Aaron Gordon is on the shelf with a severe ankle sprain for the next month.
They’re at somewhat of the same organizational crossroads as the Bulls. They have a ‘core’, but it’s one with a pretty firm ceiling, including a player that team-owned social media accounts are very invested in getting into the All-Star Game. The Magic have more guys locked up under contract, but could very well look to sell remaining veterans at the deadline. Evan Fournier is solid rental target for a better team.
For the somewhat lousy teams that both these groups are deemed as now, it is an interesting matchup. We know the Bulls can’t beat good teams, but this streak could end today even if deserving somewhat of an asterisk:
The Bulls are 0-24 since the start of last season against the 8 teams that made the 2020 Eastern Playoffs.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) February 5, 2021
Tonight HAS to be the night...right?
Pregame for Bulls-Magic begins at 5:45 on @670TheScore.
So are the Bulls trending towards average, to where they can take care of business in games like these? So far in their ‘winnable’ stretch they are 1-2.
No Otto Porter again in this one. For some reason they flew him out to Florida as if he may play Saturday. I don’t know why you put an old man with a bad back on an airplane like that.
For the Magic, beyond the already mentioned long-term absences, Michael Carter-Williams may return after missing the last 15 contests. Or he’s not listed as out yet, anyway.
Game Time: 6pm central, NBC Sports Chicago