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Bulls vs. Nuggets preview and thread: Another Western Conference test for Chicago

It’s a fifth straight opponent from the West as Chicago tries to get their third win in four games

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Phoenix Suns v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The Bulls have been winning the easier games yet dropping the tougher ones. After losing to the 76ers on National TV two weeks ago, they reeled off three straight wins. However when faced against one of the Western conferences top teams in the Phoenix Suns, the Bulls weren’t able to get it done. It looked like Chicago was in control of the game before a 4th quarter collapse allowed the Suns to storm back and win 106-97. It wasn’t a disappointing loss in that Chicago showed for stretches that were good enough to compete with a playoff team but then faltered at a crucial point of the game.

The loss send the Bulls down in the standings, all the way to 10th place. However there is a huge log jam for the majority of the playoff spots as Chicago is just 1.5 games away from New York, who are the current fourth seed. If the Bulls can keep racking up wins, they will have a chance to earn an outright playoff spot and not just an invitation to the end of season play in tournament.

With their game against the Raptors postponed, Chicago now will play their fifth straight opponent from the Western Conference and it’s another test to see just how far the Bulls have come.

The Denver Nuggets are currently 7th in the West with a record of 18-15 and like the Bulls, are also 6-4 in their last 10 games. But 3 of those losses have come to the Hawks and Wizards (twice). They last played on Saturday with a win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Denver raced out to an 18 point lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back in a 126-96 victory. Nikola Jokic notched a triple double while Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. pitched in with 26 and 20 points respectively.

Denver is a team that features a lot of offensive threats and there are a lot of guys who can have a solid offensive outing on any given night. The key obviously is Jokic, and Wendell Carter Jr. is going to have another tough task on his hands. Like many this season, he might not be able to stop Jokic, but you have hope that WCJ can at least slow him down.

Injury Report: The injury report hasn’t changed for Chicago. Lauri Markkanen, Chandler Hutchison, and Otto Porter Jr. are all still out. Devon Dotson and Adam Mokoka are on assignment in the G-League bubble.

Meanwhile for Denver, they will be missing a couple of key players. Gary Harris is out with a sprain in his left adductor while Paul Milsap is out with a left knee sprain. JaMychal Green is out with a shoulder sprain. Markus Howard and R.J. Hampton are out due to health and safety protocols while Facundo Campazzo is doubtful.

Game Time: 7PM CT

Odds: Denver is currently a 4.5 point favorite in this game. As for the O/U, you can find totals of 224.5 and 225.5 depending on where you look (all info via the Action Network).