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Bulls vs. Spurs game preview and open thread

the schedule misses keep coming

Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The games are indeed coming swiftly: the Bulls are slated for a back-to-back tonight, their 5th game in 7 nights since the All-Star break.

But not too seriously. Last night’s game was another laugher, though it is far better to have that result than that one against the star-less Sixers. It looks like the Bulls can beat overmatched opponents, that is key when talking about getting into the top 10 teams in the 2nd best conference.

The Spurs are markedly better than the Thunder or Kings or Pelicans, they are actually over .500 and currently 7th in the west. But they will be missing leading scorer DeMar DeRozan. They already exiled another former All-Star in LaMarcus Aldridge, though unlike DeRozan he was already a limited contributor.

The Bulls haven’t played San Antonio yet, and only once last year, and they are pretty firmly unexciting (not in the traditional way when they somehow were called that despite having one of the best players ever with several other stars and winning titles) so I can’t say I know much. I see they have a top-10 defensive rating and a bottom-10 offensive rating, and having no DeRozan will only skew that further. They are the best in the league at not fouling which is pretty interesting.

I’d say it’s a slight step up from the last two games. Do those wins show us that the Bulls can’t afford to trade a veteran? Or that they very much can because they’d win regardless? I have a feeling the latter may not be true with this caliber of opponent.

This is no slight on the Bulls, they’re just playing who’s on the schedule. As Jim Boylen once said, we can play that game too: we’re missing Hutch.

Injury Report:

Garrett Temple is still out with the ankle sprain.

For the Spurs, beyond DeRozan and Aldridge, Keita Bates-Diop is also out.

Game Time: 7pm central, NBC Sports Chicago