After having a quiet offseason, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley decided to shake up the Chicago Bulls roster at the trade deadline. First was the acquisition of All-Star Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic followed by getting Troy Brown Jr. from the Washington Wizards. Then finally Chicago got Daniel Theis and Javonte Green from the Boston Celtics to cap off a frenzy of moves from the Windy City.
Currently Chicago still sits in the final play-in spot in 10th. They are still two games ahead of the 11th place Toronto Raptors and are 1.5 game behind the 8th place Miami Heat. With the moves the Bulls made on Thursday, it’s clear that they want to make it into the postseason for the first time since the 2016-17 season. But it will be a tough road ahead of them as they have a tough schedule in the coming weeks.
Tonight’s opponent will be another Western Conference playoff team in the San Antonio Spurs. The last time these two teams met was 10 days ago and it was a brutal loss for Chicago. They were up by as many as 23 but crumbled in the second half as the Spurs outscored them 39-19 in the fourth quarter to win 106-99. San Antonio currently is 8th in the Western Conference with a record of 22-20. They are half a game behind Dallas for the 7th seed but are only a game ahead of the Grizzlies who are sitting in 9th. The Spurs are coming into this one hoping to break a four-game losing streak. Since beating the Cavaliers on March 19th, they have dropped games to the Bucks and Hornets followed by back to back losses to the Clippers.
This feels like a game that both the Bulls and Spurs need to win to get back some momentum in their respective playoff races.
Obviously the big watching point will be how the new guys for Chicago fit into the fray. Especially Vucevic as he brings both scoring and playmaking from the Magic. After the trade deadline there seems to be a lot of optimism surrounding Chicago and rightly so. They grabbed another All-Star to pair with LaVine and seemingly revamped the roster in a matter of hours. Tonight will be our first chance to see how this new-look Bulls team plays together.
Injury report: LaVine is listed as questionable with an ankle injury but said to reporters that he will be fine.
Zach LaVine is on Bulls injury report, listed as questionable (50-50) with right ankle sprain.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 27, 2021
BUT, asked about it today, this is what he said: “I’ll be fine. Youi know, I can play through some injuries. I’ll be alright.’’
Also, Garrett Temple is active and available for the first time in six games.
Theis is currently not with the team but Donovan said to reporters that he expects Theis to re-join Chicago for their next game against Golden State.
As for San Antonio, they will be without three players. Lonnie Walker IV is out with soreness in his right wrist while Keita Bates-Diop has a right hamstring strain. Newly acquired Marquese Chriss is out with a fibula fracture.
Game time: 7:30 PM CT
Odds: The Spurs are a two-point favorite heading into this one. As for the over/under, you can find totals of 219, 219.5, and 220 depending on where you look (all info via the Action Network).