It’s been two games since the Chicago Bulls revamped their roster on trade deadline day, adding All-Star Nikola Vucevic to the fray in exchange for two players and two first round picks. However, they have yet to get into the win column since then. In fact, the Bulls are in a bit of a slump, having lost four straight games and have won just once in their last six contests. In their most recent game, Chicago battled back and forth with the Golden State Warriors for nearly three quarters before a Steph Curry SuperNova run (14 straight points by himself) helped blow the game open for the home team. The Bulls entered the fourth quarter down double digits and couldn’t recover.
Despite the loss, Chicago’s overall situation in terms of the Eastern Conference playoff race didn’t change much. They are still 10th and in the last play-in spot. The Toronto Raptors are still two games behind them as they are on a losing streak of their own as well (have lost three straight). Two games separate Chicago and the Indiana Pacers, who are in 9th. The East continues to be a logjam of teams as just three games separates Chicago and the 6th seeded Atlanta Hawks. So despite the losing streak and the tough schedule ahead, there is some room for optimism in terms of Chicago grabbing one of the non play-in playoff spots. But first the Bulls have to get through this West Coast road trip. There are just two games left before they return back home and neither of these matchups will be easy.
Chicago’s opponent tonight will be the Phoenix Suns, who boast a record of 32-14 which is good enough for second in the Western Conference. They are trending in the opposite direction of the Bulls at the moment as they are in the midst of a three game winning streak and have won seven of their last 10 games. This will be the second game of a back to back for Phoenix as they beat the Atlanta Hawks 117-110 last night. They have seven players in double figures, led by the 21 of Devin Booker with Dario Saric adding in 20.
This will be the second time that these two teams have met. Last time they did was last month at the United Center. The Bulls were leading in the fourth quarter but were outscored 32-16 in the final frame in a 106-97 loss. Zach LaVine had 24 and Coby White had 19 but it wasn’t enough to stop Phoenix.
As if things couldn’t get tougher for Chicago, they could be without both LaVine and White tonight.
The big news is that LaVine may miss his first game of the season. He’s listed as questionable but didn’t practice yesterday. White missed his first game of the year last time out, and is also questionable. Garrett Temple, who suffered a hamstring injury early on against the Warriors, is listed as doubtful.
For Phoenix, the injury report isn’t updated after their game yesterday, but both Frank Kaminsky and Abdel Nader missed that one.
Game Time: 9PM CT
Odds: The Suns are a seven point favorite in this contest but you can also find them at seven and a half as well. As for the over/under, you can find totals of 216.5, 217, and 217.5 depending on where you look (all info via the Action Network).