Chicago Bulls (27-12) vs. Golden State Warriors (30-10)
NBC Sports Chicago, 6:30 p.m. CDT
Okay, so Wednesday night didn’t exactly go as planned.
Not only did the Bulls get clobbered by the Brooklyn Nets, but amidst that clobbering Derrick Jones Jr. went down with an bone bruise injury that will keep him sidelined for 4-6 weeks.
Not good news for a team that was already worryingly bare in terms of power forward depth. The Bulls need to have short memories, because the second-best team in the league (by record) is coming into the United Center. Although Nets star Kevin Durant said that the Bulls are back after the game, so there’s that.
Last time the Bulls played the Warriors, it wasn’t pretty at all. The 119-93 shellacking the Warriors put on the Bulls in mid-November was one of the Bulls most embarrassing losses of the season to date. The way they lost that game and a collapse against the Portland Trail Blazers where they led big at halftime put a damper on what was otherwise a pretty good West Coast road trip.
The Warriors have Klay Thompson back after the star guard missed the last two seasons with various injuries. He finally made his long-awaited comeback on Jan. 9 which isn’t a great development for a Bulls team that wasn’t competitive against a Warriors team that didn’t have Thompson in the first matchup between the two teams (to be fair, Nikola Vucevic didn’t play in that matchup).
The Warriors do come into this game having lost three of their last four games prior to a big TNT matchup against the defending NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks. So if our friends to the north want to make their game against the Bucks tonight into a gritty, mentally-exhausting showdown with lots of lead changes late, that would be fantastic. If the game goes into overtime, even better.
The Bulls are again the ESPN game tonight. This time the tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. Perhaps, the Bulls players are just not night people and that random 9:00 p.m. tipoff even though the game was in Chicago really threw them off.
Alex Caruso is still out, maybe a few more games.
Alex Caruso (COVID-19 protocols) will be out at Boston on Saturday and isn't expected to play at Memphis on Monday, Billy Donovan says.— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 14, 2022
Again, Bulls want him to get some good practice/conditioning work in too because he's coming off a foot injury too.
For the Warriors: No Draymond, no Klay, no Gary Payton II
Otto Porter revenge game? He’s getting the start tonight.
Game Time: 6:30 CST, ESPN