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Bulls vs. Heat opening night game preview and open thread: no Zach, what the heck?

a bewildering injury update mars opening night

SPORTS-BKN-BULLS-LAVINE-TB John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Man, even I was getting a little bit excited about the Bulls opening night game in Miami.

And then the Bulls announced that Zach LaVine will be out for tonight.

(Shams beat them by a millisecond, he and LaVine share a work hallway. He also suggested Zach misses the next game too. We’ll have more on this in the coming days, as hopefully we get more information and (gasp) reporting on this. So far it’s been a pretty big misstep in messaging from both LaVine and the team and agent-stenographers on Twitter)

So that is a bummer and a half, though there is no other injury news* for the Bulls.

*I’m assuming for my own sanity that Lonzo Ball will never play again, so unless he’s on the court it’s not news IMO

The Bulls are kicking off their 2022-23 campaign with a tough matchup, in Miami versus the Heat. Miami had the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, though fell in the conference finals in seven games. In the offseason, they were captains of continuity like the Bulls, losing starting forward PJ Tucker but not adding or subtracting much else. They are hoping for better health and play from some of their core guys, namely 2021 major addition Kyle Lowry. Even without Tucker, the defense should be good and the offense methodical, with Jimmy Butler making ‘winning plays’ while shooting like crap and we wonder how he keeps doing this.

For the Bulls, besides the LaVine injury the big news heading into the season was that Patrick Williams will be starting at power forward. You may say ‘preseason doesn’t matter’, and apparently Billy Donovan agrees, as Javonte Green clearly won the job if it was a competition. It wasn’t, so Williams gets the nod. His play will be worth watching, and then we can retroactively judge either way: either Williams is now entitled minutes and stays complacent, or he needed the confidence given by starting to show his potential.

No word yet on who is starting for LaVine. I’d guess Alex Caruso.

Injury Report: Victor Oladipo is OUT for the Heat

Game Time: 6:30pm Central, NBC Sports Chicago

Odds: I don’t normally care about this (unless the blog gets money) but it’s interesting that the line has moved (via) in the past few days 2 points from Heat -5.5 to Heat -7.5. Expected, but still interesting.

Welcome back, commenters! Leave it to the Bulls to keep things depressing if something to talk about.