After playing a handful of back to back’s to start the season, the Chicago Bulls earned themselves some days off this past week. They haven’t played since Wednesday, which was a 115-111 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. It was another crunch time loss, which has been a worrying trend to star the year. The Bulls still haven’t won a game in crunch time, which is the complete opposite of what happened last season. Given how many close games they have played so far, they are going to have to find some solutions quickly.
The defeat now puts Chicago’s record at 6-7, which is eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls will now be looking to avoid a second straight loss at home along with vying for their first win of the season against a Western Conference team.
Their opponents, the Denver Nuggets, didn’t get the same break in their schedule. They last played two days ago on the road against the Boston Celtics. It was a rough game for Denver as they had their four game winning streak snapped despite 29 points and eight rebounds from Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets have a record of 8-4, good enough for 5th in the West. Denver has been a consistent playoff team for quite some time now and it’s obvious how much revolves around Jokic offensively. It’s going to be a tough task for Chicago to contain him as Patrick Williams or Nikola Vucevic could be candidates to guard him. The Bulls also have to be wary of losing track of the other guys off the ball as if there is a window, Jokic can find them.
This will be a stern test for the Chicago defense, who has played pretty well to start the season. It’s offense which has been sputtering to start games. The Bulls have to make sure they get off to a fast start otherwise it could be a long game of playing catch up.
Injury Report: Coby White remains out with left quad contusion.
As for Denver, they will be missing point guard Bones Hyland as he’s in Health and Safety Protocols. Ish Smith is also out with a right calf strain.
Game Time: 7PM CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Odds: The Nuggets are one and a half point favorites in this game but you can find the spread being 2 at a couple of sportsbooks. The total is set at 232.5 with 232’s out there as well. (via the Action Network)