Chicago Bulls (37-21) vs. Sacramento Kings (22-37)
The Chicago Bulls are so close to getting a break.
Just a matchup against the Sacramento Kings stand between them and the All-Star Break. Given everything they’ve been through this season with injury and illness, the Bulls could probably use a break as much any other team in the NBA right now.
The Bulls are back on the right track after a tough stretch of games earlier in February that mostly didn’t break their way. They have won four games in a row, sit in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference as they continue to hold their own among a very competitive top six teams, and have a chance to head into the All-Star break on a good note against a Sacramento Kings team that they should beat.
The Kings did make some big moves prior to the trade deadline. Justin Holiday and Domantas Sabonis are two familiar names that have traded Indiana Pacers blue and yellow for Kings purple. Another former division foe Donte DiVincenzo is also now a King.
On paper, the Kings roster doesn’t look bad. De’Aaron Fox is a prolific point guard, Buddy Hield isn’t having a good season this year but in the past has been very good, and Harrison Barnes is a very solid veteran who been a part of championship caliber teams. Add in Sabonis who is a two-time All-Star and you have some pieces there. But they’re the Kings, and haven’t reached the playoffs since 2006 (mind blowing statistic) and haven’t won a playoff series since 2004. So they are still bad despite what’s on paper.
The very early returns for the Kings since their active trade deadline is they are 2-1. They followed encouraging wins against the Wizards and Timberwolves by suffering an absolute drubbing to the Nets who had no Durant or Irving.
The Bulls 7-3 record in the last 10 is the best record in the last 10 games out of all the top five teams in the Eastern Conference. The other four teams in the top five are all coincidentally 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Boston Celtics (9-1) and Toronto Raptors (8-2) are the teams that are surging.
That’s all right though because we have DeMar DeRozan.
LaVine remains out. But good news is that Javonte Green is available even with his battery of ailments and soreness-ness.
Odd roster quirk for today: while Tyler Cook is with the GLeague, Marko Simonovic is available with the big club tonight.
In the Kings world, Jeremy Lamb and Davion Mitchell are questionable.
Game Time: NBC Sports Chicago; 7:00 CDT