Had to rush this one. Hopefully the Bulls take it seriously, though they are on a road trip and there’s that hot Orlando nightlife that may tire them.
The Magic are the ones who should be tired, playing last night and losing to the Heat down state in Miami.
So the Bulls should win, and Vegas agrees with the Bulls being a slight -2.5 favorite.
But I think it’s a cop-out to say the Bulls play down to competition like this. In looking at their last game against the Hornets...is Charlotte’s mostly-full-strength squad actually that much worse than the currently-slightly-banged-up version of the Bulls? And Orlando is a tanker but they do have talent. They have beaten the Bulls already and somehow have beaten the Celtics multiple times. Do people say ‘oh, that Magic squad really brings it against top teams, they are so weird!’?
No, because people know the Magic aren’t that good. I think it’s more accurate to say the Bulls aren’t that good either, not that they’re playing up or down to competition. If they were a more fully-formed team that had some resiliency in their roster they wouldn’t be as subject to shooting luck or clutch luck issues against good and bad teams alike.
Goran Dragic is still now probable to play after missing several games with illness and recovery
For the Magic, they’re fully healthy outside of Chuma Okeke’s extended absence due to knee surgery. Even Wendell Carter is suiting up for this one. Like I said, the mostly-full Magic team, at home, is not that worse off than the Bulls!
Game time: 6pm central, NBC Sports Chicago