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Bulls vs. Magic game preview and thread: the evaluation stretch, game 3 of 28

time to face the living embodiment of what could have been

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Orlando Magic Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

How funny/depressing would it be to watch our Chicago Bulls and their #continuity just keep right on losing tonight, against the Orlando Magic?

Before you say, “But hey, the Magic are rebuilding, and the Bulls have some All-Stars,” let’s keep that perspective in check. The Bulls have one All-Star, DeMar DeRozan, and I’d argue he’s more of a pity/big-market All-Star than an actually deserving one this year (numbers aside), a la Carmelo Anthony on the Knicks when they were struggling to win 20 games. Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic certainly aren’t All-Stars this season. If we could go back in time to 2021-22 and had to pick a second Chicago All-Star last year, it probably should have been Lonzo Ball, given what’s happened in his absence, over LaVine.

The Magic, led by Rookie of the Year frontrunner Paolo Banchero and (technically) the Bulls’ 2021 draft pick, Franz Wagner, are young, deep and athletic. They’ve gone 1-1 in their games against Chicago this season, with the two teams’ last meeting ending in a lopsided 128-109 Bulls win, thanks largely to the performances of Chicago’s “Big Three,” plus erratic 2020 lottery pick Patrick Williams (it turns out we should have drafted Tyrese Haliburton). At 23-34, the Magic is also now just 3.5 games behind the reeling Bulls (26-30) for the right to claim the East’s 11th seed.

Nothing says, “Hey, we’re fine, we didn’t need to make any trades whatsoever” like losing four straight games, right? Something tells me we’re about to find out. Thanks Arturas.

Anyway, I assume we’ll lead by 15 at some point in the second half, then choke away that advantage when we stop making jumpers in the fourth quarter. So we have that to look forward to.

Message to the ‘Dorfs: Fire AKME. Sell the team.

Injury Report: Alex Caruso is questionable with a sore left midfoot soreness.

Everyone on Orlando is healthy (even Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac!). They’ve bought out a couple players though: Terrence Ross, RJ Hampton, and newly-acquired Patrick Beverley

Game Time: 7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago.