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Bulls vs. Suns roster and preview
plus brief recap on the get-right win versus the Jazz, and Lauri <> Pat
The Bulls indeed took care of business at home against a truly cruddy Jazz squad. The lack of guard play from Utah bordered on unserious. I suppose it should’ve been considered that Danny Ainge regrets not tanking more fully last season and is making sure he does so this year. Jordan Clarkson went 3/14 from the field (including 1/8 from three) and with him and Talen Horton-Tucker starting in the backcourt, the Jazz as a team turned the ball over on over 24% of their possessions.
That meant the Bulls offense, who prior to that game had a 3rd-least 12.3% of their offensive possessions in transition, enjoyed a bump to a more-like-average 15.6% in that category.
Plus they actually made more threes than their opponent, hitting 17 of them at a scorching 56.7%. Have to give special mention to Jevon Carter, like Will Gottlieb did at CHGO, for coming in off the bench and flingin’.
Did anybody ask Vuc after the game if he was upset at the offense????
The Jazz still got more three point attempts up, led by old friend Lauri going 5-12. It’s great that he shoots more now, but I do not really regret how the Bulls handled Markkanen, certainly not to the level of NBC Sports Chicago’s Ryan Taylor. Taylor’s thesis here is that it was a costly error to let Markkanen go, and not to make the same mistake with Patrick Williams.
I’d say it the Lauri trade has been way down the list of AKME mistakes, and below that of drafting Williams in the first place. Taylor’s colleague Kevin Anderson tried to display Williams being better since his benching, but to me it more shows real versatility to stink in either role.
As one could figure, a player who has failed as a 5th option and never showed an ability to handle more on-ball responsibility isn’t magically thriving with more reps:
Of course, the development and potential of a just-turned-22-year-old on a supposedly-win-now team is a larger conversation to be had later, like when it’s time to re-sign him. But it’s timely with the Markkanen visit to address that comparison now.
On to the Phoenix Suns!
As you can see, an entirely new team with even Durant just arriving at the end of last season. They also changed coaches from Monty Williams to Frank Vogel.
They, like the Bulls, own a different “Big 3” misnomer as Bradley Beal is way worse than their other two stars and even worse than Zach LaVine. Though his absence does test this roster’s lack of depth, and Devin Booker missing all but two games has made them decidedly average.
Tonight is reportedly going to be Beal’s season debut. Using the Bulls as a soft landing, the disrespect! (deserved…)
I think the Bulls can win this, and beat the Pistons next, and AK’s prophesy of parity will hold through at least the December 15 date where most of the league is eligible for trades.
Injury Report: See above for Phoenix. Bradley Beal is technically still questionable.
Patrick Williams and Alex Caruso are still listed, but as Probable. Dalen Terry is with the big club.
Schedule factor: Suns with an extra day of rest, coming from Detroit so they’ve had several days to get the Chicago nightlife flu.
Betting line: Bulls -115 to win. Implied final score: CHI 112, PHO 110. Kinda funny that Beal’s return didn’t move things in The Suns’ favor.
Game Time: 7pm central