The 6-9 Chicago Bulls look to bounce back after a 1-5 stretch in the early portion of the season, as the welcome the 4-11 Orlando Magic to the United Center.
The Chicago Bulls head back to the United Center after an ugly second half performance in New Orleans on Wednesday, and following a tough 1-5 stretch on the schedule. The optimism levels around Bulls nation are certainly dipping, but after having witnessed many teams see similar struggles, I’d say it’s too early to be pressing the panic button for Bulls fans.
That is not to suggest that what we’ve seen hasn’t been tough to watch, but tonight could be a great test of this team’s character. The Magic have some young talent, but to this point have been very flawed and inconsistent, and a motivated Bulls team should impose their will en route to a much needed victory.
As of 2:00pm CST, it does appear that both Patrick Williams and Coby White will be active tonight for the Bulls. Williams was questionable after an ankle injury Wednesday, and Coby White returns to the lineup for the first time since October 29th. It remains unclear if White will be on a minute restriction tonight.
Orlando has a long injury report to monitor, with a few players questionable, but the most notable tonight is the absence of rookie sensation Paolo Banchero. Banchero has missed their last four games after a strong start to his rookie year. He remains a heavy (-650) favorite to win rookie of the year.
Despite the ugly performance from the Bulls on Wednesday, the silver lining came with a streak breaking best bet victory in the form of Zach LaVine’s point total. We’re looking to keep the winners coming and hoping to get us back to the winning percentage that we saw before that ugly losing streak. Let’s get wins for the Bulls and for the best bet of the day tonight, it’ll be a quick hitter that I think has a ton of value. Best of luck and GO BULLS!!
2022 Bulls Best Bet Record: 7-8 (Ended 6-Game L Streak Wednesday)
Chicago Bulls 1st Quarter Spread (-2.5) (Sportsbook odds may vary)
As mentioned in the intro, I think tonight could be a great test of the character and fight of this team. After a 1-5 stretch, I believe this team will make a statement tonight at home against a lesser and much more inconsistent Magic team.
I do feel like the full game spread is a great indicator that the Bulls can win big in this one, and while I do feel confident in the full game spread, I think the first quarter is a better spot to attack.
Throughout the first 15 games of the season, this Chicago Bulls team has seen slow start after slow start, and if this season is going to turn around, they have to address the sense of urgency in the opening frame of the game. I truly don’t believe the struggles that they have seen will be their calling card this season, and has to be a point of emphasis, especially after these last two embarrassing performances that have been laid out.
Luckily for the Bulls, they face a team that ranks in the bottom half of the league in both 1st quarter points scored per game, and 1st quarter points allowed per game. Of course, Chicago ranks poorly in those categories as well, but in a spot where you need a statement, I feel strongly about them looking to jump out to an early lead tonight.
I expect both the offense and defense to come out strong, but after lackluster defensive performances from Derozan, LaVine and Vucevic, I would feel very strongly about the Bulls starting group making a defensive statement out of the gates tonight. That trio of guys isn’t making any all-defensive teams any time soon, but they have to understand that if the Bulls want to be a serious factor in the league, these guys have to provide more effort defensively.
I’ll take a swing at predicting a 31-23 first quarter victory tonight for the Bulls and a big win to stop the bleeding. Let’s keep the wins rolling in, let’s see some red, and GO BULLS!!
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