Brooklyn is playing at home where they are favored by 5.5 over the Bulls
The Nets will have one of their easier games coming up tonight as they get set to take on Chicago at home. Last time out, Brooklyn took care of business, covering the 7 point spread against the Pistons and winning the game 125-115. It was a full team effort from the Nets in that one. Of the 11 players that played in that game for Brooklyn, eight of them posted a positive +/-. Furthermore, 6 of the 11 players recorded at least ten points in the game. I expect Brooklyn will not need nearly as much production from the whole team when they face off against the Chicago Bulls tonight at the Barclays Center. This game is incredibly important though because the Bulls are currently just three games back from the Nets in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, so a victory here could go a long way for either team in making the postseason.
With that being said, it should be known that the Bulls are still one of the worse teams in the league at the moment. Chicago is a laughable 19-31 on the season. That record makes them the tenth worst team in the NBA, ahead of joke franchises like the Pistons, the Knicks, the Kings, etc. Chicago may be the best bottom-feeder team in the NBA this season. Since starting the season with a 9-18 record, the Bulls have gone 10-13 in their last 23 games, which is somewhat respectable for a team that is trying to go through a rebuild.
The Bulls were a disaster towards the end of the 2010s. They were able to post a 42-40 record in Derrick Rose’s last season and then followed that up with a 41-41 record in 2016-17. Since then, it has been an abysmal three-year stretch for Chicago. The Bulls have posted a record of 68-146 since the start of the 2017-2018 season. Things are looking up for the Bulls though. It seems like Chicago will finish this year with at least 30 wins. That’s not great, but it is a massive improvement over the 27 and 22 win seasons they put up the last two years. Also, the fact that Chicago is at least competing for a playoff spot gives fans something to feel somewhat hopeful about. Boy, have we come a long way from the Jordan years.
Chicago’s best player is clearly Zach LaVine. The former Minnesota Guard is having a career year with the Bulls. He is putting up the most points per game (25.1), steals per game (1.4), and rebounds per game (4.9) of his career. He is also doing this while shooting the ball at a 44% clip, the fourth highest mark of his career. LaVine bullied the Nets in the first matchup between these two teams. The UCLA product led all players in the game with 36 points, but it was not enough as the Bulls ended up falling to Brooklyn by a final score of 117-111. I think the end result of this game will be similar.
I like the Nets in this one. The Bulls have been inconsistent over their last ten games, posting a 5-5 record. As for the Brooklyn, they are 2-1 in their last three games. I still expect Zach LaVine to put up gaudy numbers, but he is just one man, and I don’t really know where the rest of the scoring is going to come from for the Bulls. Guys like Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr., and Coby White don’t scare me. Meanwhile, the Nets have a number of players that can put up points in bunches. I have way more faith in Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Caris LaVert to get the job done. Brookyln will cover the point spread in this one and snag the win at home.