BULLS WEEK AHEAD

The last week has certainly been a rollercoaster for the Bulls starting with defeat to the Miami Heat 107-104 in a game they could easily have won but they then put together a 3 game win streak in a difficult run of fixtures:

  • First, recording their season high in points against Charlotte Hornets in 133-119 victory at the United Center

  • Then onto a 2 game spell in New York, first against the Knicks with a 119-115 win in a game they came close to throwing away

  • Beating the Nets 111-107 to complete the NY sweep and becoming the Kings of New York


However, events off the court also took the headlines. Coby White entered Health and Safety Protocols for Covid, followed by Javonte Green and at the same time Green was announced it was announced that Alex Caruso was struggling with a hamstring injury, eventually sitting the majority of the Nets game. We also finally saw the conclusion of the tampering investigation into the Lonzo Ball signing with the outcome being the Bulls losing a 2nd round pick. Feelings from the fans are that the Bulls will happily take that, especially with Ball's performance this season.


So onto this upcoming week which seems to be another tough 3 games to come. Bulls are back at the United Center taking on the Denver Nuggets (MON) , followed by 2 road games against the Cleveland Cavaliers (WED) and Miami Heat (SAT).


So up first are the Nuggets who the Bulls beat 108-104 in Denver the last time they faced each other. The Nuggets were without Nikola Jokic that night but Bulls also had Nikola Vucevic missing. Nuggets currently have a record of 11-11 with a lot of injuries resulting in that record for them, but Jokic is still leading the way for them with a current slash of 26.1 PPG/13.6 RPG/6.4 APG.


Then we have our first meeting with the Cavs who currently have a record of 13-10 but play the Jazz tonight. A lot of the talk will be about Lauri Markkanen as a former Bull and who has also missed time with Covid and currently has a slash of 14.6 PPG/6.1 RPG/1.2 APG. The next biggest challenge will come from Jarrett Allen with a slash of16.9 PPG/11.4 RPG/1.9 APG, but with rookie of the Month Evan Mobley and guard Darius Garland they have threats all over the court.


("Thanks for leaving, we're so much better without you", Zach. Probably)

Finally the Heat, who they lost to 107-104 in a close game. Since then though injuries to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have derailed them slightly, losing to the Cavs and Bucks in the process. If Jimmy Butler is fit by game time he is without a doubt their key man with a current slash of 23.6 PPG/5.8 RPG/5.3 APG. But don't forget about Tyler Herro who they hope to have after he missed the last meeting but has been crucial off the bench for them this season.


So let's take a look at the Bulls who ahead of this week now sit 2nd in the East with a record of 16-8. Their key players are clearly Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan who both sit top 10 in points per game. We've also seen a resurgence from Nikola Vucevic who had back to back 25+ games. Zach is currently slashing 25.6 PPG/ 5.4 RPG/3.9 APG and DeMar has a slash of 26.4 PPG/5.3 RPG/4.1 APG. After his performance against the Nets, Ayo Dosunmu is once again on Bulls' fans minds. The second round pick isn't stuffing the stat sheets in the way other rookies are but his fearless attitude and determination have made him a firm fan favourite and that doesn't look to change anytime soon. Ayo is currently slashing a 5.8 PPG/2.0 RPG/0.8 APG.


Bulls are still waiting for any further news on Alex Caruso and will be hoping that Coby White will return at the back end of the week. With the way it's been going so far for the Bulls it promises to be an exciting week nonetheless.


-Matt H. (Twitter:@matthearn1)

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