The Chicago Bulls travel to Brooklyn as a betting underdog to take on the Nets after the departure of head coach Steve Nash.
The 3-4 Chicago Bulls head to the East Coast for the first night of a back-to-back game against the 2-5 Brooklyn Nets. Looking to recover from two straight losses, the Bulls will have to go through an odd situation when they play the Nets tonight.
Aside from today’s news, Brooklyn has already become a media concern, and I’m not going to dive into the current narratives and backlash surrounding Kyrie Irving, but given the 2-5 record, it’s hard to deny that the current situation isn’t a distraction.
Factor in today’s news of Steve Nash’s departure, combined with news of Ime Udoka’s possible move from his suspension at Boston to the vacant head coaching position, and you have a largely uncertain situation.
I have some confidence in the bulls tonight in terms of point difference or money line, but you don’t know how this Nets team is going to respond to a coaching change. While everything going on here is incredibly distracting, some teams respond better to coaching changes than others. However, you’ve got your best bet of the day looking to get us back in the winning streak and get a good start to the season at 6-2! Good luck and pop bubbles!!
Best bet record 2022 bulls: 5-2
Zach LaVine Over 23.5 Points (Sports Betting Odds May Vary)
The Chicago Bulls entered Tuesday’s game with a few injuries to note, including today’s pick, Zach LaVine. In his case, reports suggest he is likely to play tonight and may sit out tomorrow, as the team continues to tread lightly on progress from his knee injury. It looks like they’ll continue to split his time when two come back-to-back in the timeline.
After LaVine, the Bulls listed Andre Drummond, with Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu listed as questionable. Ben Simmons and Seth Curry have been left out of the Brooklyn club. According to reports, Ayo Dosunmu was back in training on Monday, giving some optimism that he might get into his gear.
Injury labels aside, and the circus surrounding Brooklyn, the Chicago Bulls should see plenty of scoring chances against a poor defensive unit from the Nets. Going into tonight’s game, Brooklyn is ranked 25th in effective shooting percentage and 29th in defensive efficiency. The absentee Ben Simmons also removes an element of his defensive size and length that could have caused problems for the Bulls.
The Brooklyn defense was particularly vulnerable to the opposing star players, and in most cases the two best scorers on the opposing team. Through seven games, the leading individual scorer per game for opposing Brooklyn averages 35.6 points per game, with four of their seven games seeing an opposing player score at least 37 points. Brandon Ingram’s 28 points on Opening Night is the only instance of an opposing Brooklyn player posting fewer than an individual team 30-point total.
DeMar DeRozan currently stands as the leading scorer for the Chicago Bulls with 25.9 points per game, but that number drops to 19.75 over the course of four games with LaVine in the lineup. If the trend continues with LaVine seeing equal chances, or even greater chance volume than Demar within games in which they both play, you can expect this to be a huge night for LaVine, and possibly his first 30-point night of the season.
That’s not to say DeRozan couldn’t have a great night either, as I mentioned Brooklyn gave up plenty of points to not only score one big point per game, but had some games with two famous performances.
Last Monday, in Brooklyn’s 134-124 loss to Memphis, Ja Morant and Desmond Bane each scored 38 points. LaVine and Derozan obviously have their differences, but you can totally convince me that the Bulls duo could be in for a huge night.
The biggest difference in that duo, and why I like LaVine to have a better night than DeRozan, is Brooklyn’s three-point defense. The Nets are 27th in three-point percentage, and with DeRozan’s lack of size, you’ll feel better that Zach might be a better candidate for pouring in some three-pointers to speed up Chicago’s offense.
Give me a 30-point outing from LaVine and a Bulls win to boot! Let’s see some red bubbles and go!!
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