Bulls vs. Clippers game preview and thread: the L.A. back-to-back conclusion

Mar 27, 2023 - 6:20 PM
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Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

After a surprisingly good 118-108 win (coughed-up leads aside) against a solid and fairly whole Los Angeles Lakers club yesterday, our Chicago Bulls are hoping that lightning can strike two days in a row at Crypto.com Arena, where they will try their darnedest to fend off Kawhi Leonard’s Los Angeles Clippers.

Yesterday against the Lakers, the Bulls’ perimeter defense — led by the Patricks and Alex Caruso — effectively stuck with Los Angeles players on pick-and-roll actions, which limited a lot of the Lakers’ offensive attack.

On offense yesterday, Chicago performed surprisingly well, even without Nikola Vucevic for all of the second half, following a pretty flimsy ejection (Andre Drummond and Derrick Jones Jr. stepped up in his absence). As a team, Chicago connected on 54% of its field goals (including 45% of its triples), and dished out for 32 dimes (against just nine turnovers).

The star of March for the Bulls has been Zach LaVine, who scored 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting from the field yesterday. Across 12 games this month, the 6’5” swingman is averaging 30.2 points per contest on .523/.456/.877 shooting splits. And he’ll be facing a Clippers team missing its second-best perimeter defender, Paul George, who’s done for the regular season with a knee sprain.

Obviously the Bulls’ playing on the second night of a back-to-back means that the Clippers will be the better-rested club. Can starting Chicago point guard Patrick Beverley (who had an efficient-if-quiet 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting) will his weary hometown team to strike down another of his prior franchises for the second straight night?

Injury Report:

The Bulls will be without the usual suspects. Javonte Green remains out as he continues to rehabilitate from his knee surgery. Alex Caruso is questionable with his nagging foot.

For LA, Paul George is done for the rest of the regular season with a sprained right knee, Sixth Man of the Year candidate Norman Powell is sidelined with a left shoulder subluxation, and bench shooting guard Brandon Boston Jr. is out with a tailbone contusion.

Kawhi Leonard is probable to play through the facial contusion he suffered at the hands of Brandon Ingram on Saturday.

Game Time: 9:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago

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