The Houston Rockets will finally see action after a long rest. Is that extended layoff enough for them to fix what’s wrong with their team? Or, will the Bulls add to Houston’s woes?
Catch this game live on Tuesday, February 23, at 9 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Houston Rockets (11-17, 5-6 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: John Wall
- SG: Eric Gordon
- SF: Jae’Sean
- PF: PJ Tucker
- PF: Danuel House
With Christian Wood still out and DeMarcus Cousins likely on his way out of Houston, the Rockets could be forced to go ultra small-ball for the meantime, with PJ Tucker playing the 5 positions going forward.
Cousins is currently deemed questionable to play versus Chicago, and given the recent news about his status with the team, it’s hard to expect for him to suit up against the Bulls. Meanwhile, Victor Oladipo is doubtful for Tuesday’s contest, as he remains hobbled with a foot injury. Reeling with hurt bodies to their key players, the Rockets will look to get out of a seven-game losing skid against Chicago.
The Rockets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers on the road on Feb. 18, 118-113. If anything, the Rockets will come into the rematch against Chicago off a long four-day rest. Houston lost to the Bulls back in January on the road, 125-120, with Oladipo, Cousins, and Wood playing.
This time around, the Rockets will mostly rely on John Wall, who did not play in that loss to Chicago due to an injury. Wall had 28 points and seven assists against Philly and got help from Jae’Sean Tate (19 points) and Eric Gordon (17 points). The under is 11-1-1 in the Rockets’ last 13 games as a favorite at home.
ROAD TEAM: Chicago Bulls (13-16, 7-7 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Coby White
- SG: Zach LaVine
- SF: Patrick Williams
- PF: Thaddeus Young
- C: Wendell Carter Jr.
Who cares if Zach LaVine has not been named an All-Star starter? What’s important for the Bulls is that he’s playing at a high level nonetheless. LaVine pumped out 38 points on 15-of-20 shooting from the field in 36 minutes of action during Chicago’s 122-114 home win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.
LaVine is on a hot stretch, having scored no fewer than 30 points in any of the Bulls’ last four games. With LaVine putting up incredible numbers on an almost daily basis, the Bulls have become one of the highest-scoring teams in the league, as they are averaging 114.5 points per game, ninth-best in the league.
The Bulls torched Houston with that kind of offense in the aforementioned January win against the Rockets, when LaVine put up 33 points on 11-of-16 shooting. As a team, the Bulls went 20 of 45 from deep. After the way they shot from long range in the Sacramento game, the Bulls must be raring to launch those long-range bombs from the get-go to see if they’ve still got it. The Bulls have covered the spread in their last eight games as a road underdog.
The Rockets are banged up, but are currently listed at close to even odds. They are a home team so that probably is the difference.
The Bulls, on the other hand, are 7-7 SU and 10-4 ATS on the road and will be against one of the worst converting teams at home. I say the Bulls win and cover in this game, 124-119.