The Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls collide for the third time this season, with the former traveling to Windy City on Friday. Which of these teams’ win streak will continue after this contest?
Catch this game live on Friday, February 25, at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: Atlanta Hawks (28-30/11-17 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Trae Young
- SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic
- SF: De’Andre Hunter
- PF: John Collins (questionable)
- C: Clint Capela
Atlanta will look to keep it going past the All-Star break. The Hawks have won their last two games, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers at home on Feb. 16 (124-116) before trouncing the Orlando Magic (130-109) the following day on the road. The Hawks’ offense has been something else lately, with Atlanta averaging 120.6 points while shooting 41.7 3FG% in their last five games. Atlanta will have lapses on defense, but it can be counted upon to deliver on the other end of the floor.
The Hawks are seventh in the NBA as of the All-Star break with a 54 eFG% and fifth with 46.8 FG%. Trae Young carries the bulk of the offensive load in Atlanta and this upcoming game might be the first time he will have all regular Atlanta starters playing alongside him versus Chicago. That will mostly depend on the status of John Collins, who was not around in the two games played between these teams, so far this season. Collins hurt his foot days before the All-Star break, but the extended rest gives his hurting limb ample time to recover in time for the Bulls game. The Under is 3-2 in Atlanta’s last five games as the road team.
Home: Chicago Bulls (38-21/23-8 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Coby White
- SG: Ayo Dosunmo
- SF: Zach LaVine
- PF: DeMar DeRozan
- C: Nikola Vucevic
Some thick gloves are needed when handling DeMar DeRozan. He has simply been off the charts heading into the All-Star break and he might get even hotter. DeRozan had just broken Wilt Chamberlain’s record for most consecutive games with at least 35 points on 50 FG% or better when he dropped 38 points in a 125-118 home win over the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 17 – Chicago’s fifth win in a row. He must be smelling blood again, heading into a matchup against Atlanta and its mediocre defense that is allowing 111.8 points per game.
In two wins this season against the Hawks, Chicago put up a dizzying average of 130.5 points on 57.9 FG% and 47.5 3FG%. DeRozan scored 55 points on 57.9 FG% in those contests, but Zach LaVine was even hotter with also 55 points but shot 60 FG%. Atlanta has yet to solve the Bulls this season, and with Chicago’s current form, that could continue to be the case this Friday at United Center, where the Bulls are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 appearances.
Spread: Atlanta is just 8-15 ATS as a road underdog this season and 10-18 ATS as a visiting team. Taking the Bulls to cover (-4.0).
Over/Under: The two meetings these teams have had this season were high-scoring ones. Look for the trend to continue with both the Hawks and the Bulls a top-10 team in terms of adjusted offensive rating.