The LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls are on a collision course in their second-game of back-to-back sets, and both teams are coming off victories. Who gets to keep the win streak going?
Catch this game live on November 16, at 11:30 AM, Manila time.
Away: Chicago Bulls (9-4, 4-4 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Lonzo Ball
- SG: Alex Caruso
- SF: Zach LaVine
- PF: DeMar DeRozan
- C: Tony Bradley
The Chicago Bulls responded to a 119-93 embarrassment at the hands of the Golden State Warriors by coming to LA focused and ready to take on the Clippers. Although they won that game 110-90, and at one point had a 17-point lead, they had to claw their way back to victory because the Clippers have no quit in them.
In fact, Paul George actually helped the Clippers take a 78-77 lead with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, before the Bulls answered with a 6-0 run to retake the advantage and never give it up again.
DeMar DeRozan was nigh-unstoppable on offense, putting up 35 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 12 of 16 from the field and 10 of 11 from the free throw line. He was matched by Zach LaVine, who had a tough time shooting in first half but then roared into life in the third and fourth quarter to finish with 29 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Lonzo Ball had a relatively quiet night with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block with a lone turnover, as he had trouble from the field and went 4 of 14 overall.
Alex Caruso, who was slotted into the starting lineup, also shot terribly and only made 2 of 11 shots, but finished with his usual kind of stat line with 7 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a block. I’m going to wager that he’s going to dig deep tomorrow and put up a strong performance against the Lakers, who apparently balked at re-signing him even after his offer to give them a discount on the contract offer he got from the Bulls. He’s going to want to prove them wrong.
The Bulls will still be without Nikola Vucevic, who is in health and safety protocols.
The Bulls are 2-2 ATS as a road underdog so far this season. They’re 5-7 on the Over/Under in 12 games played.
Home: LA Lakers (8-6, 7-4 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Avery Bradley
- SF: Talen Horton-Tucker
- PF: Carmelo Anthony
- C: Anthony Davis
The Lakers got a big boost with the return of Talen Horton-Tucker, who contributed 17 points and 4 rebounds while shooting 7 of 14 in their 114-106 victory against the Spurs. At this point, with LeBron James still out with his abdominal injury, they’ll be welcoming any additional bodies they can field on the floor.
Carmelo Anthony also started against the Spurs and delivered 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting, while Russell Westbrook had 14 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals while turning the ball over 7 times. Westbrook’s turnovers could become a cause for concern against the Bulls, especially since he’ll be guarded by Alex Caruso for extended periods. If Caruso can get in his head and make him lose his temper, Brodie could be forced into making bad decisions.
The Lakers’ key to victory against the Bulls will be Anthony Davis, who had a 27-point first half on the way to 34 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and a block with only a single turnover against the Spurs. AD is their most reliable scorer and rebounder. With Nikola Vucevic unavailable, the Bulls have precious few big men to throw at Davis, who’s as highly-skilled as they come in the NBA. If they can’t get him into foul trouble, Davis could explode for between 30 to 40 points tomorrow.
The Lakers may have trouble on the defensive end, though, because Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, and Zach LaVine all need to have eyes and hands on them. I’m guessing there’s a good chance that someone like Dwight Howard or Rajon Rondo takes a hard swing at one of those guys if they start to get hot.
Malik Monk, who came up big against the Heat in the Lakers 120-117 overtime victory last week, could also be the X-Factor against the Bulls.
The Lakers are are 3-6 ATS in home games where they’ve been the favorite this season. They’re 5-4 on the Over/Under in that same span.
Spread: I think the Bulls cover the +1.5 spread.
Over/Under: Both of these teams can score, and even on the second night of a back-to-back for both, I’m still picking the over 219.