DeMar DeRozan’s burning hands will be put to the test anew this Sunday, as the Chicago Bulls take on the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are 1-0 this regular season versus Chicago, but can they actually stop the rampaging Bulls?
Catch this game live on Sunday, February 27, at 9 AM, Manila time
Away: Memphis Grizzlies (41-20/21-10 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Ja Morant
- SG: Desmond Bane
- SF: Ziaire Williams
- PF: Jaren Jackson Jr.
- C: Steven Adams
The Grizzlies lost consecutively for the first time this year, and they will look to prevent a three-game skid when they take on Chicago this Sunday. Memphis entered the All-Star break coming off a 123-119 upset home loss at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers and then started the second half of the season with a 119-114 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. The offense is clearly still there for Memphis, who are third in the league so far this season with 113.8 points per game. They have even been better on that side of the ball over their last five games during which they generated an average of 122.2 points.
The Grizzlies have allowed 242 points in their last two games, but some improvement can be expected even in this game against the scorching Bulls. Memphis defeated the Bulls at home last January, 119-106, with the Grizzlies silencing Nikola Vuvevic, who scored just seven points on 2/13 shooting. DeMar DeRozan got 24 points, but was only 10/24 from the field. The rebounding prowess of the duo of Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. can prevent Chicago from dictating the flow of the game. Without Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso in Chicago’s backcourt, Ja Morant will be especially hard to contain for the Bulls. Morant is eager to recover from a salty 7/25 shooting performance in the loss to the Timberwolves.
Home: Chicago Bulls (39-21/24-8 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Coby White
- SG: Ayo Dosunmo
- SF: Zach LaVine
- PF: DeMar DeRozan
- C: Nikola Vucevic
The long pause hasn’t cooled down the Bulls, who extended their undefeated streak to six games after DeMar DeRozan powered Chicago to a 112-108 home victory over the Atlanta Hawks Friday. Speaking of DeRozan, he improved his MVP chances by dropping 37 points on 15/21 shooting. He has now scored at least 35 points on 50 FG% or better in eight games in a row. With the form DeRozan is in right now, who can really stop him? The Grizzlies’ defense that has looked underwhelming of late could be DeRozan’s punching bag this Sunday.
The Bulls are also hoping that Zach LaVine will also shoot more efficiently against Memphis. LaVine finished with 20 points in the Hawks game but was only 7/17 from the floor. LaVine was not around the first time the Bulls and Grizzlies played this season. The Bulls don’t attempt a lot of threes, relatively speaking, but they should find success from deep against the Grizzlies, who allowed their last two opponents to connect 39.2% of the time from downtown. On the season, Chicago is shooting 37.5 3FG%, the third-best in the league. Even without LaVine, the Bulls managed to drain a total of 13 threes on 31 tries in the initial showdown with the Grizzlies in January.
Spread: DeMar DeRozan can’t be this hot forever. Even though Memphis’ defense has been a letdown of late, their rebounding will impact the number of shots Chicago will take. Taking the Grizzlies to cover (-1).
Over/Under: We have here two teams with efficient offenses and decent pace. But clearing The Over (XXXX) should hit in this game.