It has been such a joy to watch the Bulls these past few games. Not because they play particularly well, but in fact the opposite: they don’t play very well, but still win. Because it’s a very good team with real stars who can end the matches. It’s so calming!
Those back-to-back wins reminded me of the reverse of so many Boylen-era games, where the Bulls “deserved” to win but blew it up to more capable teams. Damian Lillard’s home bombshell loss comes to mind in particular.
So while I can say the Bulls haven’t played particularly well in these last few games, I’m not entirely worried about that. For one thing, they’re missing their two best perimeter defenders who soak up a ton of minutes. And in this co-absence the Bulls are 21st in defense. But one of them, Lonzo Ball, is back tonight after leaving the Protocols.
And they play the 28th ranked offensive in the league, the crappy Orlando Magic. Orlando is one of the few teams to really tank this season, currently in the 2nd lottery slot “Behind” only Detroit. They have a fascinating roster after they blew up their 8th-seeded squad starting by swapping Nikola Vucevic for the Bulls, with a majority of their roster uninjured on rookie contracts, including Wendell Carter, who supposedly got wears fine but no one will (or frankly should) notice.
They’re young and bad, played in overtime last night and have to travel, and (like every other team now) injured / under protocol. As a result, the Bulls are favored by two touchdowns.
For the Bulls: Lonzo back. And it looks like Billy Donovan will be back on the sidelines tonight as well after missing the last 5 games (where interim Chris Fleming went 5-0!).
Caruso, Bradley, Green remain out of the last game and sadly Tyler Cook suffered a serious ankle sprain in Washington and is now out for tonight.
Beyond their long-term injuries, Magic Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, Robin Lopez, Chuma Okeke are also missing while Mo Wagner is questionable.