Phoenix Suns vs Chicago Bulls Preview (3/3/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Suns hope to build off their win against Charlotte when they travel to Chicago to face the Bulls, who have been playing better basketball recently. Check out our betting picks and predictions for this game, including an in-depth analysis of key matchups, projected starting lineups, and updated injury reports.

Phoenix Suns Vs. Chicago Bulls Betting Odds

Phoenix is a six-point favorite on the road against a Chicago Bulls team that has been much-improved recently. The Suns will miss Landry Shamet once again, while Terrence Ross is listed as day-to-day.

Meanwhile, Chicago still will be without Javonte Green and Lonzo Ball, who has already been ruled out for the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign.

Phoenix Suns Vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction

Phoenix secured a comfortable 14-point win against the LaMelo Ball-less Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, but that is to be expected. Kevin Durant played efficiently in his first game back (and in a Suns uniform.) However, Phoenix only posted 105 points. That is not the offensive output you want against a bottom-tier defense.

Now, the Suns will be tasked with winning another road game, this time against the Chicago Bulls, who are clearly prioritizing the defensive end of the floor by bringing Patrick Beverley in and starting him alongside Alex Caruso.

Chicago is 3-1 with Beverley and Caruso starting in the backcourt; opponents have scored an average of 97 points on team shooting splits of roughly 42/32/71 during that stretch. Could the Bulls have figured out their defensive issues by acquiring Beverley and making a simple change in the lineup?

I believe Chicago will be a more competitive team in the last fourth of the NBA season if it continues to roll out this lineup; it has plenty of offense with DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic, as well as two strong defenders in Caruso and Beverley. The Bulls should keep this one close at home, where they have covered surprisingly well for a below-average team.

Betting Trends

  • Phoenix is 16-15-1 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Chicago is 17-13-1 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 55-70-1 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup between Phoenix and Chicago revolves around DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Durant. See below which player has an advantage and whether it will matter in the game’s outcome!

DeMar DeRozan vs. Kevin Durant

Since the Bulls have been rolling out small-ball lineups (after acquiring Patrick Beverley), we will get to see DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Durant go head-to-head. DeRozan and Durant are two of the best scorers in the game, but which player has the advantage in this game?

Kevin Durant will be playing his second game for the Phoenix Suns, and since his knee injury at the beginning of the new year. He looked great in his first game, scoring 23 points on a highly efficient 10-15 shooting from the field.

As a matter of fact, Durant has been efficient all season long, posting a shooting split of 56/38/93. Durant’s field goal percentage this season is the highest in his career.

Meanwhile, DeMar DeRozan has taken a step back in his scoring output and three-point percentage this season. However, his mid-range shot is still one of the best in the NBA, and scoring 25 points per game will always be impressive. He’s still more than capable of going off on any night.

Now, let’s look at defense. Durant has been solid overall this season, but opponents have shot 38.5% from behind the arc against him. Luckily, that won’t matter because DeRozan can’t shoot threes at even an average clip.

With Durant using his length and defensive IQ to “stay down” but still contest DeRozan, DeMar might have trouble with efficiency; he will always score, but it might take him more shots than usual to do so.

We have seen this all season with Durant defending inside the arc, as opponents shoot just 35.3% against him between 15 and 19 feet, which is DeRozan’s sweet spot. Meanwhile, Durant has done nothing except score efficiently all over the floor this season. Advantage: KD.

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Josh Okogie
PF: Kevin Durant
C: Deandre Ayton

Chicago Bulls Starting Lineups

PG: Alex Caruso
SG: Patrick Beverley
SF: Zach LaVine
PF: DeMar DeRozan
C: Nikola Vucevic

Key Injuries

Phoenix Suns Injuries: Landry Shamet (Out), Terrence Ross (Q)

Chicago Bulls Injuries: Javonte Green (Out), Lonzo Ball (Out)

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Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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