Sacramento Kings at Chicago Bulls Preview
Both of these teams seem to be in similar situations in their respective conferences although the Bulls have looked a bit better as of late. Sacramento is currently going through their second-longest losing streak of the season at 6 losses. The Bulls have been up and down recently; trading wins and losses over their last 8 games. Chicago currently has a record of 17-29 while the Kings sit at 15-29. The Bulls will look to protect their home court where they have been solid compared to their regular performances with a record of 10-14 at home. Chicago is up 1-0 in the season series.
Time: 7 PM CST
Arena: United Center, Chicago, IL
Channel: NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports California
Kings: Marvin Bagley (Out), Richaun Holmes (Out)
Bulls: Wendell Carter (Out), Daniel Gafford (Out), Otto Porter (Out)
Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup
The Kings will have to go at this one still without Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes. Their depleted frontcourt has turned to Dedmon and Harry Giles to fill the minutes that Bagley and Holmes vacated but they have not provided much production. Nemanja Bjelica, on the other hand, has taken advantage of his minutes increase and is putting up a career-high in points (12.4), rebounds (6.5), and assists (2.6) per game. Bjelica will look to continue to build on his performance against the Pistons where he put up 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Sacramento as a team struggled with their shot as a team. They shot 42% from the field, 28% from three, and an extremely unimpressive 52% (12-23) from the charity stripe. The Kings got some decent scoring performances from Fox (22), Bogdanovic (19), Hield (14), and Dedmon (13) but none of them were able to do it efficiently. They will need a much better shooting performance on Friday to beat the Bulls.
Over their 6-game losing streak, the Kings have lost those games by an average of 12.5 points. I don’t expect the Bulls to blow out Sacramento by any means but their 21-point loss to the Pistons on Wednesday doesn’t inspire much hope.
Chicago Bulls Starting Lineup
On Wednesday the Bulls were able to once again follow up a loss to a playoff team with a win against a fellow sub-.500 team. Chicago followed up their loss to the Bucks with a win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins combined for 65 points but it wasn’t enough to get past the Bulls. Chicago has gotten in a rhythm of beating lower tier teams like themselves and will look to keep it up against the Kings.
Zach LaVine once again was the cog for the Bulls win over Minnesota. It wasn’t his best night as of late but he put up 25 points and he extended his streak of 20+ point games to 12. The Bulls also got a good performance from Lauri Markkanen who has been complacent pretty much all season. It was Markkanen’s first 20-point outing since January 6th and the Bulls could really benefit from him hitting his stride but Jim Boylen will need to make it a priority to get him going.
Chicago was able to get to the line at will against the Timberwolves, which has been something they have struggled with all year. They sit 27th in the league in free throws attempted per game but on Wednesday they were able to go 30-37 from the line. Getting free-throw chances could make a huge impact for Chicago.
Key Player Matchups
Buddy Hield vs Zach LaVine
Both these wings are putting up 20+ points a game and should be ready to put on a show on Friday. It’ll be interesting to see if they get matched up against I expect them to go at whoever is on them on the offensive end.
Zach LaVine doesn’t seem to be slowing down and I would bet on him having another good scoring outing. Two more value-based options would be Dewayne Dedmon as well as Nemanja Bjelica who’s price shouldn’t have risen too much. I think Kris Dunn should be in line for a stat sheet filling game but he and Satoransky seem to take away from each other Fantasy values at times
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