Bulls-Warriors Preview

Golden State Warriors Status Check:
Record: 37-29
Division: 7-5
Conference: 19-19
Home Record: 22-9
Last 10 Games: 4-6
Streak: Won 2
Last game: 105-97 win over Detroit
PPG: 100.6 (9th)
Opponents PPG: 100.7 (23rd)
Offensive Rating: 105.9 (13th)
Defensive Rating: 106.0 (16th)
Pace: 94.3 (6th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .501 (11th)
Turnover Percentage: .142 (23rd)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .751 (3rd)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .257 (21st)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .208 (15th)
Opp. eFG%: .487 (9th)
Opp. TO%: .123 (28th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .214 (23rd)
Leading scorer: Stephen Curry (22.2)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Warriors Injury Report:
Draymond Green: left Wednesday’s game (sprained ankle)
Brandon Rush: out (knee surgery)

Overview:
How do you bounce back from a game like the one the Bulls had against the Kings? Normally, I’d say Chicago bounces back quite well from defeats, but normally they don’t have absolute no-shows like they did in Sacramento. It was the worst defeat I can remember for the Bulls, especially under Tom Thibodeau, and even especially-er considering the opponent. And that’s including losses to the Bobcats and Sun this year.

There is no point in looking at all the stats again. The only one that really matter is that the Bulls have one more loss after an embarrassing face-plant in which they were out-played in every way imaginable.

And coming off that disappointing defeat, the Bulls play their last contest of a three-game California swing in which they looked poor and awful in the first two-thirds. Remember that Bulls great road record? Well, that was fun for a little. Chicago has dropped five straight on the road, scoring more than 83 points just once during that skid. According to Stats LLC, the Bulls are averaging 81.4 points per game during their road losing streak. If that isn’t the definition of rock bottom, I am going to really hate watching tonight’s matchup.

In Chicago’s six games in March, they are averaging 86.7 points while giving up 97.0.

The Bulls have fallen so far, that the difference between their offensive rating (102.6, 23rd) is just 0.3 points better than their defensive rating (102.3, 6th). You can blame it on injuries, which you can partly blame on fatigue, which you can blame on extended minutes, which you can blame on off-season moves…or you can just say that the Bulls really aren’t that great of a team this season and are starting to show it.

As they are in their prime slumping form, Chicago would probably want to avoid a hungry team trying to keep the sixth spot in the Western Conference with a very good home record. But that’s what they are getting. The Warriors are 3.5 games ahead of the eighth-place Lakers, currently riding a two-game win streak.

To make matters worse, while the Bulls are shooting terribly, they will have to slow down Stephen Curry’s hot hand. Over his last ten games, Curry is shooting an absurd 52.4 percent from three and averaging 28.3 per night. Curry hit 5-7 from deep last time out against the Pistons and went 6-10 versus the Knicks in the game before that.

With Kirk Hinrich still nursing his somewhat mysterious foot injury, Nate Robinson could be tasked with trying to slow Curry—which I’m sure will just go perfectly…for the Warriors. Hinrich is listed as questionable for tonight, saying he is optimistic he will play.

Hinrich shined in the Bulls first game against Golden State this season, scoring a season-high 25 points on 8-11 from the field and 6-7 from deep. Chicago owned the glass, grabbing 56 boards to 37 for the Warriors. They also held Golden State to 34.6 percent from the field en route to a 16-point victory.

That somewhat commanding win came at home, but more importantly came in January, a month the Bulls finished 12-4. In February and March, the Bulls are a combined 7-12. They’ve also lost four of their last five, and completely pooped their bed in the last contest.

I’d like to say something good about the Bulls, something they can build on, but I’m not sure what that is. They are still a playoff team with a top six defense that can keep them in any contest when they are playing as a team.

“It’s no time to make excuses. We need to find a way to bounce back,” Joakim Noah said to the Bulls website. “We just have to move on fast and get ready for Golden State. They are a lot better team than (the Kings).”

That’s the scary part. If the Bulls looked that awful against the Kings, they are going to have to flip some switches or something to not get tossed out of the gym tonight.

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