The Bulls continue their six-game road trip with a stop in New Orleans as they seek to build on a solid win in San Antonio on Wednesday.
With health finally improving enough to let Joakim Noah return and allow Jimmy Butler to look much more comfortable than he has late since battling through a string of injuries.
This will be the second meeting with the Pelicans, the first being a memorable triple-overtime game with Anthony Davis on the sidelines in Chicago.
Since then, Davis has returned and picked up where he left off, his play making him one of the biggest of this season’s All-Star snubs.
However, Ryan Anderson has replaced Davis on the injury report, the Pelicans being forced to shut him down for several weeks with the sharpshooting big man suffering a herniated disk in his back.
The ongoing injury nightmare for New Orleans has also robbed them of Jrue Holiday thanks to a stress fracture.
The Pelicans’ season has largely been a story of wild inconsistency. Monty Williams has enjoyed a solid reputation as a defensive-minded coach, yet the Pelicans have ranked near the bottom of the league in several defensive statistics most of this season. This despite the presence of Anthony Davis, one of the best upcoming young talents on both sides of the ball.
New Orleans, 4-6 in their last ten games, has shown some signs of righting the ship with four wins their last six games, holding opponents to under 100 points in three of the four victories.
With Holiday out indefinitely, Brian Roberts has stepped into a starting role and has been surprisingly effective, averaging 13.0 points per game over the previous five games.
PG: D.J. Augustin, 6th season. 13.7 points per game, 6.0 assists per game.
SG: Jimmy Butler, 3rd season. 12.2 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game.
SF: Mike Dunleavy, Jr, 12th season. 11.2 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game.
PF: Carlos Boozer, 12th season. 15.1 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game.
C: Joakim Noah, 7th season. 11.7 points per game, 11.4 rebounds per game.
New Orleans Hornets
PG: Brian Roberts, 2nd season. 7.4 points per game, 2.7 assists per game.
SG: Eric Gordon, 6th season. 15.9 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game.
SF: Al-Farouq Aminu, 4th season. 7.7 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game.
PF: Anthony Davis, 2nd season. 20.4 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game.
C: Greg Stiemsma, 3rd season. 2.8 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per game.