Chicago Bulls (3-2) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-1)
Raise your hand if you had the Chicago Bulls a game behind the T-Pups. Actually, raise your hand if you had a majority of the NBA, including the Lakers, Thunder and everyone in the Western Conference except the Spurs and Grizzlies behind the Wolves — without Ricky Rubio or Kevin Love.
The Wolves are different this year, and even though they’re without Love and Rubio they’re getting things done. From beating the Pacers at the buzzer to pounding the Kings and Nets the Timberwolves haven’t really slipped up much this year. But the Bulls are hoping to not only stunt the Wolves growth a bit, but also get on track with one of the best records in the NBA.
Should the Bulls win, they’d be sitting at 4-2 on the season which would be good enough for the third best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Knicks (4-0) and Heat (5-1). So if you thought the Wolves fast start without Love or Rubio was impressive, look no further than this patchwork team competing in the Eastern Conference without Derrick Rose.
Believe it or not, Saturday will be another big test for the Bulls. The Wolves are good but they’re not great yet and they have obvious flaws in their game. But David Kahn was able to do with the Wolves what Bulls fans were hoping Gar and Pax would do with Chicago: get formidable and serviceable bench players that can step up. From Chase Budinger to Alexy Shved and J.J. Barea, the Wolves have the depth the Bulls wanted.
A key player who may be out tonight is Brandon Roy, who missed Friday night’s win over Indiana with a sore knee. Roy’s knees have been an issue all throughout his career, so if he plays he may not be 100 percent, or even close to 90 percent. But as was said, the Wolves have depth and they’re going to be very dangerous to deal with, even inside the rowdy United Center.
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 7:00pm CST/8:00pm EST
Nat’l TV: WGN America
Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Radio: ESPN 1000
Line: Bulls -8
Injury Report/Inactives: CHICAGO — Derrick Rose (OUT), Joakim Noah (WILL PLAY)
MINNESOTA — Brandon Roy (PROBABLE)
Key Matchup: Can the Bulls out hustle the deep roster of the Timberwolves?
Avg. Pts Allowed
Avg. Pts Scored
Last 10 Games
Last Game: Bulls lost to Thunder 97-91, Timberwolves beat Pacers 96-94
Last Meeting: October 19, 2012 — Bulls 92, Timberwolves 81
Prediction: Bulls 93, Timberwolves 95