The Chicago Bulls take on the Los Angeles Clippers at the STAPLES Center on Sat. Nov. 17. The Bulls are now 5-3 in the new season after vanquishing the Phoenix Suns 112-106 in overtime victory at the US Airways Center.
The Clippers record however, is now 5-2 in the season, after defeating the current reigning champion Miami Heat at STAPLES, winning 107-100.
With the Bulls Derrick-Rose-less, their story as the underdogs in the season so far is inspiring, to say the least. Critics would say the team has no chance in the season, even doubting they’ll make the playoffs. The team is proving they are still a threat, with the help from their new additions. Although they did lose to Boston on Monday, who presumably is the second best team in the Eastern Conference. Still, they managed to carry on.
The Clippers have a different story to tell. This off-season, Los Angeles made many drastic changes to the roster adding Lamar Odom, Matt Barnes, and Jamal Crawford among others.
In the Clippers game against the Miami Heat, veteran guard Crawford exploded in that game recording 22 points, three steals and one assists.
With both teams facing off against each other, the question now is ‘Does Chicago have a chance to defeat the Clippers’? At first glance, it seems like there is no way (after all, they did beat the reigning champs), but lets break it down statistically.
According to information provided by “Hoops Stats,” Chicago is 11th in the league in rebounds averaging 43 per game out rebounding the Clippers, who are 23rd in the league averaging 39. We’re just getting started. In assists, the Bulls are fourth averaging 24 per game while Clippers are shot with 23 per game, and 7th in the league only allowing 92 points per game while Los Angeles is 14 allowing 94 points per game.
However, the Clippers out beat the Bulls on other categories. On offense, the Clippers are third in the league averaging 102 points per game and 11th in the league with 3-point shots made averaging seven per game while the Bulls are 30th averaging only 4 per game.
Overall, the Clippers are dangerous on offense. Dropping shots after shots, they’re an unstoppable force when they’re on the run. The Bulls however, are superior on defense, blocking shots, formation and offensive runs.
Let’s look at some individual stats, Paul vs. Hinrich at the point guard position It’s without a doubt, that the Clippers have the upper hand at the point with Paul. Paul is seventh in point guard position in the league, averaging 17 points per game (Hinrich 45th averaging 5), second in assists averaging 10 (Hinrich 24th averaging 5) and fifth in steals averaging 2 (Hinrich 1).
However, lets look at the centers. Jordan vs. Noah. Noah is fifth in the league averaging 16 points per game (Jordan 17 averaging 11), third in the C position in assists averaging 10 (Jordan 20 averaging 7) and fifth as a C in the league at offensive rebounds, obtaining fourth (Jordan 16 averaging 3).
My final thoughts, is that it will be a close, contested bout with both teams going at it. Though Los Angeles is weak on defense, they make up for it on offense, and vice-versa for Chicago.
Probable Starters: Bulls vs Clippers –
PG Kirk Hinrich vs. Chris Paul
– SG Jamal Crawford vs. Richard Hamilton
– SF Matt Barnes vs Luol Deng
– PF Blake Griffin vs Carlos Boozer
– C DeAndre Jordan vs Joakim Noah