The Chicago Bulls (35-28) roll into Sacramento after a three day break to take on the Kings (22-43) Wednesday night at 9 PM CT. The Kings come in as the second to worst team in defensive efficiency while the Bulls come in at number four. That basically tells the story of this matchup. The Bulls pride themselves on defense while the Kings… well let’s just say they don’t.
Another big story on this game is whether the Kings will be at full strength. After Sunday’s game for the Kings against the Bucks, they are unsure if their best player, big man DeMarcus Cousins, will play after elbowing Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy in the head and receiving a flagrant-2 foul. Playing without their leading scorer and rebounder will be less than ideal for a Kings team who have lost 10 of their last 13 games.
The Bulls come in, once again, hampered by injury, but what else is new? Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, and Richard Hamilton are all out which means Nate Robinson and Marco Belineli will get the starts at point guard and shooting guard, respectively. They’re coming off a rough loss at the Lakers in which the game was never really in reach. Look for the Bulls to bounce back against the worst team in the Western Conference.
The Bulls really need this game. Losing 6 of their last 10, they need a bounce back win against a non-elite team just to get the wheels spinning once again. If Cousins can’t go, look for Noah and the rest of the Bulls to have a big day on the glass against this undersized Kings team.
In the last meeting between these teams, it was the first game of the season for both. The Bulls came away with a 93-87 victory at home with Joakim Noah leading the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds. The season has changed a lot for each team, with the Kings going on to have a 6-28 road record, second worst only to the Wizards, and the Bulls losing numerous key players to injury.
The one thing that the Kings do have going for them, however, is that they are 16-15 on their home floor. This team has shown some bright spots occasionally, but has also shown some lows. At times it looks like these guys have never played together, and other times, such as February 26 against the Heat, they look like a very solid team. A lot of their games have been close, but they can’t seem to finish the majority of them.
Tonight, look for the Bulls to take advantage of the absence of Cousins and dominate the rebound game. A fun matchup to watch in this game will be at the point guard spot. The two littlest players in the league, Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas, face off, each at 5 foot 9 inches. Both of these guys are Seattle products and have made it despite their size. They’re also both from the Seattle area which will be fun to watch.