Chicago Bulls: Four players missing again vs. Mavericks

Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan will have a tough challenge ahead to piece together a thin rotation against the Mavericks on Jan. 3.

Due to a reported violation of the league health and safety protocols, the Chicago Bulls and first-year head coach Billy Donovan will be missing four players yet again on Jan. 3. When the Bulls take on superstar point guard Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks at home to round out the weekend, they will be missing four players for the second game in a row.

In their loss on the road to the Central Division foe Milwaukee Bucks and reigning back-to-back MVP forward Giannis Antetokounmpo on Jan. 1, the Bulls were missing power forward Lauri Markkanen, point guard Ryan Arcidiacono, combo guard Tomas Satoransky, and small forward Chandler Hutchison. Those four Bulls players are going to miss their second straight game on Jan. 3.

This is really big news for the Bulls, granted Hutch came back with a positive COVID-19 test earlier in the week. It could be a good while before the Bulls get Hutch back in the rotation (thinking around mid-January).

And that’s not the only significant players that could be out in this game between the Bulls and Mavericks on the night of Jan. 3. Doncic is reportedly being downgraded from questionable to doubtful for this game in the Windy City, as he’s dealing with a left quad contusion.

There are a lot of moving pieces in play for this game. Donovan and Mavericks longtime head coach Rick Carlisle will have tall tasks on their hands to figure out how to piece together their respective rotations to win on Jan. 3.

The Bulls themselves can’t really afford to be missing players as valuable as Sato and Markkanen in this rotation. Being down two guards like Sato and Arcidiacono also puts a lot of pressure on the likes of second-year point guard Coby White and rookie two-way point guard Devon Dotson.

Even missing out on Hutch hurts the wing depth for Donovan and the Bulls behind rookie forward Patrick Williams, veteran forward Thaddeus Young, and veteran small forward Otto Porter Jr. This will show what value Donovan can bring to the table out of the gates this season in tooling around with his various rotation ideas.

The Bulls and Mavs tip off at 7 p.m. CT at the United Center on Jan. 3. The Bulls are coming off a convincing 30-point loss to the Bucks on the road on Jan. 1. And the Mavs are coming in off a nice win at home over the Miami Heat on Jan. 1 by a double-digit margin.