March 26 @ Los Angeles Lakers (First Meeting)
The Chicago Bulls will face the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season with both fighting for their playoff lives as the season winds down. The Lakers have begun to catch their stride as an active trade deadline gave the franchise a new-look team. LA brought in high-quality players such as DeAngelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley to fill some weaknesses within the team, and they have made a seamless transition into the lineup.
Since the arrival of these players, the Lakers have gone 10-6 and have entered the thick of the playoff race. Additionally, Anthony Davis has played excellent basketball, averaging 24 points and 13.6 rebounds per game in this stretch. Austin Reaves has also stepped up his game, even scoring 35 points on just 14 shots against the Magic on March 19.
The Lakers have really stepped up their game and it may be difficult for the Bulls to adjust, especially considering the team’s struggles on the road. Because of this, the Bulls may lose their first game against the Lakers.
March 27 @ Los Angeles Clippers (0-1 this season)
On January 31, the Bulls fell to the Clippers 108-103 in one of their worst games of the season. The Bulls jumped out to a 19-point lead in the second quarter, but saw it wither away as the game went on, with Kawhi Leonard (33 points) and Norman Powell (27 points) consistently beating the defense. DeMar DeRozan has maybe his worst game in a Bulls uniform, recording 8 turnovers and showing immense frustration. Zach LaVine added 6 more turnovers, which prevented the Bulls from having any chance to win this game.
Despite the Bulls playing a bad game and Norman Powell recording his 4th highest point total this season, they still managed to keep the game within 5 points. This is encouraging for their next meeting with the Clippers, as LaVine has shown tremendous improvement and DeRozan is getting back to his normal self. In this game, the Bulls should be able to beat a Powell-less Clippers team that has played .500 basketball over the last 20 games.