After posting an impressive 10-5 record in December to bounce back into potential playoff contention, the Chicago Bulls seem to be running on fumes to kick off January. Dropping two consecutive games to the 76ers and Knicks, the Bulls have clearly needed a boost now that they're down a pair of All-Stars and approximately 50% of their entire roster payroll.
Fortunately, it seems they may be granted a reprieve tonight, as Zach LaVine's long-awaited return to the court is reportedly on the table tonight. Chicago appeared to be playing as a more cohesive unit in LaVine's absence, but now that he's had some time to reflect, hopefully their winning ways convince LaVine to play and buy into Billy Donovan's system against the Hornets tonight.
Zach LaVine Injury Update for tonight’s Bulls vs. Hornets game
Zach LaVine is the name on everyone's minds, as the shooting guard has been listed as questionable to play tonight. Billy Donovan says the star shooting guard is "on track" to make his first appearance since November 28, but nothing is set in stone just yet. If he plays, he'll provide a big boost to a team that has been sorely lacking creators on offense following Nikola Vucevic's groin injury. How LaVine plays in these games may ultimately determine if the Bulls can trade him for a solid return package, or maybe even decide to keep him around for the remainder of the season.
LaMelo Ball Injury Update for tonight’s Bulls vs. Hornets game
LaMelo Ball will once again be absent for this matchup against the Bulls, as the Hornets continue to shroud his ankle injury in mystery. We haven't received much in the way of updates yet, but Ball has reportedly not been cleared for contact in practice yet, and he could be in danger of missing the rest of January if no progress is made soon. With Mark Williams and Gordon Hayward also sidelined tonight, Charlotte will be missing three of their starting players.
Projected starting lineups
- PG: Coby White
- SG: Alex Caruso
- SF: DeMar DeRozan
- PF: Patrick Williams
- C: Andre Drummond
- PG: Terry Rozier
- SG: Brandon Miller
- SF: Cody Martin
- PF: Miles Bridges
- C: Nick Richards
Bulls full injury report
OUT: Torrey Craig, Onuralp Bitim, Lonzo Ball
QUESTIONABLE: Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic
PROBABLE: Patrick Williams
UPDATE: Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic have both been upgraded to available. Both players will come off the bench and be withheld to a minutes restriction.
Hornets full injury report
OUT: LaMelo Ball, Mark Williams, Gordon Hayward, Frank Ntilikina
Chicago’s next 5 opponents on the schedule
- Jan. 8 @ Hornets
- Jan. 10 vs. Rockets
- Jan. 12 vs. Warriors
- Jan. 13 @ Spurs
- Jan. 15 @ Cavaliers