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Keys to the Game: Bulls at Hawks (03.01.19)

Tonight the Chicago Bulls (17-45) and the Atlanta Hawks (21-41) suggestion-off a weekend dwelling-and-dwelling series in downtown Atlanta at State Farm Arena. This will be the 2nd and ultimate time the two meet down South, but the 3rd situation in general, with every single staff profitable on the street.

In the initially get-together on October 27th, Zach LaVine’s 27 points and 11 rebounds led the Bulls to a 97-85 victory. Then in a rematch on January 23rd performed in the Windy City, John Collins recorded a season-significant 35 points to propel the Hawks to a 121-101 victory.

Sunday afternoon the Bulls and Hawks will shut the guide on the season series back again at the United Middle.

Each Atlanta and Chicago have been taking part in effectively of late. The Hawks will get the floor tonight obtaining won two of its very last a few, when the Bulls have arrive out on prime in four of their very last 5.

Atlanta rookie Trae Youthful and 2nd-12 months large man John Collins have been totally fantastic this season. Youthful has developed back again-to-back again 36-stage game titles, doing so in Houston on this earlier Monday and then again in the Hawks’ 131-123 extra time win from Minnesota on Wednesday. In simple fact Young’s posted 30 or additional points in a few of Atlanta’s very last four game titles and is averaging 31.3 points due to the fact the All-Star crack.

Young’s self esteem to inflict hurt from deep has ongoing to rise as effectively. He is related on at least four treys in 12 game titles, the most between rookies. He is also demonstrated an enthusiasm to assault the rim and make his way to the no cost throw line. In opposition to Minnesota the other night he cashed 16 of 17 from the charity stripe.

Collins also experienced a large night with 34 points from the Timberwolves. Because the All-Star crack, the 6’10” sophomore ability ahead is averaging 23. points and 10. rebounds. His 24 double-doubles not only tops Atlanta, and also leads his complete 2017 Draft class.

As for the Bulls, Atlanta has experienced a tricky time made up of LaVine this season. The veteran 6’5” significant-flying guard has set up 27 and 23 points, respectively from them in the initially two contests. But the Hawks aren’t the only ones obtaining difficulty slowing him down as LaVine went for 30 from Memphis the other night to enable Chicago sweep the Grizzlies. LaVine has notched 20 or additional points in 12 of his very last 16, and has now strike 20+ 40 instances this season.

For the 12 months, LaVine leads the Bulls in scoring (23.2), when also putting up occupation-highs in rebounds (4.6), assists (4.5), FG% (46.6%) and FT% (85.9%).

Having said that, the best Bull of late has been 2nd-12 months ahead/center Lauri Markkanen. The 7’0” sophomore went for 22 points from Memphis the other night, giving him 10 straight game titles of 20+ points scored. He is also been a terror on the glass, snagging double-digit rebounds in 11 of his very last 13 game titles.

For the thirty day period of February, Markkanen averaged 26 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists when capturing 48.6% from the floor. On the season, his figures are similarly spectacular at 19.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, capturing 44.3% in general, 37.6% from length and 87.8% from the no cost throw line.

A further Bull to continue to keep an eye on this weekend is the freshly obtained Otto Porter Jr. In Chicago’s very last game prior to the All-Star crack, Porter Jr. shot lights out, going 16-for-20 from the industry in recording a occupation-greatest 37 points. The 6’8” ahead who arrived from Washington the night just before the trade deadline, has posted 17+ points in seven of eight game titles with the Bulls. In that span, he’s averaging 18.1 points when capturing 55.1% from the industry, and 51.5% from powering the arc in 32 minutes.

To continue to keep them selves on monitor tonight the Bulls will again have to participate in a wise and intense game. Offensively, they require to make Atlanta expend further defensive power by working them into a continual stream of durable screens when freely sharing the ball and be prepared to assault the basket any time an chance offers.

Chicago’s offense has really kicked into gear more than the very last thirty day period, as the staff averaged 116 points for every game in February. They have been one of only four teams in the East and 11 league-broad to obtain that mark. What helps make that stat even additional notable is the simple fact that the Bulls could only muster 95.6 points for every game in December.

With regards to what wants to come about on the defensive conclusion of the floor, the Bulls will require to implement hardnosed defensive force on Youthful, and collectively search to crash the boards to enable neutralize Collins on the glass.

Atlanta’s main dilemma this season has been sloppy participate in with the ball, in that they guide the league in committing the most turnovers (18.1). Youthful is an fascinating participant with outstanding courtroom vision and no boundary to his capturing array. As outlined previously, he’s been lighting up the scoreboard of late, and on the season averaging 17.8 points and 7.7 assists. Having said that, he’s also committing 3.9 turnovers a game, 3rd most in the NBA. Hence search for Kris Dunn to shadow and pester Youthful all night extended. If there is any one on the Bulls’ roster who can lock him down, it is really Dunn, who is by considerably Chicago’s greatest on-ball defender.

If the Bulls can keep on to participate in unselfishly on offense when also managing the boards at both of those ends of the floor and constantly get out on the crack to publish simple scores and assault the rim at every single chance, they really should arrive out on prime at the conclusion of the night.

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