The NBA is set up with another great night of action on January 5. Five games will be up on the board throughout Tuesday night. To finish out the night of action, the Chicago Bulls and the Portland Trail Blazers will meet up. These two teams have had solid starts to the season and will look for a win in this one. This game will tip off at around 10:30 PM Eastern time.
Chicago has posted a record of 3-4 throughout the early stages of this season, which has them tied for ninth place of the Eastern Conference. The Bulls are coming off a win in their last game and have won three of their last four. Chicago will look to build upon those wins as they try to get back to .500 with a win in this one. I expect the Bulls to try and come out hot in this one.
The Trail Blazers have earned a record of 3-3 so far this season, which has them sitting in sixth place of the Western Conference. Portland is coming off a loss in their last game where Steph Curry put up a huge performance. The Trail Blazers will look to bounce back with a quicker start in this one. Portland needs to set the pace early in this one.
These two teams are looking to earn a quick win in this one. The Bulls and the Trail Blazers are sitting around the verge of the playoff seeding coming into this one. Both teams still have a lot of time to turn it around this season. If either team can come out strong and set the pace early on Tuesday night, it could be enough to give them the win.
Chicago and Portland met up twice throughout last season. The Bulls hosted the first game on November 25. Zach LaVine scored 18 points as Chicago’s starting lineup combined for 54 points in the losing effort. Carmelo Anthony finished with 25 points and 8 rebounds. C.J. McCollum dropped 21 points to help lead the Trail Blazers to a 117-94 win.
Portland hosted the second game of the season series on November 29. Zach LaVine finished with 28 points and Wendell Carter Jr. scored 16 points and 9 rebounds. It still was not enough for the Trail Blazers though. Damian Lillard dropped 28 points as Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and 11 rebounds. C.J. McCollum put up 20 points to help lead Portland to a 107-103 win.
The Trail Blazers were able to sweep the two game series with the Bulls last season. Portland went on to make the playoffs though, while Chicago missed out on the postseason. These two teams have similar records early in this season and will look to get a big win on Tuesday night. The Trail Blazers are coming off a tough loss and will look to come out stronger in this one to keep up their winning streak against the Bulls.
Zach LaVine has stepped up for Chicago early in this season. LaVine is averaging 24.5 points per game. Lauri Markkanen has averaged 17.5 points and 7 rebounds per game. Coby White is averaging 15.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. Otto Porter has averaged 15 points per game, while Wendell Carter Jr. is averaging 11.5 points per game.
C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard are both putting up strong performances early in this season. McCollum has averaged 28 points per game, while Lillard is averaging 26.5 points and 6 assists per game. Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter are both averaging 12.5 points per game to open this season as well. Gary Trent rounds out the lineup, averaging 11.5 points per game.
These two teams have seen their stars step up for the early portion of this season. McCollum and Lillard continue to be a dangerous backcourt duo and will look to take over on this Bulls team. If Portland can get in a groove from deep early, it will be hard for Chicago to keep up. I expect the Bulls to try and play strong defense early to try and stop the Trail Blazers offense.
Field Goal Shooting
Chicago’s offense has been mediocre when it comes to shooting from the field this season. The Bulls have shot 45.4 percent of their shots from the field, which is 16th in the league. Chicago has made 35.6 percent of their shots from deep, which is 18th in the NBA. The Bulls are also shooting 52.1 percent from in close, which is 16th in the league as well.
The Trail Blazers have not shot well at all this season. Portland has made around 43.5 percent of their shots from the field, which is 27th in the NBA. The Trail Blazers are also shooting 37.5 percent from behind the arc, which is 11th in the league. Portland has made 48.4 percent of their shots inside the arc, which is 19th in the NBA.
These two teams have struggled overall shooting this season. Portland has shot well from deep this season, but they have struggled shooting elsewhere. The Trail Blazers will look to shoot better inside the arc in this one by opening the court early. Neither of these teams have been great on defense either, so Portland could take over early if they shoot well.
These two teams are coming into this one with similar records. The Trail Blazers are coming off a big loss to the Warriors and I think they will come out much quicker in this one. If Portland can find some rhythm inside the paint, it should help fix their shooting woes. If the Trail Blazers jump out to a strong start, they should be able to take over on Tuesday night.
BetOnline has Portland listed as a -9 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a big edge to the Trail Blazers at home, which I agree with. I think that after the Trail Blazers allowed Stephen Curry to score 62 points, they will look to come out much faster in this one. I expect Portland to come out hot and take down the Bulls. I like the Trail Blazers against the spread in this one.