Chicago Bulls at Houston Rockets – NBA February 22

Chicago Bulls (13-16) at Houston Rockets (11-17)

  • Time: 5PM PST – 7PM CST – 8PM EST
  • Place: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
  • TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Opening Tip

Two teams going in opposite directions as the Rockets have lost seven in a row while the Bulls are an improving team and have won four out of the last six games.

The Bulls and Rockets met back on Jan. 18 when Zach LaVine scored 33 points as Chicago knocked off Houston, 125-120 in Victor Oladipo’s debut with the Rockets. LaVine led seven Bulls in double figures and dished seven assists.

Key Injuries

  • Chicago BullsOtto Porter and Lauri Markkanen are out indefinitely with a back and shoulder injury, respectively.
  • Houston RocketsDemarcus Cousins – questionable (shoulder); Victor Oladipo – doubtful (foot); PJ Tucker – questionable (foot); Christian Wood – out (ankle)

Bulls:

  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Chicago’s last 6 games
  • The Bulls are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 games
  • Chicago is 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games

Rockets:

  • The Rockets are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston’s last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in the last 7 Rockets’ home games

Last Time Out

Zach LaVine scored 38 points as the Bulls took down Sacramento, 122-114, on Saturday evening. Coby White scored 19 points as he hit five threes. The Bulls shot 59.8 percent from the floor and held the Kings to only 8-of-29 from the three-point line.

The Rockets have had two games postponed since a 118-113 loss to Philadelphia last Wednesday. John Wall had 28 points for the Rockets who have had a myriad of injuries which have played a key role in their seven-game losing streak. Houston trailed by 24 points midway through the third quarter and rallied to cut it to four with 1:30 to play.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Chicago Bulls -1.5 (-115) -125 O 226 (-107)
Houston Rockets +1.5 (-105) +105 U 226 (-113)

Advantage, Chicago

Chicago Bulls LogoThe Bulls shoot 48 percent from the floor (8th/NBA) and have become one of the tougher teams to defend with Zach LaVine (28.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.8 apg) as the focal point of the team. LaVine is having an all-star type season and with so much attention being paid to him, second-year guard Coby White and rookie big man Patrick Williams have Coe to the forefront in the offense.

White clearly has settled into the point guard role with the Bulls as he is getting to the rim for 51 percent of his shots while dishing an assist on 22 of every 100 possessions. Williams changes matchups because of his ability to go on the perimeter and hit the three or work inside in the paint.

Key Bulls Stat

Chicago shot 59.8 percent in the win over Sacramento on Saturday as this was the 11th time this season that the Bulls had made more than 50 percent of their field goals. They only went over the 50 percent mark 13 times a year ago.

X-Factor

Wendell Carter, Jr. has upped his output in his last four games since coming back from injury as he has averaged12.8 points per games and 5.5 rebounds. Carter missed 11 straight games with a right quad injury and came back four games ago as he had 11 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes as the Bulls downed Indiana.

Advantage, Houston

Houston Rockets LogoStephen Silas has seen the rigors of being an NBA head coach with the James Harden situation and now with so many injuries. The Rockets still rely on the three-ball and need to be able to get this part off their offense inside the continuity of the game. John Wall and Eric Gordon are both shooting 35.1 percent from three as they are the best options for Houston to get this part of their offense stabilized.

Defensively, PJ Tucker should be back and will likely draw LaVine in the matchups although it’s uncertain how ready he is going to be for that task with the injury. Tucker has missed the last two games

Key Rockets Stat:

The Rockets are 0-7 since Christian Wood’s ankle injury in the third quarter of the Memphis game back on Feb. 4. Wood had an incredible start to the season as he was averaging 22 points per game in 17 games played as he was shooting 58 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from three. This derailed the Rockets on both ends of the floor as the 6-10 power forward gave the Rockets a paint presence which has been diminished even more with Demarcus Cousins’ injuries and his impending release.

X-Factor:

Jae’sean Tate has become Houston’s best option inside where he is averaging 54.9 percent from the floor. He is 15-of-26 in his last two games as he is averaging 18.5 points in those two outings. Tate has also put up double digits in eight of his last 11 games and now may become the go-to guy inside until Wood can return.

Winner: Bulls (-1.5) 116, Rockets 112

The Bets
Chicago Bulls -1.5
-115
Chicago Bulls
-125
OVER 226
-107
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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