The Los Angeles Lakers continue their road trip out east with a trip to Chicago for a meeting with the Bulls. The Lakers are coming off a 113-106 win against the Bucks in Milwaukee on Thursday. It was a good effort for the Lakers on the road against a capable opponent. The Lakers got out to an early lead, and it looked like they were going to cough up another lead in the fourth, but the Lakers held up well and fended off the Bucks late surge.
Lebron James and Alex Caruso hit a couple of clutch three balls to put the game away for the Lakers. It was another game where the Bucks had to answer questions regarding a loss against an elite opponent. The Bucks just seem kind of stuck getting over the bump. Giannis is a good player, though he needs one other superstar if the Bucks are going to reach their expectations.
I know Khris Middleton gets a lot of hype, but find him a little on the overrated side. If he wasn’t, the Bucks would be winning big games and not coming up just short. Giannis does more than enough to keep the Bucks in those games. He needs somebody else to help him take over games, though. Lebron has that in Anthony Davis, as both showed up for a productive night at the office in Milwaukee.
The Lakers head into Saturday with a record of 12-4 after their win in Milwaukee. It was a nice response for the Lakers after they were on the losing side of a 115-113 final at the Staples Center. The Lakers are 6-1 in their last seven games. They were a little stagnant early on without Davis in the lineup and a minor ankle injury for Lebron, but are beginning to find their groove. The Lakers overlooked the Warriors, though, so don’t discount a repeat tonight in Chicago.
Chicago is not a squad to overlook, and they will likely be amped up to welcome the Lakers to the United Center on Friday night. The Bulls are on a three-game winning streak, improving to 7-8 on the season. In some of their losses, they lost to some very good teams like the Clippers and Lakers. Despite that, though, the Bulls were competitive. They’ve been one of the best bets in the NBA with a 11-4 edge ATS. Head below for our free Lakers vs. Bulls pick on January 23, 2021.
LA Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls NBA Betting Odds:
Lakers vs. Bulls Prediction:
The Lakers and Bulls will meet for the second time this season. When the Bulls were out on the west coast earlier in January, they had to play the Lakers and Clippers in a back-to-back spot. Despite failing to come up with a win, the Bulls were close in both outings. They took the Lakers to the wire on January 10 in a 117-115 loss.
Without missing a beat, the Bulls came back two days later and took the Clippers to the wire as well. The Bulls came up short, 130-127, but you have to like what we saw against two of the best in the league. Their bad fortunes turned around recently, though, as the Bulls defeated the Mavericks, 117-101, Rockets, 125-120, and Hornets, 123-110.
Zach LaVine is developing into one of the finest players in the NBA. I don’t think it’s any surprise that the Bulls have been a competitive team. LaVine has led the Bulls there to being a much better team. He goes into Saturday 27.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. LaVine is prime trade bait, though, and the Bulls might pull the trigger on sacrificing now for the future. If I were the Bulls, I wouldn’t do it, as finding a talented player like LaVine isn’t easy. He is much more than just a dunker.
The Bulls are fourth in the NBA with an average of 117.8 points scored per game. However, before the Bulls take the next leap to the next level, they are going to have to work on their effort defensively. That can improve in time, though, and if it does, look out in Chicago. The Bulls are 28th in the league with 119.3 points against per game. They are also 26th in field goal percentage against, with teams connecting at a 47.9% clip. The United Center hasn’t helped, as the Bulls are conceding 121.1 points against in Chicago.
I don’t foresee the Bulls slowing down the dangerous Lakers’ attack, but they should be able to continue to score with LaVine at the helm. The Lakers are predictably strong offensively, with an average of 115.1 points per game for seventh, and fourth with a field goal percentage of 48.6%. They’re third best in the league from beyond the arc, with a three-point percentage of 40% for third. The OVER has gone 6-1 in the last seven Bulls’ games, and I see more of the same on Saturday night at the United Center.