Eastern Conference rivals Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls lock horns at the United Center in their second meeting of the season. After this game, the two sides will face off one more time in the 2020-21 campaign on May 7th.
The two Eastern Conference clubs previously clashed in a high-scoring affair in January, when the Chicago Bulls defeated the Hornets, courtesy of Zach LaVine's 25-point performance.
With the playoffs around the corner, the Charlotte Hornets will need to get their house back in order to avoid slipping further in the Eastern Conference table. The injury bug has expectedly caused turbulence for James Borrego's side and the team now finds itself at the 8th spot with a 28-29 record.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls have not fared well since the 2021 trade deadline. The men in red have been overtaken by the surging Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors ahead of this contest. The Bulls are now in 12th spot owing to their 24-34 record for the season.
Charlotte Hornets vs Chicago Bulls: Injury Report
The Charlotte Hornets have struggled to add wins consistently in the recent stretch. Their performances on the floor are getting hindered, with several players falling in and out of rotation due to injuries. Malik Monk and Nate Darling have been ruled out for Thursday's contest as both players are dealing with their respective ankle injuries.
In some good news for Charlotte Hornets fans, LaMelo Ball has been cleared to resume individual basketball activities and could join his teammates on the floor soon. That said, he will remain on the sidelines for this matchup. Meanwhile, Gordon Hayward remains out for an extended period as he nurses his foot injury.
The Chicago Bulls' hopes of making it to the 2021 playoffs have taken major hit, owing to their star player Zach LaVine remaining out of the lineup at this critical juncture. LaVine, who entered the NBA's health and safety protocols, remains out for this contest. His absence will make it hard for the Bulls to mount a comeback with just a few games remaining in the regular season.
In addition to LaVine, the Chicago Bulls have listed Troy Brown in the injury report. The Bulls' forward is being monitored on a day-to-day basis by the coaching staff.
Charlotte Hornets vs Chicago Bulls: Predicted Lineups
Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier will join Devonte' Graham in the backcourt. Rozier is coming off a 21-point outing in their loss to the Knicks, while Graham managed to add 9 points for his efforts.
Jalen McDaniels and the high-flying Miles Bridges will resume their roles on the wing as the two forwards. Bridges tallied an impressive double-double outing against the Knicks with 15 points to go along with 14 boards. PJ Washington will roll out as their primary center against the Bulls. Washington will have his hands full as he attempts to contain 2021 All-Star Nikola Vucevic underneath the rim.
Coby White and Garrett Temple will feature in the Bulls' backcourt for this contest. Both players are coming off sub-par performances in their loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Patrick Williams and former Celtics man Daniel Theis will roll out as the two forwards for the Chicago Bulls. Coming in at the anchor position will be none other than Nikola Vucevic. Despite the team's struggles, Vucevic has displayed his all-around skills night in and night out. He will need to deliver a monster outing in this fixture for his side to have any chance of adding another win to their losing record.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Terry Rozier l Shooting Guard - Devonte' Graham l Small Forward - Jalen McDaniels l Power Forward - Miles Bridges l Center - PJ Washington
Chicago Bulls Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Coby White l Shooting Guard - Garrett Temple l Small Forward - Patrick Williams l Power Forward - Daniel Theis l Center - Nikola Vucevic