Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat will clash on Saturday night in the first of two back-to-back matches between the two sides. The teams have already met once this season and the Heat emerged victorious on that occasion.
The Chicago Bulls are finding some form ahead of the final stretch of the season. They've won three of their last four games and currently hold the 11th seed in the East with a 25-34 record. Nikola Vucevic has been leading the charge of the team lately. He had 18 points and 16 rebounds on Thursday against the Bulls.
The Miami Heat saw their three-game winning run come to a close against the injury-plagued Atlanta Hawks last night. They had six players score in double-digits but still ended up on the losing end. The Heat are now placed seventh in the East with a 31-29 record.
Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat: Injury Report
Zach LaVine is set to miss his sixth straight game for the Chicago Bulls as he remains in the NBA's health and safety protocol. He could return next week, though.
Meanwhile, Patrick Williams has missed only one game this season but he's suffering from a reported sore left heel. He's currently listed as probable for the game against the Miami Heat.
There's not much of an update on Troy Brown Jr., who's missed three consecutive games with a sprained ankle. He remains sidelined for the time being.
Among active players, Tyler Herro is the only player grinding through an injury. Herro has a sore right foot but he featured in yesterday's game for the Miami Heat. He should be available against the Chicago Bulls as well.
Victor Oladipo remains the only long-term absentee for the Miami Heat. Oladipo has already missed eight games with a sore knee and it will be surprising if he returns to the Heat rotation before the end of the month.
Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat: Predicted Lineups
Coby White has been promoted to the starting lineup in the absence of Zach LaVine and has been on a hot streak in the last couple of games. He's being ably supported by veteran Garrett Temple in the backcourt.
Patrick Williams has been a reliable two-way option for head coach Billy Donovan and he'll continue to start as the small forward. Meanwhile, Daniel Theis has been the preferred option at four.
Nikola Vucevic will lead the Bulls' charge as the starting center. You can expect veterans Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky to chip in with valuable contributions off the bench.
Kendrick Nunn led the Miami Heat in scoring in the previous game and he'll be hoping to chip in again as the starting point guard. Sharpshooter Duncan Robinson will slot in beside him to round out the starting backcourt.
The partnership of Jimmy Butler and Trevor Ariza has been fruitful for the Heat so far and the duo will be occupying the two forward spots in the starting lineup. Bam Adebayo will start at center.
Andre Iguodala returned to the rotation last night and put up a good show defensively off the bench. He'll be hoping to do the same against the Chicago Bulls.
Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat: Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Coby White | Shooting Guard - Garrett Temple | Small Forward - Patrick Williams | Power Forward - Daniel Theis | Center - Nikola Vucevic
Point Guard - Kendrick Nunn | Shooting Guard - Duncan Robinson | Small Forward - Jimmy Butler | Power Forward - Trevor Ariza | Center - Bam Adebayo