The struggling Chicago Bulls take on the surging Phoenix Suns for the second time this season. Both teams want to end their NBA Playoffs drought this year but the Suns are in a better position to achieve that goal right now.
Fixture: Chicago Bulls vs Phoenix Suns | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 31st, 10 PM ET (Thursday, 7:30 AM IST)
Venue: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Chicago Bulls Preview
The Chicago Bulls went all-in by trading for Nikola Vucevic at the NBA trade deadline. His arrival hasn't changed the fortunes of Billy Donovan's men who have are currently on a four-game losing streak. The Bulls are barely holding on to the 10th spot in the East with a 19-26 record.
Vucevic hasn't done too badly though. The two-time All-Star has recorded exactly 21 points and nine rebounds in each of his first two games for the Chicago Bulls. Daniel Theis made his debut for the franchise the previous night but only managed six points and three assists. He'll be hoping to make a bigger impact against the Phoenix Suns.
The Chicago Bulls have a few injury problems heading into this game. Coby White didn't practice on Tuesday due to a neck issue and could be sidelined. Garrett Temple is also doubtful because of a hamstring issue. Zach LaVine has been vocal about his ankle issues and may take a breather against the Phoenix Suns.
Key Player - Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic continues to be in a struggling environment following his trade from Orlando Magic to the Chicago Bulls. With Zach LaVine doubtful for the game, Vucevic could be getting increased touches of the ball against the Phoenix Suns. He'll be hoping to record numbers closer to his season average of 24.8 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists while facilitating the offense on Wednesday.
Chicago Bulls Predicted Lineup
G Tomas Satoransky, G Denzel Valentine, F Patrick Williams, F Thaddeus Young, C Nikola Vucevic
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns continue to improve their grasp on the second seed in the West. Monty Williams' men are on a three-game unbeaten streak and will be gunning for their seventh win in eight matchups when they take on the Chicago Bulls.
The Phoenix Suns have one of the deepest rosters in the NBA this season. The likes of Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton form the vanguard, but the Suns can also rely on other pieces to get them over the hump. Mikal Bridges is the best example of that. The two-way wing chips in regularly with double-digit scores and can guard the opposition's best player on defense.
Jae Crowder has also been a valuable acquisition for the Phoenix Suns. The veteran forward shot 0-of-9 from the field against Charlotte but bounced back with a 19-point performance against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. His leadership also binds the team together.
Key Player - Devin Booker
Even though the Phoenix Suns have plenty of options, they're truly in control only when Devin Booker is firing on all cylinders. Booker struggled at the start of the season but found his stride after returning from injury in February. The two-time All-Star is averaging 25 points, 4.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game this season. Booker led the scoring for Phoenix in the last game against the Chicago Bulls with 22 points.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
G Chris Paul, G Devin Booker, F Mikal Bridges, F Jae Crowder, C Deandre Ayton
Bulls vs Suns Match Prediction
Zach LaVine's recent shooting struggles have had a huge impact on the Chicago Bulls who are simply out of sorts right now. Things will only get difficult with the injury concerns that they have. And even though Vucevic is an All-Star, it isn't always easy to start carrying a team from day one.
In comparison, the Phoenix Suns are playing assured basketball. Both their offensive sets and their defensive chemistry have been on point lately. Expect Chris Paul and co. to win this matchup.
Where to watch Bulls vs Suns?
Local coverage of this game will be available on NBC Sports Chicago and Bally Sports Arizona. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.