The Chicago Bulls enter this contest off a 118-108 win against the Dallas Mavericks. The Bulls' young star, Zach Lavine, had one of the best games of his career, dropping 39 points in 39 minutes. With the win, Chicago improved their season record to three wins and four losses.
On the other hand, the Portland Trail Blazers are coming into the game off a loss to the Golden State Warriors. The game saw former league MVP, Stephen Curry, buried the Trail Blazers single-handedly, ending the game with a career-high 62 points.
For Portland, Damian Lillard led the effort with 32 points, followed by CJ McCollum with 28 points. With the loss, the Portland Trail Blazers have split their season 3-3 and will be eager to take the win against the Chicago Bulls on their home court.
Fixture: Chicago Bulls vs Portland Trail Blazers - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 10:30 PM ET. (Wednesday 9:00 AM IST)
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Chicago Bulls Preview
The Chicago Bulls put in one of their better performances of the season against the Mavericks. They are a team infused with young talent, and it will take some time and experience before they can set high goals for themselves.
The Bulls have five players scoring in double digits, with the possibility of small forward Patrick Williams (9.6 points) joining them soon.
It is the defensive end where the Bulls have the room for most improvement this season as they are 29th in the league in points allowed.
Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen and shooting guard Tomas Satoransky (COVID-19 health and safety protocols) will be out for this one and could miss several games. Small forward Chandler Hutchison and Ryan Arcidiacono are out with injuries as well.
Key Player - Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine is red hot from his last game against the Mavericks, where he dropped 29 points in the first half of the game. He is undoubtedly the key player for this matchup as well.
LaVine is playing well for the Chicago Bulls and is leading their side with 24.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in seven games so far. He is shooting 46.1% from the field and 30.2% from beyond the arc.
Watch out for this young star as he may light up once again versus the Portland Trailblazers.
Chicago Bulls Predicted Lineup
G Coby White, G Zach LaVine, F P. Williams, F O Porter, C Wendell Carter Jr.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
After beating them in their first game of the season, the Portland Trail Blazers suffered an embarrassing loss to the Golden State Warriors (137-122) in their last outing. Their record of .500 is not what fans would have hoped for to start their new season.
The Trail Blazers had an excellent offseason with key acquisitions that brought over some much-needed support for their star players in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
They traded away Mario Hezonja and Trevor Ariza and brought in Robert Covington, Derrick Jones Jr., and Enes Kanter.
Portland Trail Blazers fans have high expectations from their new line-up this season and Damian Lillard and co. will be hungry to take the win against a young Bulls team.
Key Player - Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is coming into the game on the back of a 32-point effort against the Warriors and will be the key player for their matchup against the Chicago Bulls.
Lillard was the standout performer in the NBA Bubble (last postseason), where he carried the Portland Trail Blazers to the eighth berth in the West by going on a massive winning streak.
He will need to deliver even better results this year as he has enough pieces around him to share the load on the offensive end.
His season averages are 26.3 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.3 rebounds in 35.8 minutes.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
G Damian Lillard G CJ McCollum F Derrick Jones Jr. F Robert Covington C Jusuf Nurkic
Bulls vs Blazers Match Prediction
Zach Lavine has been automatic from the floor and will give the Portland Trail Blazers a run for their money in this matchup.
That said, Damian Lillard will have a point to prove after the Trail Blazers' recent defeat against a short-handed Warriors side and would be hungry to bounce back with a big win.
The Portland Trail Blazers are the favorites to win this one, and you can expect Dame Dollar to have a big performance of his own.
Bulls vs Blazers
Local coverage of the game will be available on NBC Sports Northwest and NBC Sports Chicago. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.Published 05 Jan 2021, 00:58 IST