The visiting team’s starting backcourt will look vastly different, with Coby White and Zach LaVine both out with injuries. It’s a development that doesn’t bode well for their playoff hopes considering their 10th-place position in the standings at 19-27.
With newly acquired center Nikola Vucevic in tow, the Bulls are hoping to avoid falling further down the standings while White and LaVine recover.
The Utah Jazz, who defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 111-107 on the road on Wednesday, are likely relieved to be back in the safe confines of their homes. They endured a frightening experience prior to the game when their charter flight accidentally flew into a flock of birds and had to make an emergency landing back to Salt Lake International.
Fixture - Chicago Bulls vs Utah Jazz | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Friday, April 2nd, 9:00 PM ET (Saturday, April 3rd, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue - Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Chicago Bulls Preview
The Chicago Bulls were supposed to make a mad dash for the playoffs, with Nikola Vucevic manning the middle. Instead, their future is just as uncertain as before without White and LaVine.
Their starting guards are questionable to play versus the Utah Jazz, with LaVine possibly out for a few games with an ankle sprain.
It is an unfortunate turn of events as the retooled Bulls squad looked like strong playoff contenders at full strength. After Monday’s 116-102 loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Chicago Bulls have now lost five straight games and seven of their last eight matches.
Though they are scoring 112.7 points per game (13th), they are giving up 114.0 points a night (24th) to offset the work they do offensively. Unless they can shore up their defensive issues, it will be a long night for them when they face the Utah Jazz.
Key Player - Nikola Vucevic
An All-Star for the second time, Nikola Vucevic is in a better position to make the playoffs this season with the Chicago Bulls.
This season, Vucevic has career-highs in scoring (24.4 points), free throws (84.2%), and 3-point percentage (40.3%) while tying his career-best in assists (3.8). He may have to wait a while until the team is complete, but at least he has a shot at the playoffs for a third straight season.
In his first two games for the Chicago Bulls, he averaged 22.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and four assists. As good as these numbers are, he has to be better when he faces Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
Chicago Bulls Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Tomas Satoransky l Shooting Guard - Patrick Williams l Small Forward - Thaddeus Young Power Forward - Lauri Markkanen l Center - Nikola Vucevic
Utah Jazz Preview
Mike Conley took over for the Utah Jazz down the stretch to put the Grizzlies away for good on Wednesday.
The first-time All-Star scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to power his team to victory. He led the Jazz with 26 points while Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 and 23 points, respectively.
It was their seventh straight victory and their ninth win in 11 games. The win illustrated how far the Jazz have come from being a two-man team with only Mitchell and Gobert as the stars. Conley’s emergence this season and the growth of the supporting cast has them on track for a title run.
As they face the Chicago Bulls on Friday, the Utah Jazz will be favored to win and extend their winning streak.
Key Player - Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell couldn’t play against the Grizzlies due to personal reasons as the flight scare may have been too much for the All-Star guard to bear. It will be interesting to see how he holds up in his first game after the torturous experience.
Though he is listed as questionable for the game, it is likely that Mitchell will be back on the court against the Chicago Bulls. His marquee matchup with Zach LaVine will have to wait as his backcourt counterpart will be unavailable.
Mitchell is averaging career-highs across the board with 25.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 39.9 percent from three-point range. The Utah Jazz guard will once again look to lead his team to victory at the expense of the visiting Chicago Bulls.
Utah Jazz Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Mike Conley l Shooting Guard - Donovan Mitchell l Small Forward - Bojan Bogdanovic l Power Forward - Royce O’Neale l Center - Rudy Gobert
Bulls vs Jazz Match Prediction
Things aren’t looking good for the Chicago Bulls as they will have to face the Utah Jazz without two of their top players. It will be an uphill battle, but the visiting team at least has an All-Star as their anchor for Friday's battle.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan will have to lean heavily on Vucevic if they hope to get a shot at upsetting the home team. Unfortunately for the Windy City squad, the red-hot Jazz are on a roll and will be ready to pounce on their wounded target.
Expect the Utah Jazz to hand the Chicago Bulls their sixth straight loss.