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NBA 2018-19, Chicago Bulls vs Minnesota Timberwolves: Preview and prediction

ANALYST
Preview
352   //    26 Dec 2018, 23:34 IST

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves

Chicago Bulls (9-25) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (15-18), United Center

Chicago Bulls will host Minnesota Timberwolves at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

The Bulls are coming off a victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers, whereas the Timberwolves beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in their previous match.

Let us see how things stand for both teams.


The Chicago Bulls' perspective

Sacramento Kings v Chicago Bulls
Sacramento Kings v Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have won their last two games, but are still sitting at the 13th position on the Eastern Conference standings. They have won just 9 games out of the 34 played in this season.

The Bulls beat the Cavs in their last match with the help of Lauri Markkanen's big 31-point game. In addition to that bucketload of points, Markkanen also had four rebounds and three assists.

Kris Dunn and Justin Holiday ably supported him and scored 17 and 15 points respectively. Needless to say, Markkanen will be an important factor in today's game too.

The Bulls as a team are averaging 100.9 points per game and shooting 44.4% from the field. They are grabbing 41.5 rebounds per game and shooting around 35% from beyond the arc.

The Bulls will be looking for a third back to back win tonight against a weak on-the-road team.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves' perspective

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves have been in a slump lately, losing two of their last three games. Before that, they even lost four on the road games back-to-back, which is a huge cause for concern.

The Timberwolves beat the Thunder in their last match, with Andrew Wiggins putting up 30 points, six rebounds and five assists. Towns had an average night with 18 points and six assists, whereas Covington scored 13 points and five rebounds.

Six players had points in double figures, out of which two were not starters.

The Wolves as a team are averaging 110.9 points and shooting 44.9% from the field. They are grabbing 44 rebounds per game and shooting around 37% from beyond the three-point line.

They will look to turn things around on the road tonight.


Injury updates

Chicago Bulls: 

Bobby Portis (ankle) - OUT

Zach LaVine (ankle)- OUT

Denzel Valentine (ankle) - OUT 

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Jeff Teague (ankle) - OUT

Derrick Rose (ankle) - questionable


How things might unfold

The Timberwolves have been slumping lately, but we can't forget how complete their team is when they play well together.

They have a very deep lineup with players like Derrick Rose and Dario Saric coming off the bench. Robert Covington's defensive efforts will be a crucial factor in the match.

The Bulls have shown some sparks in the last few games but still, lack that quality in the offence.


Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves to beat Chicago Bulls

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