The San Antonio Spurs will travel to Illinois to take on the Chicago Bulls in a non-conference matchup. Both of these teams are in ninth place in their respective conferences and every game counts in the quest to make the playoffs. The Spurs come into this game after a loss to the Suns broke a three-game winning streak. (This does not include Sunday evening's game against the Raptors). Unlike their opponents, the Bulls will get a rest day between games. They come off a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers where Zach LaVine dominated. Both teams will be desperate for a win in an effort to sneak into the playoffs.
San Antonio looks to grab the eighth spot in the WestThe San Antonio Spurs are sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference, outside of the playoff picture looking in. They well within striking distance of the Memphis Grizzlies and need to pick up wins against teams like the Bulls to steal a playoff spot. The Spurs are typically known for their defensive prowess, but that has not been the case this season. The 114.5 points per game is sixth-worst in the NBA. Opponents also shoot 36 percent from three which is dangerous with how hot LaVine has been. Luckily for them, all they really have to do is shut down LaVine and they should not be in too much danger.
The Spurs have seven different players averaging double figures. That offense is led by the power of DeMar DeRozan and LeMarcus Aldridge. Both of them average more than 19 points per game with DeRozan leading the way at 22.6 of his own. Both of them have been incredibly consistent from the field, shooting over 50 percent. This gives the Spurs a top 10 field goal percentage in the NBA. The Bulls defense is bottom 10 in the league in opponents' field goal percentage. This leaves a real opening for the Spurs to put up some major offense in this road game.
Chicago looks for the elusive two in a rowThe Chicago Bulls are 12 games below the .500 mark, but thanks to the lack of firepower in the Eastern Conference, they are still hanging out in ninth place. They are three games behind the eighth-place Nets and still have a shot at the playoffs if they string together some wins. They have alternated wins and losses for their last 10 games. After their most recent win over the Cavaliers, a win over the Spurs would give the Bulls their first consecutive wins in over a month. In that win over the Cavs, Zach LaVine went off for 44 points. He has been the leader for the Bulls all season with an average of 25.3 points per game. He will need to keep going off to exploit a below-average Spurs defense.
Aside from Zach LaVine, the Bulls offense lacks depth. No one else averages more than 15 points per game on the year, leading to an offense that is in the bottom five in the NBA. LaVine dangerous from three, shooting 39 percent from deep. The Spurs do not have the best perimeter defense, giving up 12.7 threes per game. Spurs opponents also shoot in the top 10 in the league from three. Unfortunately, as a team, Chicago is in the bottom 10 shooting from three. Aside from LaVine, they have a lack of consistency shooting. The only real path to victory for the Bulls on Monday is for LaVine to go off like he did against the Cavs.
- The Spurs are 4-0 ATS in their last four Monday games
- 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 road games
Trends from DonBest:
- The Bulls are 8-20-1 in their last 29 Monday games
- 17-36 ATS in their last 53 home games