When and where: December 2, 2019, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA, 10:00 PM ET
The Chicago Bulls stay on the road for a trip to California in Monday’s head-to-head tilt with the Sacramento Kings. A monstrous 100-97 win over the Denver Nuggets has the Kings riding a tidal wave of momentum. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak to the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. Meanwhile, the Bulls have fallen twice to the Portland Trail Blazers and once to the Golden State Warriors in their last three games.
Bulls lose third straight gameThe Bulls getting ramrodded by the Trail Blazers at home was an early sign it was destined to happen again on the road. All that’s separating those two losses is an even worse loss to the Warriors, putting Chicago at 0-3 in their last three outings.
They’ll try to avoid a fourth consecutive loss in Monday’s road game against a Kings defense that surprisingly came to life on Saturday. It’s the same team that has quietly only allowed 99.0 points on average in their last three games. It’ll be an uphill battle with the Bulls coming into the game with the worst shooting percentage in the league. It’s no surprise considering there is no other reliable scoring option for the team outside of Zach LaVine.
The Bulls didn’t expect forward Lauri Markkanen to take two steps back in his third season. Coming off a year when he averaged 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, he has regressed to 13.3 points and seven rebounds per game. His numbers are now worse than they were in his rookie season.
Defense is the only ticket to victory for the Bulls at this point. They are capable of hanging around in games even if they’re struggling to knock down shots.
Kings stun the Nuggets in overtimeThe Kings aren’t an easy team to beat at the Golden 1 Center.
Denver had to learn that lesson the hard way in a stunning upset loss on Saturday. A showing of resilience from the Kings helped them overcome a 17-point deficit at halftime and knock off one of the top teams in the Western Conference in overtime. More importantly, Harrison Barnes continued to tease his burgeoning star potential by dropping a season-high 30 points against the No. 1 defensive team in basketball.
“That’s largely my role, to come in to help where needed,” Barnes said after the game, via ESPN.com. “Some nights it’s scoring. Some nights it’s rebounding, some night it’s defense. Some nights it’s simply just making the right play. That’s something I try to do consistently for this team.”
With starting guard De’Aaron Fox still sidelined with an ankle injury, Barnes will continue his efforts in providing an extra scoring boost in Monday’s run-in with the Bulls. He’ll be facing a Bulls defense allowing a 46.7 field goal shooting percentage to opposing teams. The only possible foil to the Kings’ offensive success is turnovers. They rank in the bottom-half of the league in average turnovers per game.
The Bulls are already struggling on the offensive end of the floor, and the last thing the Kings need is to help them initiate fast-break scenarios. But considering how well they played defense against the Nuggets, they will likely be confident in any situation against the struggling Bulls’ offense. While it hasn’t always looked pretty, the Kings have the 11th-ranked scoring defense in league.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Bulls are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 Monday games.
- Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Kings are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Kings are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Kings are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Kings are 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall.