Chicago Bulls
Predictions, Previews, and Odds

#569 Sacramento Kings
vs. #570 Chicago Bulls

Friday, January 24, 2020 at 8:05pm EST
United Center, Chicago
Written by Nick Raffoul
The Sacramento Kings will travel to the United Center on Friday night as they continue their Eastern Conference road trip with a matchup versus the Chicago Bulls. Don’t look now but the Chicago Bulls haven’t lost back-to-back games in nearly two weeks. Chicago has alternated wins and losses in each of its last six contests, going 3-0 against sub-.500 teams and 0-3 against teams with a winning record during that span. Can the Bulls keep their momentum going at home against a Kings team that has dropped six straight?

Boylen doubles down on Markkanen

Chicago got back on the winning track on Wednesday night with a 117-110 victory at home over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Zach LaVine led the team in scoring for the ninth straight game with 25 points while Lauri Markkanen added 21 points for the Bulls, who overcame a 40-point night from Timberwolves’ center Karl-Anthony Towns. Christiano Felicio came off of the bench to add 12 points and 10 rebounds, as Chicago outscored Minnesota 30 to 13 at the free-throw line on the night. https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1220318763293167616 A lot has been made about Markkanen’s recent decline in his second season under head coach Jim Boylen. The 22-year-old power forward has seen his numbers decrease across the board but Boylen has doubled down on his star big man. “This system was installed and I worked on this system last year and this summer because I think it fits who he is,” Boylen told the Chicago Sun-Times. Markkanen comes in averaging 15.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting just 34.4 percent from 3-point range -- down from 18.0 points, 7.6 boards, and 36.1 percent shooting from deep a year ago.  Unlike most teams on the outside looking in at the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, maybe people are expecting the Bulls to be busy at the 2020 trade deadline in February. Last season, Chicago landed Otto Porter Jr. at the deadline in exchange for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker. This year, Thaddeus Young, Kris Dunn, and Denzel Valentine are among the players that could be moved. Young is a veteran that most pundits expect to be dealt to a contender while Dunn has recently rebuilt his reputation as a defensive stopper and could garner some interest on the open market.
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