Chicago Bulls and NBA Betting Odds: Looking for a Win to get the PlayOffs without DeRozan

Chicago Bulls and NBA Betting Odds: Looking for a Win to get the PlayOffs without DeRozan

The Chicago Bulls have been one of the NBA’s bigger disappointments this season at 34-38 and 10th in the East. Getting into the East’s top six and automatic entry to the NBA playoffs is a pipe dream. The team starts a crucial three-game West Coast trip on Friday in Portland and could be without All-Star DeMar DeRozan for that game if not longer after he was hurt Wednesday. If the Bulls get swept on this trip, their play-in tournament chances will take a massive hit.


NBA News: Bulls Could Be Without DeMar DeRozan Friday in Portland, Maybe Longer


When: Friday, March 24, 2023 at 10:00 pm ET
Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR
TV / Streaming: NBA League Pass, NBCS Chi., Root Sports

Chicago got a huge double-OT win in Philadelphia on Monday but then gave it right back on Wednesday at home as the Sixers jumped out to a 23-1 lead and never looked back in a 116-91 win. Playing without James Harden because of left Achilles tendon soreness, the Sixers started the game with a 23-1 run. They shot 48% from the field on the night and had five players score in double figures.

The Bulls dropped to 0-5 in their attempts this season to post their first four-game win streak, trailing by as many as 31. Their lead for the 10th seed in the play-in race dropped a game to 1-1/2 over the Indiana Pacers.

DeRozan departed in the third quarter with a right quad strain. DeRozan, who scored 25 points in the prior game, had a season-low four points on 0-for-7 shooting. Those were the fewest points he has scored since being traded to Chicago. The 33-year-old entered Wednesday’s game averaging 25.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 65 games while shooting 51.2 percent from the floor and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc.

This is the same injury that cost DeRozan five games from January-February. The good news is that DeRozan was able to walk off the court under his own power, and perhaps the lopsided score may have played a role in his early exit. DeRozan chose not to meet with the media but was seen walking around the locker room without a limp. If he needs to miss time, Ayo Dosunmu could return to the first unit.

DeMar DeRozan (49) & Zach LaVine (39) Combine For Historic 88 Points In Bulls W! | March 17, 2023

“I’m always concerned because he’s been dealing with it, but I haven’t gotten anything that’s indicated he’s going to be out any length of time,” Coach Billy Donovan said. “But I think when you have a recurring thing that he’s been having to manage and deal with, it’s like Alex (Caruso). Listen, most guys aren’t totally healthy this time of year. But they’re healthy enough to go on the court and perform and work through it. I think for Alex and DeMar, they’re at a place right now where they physically can’t perform like they want to or need to for us.”

Caruso, the team’s starting guard and best defender, has missed the past two games with a mid-foot sprain. The Bulls have just 10 games remaining in the regular season so they need to have all hands on deck.

Portland sits 13th in the West and will not be playing postseason basketball – which means the Blazers will keep their 2023 first-round draft pick. They owe one to the Bulls but it’s lottery protected so it won’t convey. The Blazers reportedly could shut down superstar Damian Lillard soon with little to play for – other than maybe the NBA scoring title. He’s averaging a career-high 32.2 ppg, third in the league. Philly’s Joel Embiid leads at 33.2 and Luka Doncic is next at 32.9.

Lillard logged 30 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds during Wednesday’s 127-115 victory over the Jazz. The team played without Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant and Nassir Little in Utah and they are all in question Friday.

Chicago goes for the season sweep as it beat Portland 129-121 on Feb. 4 in Chicago. Zach LaVine scored 36 points, DeRozan had 27 and Nikola Vucevic had 23 points and 11 rebounds. Portland led by as many as 17 in the second half. Lillard had 40 points, five rebounds and five assists. In 19 career games against Chicago, Lillard has scored 30-plus points five times.

The last time Chicago swept the season series with Portland was during the 2006-07 season. Vucevic is averaging 25.4 ppg and 12.6 rpg in his last five games versus Portland with five straight double-doubles. LaVine has scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games versus the Trail Blazers.


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