The Bulls take their NBA-best 22-6 record to Charlotte tonight, where the Bobcats await with their NBA-worst record of 3-22. The game tips off at 6 PM CT and will be televised locally on CSN Chicago. After tonight, 23 of the Bulls final 37 games will be available nationally on either ABC, TNT, ESPN, NBA-TV or WGN America.
This is a complete mismatch as the Bobcats have earned their record by playing horrible ball all season long. In fact, according to Jeff Sagarin's NBA Ratings, the Bulls should win this game by 18 points, but I'm not sure it will be that close.
Derrick Rose is once again listed as a game-time decision (back spasms), but barring his back tightening up during warmups, he is expected to play. Rip Hamilton is still out resting his right thigh injury, but the Bulls should not need him tonight.
For Charlotte, DJ Augustin (right big toe inflammation) and Gerald Henderson (right hamstring strain) are out, and Corey Maggette (left hamstring strain) is listed as day-to-day. Henderson (15.0) and Augustin (13.6) are the Bobcats top two scorers, so much like the game in New Orleans on Wednesday the Bulls shouldn't have a bit of trouble tonight.
Former Bull Tyrus Thomas, who Michael Jordan acquired from the Bulls for a (potentially unprotected) first-round pick, has started 17 of his 18 games this season. In just over 27 minutes a night, Tyrus is giving the Hornets 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while shooting 35% from the field. If the Bulls wind up with a high lottery pick out of this trade, it could turn out to be another Polynice for Pippen steal for the Bulls' front office.
The protections on the pick, according to RealGM: (top-14 protected in the 2012 Draft, top-12 protected in 2013, top-10 protected in 2014, top-8 protected in 2015 and unprotected in the 2016 Draft.) As bad as the Bobcats are right now, and considering that MJ is running the front office, it's fairly easy to imagine the Bulls cashing in this pick in the 2016 draft completely unprotected.
Bulls - Offensive Efficiency 108.4 (1st in the NBA), Defensive Efficiency 97.6 (3rd)
Bobcats - Offensive Efficiency 94.5 (30th), Defensive Efficiency 109.2 (29th)
Tonight's Game Notes from NBA Media Central:
The Bulls defeated Charlotte in their first meeting this season, 95-89 at the United Center... three players scored 20 or more points that night for the Bulls (Boozer 23, Deng 22, Hamilton 20), and Omer Asik grabbed 15 rebounds... last season the two teams split the season series last year 2-2; the two teams split games on each other's home court... the Bobcats' 83-82 win at the UC was one of just five home losses for the Bulls last season... The Bulls are 11-3 all-time against the Bobcats in Charlotte... last season Derrick Rose averaged 22 points per game vs the Bobcats, and Carlos Boozer averaged a double-double (16.3/10) in three games vs Charlotte... The Bulls won the season series 3-1 in 2009-10, and the Bobcats won two of three games in 2008-09... Since the Bobcats' first season in 2004-05, the Bulls have a 17-9 overall record against Charlotte... the Bulls are 1-1 all-time in OT games against the Bobcats.
The Bulls' 90-67 win at New Orleans on Wednesday was their seventh win this season by 20 or more points.
The Bulls' 22-6 record is the fourth-best start in team history- the 1995-96 and 1996-97 squads each started off 25-3, and the 1991-92 team started 24-4.
16 of the Bulls' 22 wins have been by 10 points or more. The Bulls lead the NBA in scoring differential at +9.7 points per game.
The Bulls are 11-0 when they score 100 or more points, and they are 10-0 when they shoot 50% or better from the field.
The Bulls are 10-0 when holding their opponents to under 85 points, and 18-4 when holding their opponents under 100.