The Bulls are taking their talents to South Beach tonight for a 6:30 PM CT tipoff against the Heat. The game will be telecast locally on Comcast SportsNet and nationally on NBA-TV. Chicago Bulls Pregame Live on CSN and NBA TV Pregame Show start at 6:00 CT.
The Bulls will be trying to end a two-game losing streak, and Derrick Rose is still listed at questionable with right hamstring tendinitis. I'd actually be surprised if he played tonight, considering this is the first of a back-to-back and it will make Rose look even worse if he plays tonight and can't go tomorrow night in Orlando.
The Bulls fell short in the first matchup of the season, 89-84, at the United Center. Pau Gasol led Chicago with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Gasol posted a double-double in the first quarter (13 points and 10 rebounds). Nikola Mirotić chipped in 15 points in 22 minutes off the bench. Tthe Heat used a 28-16 fourth quarter and 61.1 percent shooting in the frame to pull ahead from a nine-point deficit.
The Bulls dished a season-high 33 assists on Feb. 27 vs. the Trail Blazers. Since the All-Star break, Chicago has averaged 25.3 assists compared to the 21.9 assists per game before it. Three of the Bulls’ four 30+ assists games have come since Feb. 19.
Chicago scored 32 points in the third quarter of Saturday’s game vs. Portland on 60.0 percent shooting. The Bulls have had success coming out of halftime as of late. Over the last five games, the Bulls have shot 50.0 percent or better in the third quarter four times. In that time frame, the Bulls are averaging 31.8 points in the third and are shooting 54.8 percent.
Over the last four games, Chicago is shooting 82.2 percent from the charity stripe (67-of-76).
Doug McDermott has been on an offensive tear of late. He extended his double-digit scoring streak to a career-long five games with 18 points vs. Portland on Feb. 27. Since scoring a career-high 30 points on Feb. 19 vs. Toronto, McDermott has averaged 19.6 points on 57.8 percent shooting over those five games.
Pau Gasol notched his first triple-double as a Bull vs. the Trail Blazers on Saturday, finishing with 22 points, 16 rebounds, a career-best 14 assists and three blocks. It was Gasol’s eighth career regular season triple-double, with his most recent coming on April 17, 2013, as a member of the Lakers. Gasol is the 23rd Bull to register a triple-double. The last to do so was Joakim Noah on April 9, 2014.
Gasol has led the Bulls in assists in six of the last eight games.
Bobby Portis registered his fifth double-double of the season of Feb. 27 vs. Portland, scoring 10 points with a career-high 16 rebounds in 28 minutes. The last time a Bulls rookie snatched more rebounds was Aaron Gray in April 2008 (22). Over his last six games, Portis has averaged 10.2 points and 8.8 rebounds.