Strap in, ladies and gentlemen. The Chicago Bulls are preparing for their second straight game on national television when they host the Golden State Warriors tonight.
Both the Bulls and Warriors are coming off absolute beatdowns. On Wednesday, the Bulls lost in embarrassing fashion to the Eastern Conference No. 2 seed Brooklyn Nets. Last night, the Warriors suffered a similar fate against the Bucks in Milwaukee. What do good teams tend to do when following a letdown on national television? They bounce back.
Two of the Warriors' top stars will be missing from action against the Bulls. Klay Thompson is sitting out after playing last night as he eases his way back into game action. Draymond Green is still nursing a calf injury that has kept him out the last two games. Despite star players missing time, the Warriors still own the second-best record in the NBA. They rank 14th in offensive efficiency and lead the league in defensive efficiency.
Similarly, the Bulls are short-handed (as they've been all season) and need a major win over the Warriors to prove their worth as a serious contender. Chicago enters tonight's contest with the fourth-best offense and eighth-best defense in the league.
Make no mistake, tonight is a statement game for the Bulls. Yes, they are dealing with injuries and COVID-related absences, but Golden State isn't at full strength either. DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine have a prime opportunity to show the world the Bulls are for real. On top of that, Chicago will be looking to avenge its November loss to the Warriors in San Francisco. Doing so would split the season series.
The Bulls and Warriors tip off at 6:30 PM CST from the United Center. The game will air on ESPN in addition to NBC Sports Chicago.