Wednesday, February 6 at 8:00 PM ET
Coverage: NBA League Pass
Two reeling teams clash when the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. The Pelicans have lost six of their last seven games while the Bulls have lost five of six.
Short-handed Pelicans have been competitive
Anthony Davis (finger) is one of five of the team's top six scorers who have missed the last four games but the Pelicans put up a fight in the last three contests, which were all against playoff teams.
First they lost 105-99 at home against the Nuggets on January 30, followed by a 113-108 road loss against the Spurs last Saturday and then the Pacers beat them 109-107 at home last Monday.
Davis was cleared to practice but the New Orleans front office reportedly ordered for him to sit out ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, which is interesting as the Lakers apparently pulled out of trade talks for him because of the outrageous demands of the Pelicans.
It remains to be seen if Los Angeles would still listen to counteroffers but it's clear that the ball is not on their court anymore.
Former Laker Julius Randle (ankle), E'Twaun Moore (quad), Nikola Mirotic (calf) and Elfrid Payton (ankle) have also been sidelined for the Pelicans and their status against the Bulls is uncertain.
Bulls finding a way?
The Bulls are coming off a tough 125-118 road loss against the Hornets last Saturday but they seem to be establishing an offensive identity under head coach Jim Boylen, as they've scored at least 100 points in their last 15 games.
The team does have plenty of ball-handlers who love to run and their defense has been getting some stops that lead to transition plays. Better ball movement has also been crucial but 3-point shooting is still a work in progress and it made a difference on Saturday, when the Hornets made 14 3-pointers against nine for the Bulls.
Opponents have now outscored the Bulls on 3-point shots in 14 of their last 19 games. Bobby Portis led the way in the setback with 33 points and nine rebounds off the bench, Lauri Markkanen had 30 points and nine rebounds while making all 13 of his free-throws and Zach LaVine added 18 points.
The New Orleans Pelicans are:
6-13 ATS in their last 19 games against a team with a losing straight up record
5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games following an ATS win
1-3-1 ATS in their last five games playing on 1 days rest
1-4 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a losing home record
1-5 ATS in the last six meetings
The Chicago Bulls are:
11-4 ATS in their last 15 games playing on three or more days rest
This is one of those rare spots in which I like my Bulls to get the win. The Pelicans are playing hard and playing well for some stretches but they haven't been able to do it over the course of 48 minutes and turn those efforts into wins.
There are many distractions surrounding Anthony Davis and there's much uncertainty regarding who will play for them on Wednesday and that lack of depth can cost them.
NBA Pick: Bulls ML at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzsportsON