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The Chicago Bulls head west to play one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference Friday when they play the Los Angeles Clippers. Game time is 10:30 p.m. ET at the Staples Center. The Clippers have won 5 of their last 6 and are battling for position in the Western Conference playoff race. The young Bulls are struggling after playing a good stretch of games and one wonders whether they have packed it in.
Bulls play out the string
The Bulls have lost 3 straight and 4 of their last 5 to fall to 19-50 on the season. At this point, there’s more interest in where they’ll place in the lottery than anything else. At present, they own the 4th worst record in the NBA and are just 2 games ahead of the Cavs, 3 games ahead of the Suns, and 6 games ahead of the Knicks. They are coming off to a 123-107 loss to the Lakers, which shows you how bad things are as the depleted Lakers had been in freefall. The Bulls shot 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from three and outrebounded the Lakers 44-40. But the Bulls committed 22 turnovers, which is just too many to win, even against the Lakers. All five Bulls’ starters were in double figures led by Robin Lopez with 20, Otto Porter with 18, and Kris Dunn with 17 points. Ryan Arcidiacono added 14 points while Lauri Markkanen tossed in 11 points.
Zach LaVine, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, is questionable for Wednesday’s game. Porter hurt his knee in the Lakers game and is also questionable. Wendell Carter and Chandler Hutchison remain out until about March 23.
Offensively, the Bulls average 105 points per game, which is 28th in the NBA. They also shoot 45 percent from the floor and 34 percent from three. The Bulls allow opponents to score 112.8 points per game. LaVine leads the team with 23.8 points per game, which ranks 16th in the NBA. Markannen averages 19 points and 9 rebounds per game, while Porter averages 18.4 points per game. Also, Dunn averages 11 points per game and a team-high 6 assists per game.
Clippers fall to Trail Blazers
The Clippers have had a busy week. On Monday they blew out the Celtics and then, on the second night of a back-to-back, they lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 125-104. The Clippers jumped out to a lead in the first half, but ran out of gas. “I thought we had a chance in the first half to have a 10 to 12-point lead. I thought once we didn’t have that, I felt like the second half could be rough,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. the loss dropped the Clippers to 39-30, but they remain a lock to make the playoffs. They are currently in 8th place in the conference, but are just a half game behind Utah and San Antonio. LA shot 40 percent from the floor, but 60 percent from three, making 9 of 15 from deep. Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. Lou Williams had 18 points and rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 15 points. Landry Shamet added 11 points, while Ivica Zubac added 10 points and 15 rebounds.
The Clippers missed Danilo Gallinari but, a reminder, they’re a “no excuses” team https://t.co/jpprDmQ8bw
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) March 13, 2019
Danilo Gallinari missed the Blazers game with an injury and is questionable for this game. Luc Mbah Moute is also questionable.
Offensively, the Clippers average 114 points per game, which is 8th in the NBA, on 47 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent shooting from three, which is second in the NBA. They also average 45 rebounds and about 14 turnovers. Defensively, they give up 113 points per game, which is 22nd in the league. Williams leads the team in scoring with about 20 points and 5.4 assists per game. Also, Gallinari averages 19 points and 6 rebounds per game, while Harrell averages 16 points and almost 7 rebounds per game.
- Clippers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Clippers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Clippers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
- Clippers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
- Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- Clippers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Clippers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
- Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Bulls are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Bulls are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Clippers here. LA has won its first three meetings with the Bulls this year and is going for the season sweep. The Bulls are reeling and their two best players, LaVine and Porter, are questionable. The Bulls have nothing to play for, except the lottery, while the Clippers are jockeying for position to avoid the Warriors. Take the Clippers giving up points.
Prediction: Clippers -8.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the under here. In the three games they have played this year against each other, they have all been played in the under. The Bulls likely won’t put up much of a fight so the Clippers should be able to win easily. Expect some garbage time in this one. The under is 6-1 in Clippers last 7 Friday games and 5-2 in their last 7 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game. Also, the under is 4-0 in Bulls last 4 vs. a team with a winning straight up record. Take the under.