Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Bulls’
The Miami Heat looks to bounce back in Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. The Heat are -12 point favorites over the Bulls with an over/under point total set at 187.5.
The Heat are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. loss, 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 Conference Semifinals games, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. NBA Central and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The Bulls on the other hand are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Semifinals games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
When was the last time you saw over 70% of the action against the Miami Heat, let alone in a playoff game? Well, that’s what happening in the early action for Game 2 after the Chicago Bulls performance in opening game of the series on Monday night. Make no mistake about it, the Bulls stunned the Heat in Game 1, running away with a 93-86 victory thanks to a big fourth quarter which saw them score the last 10 points of the game. Nate Robinson once again led the way by scoring a game-high 27 points and dishing out nine assists while Jimmy Butler added 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Miami, who clearly looked rusty after such a long lay-off, shot just 39% from the floor and only had two players finish the game in double-digits in Lebron James and Dwayne Wade.
The Game 1 win for Chicago was probably the most impressive win of the playoffs thus far considering that Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich didn’t even play in the game. The Heat didn’t look like themselves, but all the credit has to go to the Bulls here.
I’m going to surprise a lot of people here and take the Heat in Game 2. Yes, the Bulls looked good in Game 1 and they were the team that stopped Miami’s 27-game winning streak, but here me out. Chicago was blown out in a lot of games this season and even two of their losses in their series against the Nets were by 19 points or greater. Also, don’t forget that the Heat’s last three wins over the Bulls have come at an average of 14 points per game.
I could be completely wrong here, but I just think Miami responds in a big way in Game 2. I also don’t like that fact that most of the public are with Chicago here and too be honest, taking the +12 seems just a little bit too easy.
Miami Heat -12 Chicago Bulls
The Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls square off in Game 7 from the Barclays Center on Saturday night. The Nets are -6.5 point favorites over the Bulls.
Head to head, the Bulls are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Brooklyn. The Nets are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Conference Quarterfinals games, but just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win. The Bulls on the other hand are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
Who would have thought we would be seeing a Game 7 between these two teams with the way this series was headed. After their triple overtime loss in Game 4, which put them down three games to one, the Brooklyn Nets suddenly look in control of this series after running away victorious in Game 5 & 6.
With Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich both missing through injury, the Nets took control on Thursday as the trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez all scored 17 points apiece as Brooklyn withheld a late rally from the home team Bulls to come away with a 95-92 win to even the series at three games apiece.
This is a tough one to call because we still don’t know the status of Deng and Hinrich as both are still questionable due to injury. If anything, it looks like Deng will probably play and I would be surprised if Hinrich missed too because after all, this is a Game 7. While Brooklyn once again has the momentum in this series and they are playing at home, I still think we are going to see a strong performance from the Bulls tonight. Let’s also not forget that two of the last four meetings have been decided by three points or less while Game 4 went into triple overtime.
I think the Nets probably move on to the second round tonight, but the Bulls will go down swinging.
Chicago Bulls +6.5 Brooklyn Nets
The Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets head to the Windy City for Game 3 on Thursday night. The Bulls are -3.5 point favorites over the Nets with an over/under point total set at 181.
Head to head, the Nets are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings while the road team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings and the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Bulls are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall, 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 games playing on 2 days rest and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games. The Nets on the other hand are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 2 days rest, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS loss and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Talk about a turnaround from Game 1. After dominating the opening game 106-89, the Nets look like a different team in Game 2, falling 90-82 on Monday as Chicago evened the series at one game apiece. Brooklyn shot 55% from the field in Game 1 as Deron Williams and Brook Lopez led the way with 22 and 21 points, respectively. However, things changed dramatically as the Bulls picked up their defense as they held the home team to just 35% shooting, with Williams going just 1-9 from the floor for just eight points.
Here’s where it gets interesting. You would think that Chicago returning home for Games 3 & 4 would be an advantage, yet, I’m not sure that is the case. The Bulls were just 13-28 against the spread at the United Center this season, which has to be one of the worst marks of a playoff team in history. Just think about that for a second, Chicago failed to cover in 28 of their 41 home games this season, which included inexplicable losses to Charlotte and Phoenix amongst others. Now things might be different in the playoffs, but it’s you have to factor this in when making a pick for this game.
This is a difficult game to pick simply given the fact the Games 1 & 2 were so different. While playoff basketball is a different beast all together, I just can’t ignore that the Bulls were so bad at home this season when covering the spread, and saying they were just bad is being kind. I think the Nets bounce back tonight and this game goes right down to the wire.
Brooklyn Nets +3.5 Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls look to square the ledger against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 2 on Monday night from the Barclays Center. The Nets are -4.5 point favorites over the Bulls.
Head to head, the Bulls are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Brooklyn while the road team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings. The Nets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games and Nets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall, but just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win. The Bulls on the other hand are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, but just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Thanks to a big second quarter, the Brooklyn Nets made light work of the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 on Saturday night, running away with a comfortable 106-89 victory in the best of seven series. Led by 22 points from Deron Williams and 21 from Brook Lopez, the Nets made 16-20 shots in the second period to outscore the visiting Bulls 35-21, which gave them a commanding 60-35 lead at the major break and ultimately turned out to be the difference in the game. It was an impressive display from a Nets team in their first playoff appearance since 2007. As for the Bulls, Carlos Boozer led the way with 25 points and eight rebounds while Joakim Noah was clearly limited with that foot injury, playing just 14 minutes in the blowout loss.
I expect a much better performance from the Bulls in Game 2, but I’m having a hard time taking them here given what we saw on Saturday night. The Nets were really impressive and in Williams and Lopez, they have the best two players on the court. Chicago is a tough minded club and one of the better road teams in the league, but I just don’t see how they keep up with a hot Nets team here, especially considering Noah isn’t anywhere near %100 healthy.
The Bulls might come out and look like a different team tonight, but I just can’t look past Brooklyn from what we saw in Game 1.
Brooklyn Nets -4.5 Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizard close out the regular season on Wednesday night. The Bulls are -8 point favorites over the Wizards with an over/under point total set at 186.
Head to head, the Wizards are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings and 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Chicago. The Bulls are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 13-27 ATS in their last 40 home games. The Wizards on the other hand are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 0-7 ATS in their last 7 road games.
I have been fading the Chicago Bulls at home all season long and for good reason as they are just a putrid 13-27 against the spread their this season, which is by far the worst mark of all the playoff teams, however, I’m taking them tonight for two main reasons:
1: With a win tonight, the Bulls will leapfrog the Atlanta Hawks for fifth place (because they own the tie-breaker) in the East and thus setting up a matchup with the fourth-place Brooklyn Nets, a team they managed to beat three of four times in the regular season. If they somehow lose tonight, they will be facing the third-place Indiana Pacers, a team they lost to three of four times this season.
2: While the Wizards were the hottest against the spread team for a while there, it’s pretty apart they have given up on the season. Not only have they lost five straight and six of seven, but check out the players missing for tonight’s game: Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Martell Webster, Nene and Bradley Beal.
Like I said, Chicago has been an automatic fade at home all season long, but they are finally healthy again and they have a good reason to make sure they win tonight’s game.
Chicago Bulls -8 Washington Wizards
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers continue their charge towards the playoff as they host the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon. The Lakers are -5.5 point favorites over the Bulls with an over/under point total set at 195.
Head to head, the Bulls are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings while the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings and the underdog is 17-5 ATS in the last 22 meetings. The Lakers are 14-37 ATS in their last 51 games following a S.U. win, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 home games. The Bulls on the other hand are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games following a ATS loss and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games, but just 7-21 ATS in their last 28 vs. Western Conference.
For all the Lakers success over the last couple of weeks, they are just 2-6 against the spread in their last eight home games. While they took care of Boston and Minnesota handily, they struggled against Portland, Atlanta and most recently Toronto, where they needed some Kobe Bryant magic to get them across the line. Chicago on the other hand looked really ordinary in recent road losses at Oklahoma City and San Antonio, but you know what, those are two of the toughest places to play in the whole league, excluding Denver. The Bulls still remain as the best against the spread road team in the Eastern Conference, covering in 18 of their 30 games away from the United Center.
Chicago has won the last three meetings between the two and has covered in four of the last five. Even though the Bulls can struggle on offense from time to time, they shouldn’t have much problem against the Lakers Swiss cheese defense. I won’t be on this game myself because we are right at the awkward number of 5.5, but if the Hawks and Raptors can get within a bucket, then so can Chicago.
Chicago Bulls +5.5 Los Angeles Lakers
The series shifts back to Chicago as the Bulls look to starve off elimination in Game 5. The Bulls are -5 point favorites over the 76ers with an over/under point total set at 171.5.
Head to head, the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings, while the favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings. The Bulls are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5, 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 home games and 38-16-2 ATS in their last 56 games following a S.U. loss. The 76ers on the other hand are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall, but just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Despite a poor shooting night, the 76ers managed to take over when it mattered in Game 4 on Sunday to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the best of seven series. With Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose looking on from the sidelines, Philly raced out of the blocks to take a 24-15 quarter time lead. The Bulls would answer in the following two quarters, but 22 points from Spencer Hawes was too much to overcome as the 76ers pulled away for an 89-82 win and control of this series. Hawes shot 9-11 from the field, but the 76ers shot just 39% overall.
I know everyone is counting out the Bulls, but I don’t think this series is as over as people are suggesting. If Chicago manage to pull out the win tonight and Noah happens to return for Game 6 in Philly, we are going to have ourselves one heck of a game on Friday night. I think the Bulls can get the win and the cover here, but five points just looks like too much when you consider Philly have won the last three games by a combined 29 points. I’ll take the points in this one.
Philadelphia 76ers +5 Chicago Bulls
The injury plagued Chicago Bulls hope to even things up in Game 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers are -2.5 point favorites over the Bulls with an over/under point total set at 174.
Head to head, the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. The 76ers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5. The Bulls on the other hand are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5, but just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as an underdog and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Not that having the reigning MVP missing was bad enough, but the Bulls will be without Joakim Noah for today’s game after he left Game 3 with a sprained ankle. It’s been a horrible start to the playoffs for the first seeded Bulls who with a loss tonight, will be one of only a handful of teams to be knocked out in the first round by an eight seed. Chicago had their chances to take Game 3, however they were shut down in the fourth quarter as the 76ers made their run, going on a 16-2 spurt to take control of the contest.
With Noah and obviously Rose out for Game 4, the 76ers really couldn’t have asked for anything more. If there was a team that could overcome these injuries it would be the Bulls, however they had a perfect chance to take Game 3 and blew it. I think this game will come down to the wire, but I like Philly to get the win and the cover in the end.
Philadelphia 76ers -2.5 Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls look to bounce back against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 on Friday night. The 76ers are -2 point favorites over the Bulls with an over/under point total set at 178.5.
The 76ers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall, but just 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 18-38 ATS in their last 56 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Bulls on the other hand are 21-10 ATS in their last 31 road games and 38-14-2 ATS in their last 54 games following a S.U. loss, but just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Just as it looked like the Bulls were going to take a 2-0 lead and command of this series, the 76ers surprised everyone by dominating the second half of Tuesday nights game in Chicago, outscoring the Bulls 36-14 in the pivitol third quarter. Despite the absence of Derrick Rose, who’s season ended after he tore his ACL in the closing stages of Game 1′s 103-91 victory, Chicago didn’t skip a beat in the first half, holding a 55-47 advantage. However, that lead quickly evaporated in the second half as Philly dominated every aspect of the game, shooting 59% for the game en route to a 109-92 win.
It’s been two days and I still don’t know what to make of Chicago’s second half on Tuesday night. The Bulls pride themselves on outworking their opponents and rarely do you see them get dominated liked they did. So what expect going forward? Personally, I’m not going to over react over one bad half and I think the Bulls re-group and take control of the series here. This is still the same Chicago team that finished first in the East without Rose for half of the season and likewise, Philly is 16-23 in their last 39 overall. I was all in on the Bulls in Game 2 and I was way wrong, but I’m willing to take my chances again.
Chicago Bulls +2 Philadelphia 76ers
The top seeded Chicago Bulls look to make light work of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1. The Bulls are -8.5 point favorites over the 76ers with an over/under point total set at 175.5.
Head to head, the Bulls are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5, 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 vs. Eastern Conference and 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 home games. The 76ers on the other hand are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, but just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 7-21 ATS in their last 28 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
For the second straight season, the Bulls finished the regular season with the league’s best record and number one overall seed entering postseason play. Philly on the other hand looked like they were going to be a genuine contender in the East after the first two months of play. However, things quickly changed as Philly struggled on all fronts and in the second half of the season, finishing with a 35-31 record overall and the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Extra motivation isn’t really needed when it comes to playoff basketball, however the Bulls might just have some today. The 76ers did indeed finish eighth in the East, however they had a very good chance to try and move up to the seventh seed, however they rested players in the final couple of games to avoid the Miami Heat once again. Even Turner even went as far as saying that they would prefer to avoid the tougher team in the opening round. Take that as you will.
For all of the Bulls dominance over the last couple of season, the 76ers have actually fared pretty well against them, winning three of the last five meetings. Everyone knows I like a large underdog, however I think the Bulls send a message here. The Chicago players are all aware of Evan Turner’s comments and they will use that tonight. The 76ers are a nice team and they might take a game or two in this series, but today belongs to Rose and company.
Chicago Bulls -8.5 Philadelphia 76ers