Golden State Warriors (-2.5, 201 o/u) at Chicago Bulls
Tonight, one of the best teams in the East, the Chicago Bulls (12-7), will host the class of the West, the Golden State Warriors (16-2), at the United Center (8:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Golden State Warriors are on fire; at 16-2, the Warriors have the best record in the league and are riding an incredible 11-game winning streak (second longest in franchise history).
Led by the “Super Splash Brothers”, Stephen Curry (23.4 PPG) and Klay Thompson (21.0 PPG), the Warriors are third in the Association in scoring, averaging over 106 points per game. A healthy Andrew Bogut (9.3 RPG, 2.3 BPG) has bettered Golden State’s rebounding this season. Together with athletic wings Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Shaun Livingston, Bogut and the Warriors are now a defensive force, keeping teams to well-under triple-digits (95.9 PPG).
“We’ve got such versatile defenders and such big wings — we might have the longest team in the NBA,” Thompson said after smashing the New Orleans Pelicans 112-85 last Thusrday. “And people don’t appreciate Steph’s defense as much as they should.”
Tonight, the Warriors will face a solid Bulls squad that is finally starting to get healthy. Derrick Rose has been suffering from injuries again this year, but the former NBA MVP has managed to appear in six straight for the Bulls, who are 4-2 over that span. Center Joakim Noah is still battling an ankle injury, though, and remains questionable for tonight’s game.
The Warriors are the third best rebounding squad in the NBA, so if Noah – last year’s defensive MVP – can’t go, Golden State could take advantage. That said, even without their star center, Chicago has more than enough talent to challenge Golden State. Fourth-year guard Jimmy Butler is having a career year, leading Chicago in scoring at just over 21 a night; and Spaniard Pau Gasol, who was brought in to replace Carlos Boozer, has been great at both ends of the floor for his new team, averaging over 19 points and 11 boards per game.
Neither team played last night, so both should be well rested. The Warriors are currently 2.5-point road favorites and the over/under is at 201. If Noah can’t go, consider the over in this matchup of high-scoring teams.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) “Stephen Curry” [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/]. Photo has been cropped.)
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