Bulls Look to Halt Slide
The Charlotte Hornets shoot for a second straight win when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. Charlotte snapped an ugly two-game losing streak with a win over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night as it tries to move up in the play-in standings. Chicago has dropped three straight – all to teams it could meet in the playoffs – and is hoping to get back on track with the postseason around the corner. This one could be a fun, high-scoring game, so check out our in-depth preview of the contest before you make any bet online.
Hornets Still Hope to Host Play-In Game
The Charlotte Hornets got a big win on Thursday against the Orlando Magic, clinching the first non-losing season for the franchise since 2018-19. Charlotte is sitting a game behind the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets, who are tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference standings with two games to play.
The win was also significant after the Hornets had allowed 144 points to both the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat in back-to-back losses. Charlotte limited Orlando to just 101 points in the blowout win.
“We were trying to pay attention to the details on the defensive end,” Charlotte guard Terry Rozier said after Thursday’s win. “If we take care of what we know we can take care of on defense, that becomes our best offense.”
Second-year guard LaMelo Ball continues to be one of the most exciting players in the league to watch. He finished with 26 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and foul steals in the win. Ball is averaging 19.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.6 steals as the leader of the potent Charlotte offense.
Forward Miles Bridges is the top scorer for the Hornets, averaging 20.4 points. Bridges is a dynamic dunker but is also improving his overall game, averaging 7.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists as well.
Bulls Need Signs Of Life
The Chicago Bulls are comfortably in the playoff field in the Eastern Conference, but they’ve been playing poorly of late. Chicago has dropped three straight – all at home and all by at least 18 points.
One big question is the health of guard Zach LaVine, who is considered probable for Friday’s game with a knee injury. LaVine played against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday and managed just seven points in 27 minutes of action. LaVine is averaging 24.4 points this season, so if he’s limited or out for the postseason, that will be a big loss for the Chicago offense.
Forward DeMar DeRozan just keeps putting together one of the better bounce-back seasons in the NBA. DeRozan had just 16 points in the loss to the Celtics, but he’s averaging 28.0 points (sixth in the NBA) in his first season in the Windy City.
Center Nikola Vucevic will be a key to any success the Bulls have in the postseason with his ability to hit the boards. Vucevic is eighth in the NBA with 11.1 rebounds per game while also averaging 17.8. If he can put together solid games on the offensive end and be a presence on the defensive end, Chicago will be a tough team in the postseason.
Hornets vs Bulls Head-to-Head
The Chicago Bulls are going for the season series sweep, having taken the first two meetings between these teams. Chicago topped the Charlotte Hornets on their home floor in the last meeting, winning by 12 in February.
Chicago also swept the season series in 2020-21, giving it five straight victories in the series. Despite the Bulls’ recent slump, the NBA lines are giving them a slight advantage in this one playing at home.
Hornets vs Bulls Game Information
- Game: Hornets (41-39) vs Bulls (46-35)
- Location: United Center, Chicago
- Day/Time: Friday, April 8th, 8 p.m. ET
- Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Hornets vs Bulls Betting Lines
Hornets vs Bulls Prediction
The Charlotte Hornets are feeling much better about themselves after Thursday night’s win, and they have a chance to move up and maybe host a play-in game if they can keep winning. The vibe is completely different with the Chicago Bulls, who have struggled over the last week at home, and we expect those struggles to continue in this one.
When making your NBA picks, take Charlotte to get the win on the road.
Pick: Charlotte Hornets +2½