On Friday at the United Center, the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves will play in a key midst of the season matchup.
The most recent injuries to the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves
Both squads are fighting for a playoff spot and are looking to rebound from their most recent defeats. The Timberwolves blew out the Rockets by 24 points in their lone encounter this season, which took place back in December.
The stakes are high for both teams, making this a potential highlight of the NBA’s Friday night schedule.
Chicago Bulls Report
In order to make the playoffs, they need to improve on their current 11th-place standing, thus this weekend’s home games are crucial.
Of course, the team’s dismal performance in Minnesota last December on the road hasn’t been forgotten, and it has to be seen whether that will spur them on to avenge themselves or cause an early crisis of confidence.
The Bulls realize they can’t afford to wait much longer to start winning again after losing three of their last five games.
The offense for Chicago has improved as of late, but the team’s lack of a true star at point guard has made things difficult.
Nonetheless, their scoring ranking of 20th in the league can be attributed in part to the rapid tempo at which they play. They have a wide variety of offensive options and are fifth in the league in field goal percentage.
One of the greatest duos in the Eastern Conference, DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine combine for 25.1 points per game, but the team’s lack of bench scoring is a cause for concern.
Nikola Vucevic‘s ability to dominate the paint against a depleted frontcourt could be the game-changer. He averages 17.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.
When compared to the Bulls’ opponents, the odds of victory are significantly higher for the home team. Javonte Green (knee) is expected to miss the rest of the month, while Lonzo Ball (knee) will be sidelined for the season. Alex Caruso’s (sickness) participation is also in doubt.
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Minnesota Timberwolves Report
Minnesota is currently in seventh place in the Western Conference, 3.5 games ahead of the 13th-place club going into the weekend.
The Timberwolves’ season is on the line for a playoff spot, and they would want nothing more than to repeat their prior success against the Chicago Bulls.
Minnesota scored 150 points in that December matchup, an impressive total for this squad. Nevertheless, playing at home undoubtedly helped.
This could be a tough game for them to bounce back from, as they are 15-18 on the road this season and have a 1-3 record in their previous four games.
Minnesota really has to get back on track here because they have a couple of tough road games coming up after this one.
Both offenses will be closely scrutinized because of the combined 150 points scored in the first meeting between these two squads.
Even though they are 12th in scoring and fourth in field goal efficiency, the Timberwolves may struggle to score in the paint without a consistent presence up front.
They’ll have their hands full on defense once more, and it’ll be especially tough in the paint. They’ll be hoping their lackluster three-point defense from this season doesn’t come back to haunt them on the road.
During Wednesday’s 104-102 loss against the Celtics, Edwards played 38 minutes and finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. He was then ejected.
While Edwards was unable to extend his string of 30-point performances on Wednesday, he has now scored 25 or more points in five consecutive games while contributing well in other statistical categories.
In recent games, he’s been one of the most effective players in the Western Conference. Minnesota has relied heavily on Edwards, who is averaging 28.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.2 steals in six March games.
Gobert’s participation in Friday’s game against the Bulls is questionable because of a sprained left ankle.
Possibly the first day off for Gobert since February 26 could come on Friday. If Gobert is unable to play, Naz Reid (calf) and Nathan Knight could see more minutes.
Unfortunately, the injury bug hasn’t spared this squad, as five members are either out for sure or are uncertain.
Both Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) and Jaylen Nowell (knee) won’t play tonight, but Towns will be especially missed.
In addition to those two, Rudy Gobert (ankle) and Naz Reid (calf) are questionable, and Austin Rivers (back) is also in doubt.