Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Chicago Bulls – Game #37

The San Antonio Spurs (20-16) will try to win their second straight game when they take on the Chicago Bulls (18-20) tonight. It’s their third game of a five-game Eastern Conference road trip. The Spurs have split the first two games. After getting blasted by the Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio toppled the Detroit Pistons.

The Spurs remain right in the thick of things in the Western Conference playoff race. Currently, they have the seventh seed, however they are only 1.5 games back of the fifth seed and 3.5 games back of the fourth seed. On the other hand, the ninth-seeded Golden State Warriors are only two games behind the Silver and Black.

The Bulls are the ninth seed in the East, a half-game behind the eighth-seeded New York Knicks and one game behind the seventh-seeded Atlanta Hawks. Chicago is coming off of two blowout victories. After beating the Toronto Raptors by 23 points, they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder by 21 points.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Like last game against the Pistons, the Spurs will be without DeMar DeRozan and Keita Bates-Diop. DeRozan will miss his fourth game after the funeral for his father. Bates-Diop is out with a hamstring injury.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

After starting two straight games, Trey Lyles was the only player on the Spurs who didn’t play versus Detroit. Instead of starting Lyles, head coach Gregg Popovich started Lonnie Walker IV alongside Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl.

The Bulls have a bigger team than the Pistons, so it’s possible that Popovich could replace Walker with more size. Then again, he may not want to mess with what worked so well in the win.

Chicago Bulls Starting Lineup

The Bulls start Coby White, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and rookie Patrick Williams. LaVine is having a career-best season, with averages of 28.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He’s hitting 52.9% from the floor, 44.1% from three-point range and 86.1% from the free throw line.

Markkanen is another player having arguably the best season of his career. The 23-year-old from Finland is averaging 19.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, while shooting 50.8% from the floor, 41.2% from behind the three-point line and 83.6% from the line.

Spurs at Bulls – How the Spurs Can Win

The Bulls have a very talented starting lineup. However, their bench tends to be inconsistent. For the Spurs to win this game, they need their bench to play extremely well. Namely, Patty Mills and Rudy Gay need to produce offensively. Both players struggled mightily in the loss against the Sixers but both bounced back nicely in the win against the Pistons.