) @ Los Angeles Lakers
Bulls @ Nuggets 99-81 L
Lakers @ Suns 107-102 L
Projected Starting Lineups
(Kirk Hinrich, Eric Piatkowski, Andres Nocioni, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry)
(Chucky Atkins, Kobe Bryant, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Chris Mihm)
Factors off the Bench
(Luol Deng, Luke Walton)
(Kirk Hinrich, Kobe Bryant)
The Bulls are winless so far this season, with an 0-7 start. The Lakers are coming off a loss to Phoenix, but not before putting up a fight.
Kirk Hinrich will have to lead this team from the first quarter, and try to pull away with a halftime lead before the Bulls even think about winning this game. Luol Deng's numbers have somewhat dropped, but he should be a scoring threat off the bench tonight for Chicago, along with Ben Gordon, who may run into trouble against Kobe Bryant late into the game. If Hinrich doesn't have more than 8 assists, with a few of them to Eddy Curry, the Bulls won't even come close to a victory.
The Lakers will have to focus on keeping the lead, and keeping the Bulls under 100 points, which should be an easy task for Los Angeles...who are 5-0 holding opponents under 100, yet losing the other five games this season as their opponents broke the 100-point total. Butler should take a fair amount of shots in this game, being matched up with Nocioni, who sometimes seems to be lost on defense.
Chicago won't be happy playing against the Lakers at STAPLES, especially when Los Angeles gains momentum early in the game. Look to see the Bulls' shooting percentage in the 30's in this game, as the Lakers run away with this one, 97-82.