The Chicago Bulls are back in action on Friday night when they take to the road to visit a fellow Eastern Conference contender in the Charlotte Hornets.
The Bulls played what can only be considered a dud of a game on Wednesday night, blowing a large early lead in yet another rough fourth quarter. After dropping a game to the surging Washington Wizards at home, it’s going to be a road test up next.
Charlotte is going to be a real test for Chicago. The Hornets are one of the few teams that occupy a tier of talent just below that of teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors. They ran neck-and-neck with the Miami Heat in the Southeast Division last season and currently sit in first place in the conference, two games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks and 2.5 games ahead of Wizards team that just beat the Bulls this week.
Chicago will have their hands full, taking on an opponent who is superior to them in many ways, not just in record. Charlotte is one of the few teams in the NBA who can rebound at or around the same rate as the Bulls.
The Hornets are currently riding a two-game win streak and are 9-6 at home this season. They’ll pose a challenge to Chicago at every position. Rajon Rondo will be outmatched when facing Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum is big enough and athletic enough to be a defensive problem for Dwyane Wade and is definitely much closer to his athletic prime. Jimmy Butler and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should be good. Butler has the offensive advantage over the less reliable Kidd-Gilchrist, but both players are known for their great wing defense. In the frontcourt, Marvin Williams and Taj Gibson has the potential to be another great matchup. Gibson is a great defender, but Williams has excellent range and versatility, making him a dynamic and difficult player to cover. At center, Robin Lopez will get a one-two combination of Cody Zeller and Roy Hibbert.
Basically, it’s going to be a great matchup. I’d like to say that this game will help us figure out more about the Bulls, but really it’s just going lead to more confusion.
More from Pippen Ain’t Easy
Hopefully, you’re as excited to catch this match as we are. If you are, here’s how you can watch or listen to tonight’s big showdown.
Matchup: Chicago Bulls (14-14) at Charlotte Hornets (16-13)
When: 6:00 p.m. CST
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Radio: WLS-AM 89