The Chicago Bulls will travel to the Toyota Center on Wednesday night to take on the Houston Rockets in a non-conference matchup. The Bulls are second in the Eastern Conference with a 12-6 record and are coming off a 109-77 home loss against the Indiana Pacers on Monday. The Rockets are last in the Western Conference with a 1-16 record and are riding a brutal 15-game losing streak after losing on the road to the Boston Celtics 108-90 on Monday.
These teams are heading in two completely different directions this season so it will be interesting to see how this works. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to determine where we should be betting in this game.
Double D Providing LeadershipSmall forward DeMar DeRozan has been playing extremely well this season for the Chicago Bulls so far as he has 26.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.4 blocks, and 0.9 steals in 35.1 minutes per game. He is shooting above his career numbers as he is 49 percent from the field, 35.6 percent from the three-point line, and 89.4 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Indiana Pacers, DeRozan finished with 18 points, one rebound, two assists, and four turnovers in 27 minutes on the court. If he can figure out how to cut down on the sloppy play, the Bulls can fix their mistakes.
The Chicago Bulls have been a solid defensive team this season as they are eighth in the NBA giving up just 103.9 points per game. In their previous game against the Indiana Pacers, they allowed 109 points on 40-of-90 (44.4 percent) overall, 13-of-31 (41.9 percent) from beyond the arc, and 18 trips to the free-throw line. If they can defend the three a little better, it will really help them regain their position defensively.
Playing Hard Like WoodCenter Christian Wood will have to step up even more than his team-leading scoring for the Houston Rockets. So far this season, he is averaging 15.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 32.4 minutes on the court. He is struggling with his shot as he is 44.4 percent from the floor, 30.9 percent from beyond the arc, and 53.5 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Boston Celtics, Wood played 24 minutes and finished with four points, nine rebounds, three assists, and one block. He could be a reliable second or third option on a good team so the rest of the roster needs to step up around him.
The Houston Rockets have been a struggling defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 111.4 points per game, which ranks 27th in the NBA. In their last game against the Boston Celtics, they allowed 108 points on 39-of-91 (42.9 percent) from the floor, 12-of-35 (34.3 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 19 free-throws. If the Rockets can defend the three a little more, they can remain competitive in these games and hopefully snap their losing streak.