Keys To The Game: Bulls at Magic (11.26.21)

Remind Me Later


The Bulls followed up their most disappointing loss of the season with a new most disappointing loss of the season, falling 118-113 to the now 2-16 Houston Rockets.

Chicago will look to bounce back quickly, as there is little time to stew over a bad loss in an 82-game season. The Bulls will take on the Magic in Nikola Vucevic's first return to Orlando since the two teams made their franchise altering trade.

Last season the Bulls completed a trade package that sent Wendell Carter Jr. and picks to Orlando for Vucevic. The Magic enter the first full year of their rebuild with Carter, Mo Bamba, Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner and a solid mix of veteran players trying to keep things afloat.

Orlando enters Friday night on a four-game losing streak.

Play With A Sense Of Urgency

The Bulls have a more talented team than the Orlando Magic at this moment, at the very least, a much-more experienced team and that usually bodes well for the older team. But as we saw in Chicago's loss to Houston, a young team can catch up to any competition that doesn't play with a sense of urgency from the opening tip.

Chicago went into halftime against the Houston with a nine-point lead. They came out of the half and got promptly blasted in a third quarter that the Rockets won 35-18. There is no excuse for that quarter but it could have been avoided had the Bulls kept the pressure on early and built up a bigger lead.

The Bulls will need to crush any hope the Magic have early that they can keep up in this matchup.

Bulls team huddle

Rebound! Rebound! Rebound!

It is no secret that the Bulls have had some issues in terms of overall size on the roster, even when their primary centers in Nikola Vucevic and Tony Bradley are healthy. So with that being said, it should be obvious that one of the ways the Magic will try to take control of Friday's game is by dominating on the offensive and defensive glass.

Per, the Orlando Magic are 10th in the league in offensive rebound rate, recovering a whopping 26.7% of their own missed shots. Vucevic and Co. will need to focus on boxouts early and often, and the Bulls perimeter players will need to be alert to long rebounds considering the Magic are one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA.

Derrick Jones rebound


Friday night will mark Nikola Vucevic's first game in Orlando since being traded to the Bulls. The two-time All-Star is the Orlando Magic's career leader in field goals made, 2-pt field goals made and is fourth on their all-time games played list.

It goes without saying, it would likely mean a lot for Vucevic to get a win in his inaugural return to the Amway Center. If the Bulls need more motivation than avoiding a three-game losing streak, there it is.

Nikola Vucevic jump shot

  • Facebook
  • Twitter