Keys To The Game: Bulls vs. Hornets (11.29.21)

Remind Me Later

Body

The Bulls come into Monday night having a day off in between their close loss to the Miami Heat at the United Center. Zach LaVine wasn't his usual self against the Heat, shooting 6-of-16 from the field for his 16 points. LaVine and Co. will be ready and amped for an opportunity for a bounce back win against a young but extremely talented Hornets team.

Be Diligent On Defense

The Bulls defense has been excellent all season despite a relative lack of belief on a national scale. But as of late they have struggled to maintain their focus in the final frame.

In Chicago's loss to Miami, they gave up 35 points in the fourth quarter, sealing a three-point loss. The Bulls have been solid at focusing on key players, but Charlotte's play style makes that difficult.

All five of their starters score in (or near, PJ Washington at 9.9 points per game) double figures.

Chicago will need to be smart on their closeouts on 3-point shooters and make sure to over-communicate on defense early and often. Miami's 3-point shooting doomed Chicago late and Charlotte comes into Monday night shooting a league-leading 37.7% from 3-point range.

Alex Caruso guarding Kyle Lowry

Look Out For LaMelo

LaMelo Ball, the younger brother of Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball, is one of the more electrifying young guards in the league. LaMelo comes into Monday night averaging 19 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists per game.

Ball collected a 19-point, 11-rebound, 13-assist triple-double in the Hornets three-point OT loss to the Houston Rockets, showing his ability to impact the game in a variety of ways.

The Hornets have one of the worst rebounding rates in the league per NBA.com, so it would behoove the Bulls to make sure the younger Ball doesn't become a major factor on the boards.

LaMelo Ball

Get More Touches For Vooch

Billy Donovan knows best and he mentioned after the Heat game how looking at ways to get Nikola Vucevic more involved would something for he and the coaching staff to look at. To Vucevic's credit, he has found ways so far to contribute to wins even when his shot hasn't been falling.

His rebounding and passing have especially stood out, and he has been a consummate professional as he adjusts to playing next to DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. If the Bulls want to reach their ceiling as a collective, then they need Vooch to be closer to a 20 ppg scorer.

Monday night will represent a good chance to get Vooch going in the low post and pick-and-roll especially, with Mason Plumlee and PJ Washington not representing the most inspiring defensive combo.

Nikola Vucevic
NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter