Keys To The Game: Bulls vs. Lakers (11.15.21)

Remind Me Later


The Bulls bounced back in a big way on Sunday night, winning the second game of their West Coast road trip by beating the Clippers 100-90 in L.A. The Bulls win ended the Clippers winning streak at seven games.

Chicago continues to prove their mettle by battling through adversity, collecting wins against top competition while down two starters in Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic.

The road doesn't get any easier however, as the Bulls take on Chicago-native Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday evening.

Here's how the Bulls can continue to keep the good times rolling in L.A.

Be Physical With AD

Anthony Davis is one of the more imposing big men in the NBA. He manages to control games with his impeccable timing when shot-blocking alone, but still has the offensive game to dismantle teams when he gets into a groove. So it would be best if the Bulls prevented him from ever feeling comfortable on Monday night.

This means Chicago will need to continue to trust DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine to attack the midrange area of the floor, conversely the Bulls' role players will need to not be afraid to go at Davis by driving all the way to the rim, even if it means getting fouled and getting free throws rather than an actual finish or shot attempt.

Anthony Davis posting up on Keldon Johnson

Stay Focused Regardless of LBJ Status

LeBron James has been nursing an abdominal that has kept him out for all but six games this season. James is still putting up a very LeBron-like 24 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists per game in 37 minutes per game. It goes without saying, that if James plays on Monday night the Bulls will unequivocally need to stay even more connected on the defensive end of the floor.

But in the event that James doesn't play and misses his seventh straight game, the Bulls will still need to communicate early and often on defense. This is the same Lakers team that has scored at least 114 points in the three of their last four games.

LeBron James warmup jump shot

Focus On Transition Defense

Per, the Bulls are in the top-10 in the league in limiting their opponents fastbreak points, conversely, the Lakers are in the bottom-10 in opponents fastbreak points.

Chicago will get their opportunities to run on a team that leans a bit on the older side in terms of their key players. But when on defense, the Bulls have to remember that Russell Westbrook and Davis, specifically, are still nightmares to cover in transition.

If the Bulls get back on defense often and force the Lakers to play a halfcourt-style game, then things will line up quite well for the Bulls to pull off the Staples Center two-game sweep. Per, the Lakers have the 24th ranked halfcourt offense in the league, while the Bulls halfcourt offense is ranked 11th in points per possession (PPP).

Tony Bradley guarding Ivica Zubac

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