Keys To The Game: Bulls vs. Magic (2.1.22)

The Bulls will try to keep their positive momentum rolling when they take on the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

Chicago won two games in a row before losing to the Spurs in a tough road game in San Antonio. The Bulls got back on track when they knocked off the Portland Trail Blazers with a big-time offensive performance.

Four of the five Bulls starters scored in double-figures and Portland provided little resistance to a robust and diverse Chicago attack.

Now, Chicago moves on to play a feisty and young Orlando team that picked up a 114-95 win in the last matchup between these two teams.

Here's how the Bulls can avenge their previous loss to Magic on Tuesday night.

Quicker rotations in help defense

The Bulls are a great defensive team but their defense faces a lot more challenges when Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball are out.

When a perimeter defender is beat off of the dribble, the second defender who comes over to help is often a step late.

This usually results in a Bulls defender being left vulnerable, possibly waiting to get dunked on or worse, leading to a further breakdown that creates an open 3-point shot.

In the last matchup between these two teams, rookie guard Jalen Suggs controlled the game by getting middle penetration over and over, leading to Suggs collecting 15 points, seven assists and one eye-catching, big-time dunk.

When those breakdowns inevitably do happen, Chicago needs to make it a much larger priority to have a second defender run over and get into defensive position. This Bulls roster as is can get beat by size but should never be losing because of poor defensive execution.

Aggressive pick-and-roll play on offense

In the last Bulls-Magic matchup, Nikola Vucevic shot eight 3-point attempts, knocking down only two of them but still sending the obvious message that he isn't afraid to let it fly from deep.

But when Vooch is truly rolling on offense, his shot is falling from the outside and inside the paint.

Vooch gave fits to Orlando big Mo Bamba the last time out, with Bamba recording four personal fouls and only seven minutes of playing time.

Zach LaVine was out of the last matchup and this left DeRozan as the only primary ballhandler/playmaker outside of Vooch on the floor.

With LaVine in tow on Tuesday night, Vucevic should have more space to work with against an Orlando team that usually plays with one true center in the rotation.

Contain Carter Jr.

Trying to limit the effectiveness of former Bull Wendell Carter Jr. will continue to be a key factor to defeating the Orlando Magic.

Carter is having a great season but he is playing even better in matchups against Chicago. This season Carter is averaging 13 points per game but against Chicago, that figure goes up to 22 points per game on 57% shooting from the field.

Vucevic can do enough by simply contesting every shot in the paint. But when Carter or other bigs space Vucevic out by making him recover to the 3-point line, their needs to be a second Chicago defender that stunts towards the shooter to at least make him think twice before firing away from deep.

If Chicago can at least make Carter work hard for his baskets on offense, then it is unlikely the Magic offense can keep up with a Bulls team averaging 113.8 points over their last five games.