Chuck Checks In: Bulls Look To Get Back On Track vs. Hornets

It's a family affair at the UC, as the LaMelo Ball-led Charlotte Hornets take on Lonzo Ball and the Chicago Bulls at the UC.
by Chuck Swirsky
Remind Me Later

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GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER:

Charlotte (13-9, 6-7 on the road) at Bulls (13-8, 6-4 at home), 7PM

RADIO: 670 The Score- Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington: 6:45 pregame

TV: NBCSCH- Adam Amin and Stacey King. 7PM

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls- DeRozan (25 ppg), Hornets- Bridges (20 ppg)
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls- Vucevic (11), Hornets- Ball (7.9)
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls- Ball (4.7), Hornets- Ball (8)

CCI PREVIEW: The schedule gets tougher for the Bulls. After dropping a 107-104 home game to the Heat, the Bulls play three teams with winning records this week in Charlotte, New York and Brooklyn.

The Hornets have taken off, led by the improved play of Miles Bridges averaging 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He has taken a quantum leap in his game. It's called getting in the lab and developing your craft. He's more than doubled his free throw attempts averaging four per game. He's taking seven more shots per game as well. His scoring has jumped from 12 per game of a season ago to 20 points per game in 2021. However , his shooting percentages are off from last year.

The engine that drives the Hornets machine is the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, 20 year old LaMelo Ball. The Hornets are seventh in offensive rating and third in pace because of Ball's extraordinary feel for the game. His vision, ball speed and passing ability sets him apart from a number of NBA players. Ball is averaging 19 points, eight assists and nearly eight rebounds per game. It should be fun tonight to see the Ball brothers get after it.

LaMelo, Lonzo and LaVar Ball

The Bulls have certainly benefited from older brother Lonzo's presence in the Bulls backcourt. Lonzo recently turned 24 and is shooting a career high 43% from 3-point range. His defense has been outstanding. LaMelo and Lonzo rank nine and 10 in the NBA in steals per game, averaging just under two per game. The Hornets lead the NBA in scoring averaging 114 points per game. They also lead the Association in 3-point field goal percentage at 37%. However, they allow 114 points per game, third highest in the NBA and are allowing the opposition to collect 48 rebounds a game, tops in the league.

After Miami had success utilizing a zone defense against the Bulls, look for more teams to follow suit. Bulls Head Coach Billy Donovan will figure it out as he has a great feel for putting players in the right position to succeed.

CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES

Los Angeles Lakers 110, Detroit 106: The big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook combined for 82 points.

Milwaukee 118, Indiana 100: The red hot Bucks won their seventh straight. Jrue Holiday had a 23-7-9 game.

Boston 109, Toronto 97: The Raps have lost seven of nine. Jayson Tatum went 2 for 16 from the field but dished out ten assists.

Golden State 105, Los Angeles Clippers 90: No question, the now 18-2 Warriors are THE elite team in the NBA through the first 20 games. Steph Curry is playing like the MVP. He posted 33-5-6 with 6 steals. Curry has eight 30+ point games this season.

Memphis 128, Sacramento 101: Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins says Ja Morant may miss at least a "couple of weeks" with a left knee sprain.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach out: cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter @ctsbulls All In. All Bulls. 365. 24-7. Always a pleasure. Go Bulls!

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