Chuck Checks In: Bulls take on Wendell Carter-led Orlando Magic

The Chicago Bulls look to end a two-game slide in Nikola Vucevic's first return to Orlando.
by Chuck Swirsky
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GAME NIGHT FROM ORLANDO

Bulls (12-7, 6-4 on the road) at Orlando (4-15, 1-7 at home)

RADIO: 670 The Score. Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington. 5:45CT pre. TV: NBCSCH- Adam Amin and Stacey King, 6PM

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls- LaVine (26 ppg), Magic- Anthony (19 ppg)
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls- Vucevic (11), Magic- Bamba (9)
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls- Ball (4.5), Magic- Anthony (5)

CCI PREVIEW: After a most disappointing loss to Houston, the Bulls now meet an injury-depleted Orlando team that enter tonight's game with only four wins, two against the Knicks. The Bulls simply cannot look past nor play to the level of Orlando's record. Despite the absence of a number of starting and/or rotation-level players, it has afforded Magic reserve players newfound opportunities to compete at the highest level. The Bulls need to match Orlando's effort, energy and desperation for a win.

Javonte Green dunk

The Magic roster features a number of promising, young players and Orlando, very much like the Rockets, are hungry for a victory. The Bulls need to have that same mindset after losing its last two games. The two bigs for the Magic are playing well. Mo Bamba is finally showing his skillset that made him the sixth overall pick four seasons ago. His shot-blocking ability and versatility to stretch the floor has provided an option for an Orlando offense that is near the bottom of the league in scoring, averaging just 100 points per game.

Wendell Carter Jr. recently signed an extension and is a core player, as the franchise looks to rebuild. Cole Anthony is the real deal. He checks in as Orlando's leading scorer at 19 points per game. He's questionable with an ankle issue. Terrence Ross is questionable with back spasms.

Nikola Vucevic returns to Orlando for the first time since being acquired by the Bulls in March, 2021. Vucevic is a beloved figure in the Magic community. He is a terrific person, terrific teammate and an All-Star level player. He played in 591 games for Orlando over nine seasons and will receive a thunderous ovation tonight. There is no doubt in my mind Vucevic will one day have his No. 9 Orlando jersey retired.

It's another quick turnaround as the Bulls play their third game in four nights on Saturday, hosting the well-rested Miami Heat.

The NBA took Thursday off.

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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