nba-game-of-the-week-chicago-bulls-vs.-golden-state-warriors-2022

NBA Game of the Week: Chicago Bulls vs. Golden State Warriors

Story posted December 1, 2022 in

The Chicago Bulls (9-12) travel west to northern California to take on the Golden State Warriors (11-11).

Chicago enters Friday’s contest as heavy underdogs, with a 4-7 record on the road in 2022. Golden State, on the other hand, has been fabulous on its own court, sporting a 9-1 home record.

The key star to watch in this one is no doubt superstar point guard Steph Curry. Curry is playing at an MVP level this season, averaging 31.4 points per game and putting the team on his back. Curry is third in the NBA in points per game and leads all qualified shooters in three-pointers made per game. He’ll be a handful for a Chicago defense that has played well so far, ranking 11th in the league.

On the opposing bench is Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan, who has been nothing short of spectacular himself. DeRozan is averaging 26.3 points per game this season, and has scored over 25 points in his last five outings.

The key in this one will be the Bulls defense finding a way to shut down a fast-paced Warriors offense. With a guy like Steph Curry at the helm, you can expect good things — and Golden State has not struggled to move the ball around.

The Warriors rank first in the NBA in both assist percentage and assist to turnover ratio. They rank second in basketball in pace of play. Chicago will have to run up and down the court with Curry and Co. for 48 full minutes if they want to keep the game close.

The Bulls do have some solid defenders, most notably starting center Nikola Vucevic. The 2011 first round pick is a monster on the boards, averaging 11.2 rebounds per game, good for six in the NBA. Solidifying rebounds and limiting the Warriors second chance points will be key in shutting down the Golden State offense.

Turning to the other side of the ball, the Bulls have been stagnant offensively thus far. They rank 22nd in total offense, and ninth in pace of play with a 14% turnover percentage. Slowing the pace of play and dominating time of possession could be fruitful for Chicago, leading to less turnovers and a more structured offense.

The man at the helm of Chicago's offense is none other than guard Zach LaVine. The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging over 20 points per game this season, and has reached that mark in his last three games. LaVine is shooting over 40% from this field in 2022, and over 34% from three, which could be a crucial factor for the Bulls.

ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Warriors a 74.2% chance of victory. Tune in Friday at 10 pm.m EST on ESPN to watch the action live.

 

Parker Silverman is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email pws5405@psu.edu.