The PHOENIX and the CHICAGO will both be gunning for a victory on 11/28/2017 at 8:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
PHOENIX vs CHICAGO
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
|505||PHOENIX||1 (-110)||213.5 (-110)||-115
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), WGN (Chicago)
PREDICTION: Bulls 97, Suns 92
Oddsmakers currently have the CHICAGO listed as 1 point favorites versus the PHOENIX, while the game’s total is sitting at 213.5.
CHICAGO — With just 10 victories between them, the Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls have experienced their share of headaches this season.
Both are in the midst of losing streaks, with the Suns having dropped three straight heading into a Tuesday road game against the Bulls, who have lost five in a row.
Both Suns interim coach Jay Triano and Bulls boss Fred Hoiberg are attempting to remain patient as their teams work through their issues.
At this point, it is about all they can do.
1. The Suns are looking to sweep the Bulls for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign.
2. Chicago rookie F Lauri Markkanen scored a career-best 26 points and collected 13 rebounds in the recent matchup with the Suns.
3. Phoenix SF TJ Warren has scored in double digits in 12 straight games, reaching 20 six times during the stretch.
The Suns (7-14) arrive in Chicago looking for answers after kicking off a six-game road trip on Sunday with a 119-108 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Defensive ineffectiveness was again a problem for the Suns, who hope to get shooting guard Devin Booker back after he sat out Sunday due to inflammation in his right toe.
ABOUT THE SUNS (7-14): Booker’s absence led to increased playing time for 27-year-old rookie guard Mike James and he responded with a career-best 26 points in 30 minutes. “I think it’s a little bit skewed because obviously Booker didn’t play,” James told reporters while downplaying his solid effort. “Most of the shots I took were more his shots.” First-round pick Josh Jackson moved into the starting lineup with Booker out and he struggled to five points on 2-of-10 shooting to mark his eighth single-digit outing in 11 games.
Swelling in his toe became problematic enough to force him out of the lineup, but Booker said he hopes to play against the Bulls.
While Booker’s absence was felt, Phoenix’s defensive breakdowns were more of an issue.
The Suns have allowed at least 110 points in five of their past six games.
In the midst of Phoenix’s struggles, Triano has not been able to come up with a reliable rotation. As Triano settles into his new responsibilities after taking over for Earl Watson, who was fired last month, he has admitted in recent days questioning himself and his methods in trying to keep Phoenix competitive.
But like Triano, Suns players realize the process of rebuilding is going to require time.
“When you’re this young, you’re going to experiment a lot,” forward Jared Dudley said after the Sunday loss, according to the Arizona Republic. “Sometimes it’s going to be a good experience, sometimes it’s going to be a bad experience. Right now, we haven’t found a lineup that’s played well enough together that they’ve demanded playing time.”
The Bulls, meanwhile, are going through their own difficulties.
Chicago (3-15) extended its losing streak on Sunday with a 100-93 defeat to the visiting Miami Heat. Despite staying close for much of the game, the Bulls were unable to do enough after coming off a taxing 0-4 West Coast road trip that included a pair of blowout losses.
ABOUT THE BULLS (3-15): Jerian Grant lost his starting point guard spot to Kris Dunn and responded with outings of 21 points against the Golden State Warriors and a career-best 24 against the Heat. “I feel like when I’m out there with the second unit guys, I have that opportunity more,” Grant told reporters about being able to look to score. “Coming off the bench I have to be aggressive and I feel like that helps our team. Being out there with that lineup, it’s the punch I can give them.” Dunn is averaging four points on 2-of-17 shooting in those same two games but coach Fred Hoiberg reiterated that he will remain the starter.
Hoiberg said Sunday that while he liked the competitiveness his team showed in responding to a humbling 143-94 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday, he is still noticing a tendency among his players to drop their heads when adversity hits.
That wasn’t as much of an issue Sunday against the Heat, and Hoiberg counted that as a moral victory, undesirable as it may be. Players acknowledged they are showing signs of improvement at times, but the losing isn’t getting easier to deal with.
“Nobody on our team wants to learn from losing,” Chicago guard/forward Denzel Valentine said. “Everyone want to learn by winning. But at the same time, all you can do is go out and compete.”
On Monday, Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic practiced for the first time since Oct. 17, when he sustained two broken bones in his face and a concussion in a fight in practice with teammate Bobby Portis. There is still no timetable for Mirotic to return to play in games, but team chemistry remains a concern since Mirotic and Portis still haven’t spoken since the altercation.