Preview: Magic at Bulls
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[November 07, 2016]
The Chicago Bulls looked ready
to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers for Eastern Conference
supremacy the first three games but resembled a lottery team in the
next three. The Bulls will continue trying to figure out what type
of team they have when they host the Orlando Magic on Monday.
Chicago averaged 113.7 points and outscored its opponents by 17.7
points in the first three games but is falling on hard times while
scoring 99.3 points and being outscored by 12.3 points in the last
three contests, capped by a 111-94 loss at Indiana on Saturday.
Dwyane Wade suffered through his worst game of the young season at
Indiana, scoring four points on 1-of-9 shooting in 22 minutes. The
Magic are trending in the opposite direction with three straight
wins following three losses to begin the campaign. "That just shows
progression and itís big toward what weíre trying to do here," Small
forward Jeff Green told the team's website. "It shows that we have
the ability to bounce back from where we started. It shows growth
and improvement. We have to keep building from this, grow and right
the wrongs. We have to be prepared for whatís to come and grow."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), WGN (Chicago)
ABOUT THE MAGIC (3-3): Orlando's 88-86 win over Washington on
Saturday featured a big night from the reserves as Green scored 18
points and Bismack Biyombo added nine points and 12 rebounds. "With
that second unit, we moved the ball and the communication was really
good," Biyombo told the team's website. "We were moving the ball
side to side and finding the open man and thatís who was going to
take the shot. We didnít force anything." Biyombo is picking up some
of the slack for starting center Nikola Vucevic, who slumped to a
total of 16 points on 7-of-17 shooting in the last two games.
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ABOUT THE BULLS (3-3): Chicago is trying to figure out where its
offensive production is coming from on a nightly basis and was
outscored 31-15 in the first quarter on Saturday and never
recovered. Wade, who scored 35 points against New York in a loss on
Friday, was the most obvious starter struggling, but Rajon Rondo and
Jimmy Butler were slow out of the gate as well and finished with a
combined 10 turnovers. "Teams are starting fast against us," Wade
told reporters. "We have to do a better job of communicating and
paying attention to detail. We are not moving the ball early on and
that is hurting us."
1. Magic PG Elfrid Payton is 5-of-21 from the field, including
1-of-8 from 3-point range, in the last two games.
2. Bulls F Bobby Portis scored 16 points on Saturday after totaling
12 in the first five games.
3. Orlando took two of the three meetings last season but fell in
its lone trip to Chicago.
PREDICTION: Bulls 103, Magic 95
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