Preview: Bulls at Nuggets
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[November 22, 2016]
Jimmy Butler is coming off his
best performance of the campaign and the standout shooting guard
looks to post another stellar effort when the Chicago Bulls visit
the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Butler poured in a season-high 40
points and added seven rebounds and six assists in Sunday's 118-110
victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Butler knew he needed to step up with Dwyane Wade resting and told
coach Fred Hoiberg prior to the game that was going to score 40. "I
just felt like that was what my team was going to need from me, to
tell you the truth," Butler explained afterward. "For me to be
aggressive, to put the ball in the basket. With our second-leading
scorer out, I had to pick up the pace a little bit." Chicago is 3-1
during a six-game road swing and catches a Denver team that is just
2-4 at home even after Sunday's 105-91 victory over the Utah Jazz.
Rookie guard Jamal Murray is displaying signs of becoming an impact
scorer and scored 16 of his 18 points on Sunday in the final
TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBATV, CSN Chicago, Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE BULLS (9-5): Butler scored 20 or more points in eight
straight games and 12 of 14 this season while averaging 25.1. The
presence of Wade hasn't affected the number of shots Butler gets to
hoist as the veteran newcomer understands that Butler is the top
scoring option while Hoiberg is impressed with the string of solid
performances. "He is playing with a tremendous amount of
confidence," Hoiberg said. "Thatís where it starts. Jimmy thinks
every time he steps on the floor he's the best player out there and
more often than not he's right."
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ABOUT THE NUGGETS (5-8): Murray, the seventh overall pick from
Kentucky, scored in double digits in four of the past seven games
after failing to do so in any of his first six games as a pro. He
has overcome his early season shooting woes and made 11-of-20
3-point attempts over the last four games, including hitting five in
a game against the Portland Trail Blazers. "I love playing with a
shooter," point guard Emmanuel Mudiay told reporters. "He's playing
with a lot more confidence. I think he's figuring out himself and
things are slowing down for him as well."
1. The teams split last season's two meetings.
2. Denver swingman Will Barton (ankle) had seven points in 19
minutes versus Utah after missing the previous nine games.
3. Chicago PG Rajon Rondo is averaging 10 assists and 9.5 rebounds
in two games since returning from a two-game absence due to an ankle
PREDICTION: Nuggets 105, Bulls 102
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