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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Chicago Bulls Preview

The Blazers come home to Portland hoping to win against a depleted Bulls squad.

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Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers (3-3) vs. Chicago Bulls (3-4)

Tonight the Portland Trail Blazers are back home in the Moda Center, taking on the Chicago Bulls. The Blazers had a significant road trip, coming back from California with two wins and two losses. After a tough loss to the Warriors on Sunday night, where Steph Curry shot a career high 62 points, the Blazers settle back in on their home turf for the next few games, starting with Chicago.

Tuesday, January 5 - 7:30 p.m. PT
How To Watch: NBCSNW, NBCSCH, NBA TV, or see games all season on fuboTV, follow on ESPN+, or the ESPN/Disney Bundle*
Blazers Injuries: Zach Collins (out), Rodney Hood (questionable)
Bulls Injuries: Lauri Markkanen (out), Chandler Hutchinson (out), Tomas Satoransky (out), Ryan Arcidiacono (out)
SBN Affiliate: Blog a Bull
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What To Watch For

  • Damian Lillard. After being outscored by Steph Curry and taking a hard loss to the Warriors in San Fransisco on Sunday, it would be very much like Dame to come out swinging. Lillard and the entire Trail Blazers team seem to do well coming off of a loss and under any amount of pressure or trash talk. It would be no surprise to see Portland play well against the Bulls.
  • Portland’s Defense. It was a struggle last season, and offseason moves were made for improvement. The Blazers defense still hasn’t seemed to completely click. We have seen some glimmers of hope on the defensive front, and it’s something to look out for going forward. If Portland can play decent defense, and score like they typically do, this should be a win for the Trail Blazers.
  • Chicago’s young team and new coach. The Bulls are in a time of rebuilding. The team is young and the coach is new. Chicago is facing a year of learning a new system and finding their way together. Led by Zach LaVine — who proved in Sunday’s game that he can score the basketball — the Bulls are likely to be a fun matchup.

What Others Are Saying

Zach LaVine is coming off a big game Sunday night, where he came close to hitting Michael Jordan’s numbers according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports.

Zach LaVine’s 29 first-half points in Sunday’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks marked the most first-half points by a Bull since Michael Jordan scored 30 against Portland in February 1997.

The Bulls will be short handed due to injury but also because of positive Covid-19 tests according to Dylan Mickanen of Yahoo Sports.

Chicago has been dealing with a COVID-19 scare within the organization including positive tests for Tomas Satoransky and a team support-staff member, according to head coach Billy Donovan.

Eric Woodyard of ESPN quoted Bulls coach, Billy Donovan in regards to how the team has handled Covid-19 protocol, traveling and the Holidays.

“I think our guys have been really pretty compliant. If there has been anything they’ve been able to do on these road trips, it’s all been league-approved as it relates to restaurants or going somewhere. I think our guys have been really, really compliant with that stuff. The thing that I can not speak to, we just finished up the holiday season. I think for our guys, all of them have been very, very conscientious but a lot of times, it could be coming from family, it could be coming from outside, people getting together. Some of these guys have kids. Some of these kids ... maybe some schools are open, some schools are closed. It’s just a lot of different ways, but I don’t think are guys are being irresponsible in terms of going out and putting themselves in harm’s way.”