Headlining tonight’s NBA action is a cross-conference matchup between the Bulls and Timberwolves. This will be the first time these two teams face each other this year. The last time they played in 2021, it was a 121-117 win for the Timberwolves. Chicago has mustered up the strength to win six of their last ten games despite injuries to their best defenders Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. Meanwhile, the Wolves have found their stride and have been the victors in five of their last six games. There are three NBA All-Stars in DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Karl Anthony-Towns who will headline this star-studded matchup.
There is a long list of unknowns for Minnesota on the injury report. Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, Patrick Beverly, Josh Okogie, Naz Reid, and Taurean Prince are all listed as questionable. For the Bulls, Ayo Dosunmu and Derrick Jones Jr will miss tonight’s game in addition to the long-term injuries of Williams, Ball, and Caruso.
How Minnesota Can Win:
Gameday in Chi-Town 🐺
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) February 11, 2022
With so many potential key pieces to miss this game, it’s tough to get a good gauge on how the Wolves will look tonight. We know they’ll have All-Star Karl Anthony-Towns in the lineup. Towns has made his third All-Star appearance and has been rock solid all season long. He’s averaging 24 ppg, 9 rpg, and 4 apg on 52/40/81 efficiency splits. As previously mentioned, Minnesota will be without a lot of key pieces. Many of them are guards so the onus will be on Malik Beasly to step up and fill the scoring production of Edwards and Russell should they miss the game. Minnesota must concentrate their effort on the defensive end as they rank 14th in DRTG while the Bulls are a top-five offense in that metric.
Luckily two of their best defenders in Jaden McDaniels and Jarred Vanderbilt will be active and ready to make an impact. Another key player for the Wolves will be Jaylen Nowell who has scored double-digit points in ten of the twelve games in which he’s played 20 minutes or more.
How Chicago Can Win:
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 11, 2022
At home and with a less cluttered injury report, the Bulls have a very good chance to come away with the win. The top five offense has carried their attack all year and it’s gotten them to the second seed in the East with a 34-21 record. Leading the way on offense are DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine who have played like offensive superstars this season. DeRozan is putting up a career-high 27 ppg, 4 rpg, and 5 apg on 51/34/86 efficiency splits. LaVine has been magnificent in his own right with 25 ppg, 5 rpg, and 4 apg on 48/40/87 splits himself.
Even though these two have been the driving forces of the Bulls, other pieces have risen to the challenges as well. Nikola Vucevic has been an offensive connector with his short roll playmaking. Coby White comes in to fulfill a scoring void in the games that LaVine has missed with an injury. The key to this game for the Bulls will be to let anybody but Towns jack up a bunch of shots as the rest of their roster is inefficient from the field.
The Spread Via FanDuel:
Bulls -3 (-150 ML)
Timberwolves +3 (+130 ML)
Final Prediction: Bulls 115, Timberwolves 108