Chicago Bulls vs Orlando Magic Preview and Predictions -03-12-2020
Chicago Bulls vs. Orlando Magic
NBA: Thursday, March 12, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida, 6:00 PM ET
The Chicago Bulls responded to a three-game losing streak with a home victory over the 4-point underdogs Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls improved to a 22-43 record and are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Orlando Magic are coming back home from a four-game road trip on which they recorded three consecutive wins. Following the most recent win over the 2-point favorites Memphis Grizzlies, the Magic improved to a 30-35 record and are in the 8th place in the East.
These conference rivals met once this season, and the Magic secured a 103-95 home victory, covering the -5.5 spread in the process.
The Bulls edged the Cavs at home
Chicago managed to avoid the fourth loss in a row with a 108-103 home victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls shot well from the field (50%) and hit 12 triples opposite Cleveland’s six, while the hosts recorded 11 rebounds more than the Cavs (46-35). Coby White led the Bulls with 20 points, five rebounds, and team-high five assists. Wendell Carter Jr. had 17 points, six boards, and two steals, Otto Porter added 15 points and two thefts, while Denzel Valentine and Lauri Markkanen scored 15 points apiece. Kris Dunn (knee) is out indefinitely, Chandler Hutchison (shoulder) is out for the season, Luke Kornet (ankle) is out for the next six to eight weeks, Ryan Arcidiacono (Achilles) is questionable to face Orlando, while Zach LaVine (left quad) is unavailable to feature on Thursday.
“I thought he competed,” coach Jim Boylen said about Coby White. “He was on (Collin) Sexton a lot. That guy’s a hard guy to guard. He’s fast, he’s strong. I thought Coby was a two-way player tonight. I thought he showed his burst. … That looked like Steve Francis. That’s how Steve Francis used to do it — that burst.”
This season, the Bulls have the 26th offense in the NBA that averages 106.8 points per game, and they are facing the Magic’s 4th defense that allows 107.3 points per contest. The Bulls are the 28th in rebounds with 41.9 and 23rd in assists with 23.2 per game.
The Magic’s second-half display helped them to beat Memphis
Orlando scored even 70 points in the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies on the road, and thanks to that sharp display, the Magic deserved a 120-115 victory. The Magic moved the ball very well and ended the game with 31 assists opposite Memphis’ 24, while they committed five turnovers fewer than the hosts (15-20). Terence Ross led the Magic with 24 points and two blocks. Michael Carter-Williams had 20 points and two steals, Nikola Vucevic posted a double-double of 19 points and team-high 11 rebounds, along with even assists, DJ Augustin scored 14, while Markelle Fultz contributed with 14 points, six dimes, and game-high three thefts. Al-Farouq Aminu (knee) is out for the season, while Evan Fournier (elbow) and Jonathan Isaac (knee) are out indefinitely.
“We had confidence,” said Orlando guard Markelle Fultz. “I think we probably were too high coming into the game, and we got punched in the mouth first. We had to wake up quick.”
This season, the Magic have the 27th offense in the NBA that averages 106.4 points per game, and they are facing the Bulls’ 14th defense that allows 109.9 points per contest. The Magic are the 17th in rebounds with 44.5 and 17th in assists with 24.0 per game
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The team was founded on January 16, 1966. The team plays its home games at the United Center, an arena shared with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The Bulls saw their greatest success during the 1990s when they were responsible for popularizing the NBA worldwide. They are known for having one of the NBA’s greatest dynasties, winning six NBA championships between 1991 and 1998 with two three-peats. All six of their championship teams were led by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson. The Bulls are the only NBA franchise to win multiple championships while never losing an NBA Finals series in their history.
The Bulls won 72 games during the 1995–96 NBA season, setting an NBA record that stood until the Golden State Warriors won 73 games during the 2015–16 NBA season. The Bulls were the first team in NBA history to win 70 games or more in a single season, and the only NBA franchise to do so until the 2015–16 Warriors. Many experts and analysts consider the 1996 Bulls to be one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose have both won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the Bulls, for a total of six MVP awards.
The Bulls share rivalries with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. The Bulls’ rivalry with the Pistons was highlighted heavily during the late 1980s and early 1990s.