Running with the Bulls
Phoenix Suns (16-37) v Chicago Bulls (26-27)
Wednesday 2/10/2017 8:0pm
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
ESPN/Arizona Sports 98.7FM
Season Series – Series tied 0-0
All-Time Series – Chicago leads 68-65
Last Matchup – December 7, 2015 Phoenix won 103-101
Suns’ Last Game – Loss to the Loss to the Memphis Grizzlies 110-91
Bulls’ Last Game –Loss to the Golden State Warriors 123-92
Suns’ Scoring Averages – PTS/G: 106.3 (11th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 112.6 (29th of 30)
Bulls’ Scoring Averages – PTS/G: 102.4 (23rd of 30) Opp PTS/G: 102.5 (7th of 30)
Phoenix looks to rebound from their rough three game losing skid, losing by at least 16 points in each matchup. Their last game against the Grizzlies ended in scuffle in the waning monents of the fourth quarter. With1:14 left in the game, Devin Booker fouled Troy Daniels on a three-point attempt resulting in a four-point play opportunity. Daniels turned to Booker and had some choice words, resulting in Alan Williams and Tyler Ulis coming to Booker’s defense with some pushing and shoving. In the end, six players received technical fouls and three were ejected. This emotional outburst might have been the result of the Suns 37th loss in a frustrating season. For coming off of the bench during the fight, Alex Len will be suspended for tonight’s game.
The Bulls are on their own emotional rollercoaster. Aside from Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade, and Rajan Rondo’s media antics, the Bulls just lost by 31 to the Warriors, 92-123 on Wednesday. Butler is a game time decision tonight with a bruised right heel but Wade is back from his upper respiratory illness which held him out against the Warriors.
This will be the first game of the year these two teams have played each other. Their last encounter resulted in a 103-101 victory for Phoenix back in 2015. The gap between matchups which stretched beyond 2016 was the first time the two teams had not met at least once in a calendar year (in a non-lockout year) since 1991. In that battle both teams last year looked very different and Brandon Knight and Mirza Teletovic led the Suns in scoring with 21 and 20 points respectfully. The Bulls roster has had a drastic overhaul since that game as well. Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, and Tony Snell all played significant minutes against the Suns. Gasol led the Bulls with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists, shooting 7 for 13 from the field in only 25 minutes.
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This Bulls team consisting of new additions, Rondo and Wade, will look to bring the Bulls to .500 and separate themselves from the 8th seed Detroit Pistons. While the Suns on the other hand hope to bounce back and gain some momentum going into the All-Star break.
3 Important Stats
- Phoenix’s defense has allowed 100+ points in 16 consecutive games.
- Devin Booker has scored 20 or more points in 17 of the last 18 games.
- The Suns attempt the most free throws per game while the Bulls foul second least in the league.
- The Chicago Bulls lead the league in offensive rebounds as well as total rebounds.
- Phoenix is the worst team in the league in guarding the three point shot, fortunately the Bulls are last in the league in attempts and three point percentage.
- Furthermore the Bulls are the 4th worst overall shooting team in the league. This might be a night the Suns can regain their defensive composure.