The Denver Nuggets await the Chicago Bulls following a very turbulent Thursday evening. The Nuggets lost at home to the 76ers, with their head coach Mike Malone having an outburst at the officials that could have easily turned out into a physical incident. Malone was very displeased with the officiating, which is something that has troubled him for a long time. On the other side, the Bulls are on a road trip, coming off a loss in Portland, but overall in better shape than the Nuggets.
Chicago Bulls (10-5, +165) played four games on the West coast and have an even record. They would beat both teams in LA, the Lakers and the Clippers, and lose to the Warriors and the Trail Blazers. The most recent matchup was in Portland, 112-107, and was a game that could have ended either way.
The guests from the Windy City had an advantage coming into the last period, but allowed the hosts to rally and win. Billy Donovan’s side controlled the game pretty well in the first half, hitting the break with a 63-48 lead. However, it appears that the fatigue caught them in the latter stages of the event.
Zach LaVine had 30 points, seven threes hit, and six boards. DeMar DeRozan scored 22 with five assists, while Lonzo Ball had 17 buckets. Shoutout to Alex Caruso, who was one assist short of a triple-double – 12 points, 10 boards, and nine assists. Donovan has to do something about the productivity of his bench, who had 20 points against the Blazers.
Denver Nuggets (9-6, -200) were beaten last night at Mile High by the injury-prone 76ers, 103-89. Previously, the Nuggets lost on the road in Dallas, 111-101, which might also be one of the reasons for Malone’s frustration. Though, we really have to say that the officials don’t respect the Nuggets at all, but that is something normal for small-market teams in any of the American sports.
Jokic and the boys shot only 36% from the field against the Sixers, while allowing 50.6% on the other side. Meanwhile, the hosts had only 16 free throws, and that was the main thing that irritated Malone. On top of everything, Philly outscored the hosts from the paint 52-38, without Embiid.
The Jokes scored 30 points, 10-for-17, had 10 boards and seven assists, and Will Barton helped with 19, being close to a triple-double with nine boards and eight dimes. The only one who was double-digit in scoring was Monte Morris with 11 buckets.
Head to Head Games
The Nuggets have eight straight wins over the Bulls, with the last one in 2020 coming after an OT in Denver, 131-127.
This is a big one for the Nuggets, and they simply can’t afford to lose it. They might be tired, but after last night’s happenings, we believe that the hosts are very motivated to come out and give their best. Also, we expect to see the officials under pressure right from the start, which will be of use to Jokic, who won’t have any decent opponent on the other side because Vucevic still isn’t available. Therefore, Nuggets to win, at -200.
Pick: Denver Nuggets Win -200
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.