Live NBA on Sky Sports: Surging Los Angeles Lakers lock horns with hot-shooting Chicago Bulls | NBA News2 min read
The Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers will face off in this Sunday’s prime time slot, live on Sky Sports Arena and on Sky Sports YouTube’s free live stream from 8:30pm.
Darvin Ham’s team have had quite the week.
Between the chaos surrounding LeBron James’ possible return, Austin Reaves and Anthony Davis tearing up opposition defences, and a three-game winning streak, there has barely been any time to pause for breath.
But the latest news surrounding the race to make the play-ins will have made it all worth it, especially since it pivots around the Portland Trail Blazers who might shut down All-Star point guard Damian Lillard for the rest of the season.
First reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Blazers highlighted the importance of « taking precautions » as the 32-year-old deals with a supposed calf injury.
But given that they are now three-and-a-half games behind the West’s 10th-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder, it seems as if this might be a pretty lamentable tanking attempt.
If that is to be the plan, it means the Lakers have a better chance of making the postseason rush, and perhaps just in time for James’ rumoured return.
The Bulls might want to take those rumours with a pinch of salt, but however things unfold, they will prove to be calculating opponents in Sunday’s prime time match-up.
Indeed, the Windy City hopefuls are 9-4 since the All-Star break – the fifth best record in the NBA during that span – and have done that without their leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, who continues to nurse a quadriceps injury.
Leading the attacking charge in his stead is Zach LaVine. The Bulls have impressed offensively with him averaging 25 points per game with a 48.1 field-goal percentage.
The 28-year-old showcased that in Friday’s 124-96 victory over the Blazers with 33 points, eight assists and 12-of-20 shooting.
He was not alone in adding to Portland’s woes; Nikola Vucevic added 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting and collected 15 rebounds too.
Patrick Beverley also warrants a mention. He has played a crucial role in the Bulls’ resurgence since the All-Star showdown when they acquired him from this Sunday’s opponents.
Will it be enough to put a serious dent in the Lakers’ play-in hopes? If LeBron is involved, perhaps not. But should the 38-year-old sit out for another game, it might be a more level contest.