Game 11: Chicago Bulls (7-3) at Phoenix Suns (6-4)
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena – Phoenix
Time: 9:30 p.m. central
TV: WGN Chicago, Fox Sports Arizona, ESPN
The Bulls begin their annual circus trip Wednesday night when they take on the Phoenix Suns for the first time this season.
With the Suns averaging 105.8 points per game, the Bulls will really need to tighten up their defense. They’re only giving up 99.0 points to their opponents so far through 10 games, so the Bulls can be in a good position to win as long as they continue at that pace.
Matchup of the Game
Jimmy Butler versus Eric Bledsoe
Butler and Bledsoe are both the leading scorers and starting shooting guards of their respective teams, but Butler should come away as the more dominant player in this scenario.
At 6-foot-1, Bledsoe is half a foot shorter than Butler, so this could be an opportunity where Butler does more work in the paint and on the post.
The Bulls defeated the Indiana Pacers Monday. It didn’t come easy once crunch time came around, but it very well could have.
The Bulls held a 15-point lead in the third quarter before heading into the final period with just a four-point lead. And, to make matters worse, Derrick Rose sprained his left ankle while driving along the baseline in the fourth quarter, so he had to sit out the last couple of minutes.
Despite that, the Bulls managed to pull off a 96-95 win with Jimmy Butler blocking Paul George’s game-winning shot attempt.
The Suns are also coming off a win on Monday night, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 120-101. They scored a whopping 40 points in the fourth quarter to seal their win against the Lakers. Brandon Knight also posted a triple-double of 30 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in the Suns’ victory.
Rose, who sprained in left ankle in Monday’s win over the Pacers, has not been ruled out for Wednesday night’s matchup against the Suns, but is listed as questionable according to the Bulls’ injury report.
Stay tuned to The Bulls Charge for further updates.
UPDATE: Per the Chicago Tribune‘s K.C. Johnson, head coach Fred Hoiberg said Rose “is extremely doubtful” and did not participate in shootaround.
Hoiberg said Hinrich most likely would start for Rose.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 18, 2015
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.