Chicago Bulls (5-4 3-5-1 ATS) at Sacramento Kings (5-4 6-3 ATS) ARCO Arena, Sacramento, CA 10 PM EST Tuesday November 17, 2009
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bulls -1 / Kings +1
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This season the Kings are 4-1 at home and the Bulls are only 1-3 in away games.
Tonight the surprising Sacramento Kings host the Chicago Bulls. I say surprising since nobody expected anything from the Kings this season, except for another high draft pick, but they are currently over .500 (5-4), have won 4 in a row, and are in 3rd place in the Pacific Division. The Bulls are coming off a win and they are in 4th place in the Central Division, but they only trail the Cleveland cavaliers by 1.5 games. The Kings are looking for their first 5-game winning streak in 3 seasons and this is without last year’s leading scorer Kevin Martin, who is out for a couple of months due to a wrist injury. This is the last game for Sacramento’s home stand while the Bulls begin a long road trip tonight.
In their last game the Bulls beat the Philadelphia 76ers 94-88 on Saturday night. The high scorers for the Bulls in that game were Luol Deng and reserve Kirk Hinrich each going for 19 points. For the game the Bulls shot 35/78 for a FG% of 44.9%. On defense the Bulls allowed the 76ers to shoot 34/81 from the floor for a FG% of 42%.
On Friday night in their last game the Kings beat the Houston Rockets 109-100. The high scorer for the Kings in that game was Jason Thompson going for 27 points on 9/15 shooting and he also grabbed 11 boards. For the game the Kings shot well going 39/81 for a FG% of 48.1%. On D the Kings held the Rockets to only 37/89 from the floor for a FG% of 41.6%.
This season the Kings rank 6th in scoring (104.6 ppg) while the Bulls are struggling on offense only ranking 28th in the league (89.2 ppg). On defense it is totally opposite, as the Bulls are legit ranking 7th in points allowed (92.3 ppg) while the Kings are far from legit allowing opponents to score 105 ppg, which ranks 25th in the league. One of the reasons the Kings are winning is that they are solid on the boards with a rebounding differential of +4.1 rpg and the Bulls are decent at +1.4 rpg.
Rookie Tyreke Evans has been stellar in the Kings streak averaging 23.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 5.3 assists per game.
The Bulls have to slow down the pace of the game and make this a half court game, as if they get into a shootout with the Kings they will lose.
Derrick Rose (13.8 ppg 5.3 assists per game) has been decent this season, but he has been slowed by injuries and he is seeing more double teams. He may have a big game tonight, as the Kings’ PG Beno Udrih is a legit scoring PG (13.5 ppg), but he is not a good defender. Rose will have to play good D on Udrich and not let him run an up-tempo game.
PF Jason Thompson (14.9 ppg 10.1 rpg) has been solid this season and the Bulls need to keep him off the boards, especially on the offensive end.
Bulls’ C Joakim Noah leads the NBA in rebounding (12.2 rpg) and he has to have a good game on the glass tonight since the Kings are so good on the boards. He does not have much help in the rebounding department so if he struggles tonight the Bulls may be in trouble.
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The Bulls are not a good shooting team, as they have a team FG% of 42% and they have to hit the open J’s tonight so the Kings don’t pack the lane. The Bulls are also the worst 3-pt shooting team in the league with a 3-pt FG% of only 26%.
The Bulls have to stay out of foul trouble, as they have a thin bench with no reserve averaging over 10 ppg. Kirk Hinrich is the only real scoring threat from the bench, but he is only shooting 37.5% from the field.
On the injury front C Aaron Gray is Out for the Bulls and F Omri Casspi, F Andres Nocioni, and PF Jason Thompson are all day-to-day for the Kings.
Jason’s Pick: The Kings are on fire and they will come out firing tonight against a Bulls team that only has one road win this season and simply can’t shoo the rock. Look for the Kings to play solid on both ends of the court and for them to win this game. Take the Kings and the point and since I think they will play their game they will score a ton so the Over is also a good pick.