Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers will try to bounce back from a tough loss Friday night against Golden State as they host the Bulls. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- Chicago Bulls (4-6) are in LA to take on the Clippers (6-4) on Sunday
- Both teams are coming off tough losses on Friday night
- Check the odds, analysis and betting preview below
Two teams coming off disheartening losses clash Sunday, as the Los Angeles Clippers welcome the Chicago Bulls to Staples Center.
Despite blowing an 18-point second-half lead to the Warriors in a loss Friday night, the Clips are a still whopping 11.5-point favorite over a Bulls team that took the Lakers to the wire in a narrow two-point loss last time out.
Bulls vs Clippers Odds
|Chicago Bulls||+11.5 (-110)||+490||Ov 227 (-110)|
|Los Angeles Clippers||-11.5 (-110)||-670||Un 227 (-110)|
Odds from FanDuel taken January 9. Tip-off is Sunday at 4pm ET
Can the Bulls leave Hollywood with a split, or are the Clippers planning to take their frustrations out on Chicago?
Clippers Fade In The Bay
It’s easy to dismiss LA’s loss to Steph Curry going bonkers, after a supernova-like 38 points, including 9-for-14 from three to lead the Dubs to a victory. But the Clippers’ offense also went ice cold, outscored 64-40 in the second half, including just 36 points in the paint for the game.
38 PTS | 11 AST | 9 3PM@StephenCurry30 balled out Friday night. ☔️ pic.twitter.com/8olv7DRazX
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 9, 2021
On the season, LA is one of three teams averaging less than 40 points a night in the paint, ranking an abysmal 28th in the league. That doesn’t matter so much when their jumpers are falling, as LA is second in the NBA in three-point shooting at 41.2%.
That skews their offensive rating, which ties them for sixth-best in the league, but this edition of the Clippers are tied for 21st in scoring, and could use some easy buckets.
⚓️ 25 PTS & 7 AST per @Yg_Trece e 24 PTS & 4 AST per @kawhileonard nella sfida tra @LAClippers e Warriors!
Non perderti #ClipperNation nella sfida di domani sera!#NBASundays | 22:00 | @SkySportNBA pic.twitter.com/CrIMuE4xy3
— NBA Italia (@NBAItalia) January 9, 2021
Much of their scoring comes from their stud wing tandem. Paul George leads the team in scoring at 24.7 points per game, to go along with 6.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists and Kawhi Leonard is averaging 23.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
But Serge Ibaka and Nic Batum are the only other players scoring in double digits. Lou Williams, Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris, key contributors the team is counting on, are all off to slow starts this year.
It doesn’t appear the Clippers have found their stride on the other end of the floor either. LA ranks a distant 23rd in defensive rating, despite being tied for ninth in points allowed per game at 109.2.
Bulls Better Than Awful
Don’t look now, but the Bulls have quietly cobbled together a talented roster and more importantly, perhaps a promising future.
The jury may still be out on Zach LaVine as star player, but he’s looked explosive and more engaged this year en route to averaging 26 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists a night.
Zach LaVine dropped 38 points in 38 minutes vs. the Lakers.
38 pts | 14-22 FG | 5 rebs | 6 asts | 2 stl pic.twitter.com/mG46rC0Xcu
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 9, 2021
He’s flanked by a youthful core, led by guard Coby White, who’s second on the team in scoring at 18.1 points and a team-leading 5.5 dimes a game. Stretch-forward Laurie Markkanen is averaging 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds, though he’s currently on COVID protocol and will be out for Sunday’s game.
Despite the loss, Coby White was extremely impressive tonight
36 Points (career-high)
Underrated. 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/gQPgHteuVW
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) January 7, 2021
Wendell Carter is a nice piece at center, and he, along with veterans Otto Porter and Thad Young give the Bulls six players scoring in double digits. Rookie Patrick Williams appears to be another draft pick hit, and he’s just under 10 points a game on the year.
LeBron James was asked what his thoughts are on Chicago Bulls rookie Patrick Williams.
LeBron’s answer is a must watch for Bulls fans.
(Video via Lakers YouTube Channel) pic.twitter.com/sFB2YcNL2H
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) January 9, 2021
They can certainly fill it up: Chicago is tied for sixth in scoring in the NBA, putting up 115 points a night. Unfortunately, Billy Donovan’s unit is still a work in progress on the defensive side. Chicago is surrendering a whopping 120 points a game, which is fourth-worst in the Association.
What’s The Best Bet?
Expect LA to be more focussed and bounce back in this one, which would be the seventh game they’d alternate between a win and a loss.
However, the Clippers are just 2-7 against the spread in their last nine after a day of rest. Meanwhile, the Bulls are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a loss. Chicago appears to have the talent to compete, though they’ll need to get their defense right before rising from the bottom of the East.
The Clips should win, but they’re a little too fragile to get 11.5 points right now.
The pick: Bulls -11.5 (-110)
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.