Golden State (38-4) at Chicago (24-16)
When: Wednesday, January 20th 2016
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: ESPN
The Golden State Warriors look to pick up where they left off on Monday when they conclude their 3-game road trip against the Chicago Bulls. The Warriors started the trip off with a 113-95 loss in Detroit in which they shot a season-low 36 percent from the floor. They rebounded in a big way on Monday with a convincing statement-win over Cleveland 132-98. Golden State carried a 70-44 lead into the half and kept pulling away in the third quarter as Stephen Curry led the way with 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting. The Warriors shot 54.1% in the game including 19-of-40 from beyond the arc. Curry is 22-of-43 from 3-point range in the last three games and has hit at least four 3-pointers in each of the last nine games. The defensive intensity also stepped up as they forced 16 Cavalier turnovers and held guard Kyrie Irving to 3-of-11 shooting. Cleveland was a minus-35 when LeBron James was on the floor and he was held to just 16 points. It won’t get any easier for the Warriors after tonight as they continue one of their toughest stretches of the season. They’ll be home for Indiana, San Antonio, and Dallas.
The Bulls are coming off a win over the same Pistons team that smothered the Warriors. Chicago scorched Detroit with 52.4% shooting in a 111-101 win on Monday. As Chicago deals with life without Joakim Noah (season-ending shoulder injury), Pau Gasol picked up the slack in a big way with 31 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks against the Pistons. Derrick Rose added 20 points for just the second time this month that he’s posted that number or higher. Jimmy Butler has cooled off a bit after scoring 53 points at Philadelphia last week and was just named a finalist for Team USA Basketball. He has just 20 points combined on 7-of-24 shooting in the last two games. He led all players with 28 points when the Bulls lost to Golden State back on November 20th 106-94. The Bulls were down just four points entering the fourth-quarter in that contest. The Bulls also have a tough week coming up with trips to fellow Eastern contenders Boston and Cleveland.
I think we all know when Golden State decides to play, nobody in the East can beat them. Noah’s absence shouldn’t hurt the Bulls that much since he has been pretty ineffective. The Warriors will end their short road trip with another convincing win tonight.
Pick: Golden State -6.5