The Clippers continue to be the best team in the city of Los Angeles, and they are starting to look like a lock for the NBA Playoffs. Los Angeles will host the struggling Chicago Bulls on Friday night with a great chance to improve upon their playoff position in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has beaten Chicago in six straight games, and they should extend that streak in this game.
Chicago is back to playing bad basketball, winning just one time in their last six games. The Bulls come into this game with a record of 19-50, and they sit in fourth place in the Central Division. The Los Angeles Clippers have won five of their last six games, and are climbing up the standings in the West. Los Angeles brings a 39-30 record into this game, and are just .5 game out of 6th place. The Clippers are -8.5 over the Bulls in this game.
Lauri Markkanen Looks Like a Star
Many people criticized the Chicago Bulls for drafting Lauri Markkanen a few years ago, but he has proved all the doubters wrong. Markkanen is averaging 19.0 points and 9.1 rebounds per game this season and has the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting. The Bulls will look to pair Markkanen and guard Zach LaVine as their leaders going forward. LaVine is averaging a team-high 23.8 points per night, but his status for this game is uncertain.
The Bulls haven’t been good a good offensive or defensive team this season, which is to be expected of a young team. The Bulls are scoring just 105.0 points per night while giving up 112.8 points per contest. Chicago has had to deal with a ton of injuries this season as well, but their roster needs more talent.
Clippers Winning Without Tobias Harris
It looked like the Clippers were giving up when they traded away Tobias Harris, but the team just keeps on winning. Harris was leading the Clippers with 20.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game at the time of the trade, but Los Angeles has had other players step up. Los Angeles is one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA this season, putting up 114.4 points per night. The Clippers have struggled to defend, allowing just under 114 points per game.
Lou Williams has been the biggest player that has stepped up his game in the absence of Harris. Williams is averaging 20.3 points and 5.3 assists per game this season, all in a reserve role. Los Angeles is one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league, making close to 39 percent of their attempts. Danilo Gallinari and Landry Shamet are the two best shooters on the roster and can stretch the defense.
Clips Roll Over Bulls
The Bulls have been giving some teams trouble at home this season, but young teams always struggle on the road. Chicago is dealing with some injury concerns at the moment, and they just won’t have enough offense to keep up. Look for the Clippers to roll over the Bulls on Friday night. Bet the Los Angeles Clippers -8.5 over the Chicago Bulls.