Brooklyn Nets vs Chicago Bulls

The red hot Brooklyn Nets and their interior ace Jarret Allen take on the Chicago Bulls and Finnish sensation Lauri Markkanen at 3:30 PM EST on Sunday January 6th at the United Center in Chicago, IL. Broadcast is available on NBC Sports Chicago and YES; radio available via WCBS 880 AM and 670 The Score / Univision Chicago 1200 AM.

How to Watch

Where: United Center, Chicago, IL

When: 3:30 PM EST, Sunday, 6 January 2019

How (TV/Radio): NBC Sports Chicago, YES | WCBS 880 AM, 670 The Score / Univision Chicago 1200 AM

Brooklyn Nets

Head Coach: Kenny Atkinson {All-Time 66-137 | BKN}

The Brooklyn Nets are entering this match on a hot streak as they face the Bulls. Currently 18-21 in the Eastern Conference, the Nets are just outside of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

In the last ten matches, the Brooklyn Nets have accumulated a record of 7-3. In that time they've taken wins from the New Orleans Pelicans, Charlotte Hornets, and Los Angeles Lakers. Despite their losses, they've shown incredible promise in the win-streak.

The Brooklyn Nets will need to take down lesser teams like the Chicago Bulls if they want to prove themselves a playoff capable team in the East. The Chicago Bulls are weak, but have impressive tools in Dunn, Lavine, and Markkanen that can put together a surprising amount of output if unchallenged.

Chicago Bulls

Head Coach: Jim Boylen {All-Time 5-9 | CHI}

The Chicago Bulls are ranked thirteenth in the Eastern Conference. After entering the season with promise, the cultural differences between front office, coaching, and players has led them to a tremendous downfall.

Not only are the Chicago Bulls near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, they've failed to mount any kind of consistency as a team. Going 4-6 in their last ten isn't awful for a rebuilding team, but considering they maintain the East's greatest scoring difference in that time (-9.4) there is quite a bit for the squad to work on.

Against the Brooklyn Nets the Chicago Bulls are facing off another young NBA team who are a phase ahead of them. Both are struggling, but the Nets have put together a roster and culture that has begun to bring them success. The Bulls have quite a bit to show in this match, as they attempt to prove that they are still a team with their best on the horizon.

What's At Stake?

Since their move from New Jersey, the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls have met a mere 22 times. It has been an incredibly close series, as the Chicago Bulls lead the Brooklyn Nets all-time 13-9.

A win for the Brooklyn Nets would keep them ninth in the Eastern Conference. However, the extra win on their record would put them in an essential tie with the Detroit Pistons.

Regardless of the result, the Chicago Bulls would stand pat at thirteenth in the Eastern Conference.

Questions to answer

Can the Nets offence be maintained?

Can Zach Lavine come prove himself?

We are going to compare the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Nets have scored 120+ in three of their last four

The Nets play an incredibly modern style of basketball. While they boast the talents of D'Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie on the wing, Kenny Atkinson has gotten his entire team to buy into a ball-movement oriented offence.

Seeing as they rank in the top ten in all three-point related categories, it's no question as to what the Nets offence is tailored to create. They sometimes rely too much on the likes of D'Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie in clutch situations, but with their personal talents it is difficult to blame the players.

The Bulls are a long athletic team that will be able to switch out on a number of the Nets shooters on offence. They will have to diversify their offence if they want to take advantage of their talents against a youthful if not naive Bulls squad.

Lavine has played like a star

Despite conflicts of attitude Zach Lavine has played like the star the Chicago Bulls invested in when they traded away Jimmy Butler. Putting up season averages of 23.3 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, Lavine as productive as they could have hoped for.

In recent games Zach Lavine has gone through a rough spell. Against the Toronto Raptors he was essentially neutralized by the opposing wings while he didn't take nearly enough initiative on either end against Orlando to affect the game.

A lot of the Chicago Bulls' problems stem from a lack of overall talent. But in order for Lavine to prove himself the prospect he was once touted to be, he'll have to show the initiative to carry his team over lesser competitors in their range.

Brooklyn Nets Roster Notes

G-F Allen Crabbe (knee) will be re-evaluated after two weeks.

F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (adductor) does not have a timetable for his return.

G-F Caris LeVert (foot) still has no timetable for his return after dislocating his foot.

G Dzanan Musa (shoulder) was out on Friday against the Grizzlies and is unlikely to return against the Bulls

Chicago Bulls Roster Notes

F Bobby Portis (ankle) was doubtful for their Friday match against the Pacers, and will be re-evaluated before the match against the Nets.

G Denzel Valentine (ankle) will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing ankle stabilization surgery.

Head-to-Head: Jarrett Allen vs Lauri Markkanen

Jarrett Allen

11.6 PPG | 1.5 APG | 8.2 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 1.4 BPG | 1.4 TOV | .579 FG% | .167 3P%

Lauri Markkanen

17.0 PPG | 1.1 APG | 7.4 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.7 TOV | .427 FG% | .402 3P%

Lauri Markkanen and Jarrett Allen are two players with opposing skillsets that have developed to fit the modern NBA. Two players that would have little place in the NBA of two years ago, this is a matchup of an outside-shooting big and a rangy defender at the pivot.

Jarrett Allen has been a fantastic piece for the Brooklyn Nets this season. While not highly touted, he's been making a name for himself sending back the dunks of some of the leagues most ferocious talents. He's perfect for the modern NBA as a defensive centre and will have a diverse night taking on the likes of Markkanen on the outside and Wendell Carter Jr in the paint.

Lauri Markkanen is a forward with a great deal of potential in this league. He's tall, athletic, and has the technical skill to exploit any defender he faces off against. After returning from injury, he has shown fantastic consistency despite the instability of the club. His range and dribbling ability is an excellent counter to the Nets defensive stalwart Jarrett Allen.

Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Brooklyn Nets favoured over the Chicago Bulls by 2.5, with an over/under of 110.

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