Golden State Warriors – Chicago Bulls
The Golden State Warriors may be able to extend their lead in the standings against the Chicago Bulls, but no one seriously expects the Californians to be able to hold on to the top spot for much longer. In fact, I see trouble ahead for the Yellow and Blue on Saturday.
As part of my Warriors Bulls forecast, we’ll discuss why the quality visitors might employ their favourite tactic: deep throws from the safe hands of three different shooters!
The Golden State Warriors are still the measure of all things and with their success over the Timberwolves they became the first NBA team to reach double figures in wins this season – to be precise, they have ten “wins” from a total of only eleven games.
But the Californians are far from unbeatable, as the nail-biting victory over the chronically weak Wolves proves. Only five minutes before the end, the yellow and blue were trailing by more than ten points, before a late comeback led to victory.
However, a significant improvement in performance will be needed against the Bulls, as there is no team that has undergone such a fundamental change in personnel at the start of the season and has inspired me as much as Chicago in recent weeks.
Lonzo Ball from the Pelicans and Alex Carus from the Lakers, who moved to Illinois at the beginning of the season, have added so much to the Bulls’ roster that I think they’ll be able to clinch a playoff spot.
After the two losses in the doubleheader against the Sixers, the red and whites were able to record both a house-high victory over the beastly Brooklyn Nets (118:95) and another commanding win over the Mavericks (117:107) in the last few days.
How well Chicago already works as a collective despite the new composition of the starting five is proven by the fact that five different players always prepare an average of 3.5 assists per game.
The reason why I believe the Bulls will be successful again is that the red and white team is currently outstanding and unpredictable from the 3-point line.
Against the Mavs, the recipe for success was simple: deep threes. And indeed, Chicago fired 31 three-pointers, 15 of which found their target – expressed in percentages, this corresponds to a sensational success rate of 48.4%.
The special thing about this is that the Bulls have several potential three-point shooters in Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball and, to some extent, Alex Caruso, who could quickly overwhelm a defence that is not as well-positioned as that of the Warriors.
The Bulls do a nice job of running the ball inside until one of their three sharpshooters has a good opportunity for a free three-pointer – a tactic that worked beautifully against both the loaded Nets and Mavs.
In all probability, Chicago will also want to confront the Californians with their “master plan” on Saturday.
Incidentally, since the start of the season, not everything at GSW has depended on Stephen Curry’s throws, but when he has a bad day, the Californians wobble.
Against the weak Timberwolves, for example, only 27.5% of all three-point attempts found their way into the opponent’s net and it was only thanks to a monster performance by Andrew Wiggins that they were able to turn the game around shortly before the end.
The point I’m trying to make is simple: Stephen Curry didn’t look very good against Minnesota and the Warriors were only able to pull themselves out of it because the opponent was “only” the Wolves – against Chicago, on the other hand, it would have been the end of the line!
Basketball fans should not let the fact that Golden State has won each of its last eight meetings with Chicago influence my Warriors Bulls prediction too much.
After all, the Bulls are a completely renewed team. Moreover, bookmakers like Bet365 are trading a continuation of the Warriors’ winning streak at around 1.47, while a visitor win is associated with excellent odds of around 2.85.
Conclusion: The Golden State Warriors have won ten of their last eleven games – but hand on heart, they only managed to turn around the last game against the Wolves in the closing minutes because of Minnesota’s inexperience.
The Bulls, on the other hand, have put together a completely renewed squad that is coming together better and better and has recently beaten two strong teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and the Dallas Mavericks.
The reason for this is the many different three-point specialists in Chicago’s ranks, who will also run the ball against the Californians, who are not well-stocked across the board, until they get a good opportunity to throw the ball.
That will wear down the Californians and in all likelihood tire them out early, which is why I actually expect my Warriors Bulls prediction to be GSW’s second loss of the season!