Inside Look: Preparing for Bulls vs. Clippers Madness Next Month

We are almost at the All-Star break, so we have a clearer picture of what to expect from each team. There are clear contenders and pretenders. With that in mind, let’s look ahead at one of the most intriguing games of the second half of this NBA, when the Chicago Bulls visit the Los Angeles Clippers at Arena on March 9. 

This game will be a clash of teams heading in opposite directions, and it’s clear which one of them is a contender for the NBA Championship and which one is a pretender.  

The Bulls Must Learn That “Doing Nothing Has Consequences Too”

The Bulls Must Learn That “Doing Nothing Has Consequences Too”

As Jake Tyler (Sean Faris) said in the 2008 movie Never Back Down, “Doing nothing has consequences too.” That quote has stuck with me over the years, and it can be applied in life and in sports. Chicago Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas clearly didn’t watch this movie, or he watched it and didn’t pay attention.

The Bulls haven’t made a trade involving a player since August 2021. You read that right, that’s over 30 months ago! The team’s inactivity evidences how mismanaged they are. And it’s all on Karnisovas! Doing nothing in another trade deadline is equally infuriating and puzzling! 

“We didn’t see anything that was going to make us better,” Karnisova said about the Bulls not making any move at the trade deadline. “We would take a step back, which we don’t want. We want to stay competitive.”

Is this guy serious? Does he think he’s in charge of the 1995-96 Bulls? 

Will the Bulls also let it play out in the buyout market? There are options out there but let’s analyze their realistic prospects! The Bulls are currently in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 26-28 record, three games behind the Heat and Magic for eighth place. 

If the season ended today, the Bulls would be in the play-in tournament but let’s be honest, do you see this team making any noise this season? Zach LaVine (19.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists) is out for the rest of the season with a right foot injury and Patrick Williams (10 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists) will miss at least the next two weeks because of an acute bone edema in his left foot.

The Bulls are not dark horses coming out of the Eastern Conference, or even in the same tier as NBA Championship favorites like the Celtics, Cavaliers, Bucks, and Knicks, and doing nothing in the trade deadline didn’t help their chances. Sure, they might make the play-in tournament but it’s hard to see them going far.

 With LaVine out, the Bulls just don’t have enough weapons on offense to compete with the lies of the Celtics, Cavaliers, Bucks, and Knicks! These four teams are playing well as of late and they will not slow down. I also don’t think that the Bulls can compete with the 76ers, Pacers, Heat, and Magic!

It will be interesting to see if Lonzo Ball returns by season’s end, as management is obviously very confident in the Bulls’ abilities when everyone is healthy.

The Clippers Want to Win Now!

The Clippers Want to Win Now!

The Clippers haven’t had the success they envisioned when they added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in 2019. Leonard and George are two complimentary superstars in the prime of their careers, but injuries have derailed the team’s last three seasons and the Clippers remain one of five NBA teams that have never reached the NBA Finals.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and the front office had a decision to make in the offseason: go all in or look towards the future? They made it clear that they want to win now by trading Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum, KJ Martin, a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, two second-round picks, a 2029 pick swap, and an additional first-round pick from the Thunder to the 76ers for James Harden, P.J. Tucker, and Filip Petrusev.

It was a risky bet as Harden, while talented, has been equally problematic, and in recent years he was more known for his playoff failures and trade requests. The former NBA MVP hasn’t been with the same team for more than two years since 2020. That said, their gamble has paid off so far. 

The Clippers found a way to make it work, and Harden makes things a lot easier for Leonard and George, he takes a lot off pressure off them, they no longer feel like they must make every play for themselves. 

In addition to All-Star caliber seasons from their new Big Three, Russell Westbrook has done his part, providing a spark off the bench, leading the second unit, and adding depth. All in all, the Clippers have one of the most talented rosters in the NBA and if healthy, they’re legitimate threats to go far in the playoffs. 

Bulls-Clippers Anticipation

Bulls-Clippers Anticipation

As the Chicago Bulls gear up for their visit to the Clippers, all eyes are on DeMar DeRozan, Coby White, and Nikola Vucevic to lead the charge. Bulls fans looking to rally behind their team and immerse themselves further in the excitement can click here if they want to feel even closer to the action.

The Bulls need DeRozan and Vucevic to have big games if they want to keep up with the Clippers in this game.

Game Prediction

Game Prediction

It’s clear that the Clippers are the better team in this matchup, no one can deny this. LaVine will miss this game, which obviously hurts the Bulls’ chances but let’s get real, his presence wouldn’t have changed much! 

All key player matchups favor the Clippers here. Leonard, George, and Harden are all playing at a high level and it’s just hard to match what they can bring on offense. The Bulls have talented scorers like DeRozan, White, and Vucevic, who must be at their best to keep up with the Clippers, but I’m also concerned about their ability to contain the Clippers’ offensive firepower.

In the end, the Clippers will want it more. They’ve been underachievers for years and unlike the Bulls, they have a sense of urgency that drives them. The Clippers have something to prove, they will be playing at home and against an inferior team, they know that this is the kind of game they must win to improve their record, make a statement, and have a better playoff seed.