Despite being the best road team in the NBA, there’s only so much the Chicago Bulls can continue to do without so many key players, especially when travelling to face the hottest team in the NBA, the Denver Nuggets.
A big reason for the Nuggets going on a 7 game winning streak, their longest in two years, is playing six of those games at home, which included wins against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets.
What’s more impressive is their offense, averaging 113.1 points per game during the streak, not to mention winning 13 of their last 15, climbing to fourth in the Western conference with a 31-18 record.
The biggest key for the Nuggets has been the tempo, with Ty Lawson doing most of the pushing forward, averaging 19.2 points and 7.2 assists over their last 10 games, including 22 and 7 in their latest win over the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nuggets lead the NBA with 19.3 fast-break points per game, averaging 26.4 during their last winning streak, topping 30 fast break points three times out of their last five.
The Chicago Bulls present the exact opposite in terms of basketball philosophy, and somewhat in form. They’ve won three of their last five games, but continuing to miss Kirk Hinrich and Joakim Noah, as Carlos Boozer made his return to the game against the Pacers (losing 101-111) has been deeply hurting the team, with too much falling on the shoulders of Luol Deng, shooting just 34.7% from the field over the last four games, while having Nate Robinson making the decisions on the floor all of the time is never a good idea.
Prediction – The Bulls no longer hold the special stat of winning every time they score 100 points, and making this one a shoot out doesn’t seem like a good idea. Both teams are great when it comes to rebounding and crashing the offensive glass. If the Bulls can slow down the tempo while have an advantage in the rebounding, they should be able to avoid their first consecutive road losses this season.