The season didn’t begin on the best note for the Chicago Bulls, and it only seems to be getting worse. The Bulls will try to avoid another loss and earn their first win on the road when they visit the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
Chicago, which has not yet had Bobby Portis or Nikola Mirotic on the court this season after the former punched the latter in the face on the eve of the regular season, is finding it difficult to score points. The Bulls shot just 28.2 percent from the floor and went 10-of-37 from 3-point range while committing 20 turnovers in a 101-69 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday as they failed to build on the momentum of their only win two nights earlier. The Heat are having their own trouble generating momentum and are trying to come out even on their six-game homestand after dropping three in a row to fall to 2-3. The most crushing of the three losses came against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, when Miami gave up the first six points of overtime and went on to lose 125-122.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, FS Sun (Miami)
ABOUT THE BULLS (1-4): Chicago is hoping Saturday’s loss represented rock bottom for the team, and coach Fred Hoiberg spent the last few days working the players hard in practice. “Our competitive spirit, we lost it,” Hoiberg told reporters. “A lot of that happened when we stopped making shots. Make an impact somewhere else. Go get a rebound. Go get a loose ball. Take a charge. Do something to impact the game in a positive manner.” One player making a positive impact for the Bulls is rookie forward Lauri Markkanen, who is averaging 15.6 points and 9.6 rebounds while scoring in double figures in each of the first five games.
ABOUT THE HEAT (2-4): Miami has its own talented rookie in the frontcourt in Bam Adebayo, and he is getting a chance to play big minutes with Hassan Whiteside (knee) out of the lineup. Adebayo played a total of six minutes in the first three games but started to get more time last Wednesday and enjoyed his breakout in Monday’s loss to Minnesota, when he collected his first double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. “I feel like my mind is starting to slow down,” Adebayo told reporters. “I’m not going too fast. I’m starting to pace myself. Coach is allowing me to get all these minutes. I thank him for it because he believes in me just like I believe in me and my team.”
1. Chicago PG Kris Dunn (finger) made his season debut on Saturday and managed eight points and three assists in 22 minutes off the bench.
2. Whiteside missed the last five games and is questionable for Wednesday.
3. Miami took five of the last seven in the series, but both losses in that span came last season.
PREDICTION: Heat 101, Bulls 88