Herbert Jones,Alex Caruso
New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones drives to the basket past Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. The Bulls won 128-112. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

BULLS VS PELICANS MARCH 24

Kyle Barrette

It was a great spot for the Nets, but they couldn’t get the job done. They were able to battle back, but in the end, it was the defense that did them in again. They had actually taken the lead, and then they allowed the Grizzlies to go on a 14-4 run. Today we turn our attention to a pivotal playoff matchup. The Bulls have had a tough time against the top teams in each conference and are trying to avoid falling to the sixth seed. The Pelicans are in the last spot of the playoff bracket and are only holding a one-game lead over the Spurs, so any loss could put them in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. So who has the edge in this matchup? Let’s break it down and find out.

Pelicans:
The Pelicans had a six-point lead heading into the fourth, but a terrible fourth quarter did them in and they ended up losing the game by three. The loss of Ingram has impacted this team as they have only been able to play.500 basketball over the past few weeks. There is positive injury news for the Pelicans. Larry Nance is set to be available tonight or for their next game, and Ingram has remained limited, but reports are that he is improving and should be able to return before the end of the regular season. New Orleans has an underrated defense and it will be key for them if they want to come out of this game with a win. Currently, the Pelicans are ranked 14th in the league on defense, but over their last three games they have allowed even less, only giving up an average of 103 points. The Bulls have had the Pelicans’ number as they have won the last three matchups between the two teams dating back to last season. We have some new faces this time around, but will the result stay the same?

Bulls:
This team is heading in the right direction, and as much as it pains me to say it, it’s better with Lonzo on the floor. Caruso is a big help on the defensive end of the floor, and they needed him back in a big way, but it’s been the offense that’s been sluggish. It’s hard to picture it when we all remember when DeRozan had a string of like eight 30 point games and the Bulls were winning night in and night out, but that has been nipped in the butt and things have been a struggle. The Bulls are 3-10 in March, and as hard as it is to say, maybe they are leaning on DeRozan and LaVine too much. We saw what the Bulls were like when it was the LaVine show and it didn’t work. We have also seen what it’s like when it’s just two stars. Look at the Blazers with CJ and Dame. Yea, they can win a bunch of games and make the playoffs, but they can never really go all the way. They need to spread the ball around, which is where the ball was the key and why, for a while, they were so successful.

Pelicans vs Bulls Pick: Bulls ML
Like I said, the two stars will win you some games. This one won’t be easy. The Pelicans are a hungry team and will play hard all the way through this game. After getting blown out, the Bulls need to respond with a win to keep the morale of this team high. Take Chicago on the money line.

Same Game Parlay:
Bulls ML, CJ McCollum First Basket, McCollum Over 22.5 Pts, Bulls to win by 1-10 Pts, Bulls over 112.5 Pts and Pelicans Over 113.5 Pts. 

SGP Odds +8958

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