The Chicago Bulls (39-31) have experienced an exciting burst of energy and tenacity since the All-Star weekend, but have recently fallen into a bit of a stumble. This week, the Bulls face a series of teams that will serve as a litmus test for the team’s strength as the season nears its end. So as April quickly approaches, the Bulls need to keep their A-game firing on all cylinders, or risk ending the season off-kilter.
Mar. 24 vs. Indiana Pacers, 8 p.m. EST (Indiana leads season series 2-1)
The Bulls get their rematch against Indiana as the Pacers head to the United Center to cap off one of the season’s more exciting matchups. Both teams met up last Friday with Indiana emerging victorious 91-79. Chicago is known as a team that doesn’t take blowouts lightly. Expect a rejuvenated Chicago, supported by a raucous fanbase, giving it their all against the Pacers in tonight’s game.
Prediction: Chi 98, Ind 94
Mar. 28 vs. Portland Trail Blazers 8 p.m. EST (Portland leads season series 1-0)
This is going to be a tough matchup. The Blazers are currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference, but haven’t played well recently, going 14-16 of their last 30 games. The last time they met, Portland pulled out a close 98-95 win. Chicago needs to keep a close eye on offensive powerhouses Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews if they hope to completely shut them down. That said, as Chicago is having some difficulties shutting down strong offenses right now, expect a possible Blazers upset in this game.
Prediction: Chi 101, Por 110
Mar. 30 at Boston Celtics 7 p.m. EST (Chicago leads season series 1-0)
While a lot of things have changed in the league, the rivalry and animosity between the Bulls and Celtics will never go away. This game is part of a doubleheader, as Chicago faces them again on Mar. 31 at home. The last time both teams met up, Chicago had a lopsided win (94-82). A split in victories in this back-to-back series may occur, but expect the Bulls to pull off the win next Sunday.
Prediction: Chi 87 Bos 75