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Kings vs. Bulls Preview: Avoiding a Loss in the Windy City

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The Kings take their show on the road to play one of the only teams in the league that is worse than they are!

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Happy December, folks! It’s a time for giving, and kindness, and gifts and so to follow in that spirit, the NBA has given the Kings a gift by letting them come whoop on the Bulls to start the holiday season out right! The Bulls, with a record of 3-17, are currently lapping the 6-15 Kings in the race for most ping pong balls, but if fan know anything about the Kings this year, it’s that they defy all level of expectation. Even me saying that means they’re probably not going to defy my expectation now, which would in turn, defy my expectation. They’ve beaten the Thunder and Warriors, gotten blown all the way by the lowly Hawks; tonight, they’re going to find a way to score the NBA’s first touchdown and lose by triple digits. This Bulls game would be a trap game if they cared ultimately for the outcome, but ultimately, if we win: PROGRESS! and if we lose: TANK, BABY! So here’s to a good game between the- oh, oh no.

Let’s talk Kings basketball.

When: Friday, December 1st; 5:00 pm PST

Where: United Center; Chicago, Ill

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

The Lose-dy City: Coached by The Mayor himself, Fred Hoiberg, the Bulls have found themselves in a very Kangz like mess. They’re in their first season after sending their star player to a playoff hopeful and with only young, unproven talent to show for it, they’re now lining up to tank their way to whatever generational talent is lining up in the 2018 NBA Draft. They’ve gone from a 2-0 lead against the 1st seeded Celtics in last year’s playoffs to worst team in the NBA in record time and their stats tend to show that the drop off is justified.

The Bulls, for one, are allergic to scoring. They’re the second lowest scoring team in the league (only the Kings score less per game) and when they do, it’s not pretty. They’re the worst shooting team in the NBA, hitting an average of 41% of their shots on a given night, they’re the worst team in the league in shooting from inside the arc, making just 44.7% of their attempts, and while they take the 11th most three point attempts in the NBA, they’re 27th in percentage at 34.3%. The Bulls have also managed to get the charity stripe even less than the Kings; and are currently last in the league in both free throw attempts and makes. I’m sure this is burning in your mind too: the Bulls aren’t a good rebound team either. They’re currently 22nd in offensive rebounds, 20th in defensive rebounds and 21st in overall rebounding in the league. That’s not great. It’s not the Kings way down the list at 28th overall in rebounding either, but the Kings out rebounded the Bucks the other night and still lost by 98 points anyways.

On the defensive end, things don’t get much easier for the Bulls. Chicago is last in the NBA in blocked shots, and doesn’t have a single player averaging over a block a game. Before you laugh though, the Kings have one and it’s Willie Cauley-Stein who is averaging exactly one a contest. They’re also 29th in the NBA in steals.

The Bulls are like the Kings in many ways; no scorer for either team averages 15 points per game or higher. The Bulls leading scorer this season is Justin Holiday, at 14.9 points per game. The Kings? It’s still Zach Randolph at 12.9 a contest. The Bulls have 7 guys averaging somewhere between 8 and 15 points a game, the Kings have 8 guys. It’s scoring by committee for two teams who avoid scoring like the plague. Enjoy!

Prediction: Willie Cauley-Stein says pre-game that he doesn’t see why he can’t be Lauri Markkenen. He’s got the same talent and skill level, after all. De’Aaron Fox busts out of his mini-slump and starts flying all over the court for buckets and steals. Skal shakes loose for a 20 point game and no body on Twitter complains about Dave Joerger for a single night. Lauri Markkenen scores 7 points, on 2-8 shooting from deep.

Willie tweets “Soon.”