|NBA: Seattle Sonics at Chicago Bulls Preview, Matchup, Picks & Odds|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Tuesday, 11 December 2007 04:26|
Following a miserable start, the Chicago Bulls had reason to believe they were turning the corner with four wins in five games. After their shooting woes resurfaced in yet another loss, they're not so sure.
The Bulls (6-12) look to bounce back from another dreadful shooting performance when they host the Seattle SuperSonics (5-16) on Tuesday.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Chicago –8.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 189 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 75% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago –8.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
Chicago ranked last in the NBA in scoring (86.5 points per game) and field-goal percentage (38.5) while losing 10 of its first 12 games. Over their next five contests, the Bulls began to look better, scoring 97.6 points and shooting 43.7 percent to go 4-1 in that stretch.
Their offensive struggles returned Saturday, however, as they shot 36.0 percent in a 92-81 loss to Boston. The Bulls have been held under 40.0 percent 11 times this season, matching their total from all of last season.
"You can lose sleep over it but is pretty simple. We have to make shots. You have to step up and make them," coach Scott Skiles said. "In the games we have struggled to make shots, a common denominator has been our ballhandling and our passing. We are making it tough on our shooters."
Ben Gordon has been one of the primary reasons for the Bulls' struggles. After shooting a career-best 45.5 percent in 2006-07, he's shot a career-worst 37.3 percent this season, including 29.8 percent (17-for-57) in his last four games.
"A lot of times you can find maybe (you're) not holding the follow-through or whatever," said Gordon, who was 5-for-20 on Saturday. "Most of the time, it's just shots not going in. You've just got to be patient and continue to work hard."
Despite Saturday's defeat, Chicago can be encouraged that it came against one of the league's best defensive teams. The Bulls' only two losses since returning from a 1-5 road trip Nov. 15-25 have come against Atlantic Division-leading Boston and Dallas, which led the NBA with 67 wins last season.
Like the Bulls, the Sonics are coming off a defeat that put a damper on a recent hot streak. Seattle had won three of four following a six-game skid, but the young Sonics couldn't overcome a bad first half in Sunday's 91-88 loss at New Orleans.
"You can't dig a hole like we did," said Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo, whose club trailed by 11 at halftime. "In the second half, we were focused and played really well. But you get in a close game on the road, you can lose the game."
Kevin Durant scored a team-high 23 points, but shot 7-for-22 from the field. He's 22-of-66 (33.3 percent) in his last four games after going 39-for-77 (50.6) in his previous four.
Seattle lost both its meetings with Chicago last season after winning seven of the previous eight matchups.
Gordon came off the bench and had 27 points and six assists with four 3-pointers in the Bulls' 99-84 home win over the Sonics on Dec. 13. Gordon shot 8-for-17 in that game, but is a 39.2 percent career shooter against Seattle.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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