George tries to shake Indiana out of malaise
Having failed to reach 100 points in five of its past seven tilts, Chicago keeps tumbling down the Eastern Conference standings. Fortunately, Fred Hoiberg’s club draws an equally sluggish opponent tonight.
The Bulls welcome Indiana to the Windy City at 8 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Jimmy Butler & Co. odds of -130 to take care of business at home. Conversely, the Pacers represent +110 underdogs.
Mired in a three-game losing streak, Chicago can only ask so much of No. 21. Butler had 19 points and five rebounds in yesterday’s battle at San Antonio, but the visiting team ultimately dropped a 119-100 loss. With the exception of power forward Nikola Mirotic, the Bulls’ bench continues to disappoint.
Nate McMillan is no stranger to such a dilemma, either. Indiana’s (15-16) coach habitually leans on his own one-man wrecking ball, Paul George, and the three-time Al-Star usually delivers with aplomb. Sooner or later, though, Rodney Stuckey or Monta Ellis must display a willingness to serve as George’s sidekick.
Then again, perhaps both of these squads are simply destined to putter along for a bit. We certainly don’t envision an offensive bonanza this evening, especially with Chicago (14-16) completing a back-to-back set. Steel yourself for a gritty, low-scoring skirmish.
MONDAY NBA FREE PICK: PACERS/BULLS UNDER 208 POINTS