Coming off a big 111-88 victory over the winless Philadelphia 76ers, the Chicago Bulls look to beat the Charlotte Hornets Friday night at the United Center. With a 3-1 record at home so far, the Bulls are looking to keep playing well while utilizing home court advantage.
Coach Fred Hoiberg hopes to build on their last win by staying focused on the defensive end. So far, the Bulls have been very up and down this year showing flashes of great play and then going cold for big chunks of games. The main thing is maintaining consistency, if they can do that the Bulls have the ability and talent to beat any team in the league on any given night.
The Hornets are hold a 4-4 record on the season but have been playing great ball as of late. After averaging only 93.3 points on 39.1 percent shooting in the first three games, the Hornets have improved to 106.2 points per game while shooting an impressive 47.7 percent. This poses problems for the Bulls as they have dealt with defensive lapses. Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol will have to stay focused on defense as they are more offensively inclined players.
The Hornets are coming off a thrilling 95-93 victory over the New York Knicks at home and looking to build on this momentum. In regards to the game, coach Steve Clifford stated, "Again, the turnover game - if you're going to win, you can't turn the ball over.....It was really probably the difference in the game."
Turnovers will look to play a big part as well in Friday's matchup. The Bulls will need to hold on to the ball as they have one of the league's worst turnover differentials with a -1.9 turnover differential. Guards Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler will try to find open lanes as they feed off each other and manage the ball on plays.
Meanwhile, the Hornets post a solid +2.7 turnover differential. Starter Nicolas Batum and reserve Jeremy Lin have done a good job making smart decisions on passes around the arc. The team that can cut down on turnovers will most likely get the win Friday night.
Doug McDermott looks to keep up his impressive run of play. He has started three games in a row and cemented himself as an offensive threat by going 19-of-33 from beyond the arc. McDermott told reporters, "We've had a couple of good practices but it's good to play against someone else." The second-year player is bringing a fresh energy to the team as they prepare for the game and future games moving forward.
Center Joakim Noah is looking to make a return Friday night after a sore left knee kept him out from a starting spot against the 76ers. Bulls veteran guard Kirk Hinrich hopes to get back from a toe injury that has limited him to only one game this season. The Bulls are looking to grab their third win in their last seven meetings against the Hornets.
On a positive note, they have taken 12 of the last 16 against their foes at the United Center and hope to keep the trend going. Stay tuned to CSN-Chicago TV as the game will air at a 7:00 PM CT tip-off.