Dec 4, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) is help up by teammates aft being fouled during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bulls seek their fourth straight win as they host the Denver Nuggets
Denver is 2-1 in the middle of a long 7-game road trip
The odds and matchups can be found below with a prediction
The Denver Nuggets are smack-dab in the middle a seven-game road trip, that’s yielded pretty decent results.
Monday’s stop in Chicago to take on the Bulls will be their toughest encounter on the trek.
Chicago is on a three-game win streak, most recently winning in Brooklyn in a battle of the top two teams in the East.
Denver has won two of three to start the trip, the latest a blasting of the Knicks at MSG.
Tip-off for this one goes at 8pm ET from the United Center, where Chicago is a 4.5-point home favorite. You can see the game live on NBA League Pass.
Nuggets vs Bulls Odds
Ov 214 (-110)
Un 214 (-110)
Odds as of Dec 5 at DraftKings
Bulls Best Brooklyn
DeMar DeRozan is showing what he can do as a co-star on a stacked team.
The ex-Raptor and Spur was a beast at the Barclays Center, scoring 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bulls to a 111-107 win over the East-leading Nets. The win gives the Bulls a season sweep of the series.
DeRozan and LaVine are in their bag against the Nets 💼pic.twitter.com/rCbtvQRiRT
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 5, 2021
DeRozan has been on fire in his last five, scoring 28.4 points per game, and tallying at least 23 points in all five games.
Zach LaVine was stellar as well, pouring in a game-high 31 points, while adding eight rebounds and six assists.
The pair have been extra-lethal the last three games, thanks to the emergence of big man Nikola Vucevic, who’s averaging better than 22 points over that span.
NIKOLA VUCEVIC IS BACK AND HE WANTS YOU TO KNOW IT.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 3, 2021
The Bulls will enter Monday’s matchup somewhat shorthanded, however. Coby White and Javonte Green are both out due to COVID health and safety protocols, while Alex Caruso is doubtful as he deals with a hamstring injury.
Nuggets Blast Knicks
It was a brutally efficient night at the office for reigning MVP Nikola Jokic at MSG, as the Nuggets improved to 2-1 on their current trip with a 113-99 demolition of the Knicks.
Joker leads the way 🃏
Nikola Jokic goes for 32 PTS, 11 REB and 5 AST in 27 minutes as the @nuggets pick up the win in NYC! pic.twitter.com/uLvOrnFDIn
— NBA (@NBA) December 5, 2021
Jokic had 32 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a tidy 27 minutes of work. He was supported by second-year man Zeke Nnaji, who poured in a career-high 21 points, eight rebounds and two steals.
As a team, the Nuggets blistered New York with their outside shooting, finishing 20-for-43 from beyond the arc, good for a 46.5% clip.
A great night in the Garden! Always good to walk out with a win pic.twitter.com/mcgyRyqnvW
— Zeke Nnaji (@ZekeNnaji_Hoopz) December 5, 2021
It will be an interesting run for the Nuggets, who earlier in the week found out Michael Porter Jr would be gone for the year with a back injury, with Jamal Murray still yet to suit up as he recovers from ACL surgery.
They’ll be joined on the sidelines by Bol Bol, Bones Hyland and Austin Rivers, who have all entered the COVID health and safety protocols.
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Nuggets vs Bulls Pick
The last time these teams met, Chicago was a crisp 24-for-24 from the free throw line in a narrow 114-108 win. It’s a key in this matchup, as the Bulls make their hay at the stripe, ranking fifth in free throw rate in the NBA.
“Kobe! Kobe! I know he’s yelling in his head, Kobe!”
DeRozan knocks down a tough and-1 on his way to back-to-back 28-point nights. pic.twitter.com/21oLULpCx5
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 30, 2021
How Denver handles that could be a big factor in determining this outcome. That free throw performance was one of the outliers on the season for the Nuggets, who rank seventh in opponent free throw rate.
Jokic also didn’t play in that one, and he has shown the ability to control a game, no matter who is on the floor with him. The big man also anchors a surprisingly stout defense, which ranks third in the NBA in points allowed at 103.9 a night.
what an ending in Denver. Nuggets come back late and Nikola Jokic comes through with the game-saving block at the buzzer. pic.twitter.com/81Hr5QOkwm
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 6, 2021
The Bulls counter with one of the most balanced units in the league, ranking top-10 in both offensive and defensive rating.
Jokic will keep Denver in it, but Chicago has the weapons to overwhelm them over the course of the game. Look for DeMar and LaVine to take turns closing this one out and covering.
The Pick: Bulls -4.5 (-115)