TV: League Pass
- The Chicago Bulls were blown out last night by the Miami Heat on national television. Miami limited Chicago to a season-low 67 points in the loss and forced 27 turnovers, but the Bulls will have to quickly put that behind them and avoid a trap game against the Charlotte Bobcats who have the league’s worst record at 13-41 and are just 20-100 since the start of last season. The Bulls will follow-up tonight’s game with a trip to Oklahoma City on Sunday against one of last season’s NBA finalists.
- The Bulls have failed to reach the 70-point plateau in two of the last three games. They managed just 69 points on February 13 against the Celtics. The Bulls have lost three of its last four and five of its last seven and have missed the play of Kirk Hinrich. The Chicago guard has missed eight of the last nine games with an elbow issue and will be inactive Friday. The Bulls are 13-3 since January when Hinrich plays with a scoring average of 95.9 points, and 2-7 when he doesn’t with a scoring average of 88.1 per game.
- Charlotte’s Byron Mullens scored 15 against the Pistons in a loss Wednesday night and has played well for the Bobcats since his return from an ankle injury on Feb. 4. He has averaged 17.7 points and 8.8 rebounds and is making 40 percent of his shots from the three-point line.
- The Bobcats tried to unload the struggling Ben Gordon, who is a former member of the Bulls, at the trade deadline on Thursday, but found no takers. Gordon will make $13.2 million next season and is averaging 7.1 points and 29.5 percent shooting over his last seven games. Charlotte was able to make a trade in advance of the deadline. They acquired Josh McRoberts from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Hakim Warrick. “Josh McRoberts is a quality young big man who can play either post position for us,” said Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins. “We look forward to adding his size and energy to our rotation.” McRoberts will be active, but is not expected to see action.
- This will be the third meeting between the two teams, who split a pair of games in Chicago. The Bobcats won 91-81 on New Year’s Eve and lost to the Bulls 93-85 on January 28.
– Derek S. Smith