Chicago Bulls: Game-by-Game Predictions for the Month of March

Andres MonteroContributor IFebruary 28, 2013

Chicago Bulls: Game-by-Game Predictions for the Month of March

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    The Chicago Bulls had their worst month of the season during February, posting a 4-8 record as of Feb. 27. With nine road games and some games against the NBA's best, it was definitely a tough stretch for the Bulls.

    March doesn't get any easier, though. Chicago will once again face off against the elite teams in the league like the Spurs and the Heat.

    They will also play their last two games against their divisional foe Indiana and will look to get their first win against them this season.

    Chicago will miss Taj Gibson, who suffered a sprained MCL in the Bulls' loss to the Thunder on Feb. 24.

    It will be another tough month for the Bulls, but they will look to bounce back and prove that they are still one of the teams to beat.

    Note: With no timetable for Derrick Rose's return, his season debut will not be included in the predictions.

Mar. 2, vs. Brooklyn Nets

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    The Bulls were severely short-handed when they played the Brooklyn Nets at the beginning of February, but with a semi-full roster now, the Bulls could have the advantage.

    If Chicago establishes an inside presence they can take this game.

    Carlos Boozer's game has slowed down since his outburst in January, but he has shown that he can still be the guy when the Bulls decide to go to him.

    The Bulls will also have to win the rebounding battle and, defensively, make sure they can limit Deron Williams' chances at getting in the paint and getting to the free-throw line.

    Like most Bulls games, this will be a close one, but the Bulls should start the month off with a win.


    Bulls win 95-90 (1-0 March record)

Mar. 3, at Indiana Pacers

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    Chicago will visit Indiana for the second and final time this season after dropping their first two games against them.

    The Pacers were firing on all cylinders in their last meeting, shooting just under 53 percent from the floor and 43 percent from behind the arc. David West dominated inside, scoring 29 points.

    The Bulls were without Joakim Noah, however, forcing them to play with smaller lineups. Now that he's back, Boozer has to take West out of this game.

    The Bulls' perimeter defenders also have to lock down Paul George, who has scored 55 points in the two games against Chicago.

    These two teams are extremely similar, and the difference in the game could come down to which team hustles more. Offensive rebounding and winning loose ball battles could determine the winner.

    Indiana is 24-5 at home, and with no Rose, Chicago lacks the offensive firepower to come out on top.


    Bulls lose 94-88 (1-1 March record)

Mar. 6, at San Antonio Spurs

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    The Spurs sat their three stars—Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili—and still managed to beat the Bulls by double digits.

    Who knows if Gregg Popovich will sit them again, but the Spurs have been playing a majority of the season this way and have managed the best record in the league.

    The Bulls have to take care of the ball. They had 19 turnovers, which led to 29 points for the Spurs and ultimately led to their fourth-quarter push.

    The way the Bulls have been playing recently, it's hard to imagine them beating such a disciplined team with such a great offense.

    The Bulls drop their second straight game.


    Bulls lose 98-91 (1-2 March record)

Mar. 8, vs. Utah Jazz

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    The Bulls struggled to keep the Jazz's frontcourt in check last game but managed a fourth-quarter push to come out with the win.

    Carlos Boozer was a big part of it, and he needs to have another big game for the Bulls to win.

    He also has to stay out of foul trouble, which was a reason why the Jazz were able to keep it close throughout.

    Chicago has to find a way to slow down Al Jefferson (32 points in their last meeting) who was a nightmare for their defense all game long.

    No one else on the Jazz gave the Bulls a tough time, though, so if they can slow down Jefferson and Paul Millsap, Chicago should come out on top.

    Expect another big game from Boozer.


    Bulls win 99-87 (2-2 March record)

Mar. 10, at Los Angeles Lakers

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    The story of the game last time these two teams faced off was the defensive performance of Jimmy Butler on Kobe Bryant.

    Luol Deng will be playing him this time, and not only does he provide the same defensive intensity, but also a better offensive threat.

    For the Bulls to win this game, they'll have to take Dwight Howard out of the game. Whether it's foul trouble or just frustrating him with tough defense, they can't let Howard get going early.

    Another key matchup will be Kirk Hinrich and Steve Nash.

    Hinrich had a great game against the Lakers due to Nash's poor defense. If Hinrich can hit his shots early in the game, it will make the game much easier offensively for the Bulls.

    The Lakers, however, have been playing better recently, and if Kobe gets going early, it will be hard to stop him and the rest of the team.

    A close game, but the Bulls should come up with the win behind a big game from Nate Robinson and Hinrich.


    Bulls win 93-89 (3-2 March record)

Mar. 13, at Sacramento Kings

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    The Bulls last played the Kings in the season opener and came out with a win.

    Sacramento has had a bad season, and there's just nothing that points to them winning this game. Unless the same Bulls team that has lost to the Hornets and Bobcats shows up, there's little chance the Kings come out on top.

    The Bulls do have to make sure that DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans don't get off to a hot start. Evans had a lot of success last time, scoring 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

    Boozer and Noah should have big games against a frontcourt that isn't very good defensively.


    Bulls win 101-87 (4-2 March record)

Mar. 15, at Golden State Warriors

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    Chicago handled Golden State pretty easily last time around, but the Warriors aren't a team to take lightly.

    The Bulls were aided by the performance of both Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson, but Hinrich isn't a high-volume scorer, so a repeat performance in unlikely.

    David Lee and Stephen Curry both broke the 20-point mark, but didn't shoot the ball exceptionally well. In fact, the whole team shot just 34 percent from the floor and 21 percent from downtown.

    The Warriors are a good home team and when the crowd gets into it, it can be hard to take them out of the game. If they get off to a big start, it could cause trouble for the Bulls.

    Curry will lead the Warriors to a win. Close game, though.

    Side note: The Bulls have yet to go on a four-game winning streak this season.


    Bulls lose 98-93 (4-3 March record)

Mar. 18, vs. Denver Nuggets

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    That picture summarizes the Bulls and Nuggets' last meeting pretty well.

    Kenneth Faried (21 points, 12 rebounds) was a nightmare for the Bulls, as was the pick-and-pop with Wilson Chandler. Will this game be any different?

    The Bulls have one thing going for them this game: The Nuggets aren't a great road team (12-19 road record). Unfortunately, the Bulls' 15-14 home record isn't anything to brag about, either.

    While Chandler might not have a repeat performance, the Nuggets' pace proved to be too fast for the Bulls, and Faried could very well have another monster game.

    It might not be another 32-point win, but the Nuggets will take this one.


    Bulls lose 102-90 (4-4 March record)

Mar. 21, vs. Portland Trail Blazers

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    The Trail Blazers were on fire from deep (9-of-22) in their last meeting with the Bulls, and that was ultimately the difference in the game.

    Similar to the Nuggets, the Blazers are a good home team but a bad road team (8-21 road record). This could be the difference this time around.

    The Bulls will need a big game from Carlos Boozer this time, who scored just four points in the last meeting.

    The defensive rotations for the Bulls have to be fast, as the Blazers can spread the floor with shooters should LaMarcus Aldridge command a double team.

    The Bulls defense will be key in this matchup, and they're more than capable of getting the job done.


    Bulls win 93-87 (5-4 March record)

Mar. 23, vs. Indiana Pacers

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    In what will be their final meeting of the season, the Bulls will look to avoid a season sweep against the Pacers.

    The Bulls are home in this game, and that could provide the boost they need to finally beat the Pacers.

    This one could come down to the bench play, and if Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson can provide a big spark, they could win it for the Bulls.

    Jimmy Butler's defense will also be needed as the Pacers have a deep bench, especially now that Danny Granger is back.

    Yet another close game between these two teams, but the Bulls finally get a W over Indy.


    Bulls win 91-84 (6-4 March record)

Mar. 24, at Minnesota Timberwolves

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    The Bulls' elite defense was on full display when they last faced the Timberwolves, holding them to just 80 points.

    Minnesota is still missing their star forward Kevin Love, so they will have a hard time finding ways to score once again against one of the league's best defenses.

    The Bulls will have a mismatch they can take advantage of in the power forward position. Boozer has a pretty big size advantage over Derrick Williams, which should allow him to get the ball in the post and go to work.

    Chicago matches up well with this team, with size advantages in most positions. It should lead to another victory for them over the T'Wolves.


    Bulls win 94-86 (7-4 March record)

Mar. 27, vs. Miami Heat

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    The Bulls had their worst performance of the season Feb. 21 against the Heat, posting a season-low 67 points.

    There's no denying that Miami is the team to beat in the East—and perhaps the NBA—so the Bulls will have to turn things around and put forth one of their best performances of the season.

    The Bulls probably won't score 67 points again, but their lack of a scoring threat could hurt them again. They have to get Boozer going early; he had 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting last game, so he has to be their main guy.

    The Heat have struggled against teams with size, and it showed in the first meeting of the season against Chicago, where they out-rebounded Miami 48-28.

    Still, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are a problem for every team.

    Heat win a close one.


    Bulls lose 94-91 (7-5 March record)

Mar. 30, at Dallas Mavericks

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    Chicago's defense was on full display against Dallas earlier this season, holding the Mavericks to 78 points.

    Dirk Nowitzki will be in the lineup this game, though, so the Mavs will have an easier time scoring. He can give the Bulls problems with his ability to stretch the floor and make shots. Noah will have his hands full with Dirk both outside and in the post.

    O.J. Mayo was held to just four points last time. A scorer with his talent and skill probably won't have that kind of performance again.

    The Bulls just have to take one of those two out of the game. If they can limit the touches or looks for one of those guys, they can make it easier on their defense.

    Other than Mayo and Nowitzki, the Mavs don't have a big scoring threat. Vince Carter can provide a spark off the bench, but Jimmy Butler should be able to keep him in check.

    The Bulls could struggle offensively due to the Mavs' size up front, but their quickness and ball movement should give them some easy scoring opportunities.


    Bulls win 95-84 (8-5 March record)

Mar. 31, vs. Detroit Pistons

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    The Bulls are 2-0 against the Pistons this season, but their games have been decided by no more than four points.

    The Pistons have a different team from when the last played the Bulls. Jose Calderon is now the starting point guard, and with the departure of Tayshaun Prince, Kyle Singler and Brandon Knight have moved up one spot.

    Calderon is a great passer who could give the Bulls some problems in the pick-and-roll. Detroit also matches up well inside with Greg Monroe and Jason Maxiell.

    This is a trap game for the Bulls; they've been known to play down to the level of their opponents this season, and if the Bulls fail to stop the pick-and-roll, it could be a tough game for them.

    This one will be close, but a big game from Deng gives them the edge.


    Bulls win 95-93 (Final March record: 9-5)