On Sunday, they'll play a more challenging team than the
The Bulls have climbed into the top eight in the Eastern Conference despite losing
Even when the Bulls are short-handed, they still play well as a unit defensively.
The Lakers aren't known for defense this season, but the team has improved since getting
Of course, the Lakers will still be without
The status of Chicago's
The Bulls recently beat the Lakers in Chicago (102-100) in overtime on a last-second layup from
Gibson didn't have a big night but he hit the most important shot. It was
Gasol tried to match the Bulls' All-Star, contributing 20 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots to the Lakers' cause — but it wasn't enough.
Now it will be up to players such as
Young scored 31 to lead the Lakers in scoring last time against Chicago, but he too is out Sunday. Meeks was the team's third-leading scorer with 16 but won't be in uniform.
Neither Blake nor Nash played in Chicago, where the Lakers had a tremendous problem dealing with reserve point guard
Augustin led the Bulls with 27 points, including 5 of 7 from three-point range.
As short-handed as they are, the Lakers will need both Blake and Nash to have big nights — both in scoring and assists.
The Bulls don't score a lot (just 92.1 points a game), but they're going to battle the Lakers defensively.
The Lakers are averaging 101.1 points a game but allow 106.1.
Chicago should have the advantage, given the six scorers the Lakers won't have on the floor.
If the Lakers still have designs on a high draft pick, they need to stop their recent spate of winning.
Two may not be a lot, but after the team won just three games in all of January, it's a near deluge.