Chicago Bulls: Final month of 2018-2019 schedule will loom large

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Kris Dunn Chicago Bulls
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Two key home games vs. the West

Two of the Bulls’ final nine games of the season will be played at home against a pair of 2017-2018 Western Conference playoff teams: The Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers:

Saturday March 23rd vs. Utah

Wednesday March 27th vs. Portland

Each team presents its own problem for the Bulls. Starting with the Jazz, obviously point guard Rick Rubio seemed to have a resurgence in Utah. He was the perfect point guard for a younger team needing a veteran guy at the helm.

Key matchup: Donovan Mitchell vs. Zach LaVine

The fun matchup in this one will undoubtedly be last year’s rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell going up against LaVine. Mitchell took the NBA by storm and got better as the season went on in 2017-2018. LaVine, meanwhile, is out to prove he’s fully healthy and worthy of his 4-year deal this summer.

Against the Blazers, the biggest worry for Chicago will be containing the guard play for Portland. I won’t highlight a key matchup for this one, because quite simply, the game plan should be: Stop Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. That’s it. If you can hold those two to under 30 combined points, you’ll have a very fair shot to win this game.

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The Bulls very well could find themselves in the playoff conversation over the final month of the season, but all of these games will be key. It’s a tough month or so to end the season with, but again, if they can come away winning the majority of these games, it will bode well for their postseason chances.