Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 3:00 PM
The braintrust of the Chicago Bulls hoped that new head coach Fred Hoiberg would be able to take the team to the next level. They already had a great defense…but the offense had become a laughingstock. No way you can compete with Cleveland in the East, or the superpowers of the West if you don’t have an offense!
About halfway into the 2015-16 season, Chicago at least hasn’t taken any dramatic steps backward. Heading into the big MLK Day bashes, the Bulls were #3 in the East. But, being in the top half of the Conference might be shortlived. That Monday afternoon road game in Detroit still left the Bulls with a wide home/road split.
23 home games played
17 road games played
It’s easy to look better than you are in the midst of an unbalanced schedule! Will Chicago fall back to .500 once that equalizes? Or, can they sustain a position in the top four that would at least give them home court advantage in the first round this Spring?
Wednesday night’s home game against Golden State that will be nationally televised by ESPN will tell us a lot about that. Even though Golden State isn’t in the best of health, or the best of form lately, they’re still better than the Bulls! Chicago can make a statement with a big win. Getting steamrolled will also be a statement, albeit in the other direction.
Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about the Wednesday’s Warriors/Bulls war in the Windy City…
Golden State: 111.9 per 100 possessions (#1 in the NBA)
Chicago: 100.9 per 100 possessions (#24 in the NBA)
You can see that Hoiberg hasn’t had much success improving the offense. They’re not quite as helpless as they used to be. But, they’re near the bottom of the 30-team league. Worse, his offenses are flunking the eye test. He’s using some college sets, and ball movement strategies that are better suited to Iowa State and the Big 12 than the NBA. Golden State sill rules the league…with Steph Curry leading a varied assortment of weapons and threats. Big edge here to the Warriors.
Golden State: 99.0 per 100 possessions (#3 in the NBA)
Chicago: 99.7 per 100 possessions (#6 in the NBA)
The good news for Bulls fans is that Hoiberg hasn’t ruined the defense. At least, not yet anyway. That can happen in this league (and in all sports), when a specialist takes over a team. Specialists are “half a coach,” and mess-up one thing while trying to fix the other. So far, so good on this side of the floor. Just remember that Golden State is better than Chicago defensively once you adjust for pace. The Warriors race up and down the floor, which creates the illusion of bad defense sometimes on the scoreboard. Smart handicappers adjust for pace!
Golden State: #2
There you go…Golden State plays racehorse basketball by league standards. Chicago is a much more entertaining watch these days because they push much more than they used to. Just remember that Chicago’s increase in scoring this year is the result of taking more shots, not playing more efficiently. Having two top 10 pace teams should make this a great one to watch on TV! We’re in the midst of a great stretch of NBA TV action…so you football bettors will be able to get up to speed quickly.
Against the Spread
Golden State: 24-16-1
Golden State’s amazing start to the season was something to behold, Even though they were pricey favorites almost every time out, they still kept covering spreads! The betting market underrated what was obviously the best team in the league. Too much was expected of Chicago. Even though they’re in a nice spot in the playoff chase, they’re not consistently playing to expectations. Both teams are playing below full season form of late, though…which makes this an interesting handicapping challenge.
JIM HURLEY and his team of experts will be watching this one closely. But, he never forces a release just because a game is on TV. Clients only get the best Las Vegas betting options. You can purchase BEST BETS every day in basketball right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about combination packages through the Super Bowl or March Madness, please call us in the office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155.
Back to football soon, as we run the numbers for the NFL’s Final Four this weekend. Then, we’ll pick up with more college basketball conference summaries next week…
Thursday: AFC Championship Preview…New England at Denver
Weekend: NFC Championship Preview…Arizona at Carolina
Monday: College Basketball Conference Summary…the Big East
Midweek: College Basketball Conference Summary…the SEC
You’ve already read about the Big 12 and ACC here in the NOTEBOOK. We’ll periodically check in on the major betting conferences on the road to March. Whatever the sport, you’re going to get great information here in the NOTEBOOK…and BIG, JUICY WINNERS from JIM HURLEY’s NETWORK!
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