The Bulls will look to continue their hot streak away from the United Center tonight when they travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies. Coverage begins at 6:30 on Comcast SportsNet with Bulls Pregame Live and Bulls Postgame Live following the contest.
Tom Thibodeau’s group has been tough to read on the road this season. After picking up road wins against Cleveland and Phoenix to begin their schedule, they lost three straight during the Circus road trip to Portland, Houston and the Clippers. Since then, however, the Bulls have won four straight games outside of Chicago. They accomplished such a streak three different times last season, but the notable absence of Derrick Rose and injuries to Rip Hamilton and Kirk Hinrich have made the unblemished run all the more impressive. At 6-3, no team in the Eastern Conference has a better road record.
Waiting for the Bulls in Memphis is a Grizzlies team looking to get back to its winning ways after a red-hot start fizzled out to begin the month. Lionel Hollins’ group was the surprise of November, racing out to a 12-2 record – one that included wins over Golden State, Miami, Oklahoma City, New York and the Lakers – but have since cooled off, going just 3-4 in December. They’ll appreciate being back on their home court, where they are 9-2, after a three-game road trip out West.
Scoring will likely be at a minimum tonight, as the Bulls and Grizzlies both rank in the top-3 in points allowed. Just one team – the Clippers on Opening Night – has eclipsed the century mark against Memphis, compared with three opponents accomplishing the same against the Bulls.
In what should be a low-scoring affair, the matchup of the night will come from a similar source. Memphis’ frontcourt – Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol – have accounted for 52 points and nearly 26 rebounds per game. The trio plays exactly into Memphis’ efficient, defensive-minded style and, along with point guard Mike Conley, have the Grizzlies' sights set on a fight for the Southwest Division championship.
The expected return of Hinrich to the Bulls’ starting lineup should help neutralize Conley, who is averaging more than two points better at home than on the road. The Bulls have pushed their way to a one-game lead in the Central Division and could pick up a quality road win tonight against a quality opponent. See if Chicago’s frontcourt can come out on top, only on Comcast SportsNet.