Golden State Warriors vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction: Are the Bulls the Real Deal?

NBA expert Jonathan Macri is here with his prediction and picks for the Friday night matchups between the Golden State Warriors vs. Chicago Bulls and the Hornets vs. Knicks.
Jonathan Macri
Fri, November 12, 9:57 AM EST

Golden State Warriors vs. Chicago Bulls Prediction: Are the Bulls the Real Deal?

When: Friday, November 12, 10:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: ESPN

Spread: Warriors -5.5

Total: 221.5

Click Here For Warriors vs. Bulls Odds

Warriors vs. Bulls Prediction

By pretty much any conceivable metric, this is a matchup between the two best teams in the NBA.

Aside from sitting atop their respective conferences, net rating says the Warriors (1st, at positive 13.1) and Bulls (3rd, at positive 7.2, just behind Utah at 7.9) are the dominant species of the league. They are also doing it at both ends and rank as the only two teams in the NBA who find themselves in the top six in both offense and defense.

Where point spreads are concerned, these are the behemoths there as well. Golden State (2nd) and Chicago (4th) are near the top in outpacing the Vegas spread, and only Cleveland joins them in covering at least 70 percent of their games so far.

Looking at how they’re each doing it, on defense at least, the success is coming in completely different ways. Golden State leads the league in limiting opponents’ shots around the rim but gives up a greater frequency of threes than all but two teams. Chicago, meanwhile, is bottom five in limiting opponents’ rim attempts but gives up fewer threes than all but three teams.

The issue for the Bulls in this game is that while the Warriors are also holding opposing teams to low percentages from both areas, teams are hitting a scorching (for this season, at least) 37.5 percent from behind the arc against them. That’s not great news against a Golden State squad that is already 6th at converting their long ball attempts through 11 games.

Throw in the fact that Chicago just lost starting center Nikola Vucevic for at least 10 days due to health and safety protocols and that the Bulls really don’t have a great backup option (Tony Bradley is serviceable at best, and their small-ball options are limited to the 6’8” Alize Johnson and the offensively challenged Derrick Jones Jr). The recipe is there for the NBA’s biggest surprise to come back down to earth in hostile enemy territory.

This line shows a lot of respect to the Bulls, especially given how the Warriors have by far the best home scoring margin in the NBA at north of 15 points per game. Chicago will keep this close for a while, but ultimately Steph & Company will be too much to handle.

Warriors vs. Bulls Pick

  • Warriors -5.5 (-110)

Charlotte Hornets vs. New York Knicks Prediction

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: MSG/ NBA League Pass

Hornets vs. Knicks Odds

The Knicks extended their streak this season of either winning outright or making it a game in the second half. This time, it was the latter, and after falling behind by 24 to the Bucks midway through the third quarter, New York’s bench mob brought them all the way back to tie the game. Of course, Milwaukee had enough gas left in the tank to pull it out, but it’s tough not to be impressed with Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, and Obi Toppin’s unique brand of collective energy.

The starters, on the other hand, yeesh. The Knicks first five have been getting outscored by nearly 30 points per 100 possessions over the last half dozen games. Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, and RJ Barrett have all gone cold from deep, and on defense, they’re allowing an obscene amount of threes. This gambit worked last year for Thibodeau’s group, but the intensity of the starters hasn’t been where it needs to be for the scheme to work.

Kemba spoke yesterday about needing to bring more energy, and with his return to his former hometown on deck, there’s no better time than the present. One benefit of playing the high-flying Hornets: they don’t take that many threes, currently rating 20th in the NBA in the frequency of attempts. They’d much rather get downhill and attack the rim, which New York protects as well as anyone.

The bet here is that Charlotte fires away a bit more than usual, and considering they’re second in the league at converting from behind the arc, that may spell trouble for the Knicks. New York is the slightly better team, but they’re not in a great place right now, this game is on the road, and the Knicks are favored. So as much as it pains me to say, take the points.

Hornets vs. Knicks Pick

  • Hornets +1.5 (-110)
Jonathan Macri
JCMacriNBA
Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball than Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.
Jun 2021
Record
Wins
8
Losses
7
Push
0
ROI
3.35%
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