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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Chicago Bulls

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The last time they played, the Spurs suffered one of the most lopsided losses of their season. Will San Antonio get one back against a short-handed Bulls squad?

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. Chicago Bulls

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
March 8, 2015, 12:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: ABC - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

A four-game losing-streak that had even the most patient and optimistic of fans worrying has been followed by a four-game winning streak that has renewed hope that the Spurs are not, in fact, done.

Faith is something that's regularly been tested in Chicago over the years due to the dreaded injury imp, and health is definitely an issue for the Bulls at the moment, playing without their starting backcourt of Derrick Rose and Jimmy "Jimmy" Butler and key reserve Taj Gibson.

Butler and Rose have accounted for 31% of the points that the Bulls have scored this season (H/T to Chris Itz), and Gibson's been one of the best bench bigs for a long time now. That void has provided opportunities for guys like E'Twaun Moore (who hit the game-winner to spoil a Russell Westbrook explosion) and rookie Doug McDermott (a career-high 16 points on Thursday against the Pacers), but there's no way to truly replace that kind of talent.

The rash of injuries has come at a tough time for Chicago, who's still barely clinging to second place in the East. This game against San Antonio makes up part of a six-game stretch which has included matchups against OKC, Memphis, Washington and LAC, as well as four in five nights. They lost their most recent game, a SEGABABA against Indiana in which the team was noticeably sluggish, although I expect them to come with much more energy this afternoon.

Tom Thibodeau knows how to make the most out of what he's got, and guys like Aaron Brooks (who will likely start at the point) have been relied on plenty in the past. And let's not forget he still has Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah anchoring his starting lineup. This is a team that can move the ball around well, cuts often, and has enough shooters to space the floor for its two talented seven-footers down low.

But depth is where Chicago may fall short today, and it'll rely on contributions from still-green youngsters (McDermott and Moore) and the well-past-his-prime Kirk Hinrich once the starters sit. I think San Antonio wins the bench battle by a solid margin, pushing the Spurs to their fifth win in a row.

Matchup to watch: The coaching battle. Today's game pits two of the league's best minds against each other. Even with a depleted squad, Tom Thibodeau has some interesting lineups he could roll out against San Antonio, with players like Nikola Mirotic and Tony Snell able to slide over a position spot in order to let the team go big or small.

vs.

Chicago Bulls (39-24)

San Antonio Spurs (38-23)

March 8, 2015

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

12:00 PM CDT

TV: ABC

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

Aaron Brooks

PG

Tony Parker

Tony Snell

SG

Danny Green

Mike Dunleavy

SF

Kawhi Leonard

Pau Gasol

PF

Tim Duncan

Joakim Noah

C

Aron Baynes


For the Bulls perspective, please visit Blog A Bull.

Game prediction: Spurs by 7.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 | dfarias@attcenter.com