The Los Angeles Lakers are struggling to build a consistent run this season and the Chicago Bulls will be looking to pile on further misery on Kobe Bryant and his teammates on Monday night.
The Chicago Bulls have announced that Luol Deng is out of tonight’s game because of a hamstring injury. Team officials confirmed that Jimmy Butler will start in his place.
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After beating Cleveland and Milwaukee to end a six game skid, the LA Lakers have fallen back into its old way and are again building another losing streak.
Following the defeat to the Miami Heat last Tuesday, Los Angeles (17-23) fell to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday – losing back-to-back games, and dropping eight of its last ten games.
Bryant continues to play big minutes as he continues to lead the league in scoring, but is finally becoming more and more frustrated with his Lakers fellow teammates.
The Bulls (23-16), meanwhile, enter the contest after losing 85-82 to Memphis in overtime on Saturday, but have won three of its last four games.
Chicago, who is still without the injured point guard Derrick Rose, has won seven of its 10 games played in the new year and are predicted favourites to add to Los Angeles’ problems.
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Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Earl Clark, Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace are the starters for the Lakers. Coach Mike D’Antoni believes Pau Gasol will be more effective coming off the bench and will play at the center when he does.
The Bulls will be looking for more energy from the first string so as to make up for the absence of Deng.