The Bulls host the James Harden-less Houston Rockets Tuesday on NBC Sports Chicago. Tune in all night, beginning with Bulls Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Kendall Gill will get you ready for tip! Here are three things to watch for when these two teams square off.
1. Catching them at the right time? There's really never a good time to face the Rockets, but the Bulls are going to be helped out in a few areas. For starters, James Harden is on the mend after suffering a slight hamstring tear last week. Yes, his absence has just meant more Chris Paul at the point, but it's still a huge loss as Harden was perhaps the frontrunner for league MVP. Second, since earning a 14-game winning streak the Rockets have lost seven of nine. This is a lull in their season, and the Bulls could take advantage.
2. Speaking of that point guard. Chris Paul might never slow down. Now in his 14th NBA season, he's at it again averaging 17 points, 9 assists and nearly 2 steals per game. That's included a pair of 28-point games since New Year's Eve, and he has at least nine assists in his last four games. Kris Dunn will once again have his hands full.
3. 3-point barrage. The Rockets love to shoot 3-pointers. Like, really really love it. This season they're attempting 43.3 triples per game, which is TEN more than second place (Brooklyn, 33.9). They're on pace to shatter their own record of 40.9 from a year ago. Mike D'Antoni's offensive philosophy of layups and 3-pointers only will be on full display. If a shot goes up on Houston's end, there's a pretty good chance it was from beyond the arc. Just be ready for it.