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Houston Rockets vs. Chicago Bulls game preview

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Timing is everything.

A month ago, a Rockets-Bulls game looked like a guaranteed Rockets win. Yet here we are, with Houston losers of seven of their last nine games and Chicago on a 11-6 stretch.

Chicago’s defense is still nothing special, but neither is Houston’s these days. After starting out the year as defending fiends, the Rockets have turned into a sieve. Despite the injuries, the Rockets have the ability to throw out a lineup of Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker, and Clint Capela. All are plus defenders, yet there’s Houston hemorrhaging points left and right to injured squads like the Clippers and the Pistons.

Much of the attention during this rough patch has been given to Tucker and Ryan Anderson’s disappearing acts on offense. Those guys surely need to find their confidence, and quickly. Still, defense needs to be the focus for Houston. In April and May, it won’t matter if everyone is shooting well if the other team is scoring 120 points per game.

Chicago went young in the offseason to rebuild. Gone are Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo, and Dwyane Wade. In their places are Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, and more minutes for Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT