National Basketball Association
Preview
Chicago at Charlotte
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

The Chicago Bulls finished near the bottom of the standings in each of the last two seasons but appear to be a team on the rise with a slew of exciting young players and a relatively healthy roster. The Charlotte Hornets, who host the Bulls in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday, are rebuilding after letting franchise icon Kemba Walker leave in free agency over the summer and are hoping for big steps forward from some of their younger players.

Getting the core of Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. healthy at the same time proved to be a challenge for Chicago last season, but all four are ready to go at the start of the 2019-20 campaign along with small forward Otto Porter Jr., newcomers Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young and rookie guard Coby White. "Anxious, ready to go; confident," LaVine told reporters about the upcoming season. "That's my mood for the team, my mood in general. Anxious to get this started, get this thing rolling." The Bulls are loaded with players that can get to the rim and the Hornets are looking for the same out of their roster, with the hope that an attacking style can open up opportunities from beyond the arc. "You've got to have both. We want shooters and drivers," Charlotte coach James Borrego told reporters. "Paint threats - guys that can get to the paint who can create for others and create for themselves. When the ball gets to the paint or to the rim, there's a tremendous amount of pressure on defenses and that's what we're trying to create."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, FS Southeast (Charlotte)

ABOUT THE BULLS (2018-19: 22-60): Chicago is planning on using White as its sixth man and was very encouraged after watching the 19-year-old perform in the preseason. "I told you (media) guys, I told him, too, he's had one of the best rookie camps I've seen," LaVine told reporters. "Obviously, we know he can shoot and score the ball. He's been aggressive and playing his game and we like it. He can shoot the ball, space the floor. ... He's fearless, not scared of anything, not scared of the moment. He's going to be special. He knows it; we know it." LaVine, 24, averaged career-highs of 23.7 points, 4.7 points and 4.5 assists in 63 games last season and will be expected to lead the way once again.

ABOUT THE HORNETS (2018-19: 39-43): Borrego started to implement his drive-and-kick offensive philosophy in his first season with the team in 2018-19 and is taking it to another level this season, with even the bigs expected to both drive and shoot. "Getting to the rim and then making the right plays is the next step for us," power forward-center Cody Zeller told reporters. "There's so many good shot-blockers and defenses in this league that a lot of times it's not going to be there on the first drive. Making the drive, then making the kick to the swing (guy). You have to work hard at it to get a good shot off in this league." Zeller only attempted 22 3-pointers in 49 games last season, connecting at 27.3 percent.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Hornets PG Terry Rozier (knee tendinitis) missed time during the preseason but is expected to play Wednesday.

2. Chicago SF Chandler Hutchison (hamstring) is questionable.

3. Charlotte took two of the three meetings last year, winning both at home.

PREDICTION: Bulls 103, Hornets 97
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Chicago 0-0 W2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Charlotte 0-0 L1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Chicago Charlotte
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
2/2/19 CHI 118 CHA 125 118 39 51.9 125 36 52.4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago B. Portis 33 56.5 3
Charlotte K. Walker 37 43.5 13
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago L. Markkanen 9 2 7
Charlotte J. Lamb 9 2 7
Assists Player  
Chicago R. Arcidiacono 6
Charlotte K. Walker 10
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Chicago N/A
Charlotte N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Chicago N/A
Charlotte N/A
Assists Player  
Chicago N/A
Charlotte N/A
Quickchart Matchup
Chicago Chicago Off vs  Charlotte Charlotte Defense
Chicago Off vs Charlotte - Points For 0.0 Points For
Chicago Off vs Charlotte - Points Against 0.0 Points Against
Chicago - FG% 0.0 FG%
Charlotte - FG% 0.0 FG%
Chicago - Reb 0.0 Reb
Charlotte - Reb 0.0 Reb
Charlotte Charlotte Off vs  Chicago Chicago Defense
Charlotte Off vs Chicago - Points For 0.0 Points For
Charlotte Off vs Chicago - Points Against 0.0 Points Against
Charlotte - FG% 0.0 FG%
Chicago - FG% 0.0 FG%
Charlotte - Reb 0.0 Reb
Chicago - Reb 0.0 Reb