By Colin Mieczkowski
The Windy City Bulls return right back to action tonight, to take on the Delaware 87ers. Bulls looking to bounce back from last night’s 124-121 loss to the Swarm from Greensboro.
This will be the 2nd game between the Bulls and 87ers, in game 1 it was J.J. Avila who would have the hot hand for the Bulls going 10-14 with 24 points. Jerian Grant led all scorers with 34 points that night.
On the other side, Shawn Long led the way for the 87ers with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Dionte Christmas was also well involved, scoring 23 for the team.
However, in this rematch, both teams have some new look rosters, especially the Bulls. Point Guard Spencer Dinwiddie signed a deal with the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA, after helping carrying the WC Bulls early on.
Also, the new additions of Andre Dawkins, Devin Brooks and Ferrakhon Hall have shaken the depth of the squad as well. Players such as Avila, Alec Brown and Aaron Thomas still remain however.
Thomas specifically has been one of the D-League’s hottest scorers, dropping over 100 points in a four game stretch. Although Avila has been a crucial part to the team’s wins and is somewhat of a leader on the team, it is Thomas who has alone been worth the price of admission.
Thomas will have the opportunity to battle it out like medieval knights with Christmas who too can fill it up at will. Christmas has dropped 34 points in his last two games.
While at Temple, he was a two-time Atlantic 10 conference tournament MVP. In three consecutive seasons, Christmas led the Atlantic 10 in scoring, so he’s no stranger to getting buckets, even if he’s not putting up 30 a night.
He also finished his time at Temple with 2,043 points for his college career. He’s only the fourth player in school history to drop over 2,000 points for his career.
Furthermore, the 30-year old has some NBA experience in his back pocket, having played for a season with the Phoenix Suns in 2013-14.. In 31 games played, he would average 2.3 points off the bench which includes a nine point effort in his NBA debut.
Although Christmas is a very consistent scorer, he’s been very quiet in almost every other area. For example; in his last game against the Oklahoma City Blue, Christmas scored 15 points, but only had one assist and two rebounds.
Thomas in his last game against the Grand Rapids Drive, he accumulated 23 points and grabbed five rebounds. So, on paper, Thomas looks to have the upper hand, as he’s capable of grabbing between four and six rebounds on any given night to go along with his scoring.
However, Christmas and Thomas are very similar players statistically. This will only make for a fun game if these two can light the Sears Centre arena up like a Christmas (not Dionte) tree.
Tip-off is at 7pm CST, and you can listen to all the home games and read up about the squad on your official radio home of Windy City Bulls D-League basketball, SportsTownChicago.com.