The Chicago Bulls already are at a disadvantage Tuesday in visiting Washington because they are playing the second of a back-to-back. That disadvantage is much more significant now as Chicago's two best players will sit it out.
The Bulls were blown off their home floor Monday by the Oklahoma City Westbrooks, 109-94. All-Star Jimmy Butler, named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday, was a game-time call to play due to an illness. He did go but clearly wasn't right as Butler was 0-for-6 for one point in 29 minutes. In doing so Butler became is the first player in NBA history to score one or fewer points (minimum of 20 minutes) after scoring 40 or more points the game before.
Butler has been ruled out for Tuesday and didn't even make the trip. At this point, the Bulls are basically a one-man team with Butler as he's averaging 25.0 points. 6.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Meanwhile, Butler's backcourt mate, future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, also will sit Tuesday. Wade isn't hurt, he's just old and has often been getting the second of a back-to-back off this season. He's averaging 18.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
It's not clear who will start for Butler and Wade, but the offensive burden will likely fall on forwards Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott. Chicago will get rookie swingman Denzel Valentine back from a three-game ankle injury absence. He hasn't been playing much this season but might have to against the Wizards.
Washington is on a nine-game home winning streak and is currently a 10-point favorite on NBA odds. The Wizards have one of the East's best backcourts in John Wall and Bradley Beal so this could get ugly. The two teams split their first two meetings this season, both played in Chicago. Butler scored 37 in the Bulls' 106-95 victory on Nov. 12, but both Wall and Beal were out. Washington won 107-97 on Dec. 21 behind 23 from Wall.
Chicago is 1-6 ATS on NBA picks in its past seven road games. Washington is 10-1 ATS in its past 11 at home.