Two of the NBA’s most unprofitable teams will lock horns this Thursday (8:00 PM ET, TNT) when the Chicago Bulls host the Los Angeles Clippers. At press time, the Bulls lead the Eastern Conference in red ink at 11-7 SU and 6-12 ATS; the Clippers (12-9 SU, 7-12-2 ATS) are in much the same boat out West.
Despite their similar records, these two teams couldn’t be much further apart. The Bulls are fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency (97.1), while the Clippers are sixth in offensive efficiency (104.1). Neither team is particularly good at the other end, but Chicago’s offense (97.5) is awful at No. 26 overall, thanks in part to former league MVP Derrick Rose and his personal Offensive Rating of 86.
The Clippers are in the middle of the table defensively at No. 18 overall, giving up 101.8 points per 100 possessions. Josh Smith (100 Defensive Rating) has helped at this end of the floor, but otherwise, the new players Los Angeles brought in during the offseason have been disappointing. The Clippers also have one of the worst back-up guards in the league, Austin Rivers (8.7 PER), playing 24 minutes a night for head coach/father Doc Rivers.