Bulls vs. Warriors preview: Troubled teams tangle on Friday night

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls and Warriors are both in tenuous playoff positions. Which team will suffer a setback on Friday?

Things can't get much worse for the Chicago Bulls. Derrick Rose has yet to return to the floor, the team has lost four of its last five games (and nine of its last 15), and the sting of a 42-point loss to the lowly Sacramento Kings on Wednesday has yet to fade. The Warriors know how it feels. They had lost 10 of 13 games before turning it around recently and snatching wins in four of their last six contests. Somebody will suffer another setback on Friday night.

Both teams are in the thick of the playoff hunt, but their grips on mid-tier seeds are tenuous at best. The Bulls have slipped to the No. 5 spot, and only tiebreakers are holding them up from a free-fall to No. 7. The Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics share a 35-29 record with the Bulls, and both teams would love to see Chicago slip up. Things won't be easy at ORACLE Arena, because the Bulls will be playing short-handed again:

The Warriors are now seven games back of the Denver Nuggets for the No. 5 seed after their post-All-star break skid, so the focus has shifted to staying afloat in the bottom half of the bracket. The Rockets are 1.5 games back and the Lakers are three games off Golden State's pace as the No. 6 seed out West, so the Warriors can't afford to lose focus again.

The good news for Golden State is that Andrew Bogut is getting healthier and Stephen Curry is heating up.

In an interesting note, the crew at Golden State of Mind managed to dig up a great quote from Jonathan Givony of Draft Express for their game preview that came from the 2007 season: "I think the Warriors are going to rue the day they passed up on Joakim Noah for Brandan Wright."

At Blog-a-Bull, they are worried that Tom Thibodeau's aggressive and unforgiving style is taking its toll on the players.

Tip is set for 10:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast nationally on NBATV, as well as on WGN and CSN-BayArea. The Warriors are listed as four-point favorites at home, and the over/under for the game is 189.5 points, according to Odds Shark.

More in the NBA:

7 thoughts on Kobe's controversial injury

Did Dahntay Jones intentionally hurt Kobe Bryant?

The evolution of the "Stretch 4"

Can the Nets keep Andray Blatche?

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