2012 NBA Season Matchup:New Orleans Hornets vs. Chicago BullsFebruary 28, 2012 by Marc Jerbs

After a successful three-day NBA All-Star in Orlando, the 2nd half of the shortened NBA season starts on Tuesday. The Chicago Bulls play host to the New Orleans Hornets at the United Center. Tip-off will start at 8:00PM ET.

Derrick Rose and his Central Division-leading Chicago Bulls are focused to continue their hot start in the first half of the season. The Bulls manage to find ways to win in their schedule during the absence of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton who all sit out some games due to injuries.

With Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are cleared to play in the 2nd half of the season pain and injury free. The Bulls are half-game behind the Miami Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Expect the Bulls to put more pressure on Miami as they geared towards the playoffs.

The New Orleans Hornets is showing an improvement in their last six games before the All-Star. The superb showing of Kris Kaman in their last six games has helped the rebuilding Hornets. Kaman is averaging 17.8 points and 9 rebounds in starting the last six games for the Hornets.

The Hornets could also get a boosts with the possible returns of Emeka Okafor and Jason Smith from their injuries. Both players could contribute offensively as well as patrol the shaded lane.

The sportsbook handicappers have installed the Chicago Bulls as a 13.5-point favorite to beat the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets has a huge task on hand on Tuesday night but if they caught the Bulls out of sync a possible upset win is in the works.