Preview 29 of 82: Bulls @ Thunder
Time: 7:00 PM CST
The Oklahoma City Thunder (18-10) are in action tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena, taking on the Chicago Bulls (7-23) in their second and final matchup of the season. The Bulls shocked the Thunder in their first showdown just 10 days ago, scoring a 114-112 victory to snap OKC’s four-game winning streak.
Tip-off is at 7:00 P.M. CST and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. The Thunder are 13-point home favorites according to Odds Shark.
- Andre Roberson: Out — Knee
- Jabari Parker: Questionable — Illness
- Zach LaVine: Out — Ankle
- Denzel Valentine: Out — Ankle
Bulls: Ryan Arcidiacono, Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr.
What to Watch For
Beating the Bad Teams: Chicago gave the Thunder their first loss to a sub-.500 team of the season on December 7 — escaping with the win when Paul George’s potential game-winner didn’t fall at the buzzer. The Bulls will be missing Zach LaVine this time around, and Jabari Parker has fallen out of the rotation entirely. Although Kris Dunn is back in the starting backcourt, the Bulls are bad and there’s no reason the Thunder shouldn’t prevail at home.
MVP(G). George has been on an absolute tear lately, averaging 29.1 points and 8 rebounds in December. He’s also shooting 44.8 percent from long range this month and is coming off a 33-point effort in Saturday’s win over the Clippers. With Westbrook struggling to find his MVP form, George is rolling and primed for a nice game against a sub-par Bulls team.
The Bulls Attack. With LaVine out, the Thunder will need to focus their defensive efforts on Lauri Markkanen. The second-year forward scored dropped 23 points in the Bulls’ win over Orlando on Saturday and had 24 points (including the game winner) in the win over OKC earlier this month.
Billy Back: Fire up the parade.