Preview 6 of 82: Thunder @ Bulls
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)
The Thunder enters tonight on the second half of a back-to-back, fresh off a loss and a mid-flight scare that left the front end of the team plane severely indented. Oklahoma City will look to turn its favor around tonight in Chicago, facing a Bulls team that has 1-3 record and little hope for improvement.
- Zach Lavine: Out — ACL
- Nikola Mirotic: Out — Concussion/facial fractures
- Bobby Portis: Out — Suspended for giving Mirotic concussion/fractures
- Cameron Payne: Out — Foot
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- The Thunder lost 119-116 last night in Minnesota, but should find much easier sledding tonight in the Windy City. The Bulls are facing many injuries, general dysfunction, and has nowhere near the firepower necessary to combat the Thunder attack. If there’s a night to fine tune some of the recent Thunder struggles, it’s tonight.
- Justin Holiday leads the Bulls in scoring at 17 PPG. Rookie Lauri Markkanen is the next leading scorer at 15.8 PPG, and may be the toughest Thunder match-up due to his size and ability to shoot the basketball.
- Andre Roberson logged just 10 minutes last night in Minnesota, and suffered/may not have suffered a mysterious ankle injury in the process. He’s available, but all eyes will be on his playing time.
- Josh Huestis is averaging 15 minutes per game over the last three games, and should again see a decent amount of opportunity. He’s yet to make a noticeable impact in any way, but Billy Donovan seems intent on seeing what he has in the 25-year-old.
- The OK3 enters with respectable scoring averages, but has yet to put together a performance in which all three gentlemen have complete games. Carmelo Anthony leads the team at 24.4 PPG, followed by Russell Westbrook at 22.6, and Paul George rounds out the group with 19.4 PPG.
- Steven Adams has been a complete revelation, averaging 15 points and 8.4 rebounds on 69 percent shooting. Nice.
- According to Fred Katz, none of the pieces from last season’s Bulls/Thunder trade deal will be in action. The pieces included Anthony Morrow, Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott.
- Tonight’s game is simply one the Thunder must win. Not in a “win or the season is over” sense, but come on. It’s the Bulls.