Chicago Bulls Vs OKC Thunder Preview- 01/15/2021
Bulls Look to Get Back into the Win Column with the Return of Lauri
It seems like forever since the Chicago Bulls (4-7) have played due to the game vs. the Celtics being postponed. Last we saw the Bulls in action, they fell in another close game to the LA Clippers on Sunday. Tonight they will take on the OKC Thunder (5-6) coming off a blowout loss to the Lakers 128-99. Even with a 2 game losing streak, the Thunder have some quality wins under their belt, most notably against the Nets.
The Bulls look to rally tonight to snap a 3 game losing streak behind the offensive brilliance of Zach Lavine, who has moved up to third in the NBA in scoring at 27.7 ppg while shooting 49.1% from the field and 37.1% from the 3 point line. Look for Coby White to continue distributing the ball with a team high 6.2 assists per game and setting a career high in three different statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists) last week. The Bulls currently have 7 players scoring double figures and are consistently playing a team oriented game.
The big news regarding the injury report is regarding the return of Lauri Markkanen. He should be able to provide a nice spark to a surging Bulls offense lately and I’m curious to see who Donovan will start with Lauri back and the dynamic he will have with the team after the bulls have the 2nd best offensive rating in the league since the new year. It is undetermined at this time if he will be starting tonight but he will be a great offensive punch regardless after playing like the best player on the Bulls to start the season. Other injury news includes Otto Porter Jr. being listed as probable for tonight’s game.
For the Thunder, they are 28th in the league averaging only 104.1 ppg. They play a very contrasting style of basketball compared to the Bulls, where the Bulls are more of a high paced, run and gun offense, the Thunder meticulously use every possession and burn the shot clock. OKC is shooting just 44.7% from the field and 33.0% from beyond the arc which doesn’t help their ppg average. The Bulls will have to slow down Shai-Gilgeous Alexander who is averaging 20.5 ppg to help their chances for a victory.
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