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Thunder vs Bulls preview and gamethread: OKC takes on slightly struggling Chicago

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The Thunder are still basking in the glow of Wednesday’s ending, but they would do well to avoid the same mistakes.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder
Nov 15, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Antonio Blakeney (9) fouls Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant (9) during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Chicago Bulls

Time: 7PM CST

Location: United Center, Chicago

Broadcast: FSOK

***

The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bulls. Chicago, as you may have heard, has been having a few issues this season.

Be that as it may, I believe OKC’s challenge this night is the same as on Wednesday. Against a struggling team such as the Bulls, they do themselves an extreme disservice if they forget for too long who they are. They had amnesia for three quarters in Brooklyn, and were it not for a career-kind of night from Paul George, we’d be talking more about all of their flaws rather than PG’s emergence.

There are lots of layers of course, but the baseline building blocks are simple: defend, and don’t take dumb shots. Both of these things strengthen OKC’s chances of winning against just about anyone exponentially, because their strengths lie in their defense, their rebounding, and creating open shots via transition.

Russell Westbrook has been hit or miss, but going against the long-limbed but slight Zach LaVine will be an interesting challenge, as Westbrook won’t have the same physical advantages as he has against smaller defenders. Will he continue to pile up the assists, or will he try to locate his errant shot again?

The answer may be academic, but OKC would do well to avoid the same mishaps as Wednesday night. As fun as it was, let’s not make it a habit against struggling teams.

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Thunder
    (39 votes)
  • 20%
    Bulls
    (10 votes)
49 votes total Vote Now