OKC Thunder (2-2, 0-1 road) at Chicago Bulls (3-1, 2-1 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 104.3 (12th), Bulls– 104.4 (9th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 98.2 (5th), Bulls – 95.3 (1st)
Pace: Thunder – 94.2 (10th), Bulls – 93.1 (16th)
View from the enemy: By the Horns
Back to .500, meaning tonight the Thunder either go to the plus side, or the negative.
A win tonight in Chicago — no easy task by any means — and the Thunder could be set up to rip off a few in a row. Following this, OKC gets Detroit twice and the Cavs before taking on Memphis at home Nov. 14.
The evaluation of the Thunder remains fluid and depending on tonight’s result will likely sway one way or the other. Either it’s back to worry and fret, or there’s another night of reassurance. But again, beating the Bulls wouldn’t only be a win, but a good win to boot.
Chicago coming in: The Bulls last played Tuesday beating Orlando.
Three Big Things
1. Scoring. The Bulls continue to be an elite defensive team and they always make scoring a challenge. The Thunder have reinvented themselves a bit as more of a ball movement, spread-it-around group and less straight isolation. That’s mostly due to Kevin Martin, who is brilliant off the ball and not a straight isolation pick-and-roll player like Harden. So OKC brings a new style to Chicago and instead of just relying on a bunch of individuality, the Thunder are going to try and space and spread out the Bulls.
2. Musical chairs. Who gets the nod in the rotation tonight? Another crack for Reggie Jackson or is it Perry Jones III again?
3. KD. I figured he’d explode against the Raptors. But with OKC’s blowout, Durant didn’t have much a chance to get off. Now on national TV and four straight performances under 25, it’s time for KD to do some scorin’.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Up The Thunder.