Bulls (9-15, 3-10 road) vs. Thunder (20-4, 12-0 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 108.0 (8th), Bulls – 99.1 (28th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 100.7 (4th), Bulls – 101.0 (5th)
Pace: Thunder – 96.9 (3rd), Bulls – 90.6 (28th)
Since losing Derrick Rose (again), the Bulls are 3-10. They’re a shell of themselves and clearly deflated emotionally. This game was supposed to be big and fun, except now it’s just one where the Thunder are supposed to win and the only thing notable about it would be the opposite.
They’re coming off a game the night before where the Rockets rolled over them fairly effortlessly, and now they’re in Oklahoma City playing a rested team that’s 12-0 at home. But hey, D.J. Augustin!
The Bulls coming in: Lost to the Rockets last night
Three Big Things
1. Fast start. If the Thunder can get off to a quick start, two things will happen: 1) The Bulls will probably be eager to pack it in and 2) they’re not built to play from behind.
2. Rebounding. One of the biggest ways the Bulls can stay close is their work on the offensive glass. Especially with Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. Keep them away from second chances and their offense probably won’t be able to keep pace.
3. Focus. A lack of it almost bit the Thunder the last time they were at home, against the Magic. The Bulls might be hurting but that’s a prideful team with a terrific coach. Give them an inch and they can sting you.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Get Well Soon D-Rose.