OKC has been sensational this year, and come into the game with a perfect 13-0 record against teams with losing records. They’re feeling themselves after coming off the wild win over the Nets.
Chicago has struggled to win this year, and are now have a new coach in Jim Boylen. We’ll see if that can do anything to carry them to more victories, or if it was a pointless move.
After a 23-point second-half comeback was made by them against the Nets on Wednesday, with Paul George going off late in the game, they look to keep it going. They rank #4 in points against while having the twelfth highest scoring offense in the league. PG and Russ have teamed to form quite the duo, while Jerami Grant has been burying his threes, a welcome sign for the team. They lead the league in steals and have a lot of players with quick hands who can get their hands into passing lanes.
Steven Adams continues to work his tail off down low, as his numbers have improved each and every year. They are going to be without Andre Roberson for longer than they thought, so their defense, which could have gotten even better, will have to wait. Dennis Schroder has given them great energy off the bench after they had been seeking a player like him since Dion Waiters left for Miami. Well, they have him now.
At 5-20, whether or not this were a rebuilding situation, this is not where they want to be. They do have Lauri Markkanen back now, as they hope he can bring a lot to the offense. But Jim Boylen wants to slow the pace down, while we know Fred Hoiberg liked to play fast. Zach LaVine may see his offensive productivity fall down a bit based on this, but with Jabari Parker coming off the bench again, the defense could improve a bit. They have greatly missed Kris Dunn, who was awesome for the Bulls last year after a poor rookie year in Minnesota.
One thing they do well is getting people to games. Chicago, despite being 5-20, ranks #7 in attendance, and fans come out to see this young team. LaVine is averaging 24.5 points per game to lead the team and is looking like a real candidate to be an All-Star this season. Chandler Hutchison has not played well off the bench this year, and the selection of him is looking like a real whiff. Cristiano Felicio is now backing up Robin Lopez, and he’s really as inefficient as it gets.
Thunder stay hot, knock off Bulls
A change in coach won’t lead Chicago to victory tonight. The Thunder will come out with a win and improve to 17-7. OKC started the year 0-4 and has gone 17-3 since, proving to be a real tough out.
PG is going to go for 30 points to lead the team to a W!
Free Pick: OKC
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