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Oklahoma City Thunder vs Chicago Bulls

The Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder journey to the United Middle to face a rebuilding Chicago Bulls membership recent off its first win of the season.

The OKC Thunder journey to Chicago on the again of a 119-116 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. In an in depth encounter, the Thunder offense stalled down the stretch as OKC missed 10 of its final 14 pictures. Oklahoma Metropolis registered 4 20-pount scorers within the loss with Russell Westbrook pacing the Thunder with 27 factors, eight rebounds and 9 assists.
The Chicago Bulls however are respiratory a sigh of reduction. After a tumultuous couple of weeks which featured an altercation between forwards Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis, they lastly opened their 2017-18 account with a 91-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bulls, lead by rookie Lauri Markannen‘s 14 factors and 12 rebounds, moved the ball effectively and completed with 6 double determine scorers. After two days off, the Bulls come into this match up recent and trying to safe again to again victories.

Key Match Ups

Steven Adams vs Robin Lopez:

Adams has began the 2017-18 season on an absolute tear. The large Kiwi is averaging 15 factors and eight.6 rebounds per recreation together with a whopping 5.2 offensive boards (third total). Though Adams is seen largely as a defensive anchor, OKC are using his athleticism within the open flooring by discovering him on the leak out off missed pictures.
He has confirmed to be a load within the submit, bodily imposing himself on opposing defenses and bullying his solution to the cup.  Adams could have his arms full although with Bulls massive man Robin Lopez. Averaging 15 factors and 6.5 rebounds, Lopez is the very best participant on the roster by a large margin. Like Adams, Lopez is a power on the offensive boards (four per recreation) and makes a residing inside. Whoever dominates the offensive boards is more likely to dictate the path of the sport.

Carmelo Anthony vs Lauri Markkanen:

Carmelo Anthony enters this match up averaging 24.four factors, three.6 boards and a profession excessive 1.four blocks per recreation. From a bodily standpoint, this match up is unfair. Anthony is more likely to play bully ball down low and use his measurement to get to the rim.
Nonetheless, rookie Lauri Markkanen poses completely different issues for Anthony. The large man out of Finland is the definition of a stretch four. Averaging 15.eight factors and 10 rebounds per recreation, the 20-year outdated seven-footer is capturing 40 % from past the arc on 6.5 makes an attempt. If the Bulls are capable of get out in transition and power Melo to maneuver up and down the court docket, Markannen will discover himself large open on the perimeter.

Russell Westbrook vs Jerian Grant:

Agent zero is averaging 22.6 factors, 9.2 rebounds and 12 assists this season. Nonetheless, a lot of his good work is undone by his lack of care with the ball. Westbrook is averaging over 6 turnovers per recreation. Oklahoma Metropolis wants Russ to play just a little slower and below extra management. If he is ready to decide his spots, Grant might be in for a protracted evening.
Jerian Grant is a prolonged guard with a robust defensive IQ. He's a microwave scorer and in rhythm, can gentle up the court docket in varied methods. The important thing to Grant’s recreation is to get going early. Grant seeks out lose balls and like to get out on the break. If Russ doesn’t take care of the ball, don’t be stunned to see a tonne of quick break factors if Grant will get a lane.

Managing Turnovers:

Oklahoma Metropolis’s affinity for fouling is similar to their need to show the ball over. The Thunder are one of many extra careless groups within the league, averaging a whopping 16.four turnovers per recreation (20th). Russ is averaging 6.four turnovers per recreation. Sure, you learn that accurately.
Fortunately for Oklahoma Metropolis, the Bulls are equally inept in caring for the rock. Chicago common 16.eight turnovers per recreation (22nd) and fare 2 spots worse than OKC. I'm anticipating a recreation with loads of quick break alternatives and whoever can maintain the ball the very best is more likely to obtain the W.

Cleansing the Glass:

OKC are permitting far too many offensive rebounds. Within the two video games towards Minnesota, the Wolves averaged 12 offensive boards. Oklahoma Metropolis constructed its title upon defending the glass and now it appears we will’t rebound in any respect.
The Thunder are robust on the offensive glass, averaging 11.four boards per recreation (sixth) however rank useless final in defensive rebounds (28.four). Quite the opposite, the Bulls are very energetic inside averaging 11 offensive (eighth) and 36 defensive (11th) rebounds per recreation. If the Thunder don’t take note of rebounding, Chicago will feast on second likelihood factors.

Scale back Fouls and Free Throws:

The Thunder love a very good foul. On a per recreation foundation, OKC commit 23.three fouls (21st) and ship opponents to the road 25.6 instances (21st). This wouldn’t be as a lot of an issue if the Thunder received to the strip on the identical charge. Nonetheless, OKC solely try 21.6 free throws per recreation (21st) and convert at a low 72.2 % charge (24th).
In distinction, Chicago are fifth in fouls dedicated (18.2), seventh in free throw share (80) however solely try 17.5 free throws per recreation (27th). If the Thunder are prepared to ship Chicago to the road, they are going to be in a world of hassle and it'll make the sport that a lot tougher.
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