[Thanks to Walker for today’s game preview. Still a couple slots left if you want to sign up and do a preview -yfbb]
Oklahoma City Thunder (22-16) @ Chicago Bulls (19-18)
Chicago- Denzel Valentine is probable with an ankle sprain. Jimmy Butler is setting up his flu game.
Oklahoma City- None
The Thunder travel to the United Center to face off against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. Oklahoma City brings their superstar point guard Russell Westbrook, who is averaging a triple double through 38 games (31.4 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 10.3 APG.) Chicago is going to have their hands full with Westbrook.
Andre Roberson has emerged as an underrated defender and he will likely be glued to Jimmy Butler’s side all night long. Jimmy Butler has been inserted into the rumor mill as of late, with rumors of the Bulls trading Jimmy Butler flying around the league. This won’t affect his play at all, Butler is playing his way into the MVP conversation.
This has the makings of a very interesting matchup, because both teams have a distinct advantage at different places on the court. Butler is going to get his, as is Westbrook, but Dwyane Wade could provide a crucial advantage for the Bulls. Look for Dwyane Wade to have a huge game tonight with Oladipo guarding him for most of the night. Domantas Sabonis and Steven Adams will be the big men down low for the Thunder matched up with Lopez and Gibson for the Bulls. The Bulls will likely see a lot more of Enes Kanter than Domantas Sabonis, as Kanter is an elite scorer with his back to the basket.
Robin Lopez and Nikola Mirotic could provide key offensive firepower in what looks like will be a shoot out. If Mirotic can provide outside shooting for the Bulls and could contribute 12-15 points than it could be a difference maker in determining the outcome of the game tonight. The Bulls are an extremely good offensive rebounding team. If Lopez can pull down a healthy amount of offensive rebounds than the Bulls have an extremely good chance of winning this game.
I think Westbrook may get more than he usually does tonight. And that this game is going to be first to 110 points wins. The Thunder have a couple more weapons to put up points than Chicago does, and will ultimately win this game.
Prediction: Thunder by 4, 116-112