It was an up and down opening weekend of basketball for the Chicago Bulls.
Now they head south to Oklahoma City for two games against the Thunder in what will be their final preseasons contests. This will also be Billy Donovan’s first visit to OKC as the away coach after he spent five seasons with the team.
It’s been an interesting offseason for the Thunder as despite making the playoffs, they decided to kickstart their rebuild. They traded away Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, and Steven Adams while hiring Mark Daigneault to be their new head coach. It’s clear that the Thunder are choosing to build around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as one of their core pieces for the future but they mostly acquired future draft picks with some unwanted contracts (like Al Horford). From this most recent draft, they added Aleksej Pokusevski and Theo Maledon. It looks like this season will be one focused on development for OKC.
The Thunder have only played one preseason game so far and it was a 121-108 victory against the San Antonio Spurs. OKC shot 54.8% from three while Maledon led the way with 20 points. It was an all-around team effort as 7 Thunder players scored double digits.
The Bulls will be a bit short-handed:
Six players won’t travel today with the team for our preseason games in OKC:— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 15, 2020
Three of these players (Satoransky, Dotson, and Mokoka) have ambiguous ‘not with team’ excused absences.
For the Thunder, they appear to be nearly 100% available. It looks like after missing their first preseason game we will see Horford, Darius Bazley, Justin Jackson, and Lu Dort.
Tip-Off Time: 7PM
TV: NBC Sports Chicago