After a four-game losing streak earlier in the month, things have begun to turn around for the Chicago Bulls. They earned a huge win on Monday over the Boston Celtics then followed it up with an even bigger victory on the road in Milwaukee. It was just what the Bulls needed to steady the ship. These are the types of performances that can instill belief that Chicago is a solid team and can compete for a top-six spot in the East. The Bulls' record now stands at 8-10, good enough for 11th in the conference. We are still in the early months of the season so there is a lot of opportunities for Chicago to climb their way back into the playoffs.
Tonight will be the first game of a semi-big road trip for the Bulls. They are scheduled to play five straight away from the United Center and all will be against Western Conference. Most of these contests will be against playoff contenders yet the opener will be against a team that is rebuilding in the NBA.
The Oklahoma City Thunder come into this game with nearly the same record as the Bulls at 7-11 but are on a bit of a downslide. They have lost three straight and seven of their last 10. Oklahoma City last played on Wednesday, losing 131-126 in overtime to the Denver Nuggets. They overcame a 17-point deficit to make it competitive with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scoring 31 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Yet the Nuggets outscored them by 18 in the fourth quarter and OT to grab the win. The Thunder have some interesting young players who could give the Bulls problems. Obviously there is SGA along with Lu Dort, who is a solid perimeter defender. After struggling to start his career, Aleksej Pokuševski has shown some promise as well. This isn’t a game the Bulls should be sleepwalking through.
Injury Report: Goran Dragic missed Wednesday’s game with a left cervical stinger and is listed as questionable for this game. Javonte Green is listed as “Available”. As for Oklahoma City, Mike Muscala is out as he recovers from a fracture in his left pinky. Chet Holmgren, the second overall pick, is still out due to surgery on his right foot.
Game Time: 7PM CT
TV: NBC Sports Chicago
Odds: The Bulls are three-point favorites but you can find them at 2.5 as well. The total is set at 232.5 (via the Action Network)