Tag - Chicago Bulls

Real Plus/Minus: Thunder throttle Chicago

The Oklahoma City Thunder took care of business on a normal Wednesday night, beating the Chicago Bulls 92-79. Oklahoma City now has won three straight and are 7-7 on the year.

PLUS

First Quarter Defense

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s first quarter defense was phenomenal. The Thunder held the Chicago Bulls to just seven points for the entire quarter. The Thunder were able to cause multiple shot clock violations while also keeping the Bulls to shooting 2-of-16 at 12.5 percent. OKC also dominated the glass by out rebounding the Bulls 15-8 with eight of the Thunder’s 15 rebounds being on the defensive side of the ball.

Westbrook lights up the second quarter

Russell Westbrook shot 0-of-4 in the first quarter. Westbrook exploded in the second quarter shooting 5-of-5 at 100 percent from the field and 2-of-2 from three-point range at 100 percent and if that wasn’t enough after starting the season struggling from the free throw line Westbrook went 5-of-5 from the line at 100 percent. Westbrook also had three trademark Russell Westbrook slams, It wasn’t just on the offensive side of the ball Westbrook was impacting, but on the defensive side, he had three steals continuing his streak of three-plus steals in a game to five. Westbrook finished the game playing 31:53 minutes scoring 21 points, five rebounds, seven assists with four steals.

Jearmi Grant continues to grow

Jerami Grant continues to develop as a player since he has been traded to the Thunder from the Philidelphia 76ers last season he has grown leaps and bounds from the player that first arrived. This season Grant has become more controlled and intelligent basketball player. Grant has developed into an excellent defender who can switch and rotate and also has become someone who has developed a skill in getting charge calls along with his athleticism he has become a real asset for Billy Donovan.

Free throw shooting

The Oklahoma City Thunder was coming into this game the 24th worst team at the free throw line shooting at 74 percent. Tonight against the Bulls the Thunder got to the line 37 times making 32 of them shooting at 86.5 percent. The man who has had the most significant struggle at the free throw line this season is Russell Westbrook shooting at 67.9 percent shot seven free throws tonight hitting 7-of-7 at 100 percent it looks like Westbrook and the Thunder are turning things around at the line.

MINUS

There were none we played the Bulls.

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Thunder beat hapless Bulls

The Oklahoma City Thunder took care of business on a normal Wednesday night, beating the Chicago Bulls 92-79.

Oklahoma City now has won three straight and are 7-7 on the year.

It started with the Thunder holding the Chicago Bulls to only seven points in the first quarter. Those seven points ties a franchise record for an opponent single quarter low. Oklahoma City jumped out to a 11-3 in the first few minutes of the game, forcing a quick Bull’s timeout. Chicago would never get remotely closer than that.

Oklahoma City led 27-7 after one quarter and 58-34 at the break.

Russell Westbrook’s facilitation mode was apparent. Westbrook had zero shots and zero points in the first quarter. However, the MVP candidate blew up, scoring 17 points in the second quarter alone. Westbrook finished with 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds on 6-of-13 shooting.

The lead ballooned to 27 in the second half. Westbrook, combined with Carmelo Anthony was a lethal one-two punch the Bulls couldn’t handle.

Just like the first time the Thunder played, it was the defense that set the tone. Oklahoma City held the Bulls to 34.7 percent shooting in this contest. That includes the 31.4 percent in the first half. Oklahoma City forced 17 turnovers, turning it into 22 points. The Thunder had seven steals, forced four shot clock violations and never really let the Bulls get into their offense all night.

Oklahoma City shot only 8-of-30 from three-point range. It’s only the second time this season the Thunder made less than 10 three-pointers. They also hit eight threes in their second loss to Minnesota.

Paul George finished with 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson both finished with five points. Dakari Johnson who was starting in place of Steven Adams again finished with five points in 12 minutes. Andre Roberson was 2-of-2 from the floor for four points and six rebounds.

Anthony finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds in his first game back from injury. Jerami Grant powered the Thunder’s bench with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Oklahoma City will travel to the riverwalk in San Antonio to play the Spurs. That’s a 7 p.m. ESPN tip-off on Friday night.

Keys to the Game

Score: B

Oklahoma City finished with 92 points and only shot 36.1 percent but it was enough as the Bulls aren’t very good. Oklahoma City does this against almost any other team and it’ll cost them. They were able to escape with it tonight.

Share the ball: D

Only 15 assists from the Thunder on 26 buckets. There was way too much ISO ball tonight. Oklahoma City has to do a better job of sharing the ball. Again, against the Bulls, you’ll get away with it. However, against good teams, you’re going to struggle.

Get to the line: A+

Oklahoma City made 32-of-37 at the charity stripe tonight, nearly doubling how many attempts the Bulls had tonight. Russell Westbrook finished 7-of-7 at the line, making him 24-of-26 over his last three games. That’s what you want to see from your leader.

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Thunder Game Day No. 14: vs. Chicago Bulls

Oklahoma City Thunder (6-7, 4-2 home) vs. Chicago Bulls (2-9, 1-5 away)

Wednesday, Nov. 15 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 751/1751 HD)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 12-point favorite. The over/under is 201.5.
Notes: Thunder: here | Bulls: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Oklahoma City is going for their third straight victory with the Chicago Bulls in town.
  • Oklahoma City beat the Bulls 101-69 earlier this month in one of the largest victories in Thunder history.
  • Chicago is 1-5 since playing the Thunder.
  • At 93.6 points per game, Chicago has the worst offense in the NBA.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.

SCOUTING THE Bulls

  • The Chicago Bulls are 2-9 on the season, 14th in the Eastern Conference. Only Atlanta has a worse record.
  • The Bulls are 1-4 in their last five games.
  • Oklahoma City beat the Bulls 101-69 in their first meeting.
  • In their all-time series, Oklahoma City is 71-73 against the Bulls.
  • Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder are 11-7.
  • When the game is at the Peake, the Thunder are 9-8 vs. Chicago.
  • Oklahoma City has lost back-to-back games vs. the Bulls.
  • In their last time game, the Bulls were spanked by the Spurs 133-94 on Saturday.
  • Justin Holiday (personal) is out.
  • David Nwaba (ankle) is a game-time decision.
  • Zach LaVine (knee) is out.
  • Nikola Mirtoic (face) is out.
  • Cameron Payne (foot) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Chicago came on Oct. 28, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 101-69 (32-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (28 points) vs. Chicago occurred during an 100-128 loss on Feb. 1, 2017.

NEW FACES

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
  • Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.

OK3

  • The trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony combined for 5,992 total points last season, which is the most by any other set of three teammates in the league this year. They are followed by Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler (5,810 combined points) and Cleveland’s Isaiah Thomas, LeBron James and Derrick Rose (5,307 combined points).

Anthony moving up the ranks

  • Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,399 points) and fourth among active players behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Vince Carter.
  • Anthony is also one of six players in league history alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-point field goals.

Turnover a New Leaf

  • Through the first ten games of the season, Oklahoma City leads the league in both steals per game (10.60) and opponent turnovers per game (19.0).
  • The Thunder has yet to finish within the Top 5 in the NBA in these categories since they moved to Oklahoma City as their previous season bests were 8.28 steals per game in 2012-13 and 15.2 opponent turnovers per game in 2013-14.
  • Additionally, the Thunder tops the NBA leaderboard for deflections per game (19.2) and forced turnovers on 19.6% of opponent possessions, which tops the league.
  • Paul George ranks first in the league in deflections per game (4.8) and in steals per game (2.40)

Adamsant Scorer

  • Steven Adams currently ranks second in the league in field goal percentage (.676, 48-71 FG).
  • On Oct. 27 at Minnesota, Adams went 8-for-8 through the third quarter, which is his personal best start from the field.
  • As a point of reference, the Thunder record from the floor is held by Serge Ibaka when he went 12-for-12 on 1/31/14.
  • He has scored in double figures in six of the first seven games and led the team in rebounding four times while posting four double-doubles.

Injury Report

  • Steven Adams (calf) is out.
  • Carmelo Anthony (back) is a game-time decision.

Still good odds

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

Next Up

  • The Thunder goes to San Antonio on Friday to play the Spurs. ESPN has your 7 p.m. broadcast.
  • Oklahoma City then goes to the Pelicans on Monday, Nov. 20.
  • Then, the Thunder host the Warriors on Nov. 22.

Three Keys to the Game

Score

The Bulls offense is the NBA’s worst offense. Oklahoma City needs to go out and score and put this game into Lawler’s Law. The Bulls are 0-6 when their opponents hit the 100-point mark. So, get to 100 points and you win the game.

Share the ball

Like rebounding, sharing the ball can be key. Oklahoma City is a cool 4-2 when Russell Westbrook has 10 or more assists. If the MVP gets 10, you might as well chalk up a W tonight. Hopefully he doesn’t try to do it all tonight.

Get to the line

Oklahoma City has done a good job getting to the line during their last two wins. However, they have yet to hit 30 free throw attempts. The Thunder are 4-2 when they attempt more free throws than their opponent. Maybe that’s something they can do tonight.

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George goes bananas again, Thunder win again

Paul George dropped 37 points and if it wasn’t for a quick timeout by Billy Donovan, the Fresno State alum was about to pull up from three and make it an even 40. George’s 37 points led Oklahoma City to a 112-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday evening.

The Thunder now have won back-to-back games and are 6-7 on the season.

George hit seven three-pointers, only one off Russell Westbrook’s franchise record of eight, which Westbrook has done twice. George had 29 points in the second half, including five made threes.

Oklahoma City held Dallas to 42.5 percent from the floor and an impressive 29 percent from beyond the arc. Despite getting out rebounded, the Thunder had a fantastic day forcing turnovers. Dallas turned it over 20 times for 28 Thunder points

“I thought we played a complete game defensively,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said.

Westbrook finished with 27 points on 6-of-18 shooting, pulled down six rebounds and dished out five assists. Westbrook started out the first half going only 2-of-10. The birthday boy came out in the second half with different shoes on and threw down 3-of-4 to start the third quarter.

Carmelo Anthony was ruled out about an hour before the contest because of a sore back. Steven Adams missed his second straight game. Jerami Grant and Dakari Johnson started in their place.

After Dallas tied it up at 48-all and Westbrook took over. Chirping at the Maverick’s bench, Westbrook nailed a three, looked at the sideline and said “That’s one.” Westbrook came back and hit another three-pointer after George did. Dallas called a timeout and the run still came at it. Westbrook’s final three put the Thunder up 74-58 with 3:35 left in the third quarter. Oklahoma City’s 39-point third quarter was the highest point guard for the Thunder this season.

“We’ve got to be ready for anything,” George said. “When Steven went down, Dakari (Johnson) stepped up. Melo went down and it was a huge contribution from a bunch of guys. Josh (Huestis) stepped up, Jerami (Grant) stepped up. We’ve got to be that team. We’re fortunate to have two other guys who can take the (scoring) load, but it’s even better when we’ve got young guys who can step up and help the team.”

The Thunder nailed 15-of-32 from three, a season high in makes. The 46.9 percent is also a season high percentage as well.

Oklahoma City will have a few days off before playing the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Thunder already spanked the Bulls by 32 points earlier this season. Oklahoma City will look to have their first three-game win streak this season.

Keys to the Game

Shoot well: B

Outside of the first quarter, the Thunder shot pretty well. Oklahoma City was 5-of-17 in the opening frame and shooting 56.4 percent the final three quarters. That’s exactly what you want from the Thunder and to do it without Carmelo Anthony is impressed.

Share the ball: A

Oklahoma City is now 6-0 when they have 21 or more assists. They’re 0-6 when they have 20 or less assists. Oklahoma City does a good job when they share the ball and getting everyone involved. It’s not every day we see someone nearly have as many assists as Westbrook as Paul George did.

Get to the line: A+

33 attempts for the Thunder tonight. 13 of those came from Russell Westbrook, the birthday boy. Westbrook finished 12-of-13 and that’s the most important thing. Westbrook pushed his season average from 60 percent to 65.4 percent. In the last two games, the Thunder have attempted 73 attempts. The previous five games the Thunder had 85 attempts.

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Power Rankings Week 4 (Nov. 7-13)

I’m just as impressed as you are I’m doing this for a fourth straight week. That said, the NBA is a fickle season. We hoped the Thunder would be a little bit further along but a stupid ejection continues with the woes of this team. Boston is on fire, despite losing arguably their best player. Cleveland has their own entire set of issues which we’re not touching with a 10-foot poll. Are the Rockets really the best team in basketball right now? It’s completely possible. The way James Harden played the other night, he might be on his way to an MVP.

Without anymore hesitation, here we go:

Weeks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 |

Biggest rise: Philadelphia — 12 spots

Biggest drop: Oklahoma City — 10 spots

1. Boston Celtics (8-2) (LW: 5)

Despite losing their best player in my opinion, Gordon Hayward, the Celtics are the league’s best defense and are on an 8-game winning streak.

2. Houston Rockets (8-3) (LW: 7)

James Harden dropped 56 points in 32 minutes, what are you doing with your life?

3. Orlando Magic (6-4) (LW: 1)

While the Magic aren’t in first, they’re still playing well. Expect the Magic to continue to fall in the rankings but they’re respectable.

4. Detroit Pistons (7-3) (LW: 10)

The Pistons are for real. They defend and get the Hawks this week. They’ll get more wins this week.

5. Golden State Warriors (8-3) (LW: 5)

The Warriors are starting to find their groove. They’re going to win a lot of games. The Warriors have won four in a row. Might be 10 in a couple of weeks.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-3) (LW: 11)

Another team on a run, the Timberwolves are on fire, second hottest team in the NBA. Their defense might not be best but definitely can score a lot of points. They’re sixth in scoring at 109.4 points per game.

7. Washington Wizards (5-4) (LW: 3)

Wizards struggled a bit this week but the Hawks and Mavericks are up.

8. Memphis Grizzlies (6-4) (LW: 14)

Chandler Parsons is respectable. Mike Conley is a stud and Grit’n’Grind is still alive. However, Houston, Milwaukee and Portland this week.

9. Portland Trail Blazers (6-4) (LW: 13)

A couple of big wins this week over the Lakers and the Thunder push the Damian Lillard into the top 10 this week.

10. Philadelphia 76ers (5-4) (LW: 22)

I don’t really know why I moved the 76ers up this much. Why not? They’ve won four in a row and looks like the team we expected to make the playoffs in the East. Ben Simmons is probably the Rookie of the Year.

11. Toronto Raptors (5-4) (LW: 2)

Raptors go 1-2 this week with the lone win over the Jazz, so at least it was a good one. Boston ends out the week for Toronto.

12. San Antonio Spurs (6-4) (LW: 9)

Despite winning two straight, Spurs drop a spot. I think this is more about the improved league around them.

13. L.A. Clippers (5-4) (LW: 8)

Back-to-back losses for L.A. drops them five spots. It doesn’t get any easier with Oklahoma City and San Antonio on the next up.

14. Milwaukee Bucks (4-5) (LW: 4)

A top-four team last week, but a three-game losing streak sends the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP chances tumbling down the rankings.

15. Denver Nuggets (5-5) (LW: 17)

Some of these teams like the Nuggets and Pelicans move up because of the Thunder and the Cavaliers moving way down.

16. New Orleans Pelicans (5-5) (LW: 19)

Two in a row for the Pelicans. However, only wins over the Bulls and Mavs. Let’s see how they do against Toronto and the Clips this week.

17. Utah Jazz (5-5) (LW: 12)

Had to drop the Jazz as they’ve lost their last two games.  New Orleans and Washington are up on the schedule.

18. Los Angeles Lakers (5-5) (LW: 27)

The Lakers, like the Knicks are respectable. Who knows how long that’ll last. If it wasn’t for DOLLA DAME, the Lakers would be on a three-game win streak.

19. New York Knicks (6-5) (LW: 24)

Are the Knicks… good? They’ve won three of their last four. I guess the Knicks are good at basketball again.

20. Indiana Pacers (5-5) (LW: 16)

Indiana’s fun is wearing off. While Victor Oladipo is doing fine, they’re struggling. They’ve lost two bad games recently.

21. Charlotte Hornets (5-5) (LW: 18)

If you don’t love Kemba Walker you can get out of my house. However, their defense isn’t great and they don’t score a lot.

22. Brooklyn Nets (4-6) (LW: 21)

While the Nets score a lot of points (112.7 ppg), they allow the most in the league (116.6)

23. Phoenix Suns (4-7) (LW: 25)

So the Suns fire their coach and win a few games. Phoenix is somewhat respectable now.

24. Miami Heat (4-6) (LW: 23)

This team is too inconsistent, for me, to be inside the Top 23 right now.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (4-5) (LW: 15)

The way they’ve lost the last two games, they deserve to be lower.

26. Chicago Bulls (2-6) (LW: 29)

They get back Bobby Portis. So, that’s a positive sign. They’re also only one of two east teams giving up under 100 points.

27. Cleveland Cavaliers (4-6) (LW: 20)

When LeBron James is your only source of production, did we time travel back to 2009?

28. Atlanta Hawks (2-9) (LW: 30)

I should’ve just kept the Hawks at 30, but I do this counting up from the bottom.

29. Sacramento Kings (1-8) (LW: 28)

Four straight losses by nine points or more shows the Kings are in a for a long stretch of losses. Oklahoma City, Philly, New York and Washington this week provides tough slate for the Kings.

30. Dallas Mavericks (1-10) (LW: 26)

This is the worst season for Dallas since 1992-93 when the Mavericks finished 11-71. Poor Dennis Smith Jr. Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t deserve this, either.

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Power Rankings Week 3 (Oct. 31-Nov. 7)

The NBA is fun. Boston may be without Gordon Hayward but they’ve won five in a row. The Magic and Grizzlies are … good? So, we forgot a day but we’re back. Oklahoma City has slipped in our rankings once again. We’ll see if they can string together some wins to move up.

Without anymore hesitation, here we go:

Weeks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27

Biggest rise: Orlando — 19 spots

Biggest drop: Cleveland — 13 spots

1. Orlando Magic (5-2) (LW: 19)

I had to. The Magic have earned this as they’ve won four of their last five. Orlando’s offense is second in the NBA in scoring and their three-point defense is holding opponents under 30 percent from beyond the arc. That’s a recipe for success. It doesn’t hurt when Aaron Gordon drops 47 in a win over Brooklyn.

2. Toronto Raptors (4-2) (LW: 4)

Toronto has the largest net point differential in the NBA (+10.8). That’s large in part to what Dwayne Casey has these Raptors doing on defense. Opponents are only shooting 30.5 percent from beyond three-point range against Toronto.

3. Washington Wizards (4-2) (LW: 3)

Bradley Beal got ejected but and the Wizards took the L against the Warriors. This Wizards team though, has a real shot at winning the whole thing.

 

4. Milwaukee Bucks (4-2) (LW: 6)

Giannis Antetokounmpo is an absolute monster. Antetokounmpo is leading Milwaukee in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Oh, he probably is a pretty good chef. So, he leads in that department, too.

5. Boston Celtics (5-2) (LW: 15)

Remember when Gordon Hayward went down and we thought the season was over for Boston? I do, but this team is still really talented. They’re the hottest team in the NBA as they’ve won five in a row.

6. Golden State Warriors (5-3) (LW: 10)

Warriors continue to climb as they’re showing mortal signs. However, a trouncing of the Clippers last night may show the champs are back.

7. Houston Rockets (5-3) (LW: 1)

Back-to-back losses for most might send smoke signals of larger issues but the Rockets are fine. One was without Eric Gordon and the other was by a really decent Memphis team.

8. L.A. Clippers (4-2) (LW: 5)

Despite the trouncing to the Warriors, this Clips team is pretty solid. However, back-to-back losses sends this team tumbling in the rankings. Dallas comes to town on Wednesday to help those losing blues.

9. San Antonio Spurs (4-3) (LW: 2)

San Antonio hasn’t won a game in almost a week. Life is tough on the riverwalk. Most likely will catch their fourth straight loss as they play the Warriors but Charlotte and Phoenix come up, too.

10. Detroit Pistons (5-2) (LW: 14)

When you sweep the Clippers and the Warriors, the league takes notice. They get to beat up on the Lakers and the Kings this week. Expect the Pistons to rise again.

11. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-3) (LW: 8)

This team is a little harder to predict than I expected. Much like Oklahoma City, they’re gelling. However, losing Jimmy Butler to sickness for two games doesn’t help. Minnesota has Dallas and Charlotte to ease their pains this week.

12. Utah Jazz (4-3) (LW: 9)

When you lose to the Suns, you should drop even more. However, dominating wins over Dallas and Los Angeles correct some of that.

13. Portland Trail Blazers (4-3) (LW: 12)

The Blazers are only 1-2 in the last week. Their lone win was a beating of the Phoenix Suns. It doesn’t get any easier as they have Utah and Oklahoma City on their schedule this week.

14. Memphis Grizzlies (5-2) (LW: 17)

This one may get me assaulted a bit. Memphis is good but I’m sure a lot of it was beginner’s luck. Losses to Dallas and Charlotte have warning signs for this team.

15. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-3) (LW: 11)

I’d love to rank the Thunder much higher but they are 0-3 vs. team above .500. However, they’re only allowing 96.5 points per game. So, there are good things to see.

16. Indiana Pacers (3-3) (LW: 26)

The Victor Oladipo show came to Indy and has partied ever since. He’s having a phenomenal season and he was just named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week after averaging 28.7 points per game on 60.4 percent shooting in Week 2.

17. Denver Nuggets (3-4) (LW: 13)

Denver has a tough schedule coming up with Miami, Toronto and Golden State, yikes.

18. Charlotte Hornets (4-3) (LW: 20)

Dwight Howard has been re-energized in Charlotte. He’s averaging 13.3 points and 15.0 rebounds per game. In return, Charlotte is 3-1 in their last four.

19. New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) (LW: 21)

Anthony Davis had 39 points and 10 rebounds but the Pelicans have no defense. The Mavericks and the Hawks are on the schedule, should be a couple of wins for the Pelicans this week.

20. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-4) (LW: 7)

The Cavs lost three straight this week. That’s why the big drop. They’re going to climb the ranking but for now, they deserve to be down here.

21. Brooklyn Nets (2-4) (LW: 18)

The Nets are coming back down to earth as they’ve lost two games this week but they can still score a lot of points. Look at D’Angelo Russell, he’s averaging almost 20 points a game as the Nets are third in total scoring at 114.7 points per game.

22. Philadelphia 76ers (3-4) (LW: 24)

After starting 0-3, Philadelphia is starting to find their legs. Weirdly enough, the 76ers are 0-2 at home but 3-2 away from their home venue. With Atlanta and Indiana, this is a good chance to get near .500 again for Philly.

23. Miami Heat (2-4) (LW: 16)

The Heatles are no more. This Miami team has played a brutal schedule lately with San Antonio, Boston and Minnesota. It doesn’t get any easier as the Clippers and the Warriors are this week.

24. New York Knicks (3-3) (LW: 29)

The Knicks beat the pants off the Cleveland Cavaliers and I am impressed. They’re figuring some things out. They have the second biggest win streak in the NBA. Weird.

25. Phoenix Suns (2-4) (LW: 30)

Firing your coach works? I guess. Gone is Earl Watson and Eric Bledsoe is at the hair salon but the Suns went 2-1 this week. So fire your coach.

26. Dallas Mavericks (1-7) (LW: 27)

Dallas may have the worst record in basketball but five of their seven losses are by six points or less. They’re right there.

27. Los Angeles Lakers (2-4) (LW: 23)

The Lakers with Ball on the court are bad. They’re 11.3 points per 100 possessions with him off the court and they’re -13.0 with him on the court. That’s very telling.

28. Sacramento Kings (1-5) (LW: 22)

I thought the Kings were going to be on the up-and-up but I was wrong. Three losses this week, including a 28-point loss to Washington gives the Kings a headache.

29. Chicago Bulls (1-4) (LW: 28)

A 32-point loss for the Bulls on Saturday night might not be the worst point of the season for the Bulls. They’re without way too many people and it’s going to be tough to win games.

30. Atlanta Hawks (1-6) (LW: 25)

Atlanta without Dennis Schroder out, the Hawks are floundering. They’ve lost six in a row and have allowed 100 points in every game but one.

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Bulls Meltdown! 10.28.17

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 101-69 on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the United Center. Russell Westbrook had his 81st triple-double of his career and his third of this season. Oklahoma City is off until Tuesday when they play the Bucks.

  • We could win. OKC will be on the second of back-to-back road games.
  • Easy loss. Westbrook will roll over us like a tidal wave.
  • Must lose game.
  • I actually think this will be a close one
  • Jerian Grant is about to get destroyed by Russell Westbrook
  • Justin Holiday plays like a shotmaker but he barely makes any shots.
  • Neither team wearing white reminds me of the solid color uniforms teams wear for Thursday night football.
  • why is felton so fat all the time
  • Fred is just too stupid of a coach
  • guys cant even dribble
  • looking like i might stop watching at the 3rd quarter
  • Fred is a clown
  • We might not make it to 70 points tonight.
  • UGLY half of basketball for Chicago….
  • But hey we might be playoff bound!!
  • Out of all the pgs on the team somebody gotta turn out good right???? Lol ANYBODY
  • I know people want to blame this player or that player but the Bulls just scored 8 points in the 2nd quarter. That’s a group effort folks.
  • Pepto Bulls
  • Paul Zipser absolutely sucks. Why does he start again?
  • This team is crazy selfish… Poorly coached
  • This game is gonna do some serious harm to this teams confidence
  • I know we suck but gotta give OKC credit for their defense.
  • We stinks
  • Dunn is getting in the paint getting hit just no call.
  • Lol. C’mon man no
  • We are so bad lmfao
  • lol, I thought the game was over.
  • This okc team is nice.
  • Just when it looked like there’s no hope for the future, Kris Dunn gets a steal and layin to bring Bulls within 25.
  • Felicio is being paid $8 mil per over the next 4 years to play basketball.
  • I passed out before the game started. Did I miss anything?
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Real Plus/Minus as the Chicago Bulls burn

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 101-69 on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the United Center. Russell Westbrook had his 81st triple-double of his career and his third of this season. Oklahoma City is off until Tuesday when they play the Bucks.

Plus

Smothering Defense

The Oklahoma City Thunder kept the Chicago Bulls to a new record low 31 points in the first half. OKC was phenomenal on defense switching, double-teaming and applying vast amounts of pressure that led to nine steals for the half. The Bulls shot 27 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from three. The Thunder only allowed eight points in the second quarter.

Scoring in the paint

The Thunder outscored the Chicago Bulls 36 point to 16 in their clash in Chi-Town recording their lowest allowed points in the paint in OKC history. The Thunder were terrific against the Bulls on both sides of the ball. On the defensive side, the team did an excellent job of forcing the young bulls players into late shot clock play forcing them to get up lousy shots or just causing shot clock violations. On the offensive side, Westbrook was at his best getting the ball to Steven Adams inside the paint or driving inside himself.

George on fire

Paul George continued his current shooting form against the Chicago Bulls shooting 8-of-15 at 53.3 percent 4-of-5 from three at 80 percent. George has been the Thunders barometer on offense so far. It seems if George isn’t making shots the rest of the team seems to miss as well. George struggled against his former team fouling out of the game only playing 19:06 minutes against the Timberwolves he bounced back shooting 50 percent from both from the field and behind the three-point line.

Westbrook completes his triple-double quest

Russell Westbrook has completed his tour of triple-doubles recording his 82nd triple-double but his first against the Chicago Bulls. Westbrook has now recorded a triple-double against every single team bar one. The Oklahoma City Thunder since you can’t get a triple-double against yourself now can you. Thanks to Westbrook signing his extension it is unlikely he ever will.

Carmelo Anthony 200point streak

Anthony is the first player to have six straight 20 point games to start a Thunder players career. Anthony has been good on offense scoring 22, 26, 23, 28, 23 & 21. Not a bad way to start you Oklahoma City Thunder career and precisely what Russell Westbrook needed.

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Thunder Preseason Game Day #2: vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder (0-1, 0-1 home) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (0-1, 0-0 away)
Friday, Oct. 6 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

Thunder Preseason Game Day #2: vs. New Orleans Pelicansvs. Thunder Digest

TV: None.
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: Oklahoma City is a 5½-point favorite. O/U is 212
Notes: Thunder: here | Pelicans: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Houston Rockets 104-97 on Tuesday  night in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Thunder trailed by as many as 20 but closed strong.
  • Carmelo Anthony looks to continue his good ways as he scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting on Tuesday.
  • The Pelicans come into tonight’s game 0-1 on the year. They blew a huge lead to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, falling 113-109.
  • Oklahoma City is 25-30 all-time in the preseason.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Tonight’s broadcast is on OKCThunder.com the Thunder app only.

NEW FACES

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.

Scouting the Pelicans

  • The New Orleans Pelicans finished the 2016-17 NBA regular season 34-48 and 10th in the West.
  • Oklahoma City is 20-11 all-time vs. the New Orleans Pelicans.
  • In Oklahoma, The Thunder are 11-5 vs. NOLA.
  • In previous preseason games, the The Thunder are 1-3 vs. NOLA
  • The Thunder swept the Pelicans last season in the regular season.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over New Orleans came on Feb. 27, 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 119-74 (45-point margin of victory).
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (25 points) vs. the Pelicans occurred during an 80-105 loss on Nov. 21, 2008.

Injury Report

  • Russell Westbrook (knee) is should play.
  • Patrick Patterson (knee) is OUT.
  • Alex Abrines (knee) is OUT.

Still good odds

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

Next Up

  • The Thunder will host they’ll host Melbourne United (Australia) on Oct. 8.
  • Then, they’ll travel to Denver on Tuesday night for an 8 p.m. tip-off with the Nuggets.
  • The regular season begins on Oct. 19 against New York.

Things to watch

How the Big 3 play together

Oklahoma City has three big weapons and how they play together for the first time. Hopefully it’s a quick gel and the Thunder can run together well. If they struggle, it could be a long season for the Thunder.

How OKC guards Boogie and AD

Another super duo coming at Oklahoma City. The Thunder get a real shot at playing arguably the two best big men in the game right now. Oklahoma City has to find  a way to limit what Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins can do on the offensive side of the ball.

Hey Bench, show up

The different bench rotations will be interesting. It won’t mean much right now with Patterson and Abrines out. However, seeing a little consistency early will be big for the Thunder. If the bench goes out and scores super low numbers, eye brows will raise and the medias will talk.

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Taj Gibson signs with Timberwolves

Taj Gibson has agreed to a two year, $28 Million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, as Shams Charania and The Vertical first reported.

Gibson will meet up with his former Chicago Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler and coach Tom Thibodeau.

The Thunder acquired Gibson at the trade deadline last season and in his short run with the team he averaged 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds.

In the 55 games before the trade he averaged 11.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game with the Bulls. However, he also played an average of 6.1 minutes more in the Windy City.

Gibson almost immediately took over the starting position of the rookie Domantas Sabonis because of his defense and experience.

In the five playoff games for the Thunder, Gibson scored 9.8 points per game while shooting 60 percent.

According to Royce Young, the Thunder did not have a very good chance to bring back Gibson and this move shows that the Thunder are committed to All-NBA Second Team Defensive Player, Andre Roberson.

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