GAME NIGHT AT THE UNITED CENTER 7PM CT.
OKC (2-3, 0-2 on the road) at Bulls (1-3, 1-1 at home)
TV: WGN TV. Neil Funk and Stacey King>
Radio: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. WLS 890AM.
Pre game coverage at 6:30 on WLS 890AM and BullsTV on Bulls.com.
LAST GAME: Bulls 91 Atlanta 86. Minnesota 119 OKC 116.
The Thunder played last night and lost at Minnesota as Karl-Anthony Towns scored 33 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. The combination of Westbrook, George, Anthony and Adams combined for 93 of their points. Westbrook had 8 turnovers, 15 the last two games. The Thunder bench scored a combined 19 points.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Holiday 17ppg. OKC: Anthony: 24ppg.
REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 10per game. OKC: Westbrook: 9.
ASSISTS: Bulls: Grant: 7per game. OKC: Westbrook: 12 per game.
KEYS TO THE GAME: Bulls cannot be careless with the basketball. The Thunder lead the NBA in steals with 10 per game. OKC is more than capable of going on huge runs. It’s an early season adjustment period for the Thunder as they have three “go to“ players who are trying to figure things out. After playing last night in Minnesota, let’s see if the Bulls can set the tone with pace. The focus is on Westbrook, George and Anthony but I’m here to tell you center Steven Adams is a guy I’d want to play with 24-7. I love his passion, his edge, he’s just a very, very good player.
24 IS A VERY POPULAR NUMBER..... The past forty-eight hours the “Scalabrine- Markkanen #24 jersey” story line has taken on a head full of steam, especially on social media . Following the Thursday win over Atlanta, I asked Lauri how things evolved:
“I met him (Scalabrine) in the draft process in our work out in Boston. He was doing a lot of interviews during the draft so I met him there. All the numbers I wore before were retired or taken at the moment so I needed to make a decision. I shot him a text and he said I could be the “Finnish Mamba.”
Scalabrine, a former Bull, wore the #24 jersey during his time in Chicago and often referred to himself as the “White Mamba.”
BULLS UPDATE: The Bulls have exercised third-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine, and fourth-year options on guards Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne, along with forward Bobby Portis. By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2018-19.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Washington’s Bradley Beal and Golden State’s Draymond Green were ejected in the first half after an altercation. Outstanding game...Warriors so deep. Looney and Casspi were terrific off the bench. West stepped in with the absence of Green and scored 16. The Warriors down by 18, win by 3.
James Harden notched a triple double as the Rockets made 22 of 57-3s in Houston’s win over the Hornets.
I know it’s five games but Orlando is 4-1. The Magic buried the Spurs by 27.
Kristaps Porzingis had 30 points as the Knicks get their first W of the season.
Great stat from Raptors beat reporter Josh Lewenberg. The Raptors have 123 assists through 5 games. They had 80 after 5 games last season.
Kobe Bryant says he’d like to have Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson induct him in to the Hall of Fame.
In June of 2015, Jahlil Okafor was selected third overall in the NBA draft. He averaged 17 points 7 rebounds but played in only 53 games due to a knee injury. Last year, a recurrence of knee issues limited Okafor to 50 games. The 21 year old out of Whitney Young High School in Chicago is now out of the 76ers rotation.
Always a pleasure.