Chicago Bulls vs Oklahoma City Thunder Preview: Keys to Victory for Chicago

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Chicago Bulls vs Oklahoma City Thunder Preview: Keys to Victory for Chicago
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Kevin Durant scored 24 points in a 97-91 win over Chicago on November 8, 2012.

The Chicago Bulls are coming off an impressive 105-75 win over the Charlotte Bobcats, but for the second time in three games, they will face a team that went to the NBA Finals last year in the Oklahoma City Thunder. When the Bulls hosted the Miami Heat on Feb. 21, the result was a disappointing 86-67 loss.

Now with a road game tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago cannot afford to come without with a lethargic effort as was the case against the Heat.

The Bulls do not match up well against the Thunder even when Derrick Rose is in the lineup. However, there are a few things the Bulls can do to improve their chances of winning this game.

Here is a quick glance at what the Bulls need to do on both ends of the floor.

Offense:

In the loss against the Heat, Chicago turned the ball over 27 times, which led to 24 points for Miami. But against Charlotte, the Bulls only committed six turnovers, which enabled them to control the game from start to finish.

Like the Heat, OKC is a team that capitalizes on opponents' miscues. Therefore, the Bulls will need to take care of the basketball in order to slow down the Thunder's transition game.

Another notable stat from the Bulls win over the Bobcats was 37 assists on 42 made baskets. When the team does a good job of moving the ball around, the offense usually plays well. That being said, Chicago needs to make solid ball movement a priority to spread the Thunder’s defense out and create easy scoring opportunities.

Defense:

Unlike the Bulls, OKC has a pair of superstars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who are more than capable of putting up huge number each time they step on the floor.

Durant and Westbrook carry the scoring load for the Thunder, which means the Bulls defense should focus on making life difficult for these players early and often. While Serge Ibaka has become a scoring option for the Thunder, the team’s success still heavily depends on how well Durant and Westbrook play. If the Bulls can slow them down, they definitely have a chance of stealing a road game.  

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