Kevin Durant and the Thunder is in town, ready to spice up the United Center with entertaining play and lots of young players. Second-year point guard Russell Westbrook, third-year forward Jeff Green and rookie guard James Harden all play steady minutes in the Thunder rotation, and all contribute heavily.
The Bulls were once known as a young team, but with the additions of Brad Miller, John Salmons and Lindsey Hunter last year, it's pretty much just Derrick Rose (21) who is their top youngster. Even rookies Taj Gibson and James Johnson are 24 and soon-to-be 23 respectively. Still, the Bulls are far from old and they should be able to match the Thunder's athleticism and youthful spirits.
Chicago is coming off a home win against the Orlando Magic in which Rose led the team with 30 points and added 6 rebounds and 7 assists. More importantly for his progress, the sophomore got to the line a career-high 10 times. Rose has shot 26 free throws over his past three, and seems to finally understand how to be aggresive.
Joakim Noah had a quiet game against Dwight Howard, but is primed to have a good one against Nenad Krstic, who is considerably slower and smaller. Krstic is still a strong contributor for the Thunder, as he averages over 8 points and five rebounds in just under 24 minutes per contest.
Taj Gibson had a strong performance on Saturday, collecting 10 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in just over 32 minutes. The rookie has increased his rebounding for a while, and is now helping out 6.3 times a game to lead all rookies.
Luol Deng and Tyrus Thomas will also look to contribute heavily tonight, as both had shaky games against the Magic. Deng has struggled after Thomas returned, receiving less shots and has shot the ball poorly. Deng will have to be sharp defensively, as he's matched up against the 6'10 Kevin Durant who is currently averaging 28.5 points a game along with 6.9 rebounds.