Chicago Bulls vs Oklahoma City Thunder, 7:00 PM CSN-Chicago

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.

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  • I cant wait for this game as I cant stand the love Westbrook gets from my friend. We have a 300 dollar bet going. I said he wont make an all-star team in the next 5 years. We did this bet last season so right now i got 4 years left and he wont make it this season so I am 3 years away from hopefully collecting. As for the game Bulls need to double team Durant everytime he touches the ball, make his life miserable and make the other guys on the team beat you. Noah, Ty, Taj need to really come hard as the Thunder big men are nothing to brag about even though Seg Ibaka has shown flashes. Our defense is key because i dont think we can compete offensively with this team.

  • ENERGY, EFFORT and ATTITUDE.

    That's what the Chicago Bulls' need to take the court with tonight. The 5th seed in the Eastern Conference is within their graps, so they need to FOCUS and play with a SENSE OF PURPOSE at home and on the road.

    I expect Derrick Rose to continue to ATTACK THE BASKET. Joakim Noah to DOMINATE THE BOARDS. Tyrus Thomas and John Salmons to play with PASSION and provide solid PRODUCTION off the bench.

    There is no time for let-downs, so Vinny Del Negro needs to keep this team FOCUSSED, MOTIVATED and DRIVEN. The Bulls' need to BULLY this young OKC THUNDER team for 48 minutes.

  • Yea, I hope we win this game. The Thunder with Durant are no door mat. Green is very aggresive and Westbrook has proven to be a good selection.

    I say we win it but it wont be easy. Bulls by 7

  • If you want to watch the game tonight and don't know where to go, come to Rockit Wrigley (3700 N.Clark)!! Come watch the game and enjoy 50%off wine!

  • i actually think we pull threw....whats impressive..is if you take away the lost aqainst the kings..we really been pulling away from alot of teams and go on big runs..the problem is we cant maintain it or we couldnt make up for it..(ex @ new york) we have a good team that can make runs but lately just before thomas we been going on big runs..we just need to maintain them..

  • http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/63811/20100104/rose_durant_named_players_of_the_week/

    matchup looks even better now..lol keep this going derrick..we know you can do it..its not about faith anymore its about production...derrick rose 4 mvp! lmaoo..doug imagine durant with rose in chicago =)....westbrook isnt like derrick but them two together..would mean a decade of 2 of the best players at their position..durant-21 rose-21..

  • http://www.realgm.com/src_checktrade.php?tradeid=5363074

    how about this! =) and tell me who doesnt make this deal....i understand torontos part but..if a pick was added..they would get the best deal involed

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    chicago,toronto and washington

    chicago gets

    bosh,
    jack,
    crittenton
    and stevenson

    washington gets

    loul
    tyrus
    hinrich
    and a.wright

    toronto gets

    arenas
    caron
    and james johnson
    (maybe a future 2011 pick from either CHI or WASH)

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    getting this deal done is better than any deal out there because arenas is not wanted in washington,caron is on the blocks,stevenson and crittenton arent playing and crittenton def is gone from being in that dispute..toronto gets 2 allstars and a guy they had high on their draft boards..and a future first would sweeten the deal..arenas regardless of what is an all star calibre player and so is caron..james johnson brings them a future..and toronto cant get any better than this and it would be shocking to see them turn this down...but the reallllllll winner woudld def. be us..getting rid of deng and hinrich can assure us of going after joe johnson and having the money and core to do so..jack is the only player beside bosh who stays long term so we get even more cap by letting james johnson sgo..but this deal only happens if toronto gambles on arenas becuase im pretty sure and 100% positive that washington does this deal because theyr fed up with arenas and want butler out and use tyrus's potiential to grow and learn from jamison

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    toronto would never do that trade in a million years. In fact I would go as far as to say they would rather have bosh expire even knowing he would leave then do that.

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    & what exactly makes you say that...if gilbert is cleard of any worng doing..then what would hold them back?

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    well this is a let down.

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    Tyrus Thomas of old I see.

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    wow Vinny needs to put rose in asap.

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    down 10 but to little to late.

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    horrid shooting night for everyone on our roster.

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    ugh.

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    EMBARRASSING!!!

    Doug's boy, James Johnson, absolutley SUCKS AS A BASKETBALL PLAYER!!! People who have a MAN-CRUSH on him need to get over it.

    Furthermore, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng STUNK and didn't bother to show up for 3 out of 4 quarters. VDN should BENCH BOTH THEIR ASSES tomorrow night.

    I guess John Paxson made a mistake picking Derrick Rose and passing on Russell Westbrook. EMBARRASSING!!!

    Also, I'm sick of all the love for Tyrus Thomas on here and elsewhere. HE SUCKS TOO. He is INCONSISTENT and IMMATURE. John Paxson needs to do his job and get rid of his SORRY ASS!!! And while he is at it, he can get rid of John Salmons too. He isn't worth keeping around.

    This team is MEDIOCRE at best and that just isn't good enough. I'm tired of EXCUSES by all the MEDIOCRE LOVIN' Bulls' fans on here and elsewhere. Pro Sports is about one thing and one thing only....WINNING. If you don't understand that, go watch Junior College basketball!!!

    THIS CRAPPY ROSTER NEEDS TO BE OVERHAULED!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    funny how the first person you bring up is james johnson.then you say derrick and loul needs to be benched next game..and then you say westbrook shouldve been picked ahead of derrick..i dont know what to say about your life anymore..you should go be twill's dauqhter and be a nets fan..

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Doug can you give me the power to start post game threads? it takes to long.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You have to admit Tyrus Thomas with all that talent(ah-HAH

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    whoa whoa whoa Mrhappy i know your mad but lets not go overboard. Westbrook over Rose? give me a break.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    now he's losing it..westbrook is nice but better than rose? thats just pathetic..

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    Caron Butler anyone?

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Bulls have not had discussions about him according to Sam Smith.

  • In reply to Jdog1021:

    there is this biytch lol on realgm knicks board TKF he rips Bulls non-stop. God i hate him.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Rooting for a Bulls win, but when you look at team defense the Thunder's is ranked higher then ours, and they have a near 30ppg scorer in Durant. So it will be tough. As well as Derrick's been playing it will be interesting to see how OKC plays him. If he has another 22 points or above game I say the Bulls have a good chance. Also, I'm looking for Salmons to continue his renewed good play. If Taj can bring it again tonight at both ends of the floor like did against Orlando I'm thinking entertaining game tonight.

  • thats my point he makes 1 million more than bosh this season..and isnt on a joe johnson next year like contract..he's 27..my point is..jerry isnt goina look like a asshole come deadline or free agency..he's goina walk away with something..he wouldnt hold him hostage for nothing..

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