Although the Bulls and the Thunder both won last time out, neither is very comfortable with the way they have played of late. Their matchup on Sunday will pit the NBA's top offense against one of its top defenses.
The Thunder snapped a four-game losing streak on Friday with a 127-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. They continue to score at an incredible rate, averaging over 106 points per game. However, over their last four games they have allowed at least 109 and are looking to find their consistency once again.
Scott Brooks: "Thunder defense not broken"
The defense isn't broken but its clearly not working right according to Brooks and Welcome To Loud City's Trey Hunter. According to Brooks, the Thunder's problems aren't centered on one player and it will take everybody to get things back on the right track.
"It's a combination of everybody," Brooks said after the Thunder's victory over Minnesota. "We have to have all five guys and we have to figure out how to get back to doing that."
The Thunder likely won't have to worry about the Bulls exploding as they have struggled at times to put points on the board without injured point guard Derrick Rose. However, Chicago did hit 51 percent of its shots on Friday in a 105-75 win over the Bobcats.
Chicago has lost six of its last 10 but bounced back from an ugly loss to the Miami Heat by blowing out Charlotte on Friday. The Bulls have fallen into fifth place and 8.5 games behind the Heat in the East standings and are just a half game in front of Atlanta entering play on Sunday.
In addition to Rose, the Bulls will be without back up point guard Kirk Hinrich, who will miss Sunday's game due to ongoing problems with his elbow.
"(The healing) is progressing but not as quickly as I would like it to," Hinrich said before Sunday morning's shootaround. "Just taking it day by day right now and hoping for some improvement every day."
Hinrich has missed 14 games this season due to injury and the Bulls are just 5-9 without him. Nate Robinson is the likely starter in his absence and rookie Marquis Teague will get the primary back up minutes.
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Oklahoma City opened as a 9-point favorite.