Chicago Bulls: Final shot to build momentum ahead of regular season

Lauri Markkanen, Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Lauri Markkanen, Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

The fourth and final game of the Chicago Bulls preseason slate has arrived on Dec. 18, as they take on the OKC Thunder on the road for the second time.

On the night of Dec. 18, the Chicago Bulls will take part in their final game of their preseason schedule. The Bulls get their second of two road games against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road on Dec. 18, at the Chesapeake Energy Center. This will be their final matchup of their four-game preseason slate, which started back on Dec. 11 at home at the United Center.

Everything started out on the wrong foot for the Bulls in this four game preseason slate. They were beaten handily by the Houston Rockets at home on Dec. 11, by the convincing final score of 125-104. But then they exacted revenge on the Rockets at home two days later, notching a comfortable 104-91 win on Dec. 13.

This all amounted to a notable third preseason game for the Bulls, as they hit the road to face the Thunder in the first of two matchups on Dec. 16. They got the Rockets at home for two games to start the preseason schedule, and then round it all out on Dec. 18 in their second of two games against the Thunder.

In their first matchup on the road against the Thunder, newly hired head coach Billy Donovan and the Bulls were victorious by the final score of 124-103. The Bulls controlled that game most of the way, winning the first three quarters. Donovan saw nice outings from the likes of point guard Coby White, shooting guard Zach LaVine, and even rookie forward Patrick Williams.

Williams actually got the start at the three in place of veteran small forward Otto Porter Jr. in the Bulls win over the Thunder two days ago. He was a nice fit alongside the likes of power forward Lauri Markkanen, LaVine, and White. Even third-year center Wendell Carter Jr. benefited from his presence in the starting five.

Moreover, the game-high 27 points that White posted in 28 minutes on the floor on Dec. 16 showed how impressive he can be in these situations. White also registered five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and four turnovers. And he shot an efficient 11-of-17 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.

White’s efforts in matching up against the rising star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the perimeter will once again be one to watch on Dec. 18. SGA only had 12 points (on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and 0-of-3 from beyond the arc) in their Dec. 18 loss to the Bulls. But he has an opportunity to bounce back before the Thunder tip off their regular season next week.

After the Bulls take on the Thunder on Dec. 18, they will have five days off before taking on the Atlanta Hawks at home at the United Center on Dec. 23 to tip off the regular season schedule. They currently carry a preseason record of 2-1, with one win over the Thunder and Rockets each.

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Moreover, this is the second game that Donovan will be coaching at the arena where he led the Thunder as their bench boss for five years. This is a much different Thunder team, though, than he coached up last season out West.