OKC Thunder stun Bulls in season opener

Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Vucevik and OKC Thunder’s Chet Holmgren (PAUL BEATY/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls in their season opener at Chicago on the road on Oct. 25. They beat the Bulls in convincing fashion, going 124-104. This game result came as a shock, since the Bulls are one of the premier teams in the Eastern Conference. This win constituted one of the Thunder’s biggest wins in a season opener — a win of this magnitude was last seen in 2017. 

All-star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was great in his season debut, dropping 31 points, five rebounds, and 10 assists. This game marked the official debut of Chet Holmgren. The Thunder’s No. 2 draft pick last year experienced a decent NBA debut as he dropped 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists in just 25 minutes of action. His presence on the court helped the Thunder dominate as he had a box plus/minus was +14. This game also saw Holmgren start at center. There’s still no definite answer as to whether Holmgren will have his minutes reduced in load management throughout the season, as the Thunder’s front office has expressed “open mindedness if need be.” 

This was also apparent as the following game against the Cleveland Cavaliers saw Holmgren play 31 minutes. Speaking of rookies, Cason Wallace took the court in his first NBA game of the season. The number draft pick from this year’s draft scored 13 points, 1 assist, and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes of action. The Thunder’s prospects were definitely in action and showcasing what they can do.

The Chicago Bulls had a players-only meeting following the loss from the Thunder. They began their season at home against the champions Denver Nuggets on Sunday followed by an at-home against the Pistons, and the Pelicans on Monday and Wednesday.

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