Five Things to Watch: Bulls square off against Russell Westbrook, Thunder tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls square off against Russell Westbrook, Thunder tonight on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

1. The Russell Westbrook Show. The most exciting player in the NBA - sorry, James Harden - makes his only stop of the year in Chicago tonight. There aren't enough superlatives to use with Westbrook, who's in a two-man race with Harden for this year's MVP award. Thirty-eight games into the year Westbrook is still averaging a triple-double, with 31.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game. The Bulls will have to try and limit Westbrook and force him into an inefficient night. There's no stopping the hottest player in the league.

2. More Jimmy Butler, please. The good news for the Bulls is they have someone playing just as well as Westbrook. After his 42-point explosion in the Bulls' comeback win over the Raptors on Friday, Butler is now averaging a whopping 34.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in his last six games. He's entered the MVP discussion, and for good reason. OKC will counter Butler with solid defenders in Victor Oladipo and Andre Roberson, but No. 21 is going to get his.

3. Taking advantage of road woes. Oklahoma City has lost four on the road, though the competition has been stiff in Milwaukee, Charlotte, Houston, Memphis. But the Bulls have also won four of five at the United Center and have a good chance to keep that moving.

4. Victor Oladipo. The Thunder shooting guard has struggled since his return from a wrist injury, shooting just 41 percent on 15 attempts per game. As good as Westbrook is, Oklahoma City is still struggling with consistency and efficiency. Oladipo getting to the rim more should help this. It makes them that much better and helps out an already-solid defense.

5. Dunk contest. There's a special dunk contest at halftime at the UC for those in attendance, hosted by CSN's Luke Stuckmeyer and Leila Rahimi. CSN's Chuck Garfien and Vincent Goodwill and ESPN's Nick Friedell serve as the judges. A highlight of the contest will be shown during the TV broadcast. It's also Rajon Rondo Bobblehead Night at the United Center.

- Buy tickets to tonight's game

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you’re ready for action

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

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- Latest on the Bulls: All of the most recent news and notes

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox crush Royals; Cubs shutout Pirates; Bulls battle Celtics tonight on CSN

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox crush Royals; Cubs shutout Pirates; Bulls battle Celtics tonight on CSN

Here are some of the top Chicago sports stories from Tuesday: 

Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

Preview: Cubs aim for sweep tonight on CSN

Three more hits for Leury Garcia as White Sox pound Royals

Kyle Hendricks outduels Gerrit Cole in Cubs win

Rajon Rondo return seems possible for Game 5

Clemson's Deshaun Watson is the one situation where a Bears reach has epic upside

Blackhawks make another change, fire Rockford coach Ted Dent

NBA Buzz: Time for Fred Hoiberg to make adjustments for the Bulls

Duke chatter unlikely to stop, but newly extended Chris Collins wants to be at Northwestern: 'There's no reason for me to look elsewhere'

Teammates see Mike Glennon taking command of Bears offense

Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

Five Things To Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in pivotal Game 5 on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Boston Celtics today in Game 5 on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. And be sure to stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live-streaming coverage of the Bulls.

1. Point guards need to be better. It’ll be Isaiah Canaan starting Game 5 at the point for the Bulls, but their game plan can’t be to have him play 34 minutes again. That means one of Jerian Grant or Michael Carter-Williams is going to have to give the Bulls some semblance of good run at times early in the second and fourth quarters. And that’s assuming Canaan can replicate Game 4’s performance.

2. Perfect time for a Jimmy Butler takeover game. Jimmy Butler has been good, not great, in this series. And for a No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed, the eight seed’s best player needs to be great. Butler is shooting just 41 percent – and 24 percent from deep – despite averaging nearly 25 points per game. This could be a game where he decides to take over. When he does that (and is hitting jumpers), he’s unstoppable and can win a game himself.

3. Niko, Portis or Zipser? The Bulls wouldn’t have won Game 1 without Bobby Portis, and they would have had a much tougher time closing things out had Paul Zipser not gone for 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting. One of those two, or the struggling Nikola Mirotic, needs to step up in a big way for the Bulls, especially with Rajon Rondo out and Dwyane Wade struggling.

4. Is this now Isaiah Thomas’ series? With the Celtics going small Isaiah Thomas appears to have found his way offensively. He was dynamite in Games 1 and 2 with one of Gerald Green or Marcus Smart in the small-ball lineup. The Bulls don’t have enough options to throw at him when he’s on his game. There’s a reason he’s an MVP candidate, and if he decides this series is over the Bulls can’t match him.

5. The series is on the line. The Bulls are eight-point underdogs heading into Game 5, and the series is essentially on the line. A loss tonight means the Bulls need a win Friday at home AND a Game 7 road win in Boston against the top team in the East (record-wise). That just isn’t feasible. The season is on the line, and you can bet Fred Hoiberg has told his team as much – as if they needed to be told.

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you're ready for action

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

- NBC Sports App FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Bulls: All of the most recent news and notes