Chuck Checks In - 12.27.20

Final From The United Center: Indiana 125, Bulls 106. ( Indiana 2-0, 1-0 on the road). (Bulls 0-2. 0-2 at home)

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 17pts. Pacers: Warren: 23pts.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 9. Pacers: Sabonis: 11.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Satoransky: 9. Pacers: Sabonis: 11.

CCI STAT OF THE NIGHT: Indiana scored 76 points in the paint.

COACH DONOVAN: "When you've experienced losing, it can beat you down... they have to be responsible for their own rescue. If someone sends a life vest, they have to swim to it...my responsibility is to teach it to them... it's going to be a process to get through some of those things."

CCI RECAP: After a competitive first quarter, Indiana jumped on the Bulls with a 21-0 second quarter run and never looked back. The Pacers made a statement in the second half opening the third quarter with 18 straight points. Domantas Sabonis recorded his fifth career triple-double with an impressive 22-10-11. Lauri Markkanen was one rebound shy of a double-double (16-9). Denzel Valentine tossed in 11 points off the bench. Tomas Satoranksy was solid as a reserve with a 6-4-9 game. Zach LaVine led the Bulls in scoring with 17. The Bulls committed 20 turnovers leading to 25 Pacers' points. In two games the Bulls have allowed teams to score a combined 126 points.

UP NEXT: Home Sunday vs. Golden State.

CCI PREVIEW: The game will showcase two of the top four players in the 2020 draft as the second overall pick, center James Wiseman and his Warriors take on Patrick Williams and the Bulls. Wiseman has been impressive in his first two games averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds, playing 24 minutes per game. He has a chance to be a special player, as does Williams, who competes every moment he's on the floor. I envision him as a "glue guy" on the court for the Bulls.

Steph Curry rolls in to the United Center shooting 34% from the field and 20 % from three point range but as we know, that's going to change - hopefully not tonight! After practice Saturday at the Advocate Center, Curry drained 105 straight three point field goals. 105! That's insane! Google "Curry 105-3s" - a video was posted by the Warriors digital team of Curry's remarkable shooting display. Curry is one- three point field goal away from becoming just the third player in NBA history to make at least 2,500 in their career joining Ray Allen and Reggie Miller. Without *Klay Thompson*, sidelined for the season with an achilles injury, teams are sending hard double team traps at Curry, allowing players such as Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins to make or break the Golden State offense. Wiggins is shooting 29%. Oubre Jr. checks in at 16%. Help may be on the way however as Draymond Green went through a full practice on Saturday and could possibly make his season debut (foot injury) tonight.

Golden State has opened its season with losses to Eastern Conference powerhouses Brooklyn and Milwaukee. They have not started a season losing three straight games since the 2007-08 season when they lost its first six games.


Philadelphia 109, New York 89. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons combined for 42 points and 19 rebounds. RJ Barrett went 2-15 from the floor for the 0-2 Knicks. The Knicks announced first round pick, Obi Toppin will be reevaluated in 7-10 days after sustaining a right calf strain.

Portland 128, Houston 126 OT. James Harden had a monster game of 44 points and 17 assists as the undermanned Rockets lost their season opener. CJ McCollum scored 44 points including a 3 pointer with 6.3 seconds left. Damian Lillard added 32 for the Blazers.

Cleveland 128, Detroit 119 OT. The Cavs start the season, 2-0. Andre Drummond destroyed his former team with a 23-16 game. He also collected 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks.

Orlando 130, Washington 120. Russell Westbrook had a 15-15-12 game becoming the fourth player in NBA history to record a triple double in his team's first two games. The others: Magic Johnson, Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson.

Atlanta 122, Memphis 112. Trae Young is averaging 36 points and 9 assists in his first two games.

San Antonio 119, Toronto 114. Former Raptor, DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points.

Oklahoma City 109, Charlotte 107. The Thunder blew a 13 point lead in the final two minutes only to see Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drill a jumper with 1.4 seconds left.

Sacramento 106, Phoenix 103. The Kings improved to 2-0 as De'Aaron Fox scored 24 points and dished out 7 assists.

Minnesota 116, Utah 111. Bojan Bogdanovic committed a five second violation on an inbounds pass preventing the Jazz from attempting a game tying three point field goal with 4.2 seconds left in regulation. The T-Wolves are 2-0.

NBA National TV Games on Sunday:

Dallas at Los Angeles Clippers (NBA TV) 2:30 CT.
Brooklyn at Charlotte (NBA TV) 6PM CT.
Minnesota at Los Angeles Lakers (NBA TV) 9PM CT.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach out: cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter @ctsbulls

All In. All Bulls. 365. 24-7. Always a pleasure! Go Bulls!