Chuck Checks In - 01.08.21

Bulls: (4-5, 3-2 on the road) at Lakers: ( 6-3, 2-3 at home)
RADIO:670 THE SCORE: Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington: 8:45 pre.
TV: NBCSC: Adam Amin and Stacey King. 9PM

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 24pts. Lakers: James: 24pts.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter: 8per. Lakers: Davis: 9per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: White: 5per. Lakers: James: 7per.

CCI PREVIEW: The Bulls get their first look at the defending champion Lakers led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis...or will they? The Lakers play the second game of a back to back and despite the fact last night's game, (118-109 loss to the Spurs) was played at the Staples Center, will they rest?

Without four players including starting forward Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls have held their own and then some against some quality teams. Zach LaVine in four January games is averaging 26 points five rebounds and four assists. In two of the last three games, LaVine has put up big numbers of 39 points against Dallas and 32 on Wednesday against the Kings. He's also averaging 39 minutes the last three games.

His back court running mate Coby White is coming off a career high 36 points at Sacramento. Her also dished out seven assists and did not commit a turnover in forty minutes. In back to back games on this four game trip, White is averaging just over 39 minutes per game. It's great to be 20 years young!

I love what the bench is doing and when the Bulls get healthy, Head Coach Billy Donovan will have a number of options. For now, Garrett Temple, Daniel Gafford, Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine have stepped up.

The Lakers are the Lakers. They bolstered their lineup in the off season adding Marc Gasol, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews and Dennis Schroder. I'd say that was a pretty good two months of work for Lakers GM Rob Pelinka. Anthony Davis isn't the only Chicago product on the Lakers roster. Talen Horton-Tucker played high school ball at Simeon. Horton-Tucker went on to compete at Iowa State and later was drafted in the second round by LA in 2019. He became the second youngest player in NBA history to win an NBA title at 19 years and 322 days. The youngest? Darko Miliicic. He played in game three of the 2004 NBA Finals for the Pistons at the age of 18 years, 356 days.

Tonight on 670 The Score and the Bulls Radio Network, Bill Wennington and I will discuss LeBron James legacy. Is he the second best player to MJ? 1 or 1A? Certainly a top five player of all time. What is your take? cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter @ctsbulls


Brooklyn 122, Philadelphia 109. Both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant missed the game but Joe Harris stepped up for the Nets scoring a season high 28 handing Philly only its second loss of the season.

San Antonio 118, Los Angeles Lakers 109. The Spurs scored the first nine points of the game and never trailed. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were game time decisions but both played. LA shot just 31% from three point range and 61% from the foul line. The Lakers played the Spurs for the second time in three days.

Dallas 124, Denver 117 OT. Luka Doncic narrowly missed a triple -double: 38-9-13.

Portland 135, Minnesota 117. The Blazers led by 33 at the half. The T-Wolves have dropped six straight, all without Karl-Anthony Towns.

Cleveland 94, Memphis 90. Andre Drummond had 22 points and 15 rebounds. Despite a boatload of injuries, the Cavs are 5-4.

The Knicks re-signed veteran Taj Gibson. Gibson played in 62 games last season averaging six points and four rebounds. He has played in 799 NBA games, 562 of those came in a Bulls uniform.

NBA NATIONAL TV GAMES: ESPN 6:30 : Charlotte at New Orleans
ESPN: 9PM. Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State.

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

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