Chuck Checks In - 02.22.21

Chuck previews tonight's rematch vs. HOU and recaps NBA news
Zach LaVine defending D'Aaron Fox
by Chuck Swirsky
Remind Me Later
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GAME NIGHT FROM HOUSTON: Bulls: (13-16, 7-7 on the road) at Houston: (11-17, 5-6 at home)

RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington. 6:45 CT pre.
TV: NBCSC: Adam Amin and Stacey King. 7PM.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 28ppg. Houston: Wall: 20ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter: 7per. Houston: Tate: 5per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: LaVine and White: 5per. Houston: Wall: 6per.

LAST MEETING: Bulls 125, Houston 120. The Bulls nailed 20-three point field goals.

CCI PREVIEW: The Bulls make a quick stop in Houston taking on the Rockets who have had an interesting week cancelling two home games due to last week's winter storm in Texas. The Athletic reported on Saturday that the Rockets and DeMarcus Cousins have agreed to part company. With a young Rockets team in transition there was simply no room for Cousins who recently just had his 2.3 million dollar one year deal guaranteed for the rest of the season. Things are very fluid with this story line. Christian Wood remains out with an ankle injury. John Wall is averaging 20 points per game but this is a Houston team in a major rebuild.

I look for the Bulls to pound the ball inside taking advantage of Houston's lack of bigs. Zach LaVine has taken his game to the next level. He's averaging 35 points per game over his last eight game. It's an absolute pleasure watching a player who thrives on pressure, excel on a nightly basis. The Bulls chemistry is excellent and despite the injuries and Covid issues, the team has stayed together due to the leadership and guidance of Head Coach Billy Donovan.

CCI NBA NEWS AND NOTES

Minnesota dismissed Ryan Saunders following its road loss in New York. Chris Finch is leaving the Raptors coaching staff to become the new head coach of the Timberwolves according to ESPN.

New York 103, Minnesota 99. The Knicks have won four of five. Julius Randle with a 25-14 game. The T-Wolves play in Milwaukee Tuesday before taking on the Bulls at the United Center Wednesday. It will be Minnesota's third game in four nights on the road. The Wolves have had both D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns available for 5 of the 45 games they've played since acquiring Russell more than a year ago.

Milwaukee 128, Sacramento 115. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 70 points. Giannis attempted 24 free throws (a career high), making 19 - his most ever. Oh, by the way, he also collected 18 rebounds.

Brooklyn 112, Los Angeles Clippers 108. The Nets won both games in the series. James Harden scored 37 as the Nets went 5-0 on their west coast trip. The Nets outscored LAC in the paint, 60-38.

Toronto 110, Philadelphia 103. No Kyle Lowry but the surging Raps won their fourth straight.

New Orleans 120, Boston 115 OT. The Pelicans trailed by 24 in the third quarter. Zion Williamson scored 24 of his 28 points after halftime. Brandon Ingram had 33 points. The Celtics fell to 15-15.

Oklahoma City 117, Cleveland 101. The wheels are definitely off the Cavs losers of 10 straight.

Orlando 105, Detroit 96. Nikola Vucevic had 37 points and 11 rebounds. The Pistons dropped to 8-22.

Atlanta 123, Denver 115. The Nuggets road woes continue dropping six of their last seven on opposing courts. Trae Young had 35 points and 15 assists.

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

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

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