Chuck Checks In: 10.20.18

GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Detroit (1-0) at Bulls (0-1) - 7pm

TV: NBC Sports Chicago - Neil Funk and Stacey King - 7PM CT
RADIO: 670 The Score - Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul - 6:45 pre

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine 30 ppg.  Pistons: Griffin: 26 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Portis - 11. Pistons: Drummond - 20
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Arcidiacono - 8  Pistons: Griffin - 6

BULLS HOME OPENER: Year 53 in Bulls franchise history. Thank you to all the fans for your support. On behalf of all of us with the Bulls organization and the United Center, we are so appreciative of your loyalty.

CCI PREVIEW: The Bulls look to tighten up their defense from Thursday's 127-108 loss at Philadelphia. That's a given. The Bulls committed only 12 turnovers in the game, but the 76ers managed to score 17 points off those with the majority coming in transition and spot up jumpers.  The Bulls also must get to the line. Twelve attempts, as was the case against Philly, won't get it done if they expect to win.  The point guard position must play better in it's matchup tonight against Reggie Jackson. Detroit narrowly got by the Nets in the Motor City on Wednesday as the Pistons received tremendous production from Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond and Jackson.  Pistons owner Tom Gores cleaned house in the offseason, bringing in a new front office staff led by veteran Ed Stefanski. Detroit's best offseason free agent signing wasn't a player—it was a coach.  The reigning NBA Coach of the Year, Dwane Casey, who was given the pink slip in Toronto at season's end, was quickly scooped up by Detroit and signed a reported 5 year - 35 million dollar deal. He is an excellent coach, but his team will go only as far as Griffin, Drummond and Jackson go. For the Pistons to make the playoffs, all three must stay healthy.  Based on their history, that's a tall order.

CCI KEY MATCHUP OF THE NIGHT: After an NBA baptism against Joel Embiid, Wendell Carter Jr. now gets to tangle with Andre Drummond, who is coming off a 24 points, 20 rebounds game vs. Brooklyn. Yes, he's been given the green light to shoot threes, but in this new age NBA, who doesn't have the heat check to launch long range missiles? Drummond is an old school back to the bucket player with a curl and hook low post move.


Toronto 113, Boston 101:  Can the second game of the season be a statement game? You tell me. The Raps pulled away from Boston on a 10-0 run late in the 4th quarter and the crowd in Canada went crazy. Kyle Lowry played tough defense. Danny Green drained long jumpers, but it was Kawhi Leonard scoring 31 points with chants of “MVP” resonating throughout the arena. Leonard looked like the healthy Leonard of San Antonio days.

Golden State 124, Utah 123: Jonas Jerebko, one of CCI's favorites over the years, crashed the glass with a tip in with less than a second left giving the Warriors a win.

LAC 108, OKC 92:  Gallinari and Harris combined for 52.  Tobias Harris is going to have a huge year. Steven Adams with a robust 17 points, 18 rebounds.

Milwaukee 118, Indiana 101:  Giannis and Middleton combined for 51.

Minnesota 131, Cleveland 123:  At the Target Center, Jimmy Butler was booed, cheered and given chants of "MVP" in 36 minutes, 33 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots.

New Orleans 149, Sacramento 129: Niko Mirotic went off scoring 36 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 turnovers in 31 minutes. He buried five 3-point field goals.  Jrue Holiday told Niko he'll buy him a bottle of wine every time Mirotic scores 30 or more in a game.  The Pelicans are flat out scoring buckets.  Kings rookie Marvin Bailey III was impressive with an 19-8-3-3 game.

Brooklyn 107, NY 105:  Caris LeVert with a driving layup to propel the Nets to a win, scoring a career high 28 points for the Nets. He was injured when he entered the draft three years ago but I loved him at Michigan. The Nets stole him. They were patient and it's paying off.

Charlotte 120, Orlando 88: Kemba Walker scored 26. Orlando was flat in every phase of the game. The Hornets beat the Magic for the 12th straight time.

Memphis 131, Atlanta 117:  Another game, another blowout loss for the young Hawks. For the Grizz, Garrett Temple had a bust out night of 30 points. Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 24 points. Trey Young had 20 for the Hawks.

Thanks for reading CCI. Always a pleasure. Reach me at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls