GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER Denver: ( 5-1, 1-1 on the road) at Chicago: ( 2-5, 1-3 at home) TV: NBC SPORTS CHICAGO : Neil Funk and Stacey King. 7PM RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul. 6:45 pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 28 ppg. Denver:Jokic: 21 ppg. LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter, Felicio and Parker each with 6 per. Denver: Jokic: 10 per. LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Arcidiacono: 5 per. Denver: Jokic: 6 per.
I have short term memory loss. I do not recall what happened Monday night at the United Center.
I expect the Bulls to play with an edge and initiate the pace. I really like what I'm seeing out of Wendell Carter Jr. and I can't wait for a healthy Lauri Markkanen to play along side him. But for now, it's status quo. The Bulls remain undermanned therefore it's vital they play with effort on a nightly basis to offset the loss of key players.
So far, so good for the Denver Nuggets. They're off to a nice 5-1 start coming off a Monday home win against the Pelicans who played without Anthony Davis and Elfrid Payton.
Make no mistake about it; this is a big season full of lofty expectations for the Nuggets. In some circles, NBA pundits have predicted a rosy forecast for Denver as high as the fourth seed in the grueling Western Conference. Last season, they missed out on game 82 - in a play in game so-to-speak as Minnesota beat the Nuggets and secured the eighth seed as the Nuggets hit the golf course the next day.
Denver features Nikola Jokic who leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. Never heard of him? If not, CCI needs to sit you on the couch for some therapy sessions. He is an outstanding passer, can post up and shoot the three and rebound. His average through six games: 21 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Nuggets have a young backcourt of 21 year old Jamal Murray and 24 year old Gary Harris. Both guards are 6-4 and feature terrific skill sets.
Paul Milsap needs to remain relatively healthy. An extended injury as was the case last year would be devastating to Denver's chances of a high seed or even a playoff spot.
The Nuggets are without Will Barton who is sidelined five-six weeks with a groin injury that required surgery.
No timetable for Isaiah Thomas and Michael Porter to put on sneakers and ball.
BULLS UPDATE The Bulls have exercised the third-year option on Lauri Markkanen, and fourth-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine. By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2019-20 season.
CCI 24SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Toronto 129 Philadelphia 112. A night after suffering their first loss of the season, the Raps responded, ripping the 76ers. Kawhi back on the floor after taking Monday off, scored 31 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Joel Embiid with a 31-11-4 game. The 76ers are perfect at home, winless on the road. The 76ers have lost 12 straight in Toronto.
Boston 108 Detroit 105. Kyrie with 31. After starting 4-0, the Pistons have dropped two straight.
Memphis 107 Washington 95. After winning in Portland to start a five game Western Conference road swing, the Wizards dropped their next four to fall to 1-6.
Sacramento 107 Orlando 99. Break up the Kings! Four straight wins as they go two games over.500
Portland 104 Houston 85. The Rockets fall to 1-5, 0-4 at HOME. No Harden again. Melo went 2-12 from the floor.
Charlotte 125 Miami 113. Tony Parker turned back the clock scoring 24 points and dished out 11.
OKC 128 Los Angeles Clippers 110. The Thunder get a much needed win, their first of the season. Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley got in to it—again.
Cleveland 136 Atlanta 114. The Cavs attempted 43 free throws. The Cavs with Larry Drew coaching the team, for now, picked up their first win of the season.
Dragan Bender, once drafted fourth overall will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season after the Suns declined Bender's option. The Suns will save 5.8 million in cap space.
Cleveland's Kevin Love is out indefinitely with an injured toe. Surgery has not been ruled out.
Happy Halloween! A special commentator will join Bill and me tonight on the radio.