Chuck Checks In - 01.21.21

Chuck checks in on the Bulls and recaps other news around the NBA
Zach drives the ball
by Chuck Swirsky
Remind Me Later
Blokz by Zenni | Protect Your Court Vision

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The Bulls get one more day off before taking on the Hornets tomorrow night. The contest will feature the third and fourth overall picks in the 2020 draft.

After Minnesota grabbed Anthony Edwards with the number one pick, Golden State had to make a decision. Do the Warriors keep the second pick or trade it? The Warriors elected to stay in house and drafted big man James Wiseman. Charlotte on the clock had similar options. Keep or trade? Tons of rumors circulated regarding the path the Hornets would take. Do they go for point guard LaMelo Ball? USC big man, Onyeka Okongwu? Or perhaps a wing such as Patrick Williams or Isaac Okor? Ultimately, the Hornets went for the 19 year old Ball who brings a ton of court awareness, and speed to the game. At 6-7 he has superb court vision and has a terrific handle. As all rookies, Ball must work on his defense and his shooting could use improvement but let's be perfectly clear about Ball, he's a big time, elite talent. There is no question in a short period of time he will be the face of the Hornets franchise.

According to Sports Illustrated, Charlotte's assist rate is a league leading 73.6, a full seven points higher than Miami and above any NBA team since 1997. Again, it's early but the Hornets are on to something. The Hornets also according to SI are averaging the third fewest dribbles and second fewest seconds per touch in the NBA. The Hornets starting five ranks as the best highest assist rate.

The Bulls made a sound choice in selecting Patrick Williams who has won over everyone inside the Bulls organization with his work ethic, humility and skill set. Coach Donovan told me Wednesday on a Zoom call that Williams' physical strength and ball handling skills have been huge assets to his game. Williams missed the Houston contest with a hip contusion. He got some running in yesterday but no contact. Wendell Carter Jr. left practice with a thigh contusion. Tomas Satoransky and Chandler Hutchison participated in practice. Both should be good to go Friday.

CCI NBA NEWS AND NOTES

Cleveland 147, Brooklyn 135 2OT. This is NOT a typo. Kyrie Irving returned after a seven game absence to score 37 but Colin Sexton scored 42 points, 15 in the second overtime period. Kevin Durant added 38 for the Nets. James Harden had 21 as the "Big 3" lose in Cleveland.

Philadelphia 117, Boston 109. Joel Embiid is a legit MVP candidate with 42 points and 10 rebounds. Embiid went 17 of 21 from the foul line.

Dallas 124, Indiana 112. Kristaps Porzingis scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, both season highs.

Miami 111, Toronto 102. Kendrick Nunn (Simeon High School) scored 28 for the short handed Heat.

Golden State 121, San Antonio 99. It's back to back wins for the 8-6 Warriors.

Los Angeles Clippers 115, Sacramento 96. Make it five straight wins for the 11-4 Clippers. Sacramento has lost four straight and six of seven.Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points.

Orlando 97, Minnesota 96. Cole Anthony with the buzzer beater for the Magic. The T-Wolves lost their 10th game of the season.

Phoenix 109, Houston 103. Deandre Ayton had season highs of 26 points and 17 rebounds.

Atlanta 123, Detroit 115 OT. Trae Young and John Collins combined for 69 points. Clint Capela had 27 points and a career high 26 rebounds. Detroit dropped to 3-11, the worst record in the Eastern Conference.Pistons rookie Killian Hayes is out fort least eight weeks with a hip injury.

Memphis at Portland-postponed.

NATIONAL TV GAMES for Thursday.
TNT: Lakers at Bucks 6:30 PM
TNT: New Orleans at Utah: 9PM

The Washington at Milwaukee game set for Friday has been postponed. The Wizards will now go to 12 days without practice. The Wizards have only eight available players.

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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