Chuck's Check In - 8.10.20
Chuck Swirsky looks back at another great week in the NBA and looks ahead to an intriguing matchup involving a former Bull.
Remind Me Later •
CCI received tons of feedback from our Bulls social media outlets on the question I posted last week in my column, "What do you remember most about your first in person Bulls game?" Responses below, but first, let's get you caught up on what's going on the Association.
INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: Our CCI question of the week, and please put some thought in to this one based on the entire history of the Bulls dating back to 1966, "Who is the THIRD best player in Bulls franchise history behind MJ and Scottie?" E-mail me at email@example.com or Twitter @ctsbulls. I read every post. You will receive a personal return response, and I'll share a few in next week's CCI. Thank you.
CCI NEWS AND NOTES:
Miami's Jimmy Butler plans to return to action today as the Heat play TJ Warren and the Pacers in what could be a preview of a playoff matchup. The two players exchanged some not so warm greetings when the teams last met prior to the Covid interruption. Late word from the Pacers camp, Warren is listed as questionable with a foot issue. Warren is having a tremendous run in Orlando. Phoenix gave up on him and Indiana is more than happy he's in a Pacers uniform. Life in the bubble is starting to take shape in terms of intensity. By now, I'm sure the players are agitated and frustrated living in a cloistered existence but the truth of the matter is, the bubble is working and the NBA is doing a fantastic job making sure players and staff members are doing their best to protect themselves from the coronavirus. The players are receiving excellent medical supervision, they don't miss meals and there is plenty of down time to rest and enjoy activities provided by the NBA.
Trash talk also flared up in Saturday's Blazers-Clippers game featuring Portland's Damian Lillard and the Clippers' Paul George and Patrick Beverley. The Clippers received some good news as Montrez Harrell announced he has rejoined the team in Orlando. Harrell is a candidate for the NBA Sixth Man Award.
Draymond Green and his Warriors teammates aren't participating in Orlando but that didn't prevent Green from making news. Green is serving as an analyst on TNT and in the process violated the NBA anti-tamperiring rule regarding statements Green made pertaining to Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns. It will cost Green 50-thousand dollars. Will TNT pay the fine? Asking for a friend... The Suns have put it together in Orlando and are playing outstanding hoops. Going forward, the Suns can build on these "extra" games as they prepare for the 20-21 campaign.
Do the injury riddled Grizzlies have enough left in the tank to qualify for a "play in" game? Memphis has a tough road ahead as they hope to be a participant in an 8-9 Western Conference game on Saturday.
Should Portland advance, can they shock the Lakers in the opening round? Damian Lillard dropped 51 points Sunday in the Blazers 124-121 win over the 76ers. Joel Embiid sustained a left ankle injury in the first half and did not return. The Pelicans and Kings are officially eliminated from the playoffs. The Kings will miss the post season for the 14th consecutive season, one shot of the NBA record held by the Buffalo Braves/San Diego/ LA Clippers.
The question is not "if" but "when" will Luka Doncic capture an MVP award? His performance in the Mavs 136-132 OT win over Milwaukee was one for the ages as he lit up the Bucks with a 36-14-19 game.
Ben Simmons will undergo left knee surgery and is out indefinitely. Obviously, this is a major blow for the 76ers who cannot fall lower than sixth in the East. Simmons was averaging 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds per game. His 35 minutes per game leads Philly in that department.
The Rockets won their fourth game in Orlando as Austin Rivers scored a career high 41 points in a win over the Kings.
Thoughts and prayers to Hall of Fame player Paul Westphal who has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Westphal starred at USC and became a multiple All Star player. He later coached the Suns to the NBA Finals in 1993, losing to the Bulls.
"My first game was Scottie Pippen's rookie year at Chicago Stadium. I remember how dark it was during introductions and I vividly remember an alley-oop from Jordan to Pippen. The Fan-O-Meter went haywire for that dunk. I also got a team set of cards that turned me into a knowledgeable young fan!" -Brian P.
"2-7-78 Dad got tix to see Dr J & 76ers. 76ers were late cuz of snowstorm. Game started hour late. When 76ers came out for pregame layups the crowd went into a frenzy. Dr. J did not disappoint. But Bulls won..I was 12, no cable tv. Dr. J was on cover of sporting news that same week! " -Pete
"Bulls v Bucks. My biggest takeaway was Tom Boerwinkle playing as a high post center. And Kareem setting up down low. 10 year old me was struck by the difference in styles." -Dave
"I travelled from France for Bulls vs Knicks, April 11th, 2013. No Rose, Noah, Gibson or Mohammed, Boozer started at center. At some point Thibs had this line-up on the floor: Butler, Belinelli, Hinrich, Hamilton, Robinson! Nate scored 35pts and Bulls won in OT!" -France
"My brother & I got to stand on the court & have the Jesse White tumblers jump over us at halftime. We got to high five a bunch of the players too! I was 6 or 7 & I remember high fiving Bill Cartwright in particular since he was so tall! Great memories & thanks to those players." -Jay
"Michael scored 52 of the Bulls 103 points. They lost by 18 to the Suns." -Steve
"Friend's dad brought couple of us middle schoolers down to watch Bulls v Spurs in '89. Sat in the roll out bleacher seats in the Stadium. Was amazing to see (David) Robinson and Jordan dunking when sitting eye level with the rim." -KP
Many thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts about their passion and love of Bulls ball.
All In. All Bulls. 365. 24-7.
Always a pleasure!