Chuck's Check In - 9.7.20

Our new CCI Question of the week: Who is the best reserve player in Bulls franchise history? Your responses are appreciated. Reach out: cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter @ctsbulls.

CCI received a number of responses on the impact "Benny the Bull" has had on sports fans throughout the world. Without question, Benny is THE most popular mascot in the world. Benny's value and relationship with our fan base cannot be measured by simple adulation, but by Benny's ability to weave a continuing thread of entertainment from generation to generation.

As is often the case, fans were very complimentary toward Benny from our CCI responses below:

"In ‘08 my son, Tyler, had his tonsils and adenoids remove. Benny made a hospital visit to see him after the surgery. Then, a few weeks later, I took Tyler to a home game, and as we stood courtside before the game, Benny saw him and came over and checked to see if he was feeling OK." -Pinky

"It's always great to see everyone enjoying themselves, plus I've never seen a pinata move as fast" -Thomas

"Any time popcorn is involved... which is a lot." -Ludovic

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to CCI!

CCI News and Notes:

What a series between the Raps and Celtics! Toronto's Nick Nurse is an excellent coach and the Raps brass know it. His in-game decision making and after timeout play calling is superb. Kyle Lowry is as tough as they come. Fred Van Vleet is a top-tier point guard and this free agent in waiting will be paid like one. Toronto has great ownership, management, and scouting staffs. Last year's title wasn't a fluke. They may not win the EC this year (don't bet against it), but this franchise will have a long, successful run. Boston definitely misses Gordon Hayward. Taking nothing away from Toronto's defense, but the Celtics need scorers on the floor. I want to see the Charlotte version of Kemba Walker. An average playoff series by Walker spells trouble for Boston. The same can be said of Jaylen Brown.

The Lakers-Rockets series is everything we expected. Tons of offense. Tons of energy. Tons of production from superstar players. The Lakers completely shutdown the Rockets in the fourth quarter in Sunday's win.

Khris Middleton delivered for the Bucks (36-8-8) as Milwaukee kept their faint series hopes alive squeezing out an OT victory over the Heat. The big concern for Milwaukee remains the health of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Jimmy Butler has been magnificent as has Bam Adebayo who has emerged as an up-and-coming prime time star in the NBA.

I could watch Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic play basketball all day long. In Denver's Saturday win over the Clippers, Jokic posted robust numbers of 26-18-4. He went 10 of 17 from the floor and 4 of 5 from 3-point range and blocked three shots. I can live with the fact he's a substandard defensive player. Jokic is battling through a sprained right wrist. Murray has arrived a prime time talent in the NBA. His love of the game is apparent and he demonstrates that nightly.

Steve Nash to the Nets. Love it. I know Steve Nash. He is an incredible person. He can relate to players regardless if they're superstar (Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) or role players (Wilson Chandler, Garrett Temple). Nash will instill quite a bit into the Nets scheme. Keeping Jacque Vaughn as lead assistant coach is a great move by GM Sean Marks.

Rockets Head Coach, Mike D'Antoni, is a free agent at the end of the season and Houston has made it clear resigning him is a priority.

Thanks for reading CCI. Would love to get your thoughts on this week's question, "Who is the best reserve player in Bulls franchise history?"

Bill Weinnington

Bill Wennington

E-mail me: cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter @ctsbulls.

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