GAME NIGHT FROM MEMPHIS:
Bulls (16-45, 9-21 on the road) at Memphis (24-38, 15-16 at home)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23ppg. Memphis: Conley: 20ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 9 per. Memphis: Noah: 5 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6 per. Memphis: Conley: 6 per.
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Lisa Byington and Stacey King. 7PM CT.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul.
Last meeting: Bulls 122, Memphis 110. Otto Porter Jr. 37 points-10 rebounds.(16-20 fgs) The Bulls outscored Memphis in every quarter.
CCI PREVIEW: A poor start to the second quarter on Monday gave the Bucks just enough of a window to overcome a fantastic opening 12 minutes for the Bulls. The Bulls will look to put together a full 48 tonight against a Memphis ball club coming off a home court victory over the slumping Lakers. It’s been a long year for the Grizzlies but they do feature Mike Conley whom to this day has yet to receive national respect. Yes, he’s handsomely paid (30+ million per year) and yes, players and management in the NBA admire his impact both on/off court but when’s the last time you heard Conley’s name in the mix as a top tier point guard? I think he’s a magnificent talent and has served the Memphis franchise extremely well from day one. The Bulls will get their second dose of Joakim Noah and Justin Holiday and I’m truly happy for the two former Bulls players. Noah has resurrected his career and has registered two double-double games in his last three contests. Meantime, the play of Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr. and Zach LaVine is extremely encouraging for the future. Robin Lopez is playing outstanding basketball and is on a great run in the month of February. Keep in mind the Bulls are without Wendell Carter Jr., Denzel Valentine and Chandler Hutchison. The team has some work to do, no doubt about it, but I am very encouraged about the future. My brain is still processing the month Ryan Arcidiacono is having dishing out 40 assists and committing only four turnovers. Simple math: 10-1 ratio.
We will know the availability of Kris Dunn and Otto Porter Jr. after today’s shootaround here in Memphis.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Toronto 118, Boston 95. After giving up 126 points to the Bulls, Boston surrendered 118 to the Raptors and went winless on their mini three game road trip. Toronto is 26-6 at home. Kyrie Irving was held to seven points. Something just isn’t right with the Celtics.
New York 108, Orlando 103. The Knicks bench outscored the Magic reserves, are you ready for this? 75-7. Yep, 75-7. And NY outscored Orlando by 17 in the fourth quarter. Mitchell Robinson with a 17-14-6 blocked shots game. Robinson joined Ralph Sampson and David Robinson as the only rookies to post those numbers in a game since blocks became an official stat in 1972-73.
Denver 121, Oklahoma City 112. Another game changing event for All-Star Nikola Jokic. His numbers against the Thunder: 36-9-10. Denver is 3-0 against OKC. Overall, the Nuggets have won five straight and nine straight at home.