Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket against the Atlanta Hawks on March 1, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia

Chuck's Daily Check In - 03.03.19

Chuck previews this afternoon's game against the Hawks and shares updates from around the NBA

GAME DAY FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Atlanta (21-42, 10-23 on the road) at Bulls (18-45, 7-24 at home). 2:30 CT tipoff.
TV: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 2:30 CT tip.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul 2:15 CT pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23ppg. Atlanta: Collins: 19ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 9 per. Atlanta: Collins: 9 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6 per. Atlanta: Young: 7 per.

SEASON SERIES: Bulls 2-1.

CCI PREVIEW: How can we top Friday’s “Masterpiece Theater.” Seriously, a combined 329 points, really? Yes. Really. The two teams each scored single game franchise records for most points in a game. Zach LaVine and Trae Young recorded career highs. Three Bulls players registered double-doubles. Three Bulls (LaVine, Markkanen and Porter) each netted 30 point games with LaVine ripping the twine for 47. The marathon event lit up social media. It was an awesome experience. LaVine has been incredible averaging 30 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists the last five games. He’s shooting 50% from the field and 51% from three-point range. He is listed as probable for today’s game with a sore lower back. LaVine played 56 minutes on Friday.

Lauri Markkanen is hoopin’ as is Otto Porter Jr.

Both teams are exhausted and expect both head coaches to go deep in their bench within reason. The Bulls begin the first of three games in four nights with a busy week of games against the Hawks, Pacers, 76ers and Pistons.

Atlanta’s Trae Young is spectacular. For the majority of NBA players, attempting 30-35 feet three-point field goals would be considered ill-advised. For Young, it’s not. That’s his range. He has the confidence to take and make that shot. He is a superb passer. His feel of the game and his basketball savvy are intangibles you just can’t coach. Young’s 49 points 16 rebounds game was noteworthy becoming the first rookie since Earl Monroe in 1968 to post those numbers in a game.

Young’s night:
▪ Hawks rookie franchise record for most points
▪ Most points by a rookie this season (49 points)
▪ Last rookie to have 40+ points & 10+ assists (LeBron James - 3/27/04)
▪ First rookie in NBA history with at least 45 points & 15 assists in a single game

The Hawks injury report: Vince Carter (right knee contusion), Kevin Huerter (back) and Alex Len (left knee contusion) are probable. John Collins (flu-like symptoms) is doubtful. Miles Plumlee (left knee), Taurean Prince(personal) and Omari Spellman (left ankle) are out.

Both teams have extremely bright futures. The two teams have plenty to do but I’m so impressed with the collection of young and up and coming players as we navigate our way in future seasons.

CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES

Utah 115, Milwaukee 111: The Jazz overcame a 17 point fourth-quarter deficit. Donovan Mitchell scored a career-high 46 points, 17 came in the final 8:10 of the game. Giannis had a 43-14 game. Brook Lopez blocked seven shots. The Bucks were without Malcolm Brogdon and Eric Bledsoe.

Phoenix 118, Los Angeles Lakers 109: The Lakers are 4.5 games out of a playoff spot with 19 games left. The Suns won for only the 13th time this year.

Golden State 120, Philadelphia 117: Kevin Durant and Steph Curry combined for 62 points. No Klay Thompson. No Joel Embiid.

Memphis 111, Dallas 81: The two bigs for the Grizzlies, Jonas Valanciunas and Joakim Noah, combined for 32 points. The Mavs have lost six of their last seven games.

New Orleans 120, Denver 112: The Pelicans shocked the Nuggets in Denver. The Nuggets have lost back-to-back home games for the first time since November. Anthony Davis missed the game with the flu.

San Antonio 116, Oklahoma City 102: The Thunder have lost four straight and five of six. Paul George missed his second straight game with a sore right shoulder.

Orlando 117, Indiana 112: Terrence Ross lit up the Pacers scoring 21 of his 23 points in the second half. Orlando is 10-3 in its last 13 games.

Miami 117, Brooklyn 88: Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds. Bam Adebayo pulled down 16 rebounds. The Heat won despite playing without Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside.

Detroit 129, Cleveland 93: Luke Kennard and Reggie Jackson combined for 50 points. The Pistons warmed up for today’s home game against Toronto winning on the road against the Cavs. The Pistons led by 33 points at halftime, their biggest halftime lead since 1969.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach out at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls. Always a pleasure!

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