TODAY: Bulls practice in preparation for Thursday’s NBA opener in Toronto.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP: (Subject to change of course). Zipser, Mirotic, Lopez, Grant and Holiday.
I’m hoping Zipser can stay healthy and avoid nagging setbacks. He is athletic and can run the floor and finish in transition. The Bulls need his energy and presence.
VIBE AROUND THE TEAM: Every club is optimistic with the start of a new season. Teams are looking for growth and development throughout the year and the Bulls are no exception. With a plan in place, the young core will be given every opportunity to excel and reach their levels of performance.
Justin Holiday has emerged as one of the team leaders. At 28, Holiday is relishing his second stint in a Bulls uniform.
He averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds, nearly 3 assists, (13-13 fts) in 29 minutes in pre season ball. Holiday is a passionate, team oriented player with a great attitude. From an X and O standpoint, Holiday moves well without the ball and is very comfortable in Fred Hoiberg’s offense.
INJURY UPDATE: Zach Lavine: “I’m feeling great. I’m working every day getting closer and closer. I’m at eight months right now (following ACL surgery). As soon as they (Doctors/Bulls) clear me to start practicing it’s all from there. I’m pretty much back to where I need to be at. I need to keep it going."
Kris Dunn on his injured left index finger: “It’s getting better. It’s (finger) getting a lot of treatment, improving every day. I’m waiting to get the stitches out and go from there.”
NBA NEWS and NOTES:
LeBron James status (sprained left ankle) for Tuesday’s opener against the Celtics remains unclear. James scored 17 points against the Bulls last week but came up a bit gimpy, favoring the ankle during the game. He played in only one preseason game. James has never missed an opener in his first 14 seasons in the NBA. Seems like yesterday James made his NBA debut at the age of 18 in Sacramento. Here’s a great stat from Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com: The Cavaliers have lost 11 consecutive regular season games when James doesn’t play and are 4-23 without him since he returned to Cleveland in 2014.
As expected the Timberwolves exercised the fourth year team options on Karl- Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones. Last season, Towns averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds and nearly 3 assists per game. If he stays healthy and works on his defense the sky is the limit for this kid.
Boston’s Marcus Morris will be out likely the first week with right knee soreness.
Thanks for reading today’s CCI. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @ctsbulls.