The Bulls took Friday off. The players and staff certainly appreciate a mini break with the long journey ahead starting Wednesday in Charlotte.
A few stats and thoughts from preseason ball.
Zach LaVine: Averaged 23 points in four games shooting 59% from the field, 56% from three point range and drained 15-18 front the foul line. Think he's ready for the season?
Coby White averaged nearly 26 minutes per game and participated in all five contests, starting one. White shot 45% from the field, 43% from three point range and 10-15 from the line, averaging 19 points per game. This 19-year-old rookie is way beyond his years. Opposing teams will pressure him starting opening night. He is an exciting player with the ball in his hands.
Watch Coby White score 29 points against the Atlanta Hawk
"I told you before, but he had one of the best rookie camps I've seen. We know he can shoot but the way he's handled himself... he's been aggressive. He's going to be special." Zach LaVine on White. (Bulls.com)
Otto Porter Jr.: Porter averaged 19 minutes per game and scored 11 a contest in four games. The Bulls need a healthy Porter who not only can provide three point shooting (the Bulls shot 32% in preseason) but Porter has also demonstrated his ability to get to the rim.
Wendell Carter Jr.: My "X" factor for the season. The Bulls finished last in blocked shots. Opponents shot 69% inside of five feet, third highest in the NBA (Dallas-Minnesota). Inside of 10 feet opponents shot an NBA high 61% against the Bulls. Simply put, Carter Jr. is a shot blocker and rim protector and rebounder. They need him on the court. His offensive game is still a work in progress. That will come. Carter Jr. needs to stay healthy. Period.
Tomas Satoransky: Appreciate this man, please! He's not flashy. He's not demonstrative. He goes about doing his job and knows his role. He will accept anything that is asked of him. A terrific pick up by the Bulls.
More thoughts tomorrow in CCI.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Golden State 124, Los Angeles Lakers 103: Steph Curry with 32. How many wins for the Warriors this season?
Washington 112, Philadelphia 93: If only the Wizards had five Bradley Beal(s).
Toronto 123, Brooklyn 107: No Durant but Nets still make the playoffs. The Raps will make them as well.
San Antonio 104, Memphis 91: Are the Spurs a playoff team?
Houston 144, Miami 133: James Harden had another 40 point preseason game. He tossed in 44 in 35 minutes. He went 8-16 from three point range. 24 year old Miami rookie Kendrick Nunn from Simeon High School and Illinois and Oakland University had 40 points. He played in the G-League last year.
New Orleans 117, New York 116: The Pelicans Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a steal at 17. Trust me. The rookie out of Va. Tech capped off a solid preseason game with 17 points.
ESPN is reporting Zion Williamson will be out "weeks" after sustaining a right knee injury Sunday against the Spurs. As the Bulls learned first hand, Williamson is nearly unstoppable within ten feet of the hoop. At 6-7, 284 pounds, Williamson's combination of strength and agility is remarkable. He averaged 23 points and 6 rebounds, shooting 71% in four preseason games. The NBA is better with Zion on the floor but patience is imperative. The Pelicans open the season in Toronto.
Predictions for the upcoming season? Thoughts on the Bulls? NBA?
Always a pleasure.