GAME NIGHT: Bulls (0-2) at Cleveland (2-1). 6PM CT tipoff.
Radio: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. Pre game 5:30 CT WLS 890AM
LAST GAME. Spurs 87 Bulls 77 - Orlando 114 Cleveland 93.
BULLS INJURY UPDATE: Kris Dunn is close to returning to active play after injuring his left index finger in pre season play. We may see Dunn in his Bulls debut Saturday at the United Center against OKC.
CAVS INJURY UPDATE: Cavs list Derrick Rose out with an ankle injury. Jose Calderon will start.
SCOUTING REPORT: We all know the capabilities of the Cavaliers. They have a new look starting five with Kevin Love playing center. In a preseason game here in Cleveland two weeks ago, Robin Lopez got early touches and went after Love in the post. The Bulls must get back on defense; James, Wade and company take off as soon as a shot goes up. The Cavs have a deep bench, maybe the best in the NBA, so the Bulls need to attempt to hold their own against them.
The word is out on Lauri Markkanen and it will be interesting to see how teams play him. The 20 year old from Finland and University of Arizona is going to be a tremendous talent...he’s seeing more and more switches and I’ve been impressed with his ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim.
Kay Felder returns to Cleveland in a Bulls uniform. He played 42 games for the Cavs in his rookie campaign averaging 4 points.
UNDER THE RADAR: Robin Lopez is averaging 17 points 7 rebounds, shooting 51%. He nailed his first 3pt fg in ten attempts Saturday against the Spurs.
CAVS: After an intense victory Friday night in Milwaukee featuring two MVP candidates in LeBron James (he’s always a candidate) and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Cavaliers stumbled at home the following night getting blown out by the Magic.
Dwyane Wade is still trying to find his groove. He initiated conversation with the Cavs coaching staff and is now coming off the bench. J. R. Smith will start. Wade is no longer option one or two. He’s taking just eight field goal attempts per game. That will now change. Last year with the Bulls, Wade took sixteen shots per contest. He has scored in single digits in all three games. Last year he scored in single digits just six times in sixty games.
DID YOU KNOW? Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson is aiming to become this season’s recipient of the NBA’s Sixth Man Award. He’s one of 11 Canadians in the NBA..top among all international countries representing a global game that keeps getting bigger and better.
STAT OF THE DAY: Bulls and Suns are tied for the youngest teams in the league (avg age 24). The Cavs are the oldest (avg age 29.5).
CCI STAT #2: LeBron James will play in his 1,065 regular season NBA game tonight. He’s played in 217 playoff games. Total minutes: 50,509. This does NOT include international play. Wowza.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
If the MVP trophy was awarded after one week of play the landslide winner is Giannis. Last night against the Hornets, a 32-14 game. This coming after a career high 44 against Portland, Saturday.
The future has arrived in Philadelphia and for the 76ers and basketball fans let’s hope this core group stays healthy. Joel Embiid with a 30-9 game and rookie Ben Simmons with a triple double of 21-12-10 as the 76ers won at Detroit. Simmons at 6-10 is a special, special player with a great feel for the game. He has started his NBA career with 4 consecutive dbl-dbl.. The last 76er to have a triple -double? Michael Carter Williams.
And if that wasn’t enough, check out the video of Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Wizards Head Coach Scott Brooks last night after a time out was called.
Got to rep the “206” ..Seattle doesn’t have a team but there are plenty of us throughout the NBA including a young man we saw the other night in Chicago wearing a Spurs uniform: Dejounte Murray. Loved this kid when he played one season at University of Washington. He had a terrific game against the Raptors, 16 points 15 rebounds.
Only a matter of time before Eric Bledsoe and the Suns part company. Bledsoe’s ill advised tweet over the weekend all but sealed the deal. Congrats to Jay Triano. The interim head coach of the Suns helped guide Phoenix past Sacramento.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of a game official, it was announced by the NBA.
The South Bay Lakers (G- League) hired Metta World Peace as a player development coach. Wasn’t it just yesterday he was coming out of St. John’s joining the Bulls?
Speaking of former Bulls...James Johnson was named one of three captains for the Miami Heat. To his credit, Johnson has found a home in Miami and his days as being labeled “journeyman” are over for the time being.
Thank for reading CCI. E mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or Twitter: @ctsbulls
Always a pleasure.