Chuck's Daily Check In 10.7.17

Bulls improved to 2-1 with a convincing 114-101 win over the Bucks.

The good: 17 of 34 from 3 point range. Justin Holiday drained 5 of 7. Denzel Valentine off the bench buried 5 of 6. Niko Mirotic started and had a solid 15-7 performance going 3 of 6 behind the arc. Bobby Portis had a terrific double-double game of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bulls shot 52% from the floor.

The bad: Kris Dunn suffered a gruesome open dislocation of his left index finger and is out a couple of weeks. Dunn went 5 of 7 from the floor—4 of those field goals came in the paint; the other was a 3 point basket.

Free throw shooting..The Bulls went 11-17 from the line.

The quote: Valentine on the new look offense from a year ago: “It has helped a lot. Everybody gets to make plays. The trust factor, we have to keep gaining that as far as moving the ball and trying to play the right way and I think we’ve been doing that. We all believe in ourselves.

NBA notes: Dante Exum (Utah) suffered a shoulder injury in last night’s Jazz-Suns game. An MRI is scheduled. Exum is expected to play a key role for Utah this season. Something to monitor here.

Kevin McHale on NBA TV said this about James Harden whom he coached in Houston: "James can see all the passes and do everything, but James is not a leader." Don’t think those two will be exchanging Christmas cards anytime soon.

It’s easy not to get swept up with star power in Cleveland with James, Wade and Rose (Thomas sidelined hip)—but Jae Crowder was a huge pickup in the Irving trade. He’ll take enormous pressure off James on the defensive end. Crowder had 17 points last night in the Cavs loss to the Pacers. Don’t hand the trophy to the Warriors yet.

Up next: Sunday 6PM vs New Orleans.

Thanks for reading CCI. cswirsky@bulls.com