GAME NIGHT FROM MIAMI:
TV: NBC Chicago Sports: Neil Funk and Stacey KIng. 6:30PM CT
Radio: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. 6PM CT pregame. WLS 890AM.
Bulls: 1-4 (0-2 road) at Miami 2-4 (2-3 home)
Last game: OKC 101 Bulls 69
Minnesota 125 Heat 122 (OT).
Leading scorers: Bulls: Holiday and Markkanen - 15ppg.
Heat: Whiteside (1 game) - 26ppg. Dragic - 19ppg.
Leading rebounders: Bulls: Markkanen - 9, Heat: Olynyk - 6.
Leading assists: Bulls: Grant - 6, Heat: Johnson - 4
BULLS UPDATE: Head Coach Fred Hoiberg says he will stick with Jerian Grant as his starting point guard. Grant is averaging 9 points 6 assists
SCOUTING REPORT: The combination of Dunn and Grant will have a challenge in defending one of the more underrated players in the NBA in Goran Dragic. Dragic is crafty with the ball, a very good shooter and facilitator. He flat out competes.
Miami desperately needs Hassan Whiteside back on the floor. He’s missed five straight with a bone bruise on the knee. It remains to be seen when he’ll return. In the opener against Orlando, Whiteside scored 26 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. Kelly Olynyk came over from Boston as a free agent and is playing well, as is veteran guard Dion Waiters.
The Heat surrender 109 points a game so it’s important the Bulls get out in transition and score "easy" buckets.
CCI OPINION: The Bulls, along with Phoenix, are the two youngest teams in the NBA. With that comes the highs and lows not only of a grueling season, but in game situations. How does a young club handle stretches of not scoring, spotty defense? Do they have the resolve to fight through adversity? There are plenty of high character players in the locker room who will provide the needed leadership. A win tonight will help.
DID YOU KNOW.... Bam Adebayo is the first Heat rookie to start within the season's first four games since Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley in 2008?
NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
So much for the anticipated Bucks-Thunder matchup. Giannis got in to early foul trouble and OKC rolled over Milwaukee.
The Lakers cooled off Detroit.
Paul George may have packed his bags for Oklahoma but the Pacers got a rising young star, in my opinion, in Domantas Sabonis. On Sunday, he registered a double-double. Last night against the Kings, he had a robust stat-filled line of 16 rebounds, 12 points, and 5 assists. Indiana’s Myles Turner missed his sixth straight game due to a concussion and sore neck.
According to several media reports, the 76ers elected not to pick up the option on Jahlil Okafor. Okafor becomes a free agent at the end of the season. He was the third overall pick three years ago.
The Magic elected not to extend the 5th pick in 2015, Mario Hezonja.
The Clippers picked up the 4th year option on Sam Decker, former Wisconsin star.
Always a pleasure