GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Indiana (5-3, 3-2 on the road) at Bulls (2-6, 1-3 at home). TV: NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7PM RADIO: 670 THE SCORE: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 28 ppg. Indiana: Oladipo: 22ppg. LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter, Felicio, Parker each 6 per game. Indiana: Sabonis : 9 per game. LEADING ASSISTS: Arcidiacono: 5 per game. Indiana: Collison and Oladipo each with 4 per game.
CCI PREVIEW: The Pacers won 48 games a season ago and gave Cleveland all it could handle in the playoffs extending their opening round series to seven games before the Cavs prevailed. In the off season, GM Kevin Pritchard went to work rebuilding his bench bringing in veterans Doug McDermott (3 years-22 million) and Kyle O'Quinn and Tyreke Evans on one year deals. He extended the contract of Myles Turner (4 years-72 million). Optimism is running high in Indiana and for good reason as they have an All Star guard in Victor Oladipo and a developing rising talent in Domantas Saboinis who tied his career high scoring 30 points in the Pacers 107-101 win at New York Wednesday. Sabonis became just the sixth player in NBA history to score 30 points in 21 or fewer minutes. Turner must take his game to the next level and veterans Thaddeus Young and company need to rise to the challenge to take on Toronto, Boston Milwaukee, and Philly in the East. Things change quickly in the NBA and we'll see how it shapes up in mid April ,but for now, the Pacers will play hard and go about doing their job and remain an under the radar club hoping to make noise in post season play.
Loved what I saw from the Bulls on Wednesday. Despite the loss to Denver, the Bulls played with confidence and were focused. They didn't panic when they trailed by as many as nine points. Wendell Carter Jr. isn't phased by going up against great players. In fact, he loves it. This young man at the age of 19 wants to be the best. He has stardom written all over him. One night it's Embiid, the next Jokic. It doesn't matter. Bring it on. Trust me and save this copy of CCI (yes, 10 years from now we will revisit) Carter Jr. is a multiple All Star talent. He is going to be a tough cover mixing in his low post moves with his long range shooting. He's a perfect compliment to Lauri Markkanen. I can't wait to see them together on the floor.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Boston 117, Milwaukee 113 The Cs drained a franchise record 24-3s. Boston now leaves for five straight on the road. Their next home game is against the Bulls in two weeks. Giannis with a 33-11 game.
Philadelphia 122, Los Angeles Clippers 113. The 76ers are going to petition the NBA to play all 82 in Philly. The 76ers are 5-0 at home. 0-4 on the road. Joel Embiid with a 41-13 game.
Oklahoma City 111, Charlotte 107 Paul George went 4 - 20 from the floor missing all 10 three point field goal attempts and the Thunder still managed to win...go figure! The Hornets blew a 19 point lead. After starting 0-4 ,OKC has won three straight. Paul George tells the Daily Oklahoman that since the game against the Hawks in preseason he's been dealing with a nagging nerve issue in his left foot. "Dead foot,"" he called it.
Sacramento 146, Atlanta 115 You read correctly sports fans. ...146 points scored by the Kings. The Kings won their fifth straight and move to 6-3. Sac's De' Aaron Fox became the youngest player (20 years old) to post 30 points 15 assists 10 rebounds in a single game.
Denver 110, Cleveland 91. The Nuggets outscored the Cavs in the second quarter 35-15. The Cavs dropped to 1-7. Denver won its third straight to improve to 7-1; the Nuggets best start since 1976.
Portland 132, New Orleans 119. The Pelicans once again played without Anthony Davis who is sidelined with an elbow injury. Nola has lost four straight game. It was their fifth game in seven nights. Portland has won three straight. Terry Stotts coached his 500th game on the Blazers bench.
Dwight Howard is expected to make his season, and Washington, debut as the Wizards host the Thunder.
James Harden is doubtful tonight for Houston's road game in Brooklyn but the Rockets are hopeful he will play against the Bulls tomorrow night at the United Center.
Always a pleasure!