GAME NIGHT FROM SALT LAKE CITY: Bulls (3-12,1-8 on the road) at Jazz (7-11,6-4 at home)
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk, Stacey King. 8PM CT tipoff
Radio: WLS 890AM Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. 7:30CT pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Lauri Markkanen 15PPG; Rodney Hood 17PPG
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Lauri Markkanen 8RPG; Derrick Favors 6RPG
LEADING ASSISTS: Jerian Grant 5APG; Ricky Rubio 5APG
SCOUTING REPORT ON JAZZ: Utah is finally home after spending a week on the road with their latest defeat coming at Philadelphia on Monday. The Jazz have been crippled early in the season with injuries losing one of the premier shot blockers and rim protectors in the NBA, center Rudy Gobert. He could be out for another month with a bone bruise on his right knee. His loss effects every aspect of the Jazz defense. It’s a devastating injury and could damage Utah’s playoff chances. Simply put, it means veteran Derrick Favors must step up and play aggressively on a consistent basis. I’m a big fan of Donovan Mitchell, 6-3 guard out of Louisville. He has the second best scoring average among all NBA rookies in the month of November (18.5).
CLASSROOM EXCELLENCE: Did you know that both head coaches of the Bulls and Jazz respectively were Academic All Americans? Coach Hoiberg was an excellent student-athlete at Iowa State. Quinn Snyder earned undergraduate degrees in both philosophy and political science at Duke and later earned a Juris Doctor and M.B.A from there as well.
BULLS- LAKERS RECAP: The Lakers overcame a nineteen point second half deficit to beat the Bulls. Julius Randle triggered the comeback in the third quarter with a boat load of energy and attacking the rim. The Bulls settled for jump shots and the Lakers were off and running. Too many times in the second half the Bulls struggled getting into their offense early. At crunch time, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit two big time three point shots and it was a crusher. Brandon Ingram was terrific for Luke Walton’s ballclub pouring in 17 points. Prior to the game, head coach Fred Hoiberg announced Kris Dunn would start at the point for the first time. Dunn’s line: 32 minutes, 12 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot, and 4 turnovers. Lauri Markkanen registered his fifth double-double of the season and set his personal single game high of 14 rebounds after collecting 13 the previous game against the Suns. Denzel Valentine stroked the nets for five three point field goals. He’s made fifteen triples in the past four games.
QUOTE-A-BULL: DENZEL VALENTINE
“I think we got a little stagnant on offense and I think it affected our defense. They got easy buckets in transition. We stopped being aggressive and we were passive."
BLAKENEY IMPRESSES: Instant offense for the underrated rookie guard out of LSU. He was spectacular in the second quarter, at one point scoring 11 straight points including a filthy facial on Julius Randle.
“I didn’t think he was going to jump; he kind of jumped late. He probably didn’t know I could jump.”
UP NEXT: At Utah Wednesday night.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
A major setback for the Nuggets as they received bad news on the status of Paul Millsap. Their prized free agent off season signing is now sidelined for a reported three months after suffering a wrist injury.
Mirza Teletovic of the Bucks will be gone for a month after undergoing left knee surgery.
Thanks for reading CCI. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @ctsbulls