Chuck's Daily Check In - 11.26.18

GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER: San Antonio (9-10, 3-7 on the road) at Bulls (5-15, 3-8 at home)
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King 7PM.
RADIO: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul 6:45 pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 25 ppg. Spurs: DeRozan: 24 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter Jr. and Parker: 7 per. Spurs: Aldridge: 11 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Arcidiacono and LaVine: each 4 per. Spurs: DeRozan: 6 per.

CCI PREVIEW: The Bulls know the importance of tonight’s game. It’s their final contest at the United Center until December 7 as the Bulls embark on a tough four-game road trip beginning Wednesday in Milwaukee. The Bulls failed to play a complete game in losses to Miami and Minnesota respectively and that must change quickly. Rebounding has been a huge issue and will continue to be one until Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis return to the court. Offensive rebounding by Minnesota (21 of their 58 boards) enabled Karl-Anthony Towns to wreck havoc on the Bulls on the low block.

San Antonio did some heavy lifting in the off season trading the disgruntled Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors for DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan went in to a funk after the trade but has since refocused and is having another DeRozan-type season. He remains one of the best players in the NBA over the past decade, yet even as a two-time All Star, he has never received the notoriety he deserves. DeRozan is a tremendous mid-range scorer. In 30 career games against the Bulls, he’s averaging 20 points per game.

Manu Ginobili retired and Tony Parker is continuing his career in Charlotte. They lost point guard Dejounte Murray for the season with an ACL injury. Their first round pick Lonnie Walker continues his rehab program from knee surgery. The Spurs still have a productive LaMarcus Aldridge who can knock down those mid-range jumpers. Aldridge is averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds. In 22 career games against the Bulls, Aldridge is averaging 20 points 8 rebounds, shooting 51% from the floor. Gregg Popovich, who is not shy from offering an opinion or two, spoke of Leonard during a media gathering in Milwaukee. "Kawhi's talent will always be missed, but that leadership wasn't his deal at the time. That may come as he progresses," Popovich said before the game.


Toronto 125, Miami 115: The Raps improved to a league best 17-4 and remain the team to beat in the NBA as of this point in the season, however it’s a long way to go until June. Kawhi Leonard with a 29-10 game. Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 35 points - the most ever by a Miami bench player.

Detroit 118, Phoenix 107: A familiar storyline for the Suns: "Booker with a huge game but Phoenix falls." Booker scored 37 but the Pistons 15-3, fourth-quarter run enabled Detroit to its 10th win of the season. Blake Griffin had 11 assists.

New York 103, Memphis 98: Enes Kanter with a career-high 26 rebounds to go along with 21 points as the Knicks won their third straight. Memphis rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. tied a franchise rookie record recording seven blocked shots.

Orlando 108, Los Angeles Lakers 104: The Magic beat the Lakers for the second time in eight days. Nikola Vucevic with a robust stat line of 31-15-7. LA’s mini three-game win streak came to an end.

Philadelphia 127, Brooklyn 125: Jimmy Butler with a step back three pointer with less than a second left won it for the 76ers. It was Butler’s second game-winning shot in his brief tenure in a Philly uniform.

Atlanta 124, Charlotte 123: John Collins with a 23-11 game but it was his game-saving block on Kemba Walker preserving the win ending a ten-game losing streak for Atlanta.

Utah 133, Sacramento 112: Rudy Gobert with 18 points and 15 rebounds. The Jazz end a three-game losing streak.

Los Angeles Clippers 104, Portland 100: Big road win for LAC. Tobias Harris with a solid double-double of 34 and 11. The Blazers have lost three straight.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach out to cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls. Always a pleasure.