GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER:
Golden State (36-9, on the road) at Bulls (17-27, 11-11 at home)
TV: WGN: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7PM CT tipoff.
RADIO: WLS 890 AM: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul. 6:30 CT Pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Mirotic: 17 ppg. Golden State: Curry: 27 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 7. Golden State: Green 7.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn 6. Golden State: Green 7.
LAST MEETING: Never mind (lol).
CCI IS READY FOR BULLS- WARRIORS: There will be a major buzz at the United Center. The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors make their only appearance in Chicago. Head Coach Steve Kerr has been resting players, so who sits against the Bulls, if anyone? After all, the Warriors have used 16 different starting lineups. Draymond Green (shoulder) Andre Iguodala(calf) are questionable. I’ll update on my Twitter account (@ctsbulls) when an update becomes available.
Golden State enjoys life on the road. The hype and swag of the 90s Bulls is replicated by the Warriors of the present and of the past several seasons. Golden State is better than anyone else. They know it. We know it. Opponents know it. Welcome to the world of dynasty basketball. They have huge egos but they know how to use their ego. Steve Kerr absorbed a lot from Phil Jackson regarding coaching star players. Tougher than it looks; believe me. Golden State has won 13 straight on the road. They’re 20-3 on opposing courts . The franchise record for consecutive road wins is 14 set in 2015-16.
The culture of the Warriors however didn’t begin this year or last year or three years ago. It started with ownership and the front office and the hiring of Steve Kerr. Justin Holiday won a ring with the Warriors in 2014-15. He discusses his time with Golden State in my BullsTV interview on Bulls.com. Check it out.
Since Christmas Day, the Warriors are 10-2 averaging 117 points per game, shooting 52% from the field.
The Bulls will be amped for the game and this is a different ball club that faced the Warriors in late November losing 143-94. The 143 points is a season high for Golden State. That won’t happen again. This is a different looking Bulls ball club. Assists are way up. Spacing and the return of Niko Mirotic have upgraded the Bulls offense. Kris Dunn has recorded eight or more assists in seven straight games.
This is a good test for the Bulls to see where they’re at as a team measured against the best in the NBA. The Bulls are healthy and playing at a high level.
Steph Curry tops NBA jersey sales, fans love him. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him and his family for many years as his father Dell played for the Raptors when I called their games. He is a class young man as is his family. He’s polite, respectful and represents the game in a first class manner.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Anthony Davis, Anthony Davis, Anthony Davis. My word. He followed up a 48-17 game against the Knicks at MSG with a 45-16 game last night as his Pelicans beat the Celtics in OT in Boston, 116-113 snapping Boston’s seven game win streak. He’s averaging 15 free throw attempts the past two games. Huge win for New Orleans. Alvin Gentry played a tight eight man rotation.
Monday night there were issues with the Rockets-Clippers. Last night Wolves and Magic. Orlando’s Arron Affalo with a wild swing on the Wolves’ Nemanja Bjelica. Orlando actually showed some spirit and ended a seven game slide beating Minnesota. Evan Fournier scored 32.
Lillard and McCollum combined for 58 points as the Blazers beat the Suns. Devin Booker is a franchise star and plays like one. 43-6-8- 2 steals and a block.
The Mavs joined the 30 loss club with Orlando, Atlanta and Sacramento. Nikola Jokic recorded a 29-18-7 game as Denver wins by 3.
The 76ers will be without JJ Redick for 10 days to two weeks after an MRI revealed bone edema and a small cortical crack in the fibular head of his left leg.
Congratulation to Channel 7’s Mark Giangreco and Cubs‘ announcer Pat Hughes (Illinois Sportscasters of the Year) and Chris Hine formerly of the Chicago Tribune named Illinois Sportswriter of the Year. Well deserved.
RIP JoJo White. A Hall of Fame player who starred at Kansas, represented the USA in the 1968 Olympics and was a true Boston Celtic winning two titles.
Always a pleasure and Go Bulls!