Chuck's Daily Check In - 1.17.19

GAME NIGHT FROM DENVER: Bulls (10-34, 5-18 on the road) at Denver (29-14, 18-4 at home)
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King 8PM CT tip.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul 7:45PM CT pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23 ppg. Denver: Jokic: 19 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter and Portis: Each with 7 per. Denver: Jokic: 10 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6 per. Denver: Jokic: 7 per.

LAST MEETING: October 31, 2018 at United Center:
Denver 108, Bulls 107 OT. Paul Millsap put back with 0.1 second left lifted the Nuggets to a road win. Nikola Jokic had a 22-12 game. LaVine and Carter Jr. combined for 53 points.

CCI PREVIEW: The Bulls' fifth and final game of their longest road trip of the season is tonight in Denver. Over the past ten days, the Bulls played well in spurts against Utah and Los Angeles but never could sustain any consistency and went through scoring droughts that prevented them from picking up a win(s). Zach LaVine in three of the four games is shooting 36% or less from the floor. A positive sign for LaVine was dishing out eight assists against the Lakers. Lauri Markkanen nailed three- three point field goals against the Lakers and Wendell Carter Jr. has collected 19 rebounds over the past two games. The Bulls listed Wendell Carter Jr. doubtful with a left thumb injury. An update after today’s shootaround.

Denver is coming off a deflating 142-111 home court loss to Golden State.
Denver Head Coach Michael Malone told reporters afterward:
“We don’t flush games, not when you give up 21 threes,” coach Mike Malone said. “If we want to be the team that we talk about being, you’ve got to learn from this. We’ve got to come in and watch it, we’re going to watch all the breakdowns we had. No, I don’t believe in flushing games when you get your (expletive) kicked.”

In other words, Denver will be ready.


Boston 117, Toronto 108: The Celtics closed the game on an 11-2 run. Kyrie Irving was fabulous, scoring 27 points and dishing out a career-high 18 assists. Kawhi Leonard poured in 33 points.

Brooklyn 145, Houston 142 OT: A wild game as James Harden scored 58 points. This is the second time Harden has had back-to-back 50 point games. The only other players in that group: Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor. The two teams set an NBA record taking a combined 106-3s. Whaaaaat? The Nets are 15-5 since December 7.

Golden State 147, New Orleans 140: Steph Curry with 41 points. 9- 3s. He is the first player in NBA history to hit at least eight three-pointers in three-straight games. KD had an impressive 30-15 game. Anthony Davis is just incredible: 30-8-7, 3 blocks in 41 minutes. The two teams combined for an NBA record 43-3s. The Warriors have won six straight.

San Antonio 105, Dallas 101: Luka Doncic is your Rookie of the Year-no question. 25-8-8 in a losing cause. The Spurs trailed by 19 in the first half.

Utah 129, Los Angeles Clippers 109: The Jazz have won five straight. Donovan Mitchell scored 28. He’s averaging 30 points over the past six games.

Detroit 120, Orlando 115 OT: Andre Drummond scored 14 points but was a monster on the glass...Check out these numbers: 11 OFFENSIVE rebounds. 11 DEFENSIVE rebounds. That’s ridiculous.

Milwaukee 111, Memphis 101: The Bucks have won 14 of their last 17 games. Giannis 27 points 11 rebounds.

Portland 129, Cleveland 112: The Blazers continue to feast off Eastern Conference ballclubs. Jusuf Nurkic with a 10-10-10 game. Lillard with 33. Portland has won five straight home games.

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