The players had Thursday off but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was “off-off” for some. Normally on a day where a practice/meeting isn’t scheduled, some will stop by the Advocate Training Center and receive treatment, others will get shots up or hit the weights, while some get away from it all.
Wendell Carter Jr. is impressing everyone who is connected with the team and for that matter NBA folks around the league. What he’s doing is not a fluke. I’ve been asked countless times, "Is Carter ahead of schedule?". We’ve only played 12 games, but the small sample size is the Bulls once again came through with a slam dunk with the seventh pick as they did with Lauri Markkanen the year before in the Jimmy Butler transaction. Was it tempting to look at Alabama’s Collin Sexton (8th to Cavs) or Kevin Knox (9th to NY) ? Absolutely. But the Bulls needed a big and a hybrid one at that. They found their man in Carter Jr. His ability to post up or step out and hit the mid range jumper or expand his game to three point territory AND he is a rim protector (24 blocks already) as well as an underrated passer. This all is a testimony to how badly he wants to be a versatile, elite player. A consistent player. A winning player. He always puts the team first. When Markkanen returns these two young players will need time to blend, adjust and learn each other’s games. In my book it’s going to be fantastic. There is no doubt in my mind.
With Dunn sidelined with a knee injury, Head Coach Fred Hoiberg has gone with Cam Payne as his starter with Ryan Arcidiacono coming off the bench. For the time being Shaq Harrison is out of the rotation but you have to stay ready never knowing when your number will be called as was the case with Robin Lopez in NY where he gave the Bulls a huge lift with 17 quality minutes. Payne is still looking for consistency to his game. Arcidiacono isn’t flashy nor is he the most athletic player on the floor but he can run an offense and provide toughness. For now Coach Hoiberg is going with the player who is playing best with the minutes they have. Simple as that.
CCI 24 SECONDS NEWS AND NOTES:
Milwaukee 134 Golden State 111. This just wasn’t a game for the Bucks.. this was a statement. This game was played on the home court of the Warriors. The 134 points allowed is second most under Steve Kerr and the most at home. Giannis with a 24-9 game. Steph Curry exited the game in the third quarter with a left leg injury and will undergo an MRI today.
Boston 116 Phoenix 109 OT. Kyrie Irving scored 18 of his season high 39 points in the fourth quarter and OT. The Suns blew a 22 point lead.
OKC 98 Houston 80. The Thunder played without Russell Westbrook. OKC held Houston to 38% shooting.
Portland 116 LAC 105. Lillard and McCollum combined for 48 points.
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