Chuck's Daily Check In 12.15.17

Chuck Checks In On The Bulls and Around The NBA

GAME NIGHT FROM MILWAUKEE: Bulls (7-20, 2-12 on the road) at Bucks (15-11, 9-4 at home).

TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King. 7PM CT.
RADIO: WLS 890 AM: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Mirotic (4 games) 19pp, Markkanen: 14ppg. Bucks: Antetokounmpo: 29.9ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS : Bulls: Markkanen: 8. Bucks: Antetokounmpo: 10.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 5. Bucks: Antetokounmpo, Middleton, Bledsoe each with 4.

CCI ON BULLS-BUCKS: I always love visiting the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Why, you ask? Because we see plenty of Bulls jerseys, caps, etc. It's a terrific environment regardless of the win-lost record. If you are attending, please say hello if you see me wandering through the concourse or on the floor. It's always a pleasure meeting our fans. Now, let's talk about the game!

Milwaukee has a legit MVP candidate in Giannis Antetokounmpo. He's shooting a career high 54% from the field. He's second in the NBA in scoring (29.9) behind Houston's James Harden. He leads the league in minutes, averaging nearly 38 per game. Giannis is tops among all players in free throw attempts per game taking nearly ten per contest. In an open floor, running downhill , aided by incredible athleticism, Giannis is a one man wrecking crew throwing down some filthy dunks deflating opponents. Easier said than done, but don't let him get in the paint . Have him shoot jump shots. He's not a threat from three point range but he's extremely gifted and is surrounded by superb wing players such as Kris Middleton (nearly 20 per game) and Tony Snell (has missed last three games with a knee issue). Eric Bledsoe came over from Phoenix and has provided stability in the backcourt averaging 17 points, 4 assists.. Last year's Rookie of the Year, Malcom Brogdon is now coming off the bench.

The return of Niko Mirotic has bolstered the offensive schemes, no question about it, but it's more than Niko. It's an attitude and "swag" that's developing in front of our eyes. The locker-room is solid and supportive. Robin Lopez is playing the best ball of his career in the post. Kris Dunn is getting noticed throughout the NBA. Bobby Portis has become a very valuable contributor off the bench. Good things are happening.

One final thought on the Bucks...best wishes and a healthy recovery to Bucks forward Mirna Teletovic who is suffering from pulmonary embolism in both lungs.

NBA NEWS AND NOTES

It was a "MUST SEE" game last night as the Cavaliers hosted the Lakers. LeBron vs. Lonzo, I get it , but the Cavs behind James are on fire, winning for the 16th time in their last 17 games posting a 121-112 win. James registered his 59th career triple double : 25-12-12, 5 turnovers.. Lonzo, 13-8-11, 6 turnovers.

The Knicks beat the Nets but the hoops anxiety is on high alert in NYC after Kristaps Porzingis left the game in the second half and did not return after experiencing a "buckle and pain" in his left knee. The Knicks host Melo and OKC Saturday night.

The Pistons ended a seven game slide beating the now, 6-22 Hawks. Drummond 12-19-8.

KAT with his league leading 23rd double-double with a 30-14 game as Minnesota cruised past Sacramento 119-96.

Golden State won its eighth straight game. Dallas now 8-21. Enough said.

"Turtle" is a hoops scout. Well, sort of. The "Entourage" actor Jerry Ferrara was named head scout of the Knicks entry in the NBA 2K esports league. Ferrara told ESPN , " I'm an avid Knicks fan and I love gaming." The 17 NBA teams participating in the league will draft a team in Marchand a 16 week season begins in May.

Thanks for reading CCI. Drop me an e mail at cswirsky@bulls.com. Twitter: @ctsbulls.

Always a pleasure!

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