Chuck's Daily Check In - 12.15.18

Chuck previews tonight's game against San Antonio and tells us what's happening around the league.

GAME NIGHT FROM SAN ANTONIO:

Bulls (6-23, 2-12 on the road) at Spurs (15-14, 11-4 at home)

TV: WGN TV: Neil Funk and Stacey King - 7:30 PM

RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23 ppg. Spurs: DeRozan: 23 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter and Parker each with 6 per game. Spurs: Aldridge: 9 per game.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: LaVine: 4 per game. Spurs: DeRozan: 6 per game.

LAST MEETING: November 26, 2018: UNITED CENTER - San Antonio 108, Bulls 107. Who else? LaMarcus Aldridge was money in the fourth quarter scoring 11 of his 20 points. Key stat of the game 44-14 bench points in favor of the Spurs.

CCI PREVIEW: Zach LaVine is doubtful after sustaining an ankle injury late in Thursday’s loss to Orlando. The Bulls are looking to bounce back after a heart breaking loss to the Magic. The Bulls have dropped nine straight on the road and are looking to play a full 48 against the Spurs. Turnovers are a major issue for the Bulls as they are averaging 20 per game over the last 5 and nearly 16 per game, fourth highest in the NBA. Rebounding is another area of concern as the Bulls are averaging 41 per contest (26th in the NBA) and allowing opponents to crash the glass at an NBA high 49 boards per game. The Bulls have been out rebounded in ten straight games. Against the Magic, the Bulls collected an NBA season low one offensive rebound. Head Coach Jim Boylen is tightening up the rotation and one player benefitting from this is Robin Lopez who has given the Bulls solid minutes in the post.

The Bulls are running in to a streaky Spurs team who have won four straight. Two weeks ago they lost three games by 30 or more points but for the moment they are back on track. Gone are the days of Duncan, Parker, Ginobili. LaMarcus Aldridge is an understated double-double machine. DeMar DeRozan isn’t Kawhi Leonard but he is an All-Star player who has a superb mid range game. DeRozan has for the better, put aside shooting the three ball and despite what analytics tells you, there is plenty of room for the mid range game. DeRozan averages 4.7 isolation plays per game (seventh in the NBA) and has a turnover frequency of zero percent. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I buy in to the new age three point NBA. It’s not going anywhere. I know a corner three is better than an 18 foot jumper but play to your strengths. As NFL Hall of Fame Coach Bill Parcells often states, “You are who you are.” Rudy Gay is back. After suffering a ruptured Achilles’ tendon nearly two years ago. Now at the age of 32, 13 seasons in the NBA he is rollin. He’s shooting a red hot 61% from the floor in his last five games, averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds.

Should be a great game to call as Coach Boylen returns to San Antonio where he served two years as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich.

CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES

Boston 129, Atlanta 108. Boston’s eighth straight win. The Celtics buried 19- 3s. Over his last three contests, Marcus Morris is averaging 26.0 on 59.6 % shooting. (12-20-3pt)

New York 126, Charlotte 124 OT. Emanuel Mudiay with a career high 34-3-8 game for the Knicks. The Hornets blew a 20 point lead to a Knicks team with only eight healthy players.

Brooklyn 125, Washington 118. What a 48 hour period for Spencer Dinwiddie. He signed a fat contract two days ago and last night scored 28 points in a Nets win. Brooklyn has won four straight.

Milwaukee 114, Cleveland 102. Giannis put on a spectacular show tying a career-high of 44 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out 8 assists. Enough said.

Indiana 113, Philadelphia 101. Jimmy Butler sat this one out. Joel Embiid was filthy. 40 points and 21 rebounds in a losing effort. The Pacers are just a rock solid basketball team. Indiana has won six straight.

Miami 100, Memphis 97. The Heat get the “W” without Wade and Dragic. Miami’s two week road trip (3-2) concludes Sunday in New Orleans.

Denver 109, OKC 98. Nikola Jokic scored 24. Jamal Murray and Russell Westbrook got in to it. Jokic tried to get in between of them and Westbrook threatened to beat him up according to the Associated Press.

Portland 128, Toronto 122. Kawhi Leonard returned after missing two games and scored 28. Kyle Lowry missed the game with a left thigh bruise. Seth Curry nailed 3- 3s in the 4th quarter. The Blazers need a win of any sort and they got one.

Golden State 130, Sacramento 125. The Warriors outscored the Kings 17-2 in the final three minutes.

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

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