GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER:
Utah (21-12, 8-9 on the road) at Bulls: (13-21, 7-11 at home)
TV: NBCSC: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7PM CT.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, and David Schuster. 6:45 CT pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23 ppg. Utah: Mitchell: 25ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter: 9 per. Utah: Gobert: 14 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Satoransky: 5 per. Utah: Ingles: 4 per.
PREVIEW: Welcome to 2020 Bulls fans! Welcome to 17 games in January. That's right...17. They are one of two teams (OKC) with that amount of games this month. All 17 are either in the Central or Eastern time zones. (8-home. 9-road).
The Bulls take on one of the hottest trending teams in the NBA as the Jazz make their only appearance of the season tonight featuring Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Bojan Bogdanovic.
Mitchell's stock continues to soar as he's proven to be a consistent 20+ scorer and a durable one at that. Now in his third season, Mitchell has missed a combined total of only eight games. He's shooting a career-high 45% from the field and averaging a career-best 25 points per game.
Gobert has recorded 15 or more rebounds in four of his last six games. Gobert is an elite defender, winner of back to back Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Bogdanovic inked a 4 year-73 million dollar contract in the offseason and while he's had a considerable drop in the efficiency in shooting in the month of December, Bogdanovic can get you 20 on any given night. Joe Ingles can shoot the three rock and plays a tough, physical game. This should be a very competitive contest. The Bulls are just two out for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
STATEMENT FROM CHICAGO BULLS ON THE PASSING OF DAVID STERN:
The following statement is from Jerry Reinsdorf, the Chicago Bulls Chairman, and Alternate NBA Governor, on behalf of the Bulls: "David Stern was the greatest Commissioner our sport has ever seen. He set the standard for commissioners. The growth of the NBA and its franchises are a direct result of his leadership. He was a brilliant leader and innovator whose vision for the NBA and the game of basketball made it the global sport that it is today. His imprint on the game is immeasurable and will last forever. On behalf of the Chicago Bulls, we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Dianne, and his sons, Andrew and Eric.
Several years back, near the end of David Stern's tenure as NBA Commissioner, rumor had it that there was a bobblehead of Mr. Stern. I sent him an email requesting one if they became available. Within a week it arrived and autographed. He was great to me from day one. He especially enjoyed my daughter's homemade chocolate chip cookies.
RIP and thank you, Commissioner Stern, for everything you did to grow the game. The NBA wouldn't be the NBA without you.
24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
New York 117, Portland 93: Mitchell Robinson went a perfect 11-11 from the field-finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds as the Knicks spoiled the return of Carmelo Anthony. "Melo" scored 26. Damian Lillard went 5 of 20 from the floor.
Orlando 122, Washington 101: A costly win for the Magic as promising forward Jonathan Isaac suffered a hyperextended left knee. He will have an MRI today.
Milwaukee 106, Minnesota 104: Giannis Antetokounmpo with a 32-17 game. Minnesota once again played without Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Los Angeles Lakers 117, Phoenix 107: LeBron opened 2020 with a 31-13-12 game. The Lakers scored 74- first-half points.
Always a pleasure.