Chuck's Daily Check In 12.22.17

FINAL FROM CLEVELAND: Cavaliers 115 Bulls 112. ( Bulls 10-21, 3-13 on the road)

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 25. Cavaliers: James: 34.

LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Holiday 7. Cavaliers: Love: 7

LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 14. Cavaliers: James 9.

RUNNING WITH THE BULLS: It came in to play in Cleveland as the Bulls dished out a season high 32 assists, 14 from the rapidly developing Kris Dunn. Lauri Markkanen played a strong game scoring 25 points on 11-17 from the field. He runs the floor, competes, has an outside-inside game and plays with an edge. He competes and is not intimidated by anyone. Anyone.

CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: Loved what I saw out of the Bulls. The Bulls lost this game not at the end of the fourth quarter but at the beginning. Turnovers cost them dearly and then LeBron took over at crunch time , scoring or assisting on 17 of the final 19 Cavaliers' points. If you're going to get beat, might as well go down fighting against a sure fire Hall of Fame player. As I told VP John Paxson after the game, he saw MJ up close and personal single handily destroy clubs with the game on the line and as hard as teams attempted to stop him, they simply couldn't. The same applies to James. He's a great scorer and a superb passer. His strength and determination getting to the rim is a testimony on how hard he takes care of his body off season/ in season withstanding punishment in his fifteenth year in the NBA.

"We got down 10 right away in the 4th. We could have folded, but made some
great plays to come back. Shows the growth of this young team.""

CCI BULLS- CAVS NOTES: Despite their winning ways there remains plenty of speculation the Cavs are interested in the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan who is a free agent at the end of the season. Would the Cavs part with Brooklyn's first round pick? Saw Derrick Rose prior to the game. He was getting some shots up but there is no time table for his return. Spoke briefly with Dwayne Wade and he remains one of my favorite players I covered in my 20 years in the NBA.
Did you know Niko Mirotic listens to classical music prior to games? True. Niko also enjoys visiting restaurants in the city and specifically named Joe's and RPM as places he visits.

UP NEXT: At Boston, Saturday night.


New York loves Michael Beasley and Michael Beasley loves NYC. Beasley with 32 points off the bench, 18 in the fourth quarter as the Knicks handed Boston it's second straight loss. Kristaps Porzingis missed all eleven of his field goal attempts. The Bulls will see a tired Celtics ball club Saturday. They have played a league high 35 games in the first 66 days of the season. Boston has lost five of its last nine games.

With all due respect to the Cavs and Celtics, you better find a third invite to the EC party and notify opponents and fans. Toronto is on the radar screen as a legit threat to win the conference. The Raps trailed by 22 points early third then DeMar DeRozan went to work scoring 21 of his career high 45 points in a stunning win over Philadelphia. Joel Embiid missed his third straight game.

Not sure what the Suns plan to do regarding the future of interim coach Jay Triano but if it were up to me I'd retain him for 2018-19 and beyond. Phoenix beats Memphis on a Troy Daniels three . The Suns are extremely young and have gone through a lot the past two-three years but they have responded to Triano who took over after the first three games of the season.

Rodney Hood with 29 points as the Jazz slipped past San Antonio.

RIP Dick Enberg. My heart is deeply saddened over learning of the loss of sports broadcasting icon, Dick Enberg. Through mutual friends, I got to know Dick over the past few years and found him to be warm, gracious, caring and always a gentleman. His work of over sixty years in the business speaks for itself. He's in numerous Hall of Fames and is held to the highest degree of professionalism . I loved spending one on one time with him and treasured our friendship. Condolences to his wife Barbara and his children and grand children.

Thanks for reading CCI. E mail me at cswirsky@bulls.com. Twitter @ctsbulls

Always a pleasure and Go Bulls!