Chuck's Daily Check In - 12.23.19


Bulls (12-19, 6-9 on the road) at Orlando (12-17, 8-6 at home)

TV: NBCSC: Lisa Byington and Stacey King . 6PM CT.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington. 5:45 CT pre.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23 ppg. Orlando: Fournier 19 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter: 9 per. Orlando: Gordon: 7 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Satoransky: 5 per. Orlando: Augustin: 4 per.

PREVIEW: It's the first meeting between the two teams as the Bulls, winners of four of their last six hope to take advantage of an Orlando team returning to Florida after playing its last four games out west where they went 1-3.

Zach LaVine is showcasing his enormous skill set with two 30+ games against Washington and Detroit respectively. He's gone to the foul line 25 times over the last two games. He is playing at an elite All-Star level. A positive sign for the Bulls has been the play of Lauri Markkanen who has twelve straight double-figure scoring games. The Bulls have found a nice rhythm of late and despite a crushing loss at OKC there are many positive signs that are developing the last two weeks. With games against the Magic and Hawks on the slate, the Bulls have an opportunity to move forward in their quest to navigate up the rankings in the Eastern Conference.

Orlando has been inconsistent as Aaron Gordon has struggled, averaging 13 points on the year. Orlando needs Gordon to step up if they expect to return to the playoffs in 2020. Evan Fournier is averaging a career-high 19 per game and is improving with each passing season. Jonathan Issac is long and athletic but I'm still waiting for his offensive game to develop. Mo Bamba is struggling after playing in only 47 games last year.


Our CCI " Game of the Night" Toronto 110, Dallas 107: How should we frame this? A dramatic comeback by the Raps or a complete meltdown by the Mavs? The Mavs led by 30 with 15 minutes left. That's right, 30 points. Kyle Lowry scored 20 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter. Wowza. It was the biggest comeback in Raps franchise history.

Denver 128, Los Angeles Lakers 104: LeBron James missed the game with a thoracic muscle strain. The Nuggets have won six straight.

Boston 119, Charlotte 93: Jayson Tatum scored a career-high 39 points, 22 in the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee 117, Indiana 89: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 18 points-19 rebounds and 9 assists. Malcolm Brogdon, a former Buck, returned as a Pacer and went 5-19 from the field with 10 points and 10 assists.

Oklahoma City 118, Los Angeles Clippers 112: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander matched his career-high with 32 points against his former team. The Thunder trailed by as many as 18 points. Paul George in his first game back to OKC after being dealt to LAC scored 18 points. The Thunder have won four straight.

The NBA suspended Washington's Isaiah Thomas two games for entering the spectator stands to confront 76ers fans. The fans involved in this incident have been banned by the 76ers for one year from Well Fargo Center events and the ticketholders' seats have been revoked.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach out: cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter @ctsbulls

Always a pleasure.