Chuck's Daily Check In 1.24.18

Chuck looks ahead to tonight's matchup in Philadelphia and checks in around the league.

Bulls (18-29, 7-17 on the road) at Philadelphia (22-21, 11-10 at home)

TV: WGN TV: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 6PM CT tipoff.

RADIO: WLS 890 AM: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul.

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Mirotic: 17ppg. 76ers: Embiid: 23 ppg.

LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 7. 76ers: Embiid: 11.

LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6. 76ers: Simmons: 7.

LAST MEETING: December 18, 2017 in Chicago: Bulls 117 76ers 115. Mirotic and Dunn each with 22. Simmons: 19-11-6. Saric: 27-20 in 2nd half.

CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: I rewatched the last few minutes of the fourth quarter and the two overtimes of Monday’s loss to NOLA. It’s an off day and this is what I do. It’s not punishment, it’s knowledge. It’s wisdom. A heart breaking loss for the Bulls but one needs to move on including your friendly radio play by play announcer! The Bulls will clean some things up, get back to sharing the ball and I’m confident we'll play well tonight. Both teams will be without two key players in Kris Dunn (concussion) and the 76ers T.J. McConnell (personal reasons). Philadelphia Head Coach Brett Brown expects rookie Ben Simmons to play more minutes.

ROOKIE VS ROOKIE: Ben Simmons who sat out last year with a fractured right foot is third among rookies in scoring at 16 point per game. The Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen is fourth at nearly 16 per game. Simmons and Markkanen are running 1-2 respectively in rebounding. Both players were born outside the United States. Simmons is from Melbourne, Australia and was selected first overall. Because he didn’t play a game last season the NBA designates Simmons as a rookie this season. Markkanen was born in Finland. Both players played one year of college ball. Simmons at LSU. Lauri at Arizona. Simmons is the first player in the modern era to be selected first overall without having played in the NCAA Tournament. He’s got outstanding court awareness but don’t look for him to take long range missiles. He’s 0-10 behind the arc and shooting just 55% from the line. Markkanen took Arizona to three NCAA tournament games before bowing out. Markkanen pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds against the Pelicans. It will be a boat load of fun to follow their careers over the next decade plus.

NBA NEWS AND NOTES:

Kyle Kuzma, a member of the 2017-18 elite rookie class, scored 17 -fourth quarter points as the Lakers handed Boston its fourth straight loss. LA will be in Chicago Friday. Kuzma finished with 28. The rest of the Lakers went a combined 2-19 from three point range. The Lakers missed ten fourth quarter free throws, yet managed to win the game. Lonzo missed his fifth consecutive game with a sore knee.

The Cavaliers are unraveling as they were beaten by the Spurs. LeBron James became the youngest player to ever score 30-thousand points.

KD registered a career-high 14 assists, he also got ejected, as Golden State got 32 from Curry to beat the Knicks 123-112.

OKC rallied from 15 down to beat the Nets.

Sacramento ended an eight game slide as Garrett Temple scored a career-high 34 in a road win at Orlando.

ALL STAR RESERVES NAMED:

Eastern Conference: Beal, Horford, Love, Lowry, Oladipo, Porzingis and Wall.

Western Conference: Aldridge, Butler, Green, Lillard, Thompson, Towns and Westbrook.

The Warriors became the first team in NBA history to have four All Stars in consecutive seasons.

According to reports, Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo and Dennis Smith Jr. are just some of the names in the mix participating in the slam dunk contest All Star weekend.

LeBron James and Stephen Curry led the vote getters with a new twist to All Star rosters with the two captains conducting a draft which will take place today with the results announced Thursday on TNT. James and Curry will select rosters without regard for conference affiliation. Each captain will choose 11 players to complete a 12 man roster.

The Bulls are developing players and there has been considerable growth this year. I am convinced in due time there are all star caliber players on the current roster. Obviously, it's up to them to maximize their skill set but the potential for stardom is there.

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

Always a pleasure!

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