Chuck's Daily Check In 1.25.18

Chuck Checks In On the Bulls, Recaps The Loss over Philly

FINAL: Philadelphia 115 Bulls 101. (Bulls 18-30, 7-18 on the road).

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Portis 22. 76ers: Embiid: 22.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Portis: 11. 76ers: Simmons: 17
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Nwaba: 4. 76ers: Simmons: 14.

CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: The 76ers led wire to wire. The Bulls couldn’t buy a hoop to start the game yet at one point trailed by only a 35-31 margin before Philly went on a run. The Bulls tried to make a dent into Philadelphia’s double digit lead but the 76ers answered with a series of hoops to protect their lead.

Ben Simmons recorded his second triple double in as many games against the Bulls in the season series. He is an amazingly gifted player (19-17-14) . Wait until he gets a stroke from 15-23 feet and cuts down on turnovers. Joel Embiid is a highly skilled big man. His first appearance against the Bulls saw him score 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. He is one large human being. I truly hope he stays healthy. He’s great for the league and his personality allows the crowd to feed off his swag. Prior to the game a reporter showed me a video, a video incidentally that has gone viral on social media of top overall pick Markelle Fultz working on his mechanics of shooting the ball. He had shoulder issues earlier this year and just isn’t ready to play. It’s not the injury, his shot isn’t fluid. Until then , why put him on the floor? Philly is handling this the right way. No reason to rush.

But this night belonged to Simmons: Ben Simmons finished with 19 PTS, 17 REBS & 14 ASTS tonight. Only three other rookies in @NBAHistory have tallied at least 15p/15r/14a in a game:
Oscar Robertson (3 times, 1960-61)
Walt Frazier (2/10/1968)
Steve Francis (1/27/2000)

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM:

CHICAGO BULLS HEAD COACH FRED HOIBERG on his biggest disappointment of the night. I just didn’t think we came out with any grit or toughness tonight. We didn’t shoot the ball well, especially early in the first quarter. We defended ok but I didn’t think our toughness was there. It became a 'my turn to shoot' game. Then if one player took a bad shot another decided he could take a bad one, too, until it trickled down. It’s disappointing. After the first two games of this road trip, I thought Atlanta was as complete a game as we played all year and for the most part against New Orleans, we were terrific. Obviously, the exception was that last five minutes. There was probably a little hangover from that game but we can’t let it affect the way we go out and play. For the most part all year we’ve played the right way, but I didn’t see that tonight.

DUNN AND MARKKANEN HEAD TO LA: The All Star game in Los Angeles is a little over three weeks away and plenty of ball to be played before then, but SoCal sports fans catching the Bulls-Clippers February 3 will get an early preview of All Star Friday. February 16 is when they catch Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen in action. The two Bulls’ teammates will oppose each other as the USA competes against the World in The Rising Stars Game. Both young men deserve the honor and I’m personally ecstatic to see the continuing growth of both players. The Bulls sorely miss the grit, defense and play making ability of Dunn who remains out of the lineup. 76ers coach Brett Brown raved about Markkanen prior to the game. Brown also likes the young pieces the Bulls are assembling as they move forward.

ARCIDIACONO RETURNS TO PHILLY: The Bulls rookie guard will never have to buy a cheesesteak in the “City of Brotherly Love.” His presence alone guiding Villanova to the NCAA title two years ago, being named Most Outstanding Player of the Game in the Wildcats victory over North Carolina earned him a place among the greats in college hoops history in Philly. He received a huge ovation when he checked in to the game. He’s a great teammate and a terrific young man. For more on Ryan check out the Bulls Facebook page as we went live with Ryan Wednesday after the team’s shoot around.

NBA NEWS AND NOTES

Boston 113 Clippers 102: Celtics snap four game losing streak. Marcus Smart cut his hand at the team hotel and missed the Celtics-Clippers game. Al Horford sat out the contest after getting hit in the head against the Lakers.

Toronto 108 Atlanta 93. Don’t look now but the Raps are knocking on Boston’s door to grab the top seed in the East and believe me they can win the conference. If they get one more scorer, look out. Raps now 32-14.

Utah 98 Detroit 95: OT Pistons now two under.500 but Andre Drummond had a monster game 30 points, 24 rebounds 4 assists and 6 blocks. Drummond was left off the All Star roster.

NOLA 101 Charlotte 96: Pelicans have won six out of their last seven. Dwight Howard played in his 1,000 career game.

Indiana 116 Phoenix 101: The Suns were out of gas on their fourth and final game of a road trip.

Houston 104 Dallas: 97: Rockets win their 34th game. Mavs lose their 32nd game. Simple!

Portland 123 Minnesota 114: Lillard and McCollum combined for 59 points and 11 assists. No Jimmy Butler- no win for the Wolves. The Blazers shot a sizzling. 55% from three point range. Jamal Crawford recorded his career 52nd four point play. Honestly, this man should be considered for the Hall of Fame for what he’s done bringing attention to the importance of bench players in the NBA.

Spurs 108 Memphis 85: Pau Gasol flirted with a triple double of 14-15-9.

Don’t invite the Wizards Markieff Morris and J.J. Barea to the same party. Just giving you the low down.

Russell Westbrook has Paul George’s back regarding PG’s All Star snub but Damian Lillard is having a great season and deserves to be in LA. Westbrook voiced his displeasure and I’m sure Lillard will have something extra for OKC next time the Blazers meet the Thunder. Lillard respects Westbrook but no doubt was disappointed with his remarks.

Congratulations to Jim Thome, that is Hall of Famer, Jim Thome. One of the nicest athletes I have ever met. Treats everyone with respect.I’m thrilled he played and works for the White Sox.

Thanks for reading CCI. Email me at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls.

Always a pleasure and Go Bulls!

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