BULLS BACK AT IT ON THE PRACTICE FLOOR: After arriving early Tuesday morning from Sacramento, the Bulls will hit the practice floor for two days before hosting the Timberwolves Friday night (8:30 tip).
Coach Hoiberg will deliver an update on Kris Dunn, who was assigned and recalled on Tuesday from the Windy City Bulls. Cam Payne is getting some practice time in with the WCB, and the plan is to have him get some G League game action pre-All Star break. This is a crucial time for Payne who has battled through injuries and inconsistency. There is no doubt he will be given an opportunity to earn valuable minutes once he’s been cleared to play at the NBA level.
My phone was "lit" seconds after Zach LaVine’s posterizing, "Zach Attack" slam on JaKarr Sampson on Monday in Sacramento. The Bulls’ bench exploded, and I must admit, I went bananas on the call. More importantly, LaVine’s work ethic and perseverance allows his confidence to remain high in dealing with the adversity and challenges he’s faced the past year recovering/rehabbing from an ACL injury. Over the past three games, LaVine is averaging 23 points per game, hitting on 10 of 18 three point field goals. He’s made 17 of his last 20 free throws. Bobby Portis has registered three-straight games of 10 or more rebounds and back to back double-double games. Portis made his first start of the season against the Kings and recorded an 18-14 game.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Horrible news for the Knicks and for NBA fans, as one of the league’s brightest stars, Kristaps Porzingis, revealed he tore the ACL in his left knee in a 103-89 loss to the Bucks. Porzingis was averaging nearly 23 points per game and leading the NBA in blocked shots with an average of 2.4 per game. This injury sends large ripple effects throughout the entire Knicks organization on/off the floor, regarding the rest of the 2018 season and for 18-19 season because it relates to the draft and free agency. Stay tuned.
The Bucks announced Matthew Dellevedova’s right ankle sprain is expected to keep him sidelined up to four weeks.
The Warriors look like a team already enjoying the All Star break, except the break isn’t for another week. OKC demolished Golden State 125-105 and the Thunder did it on the road. Draymond Green was ejected in the fourth quarter. The Warriors have lost three of their last four games. Carmelo Anthony suffered an ankle sprain and played just six minutes. Paul George scored 38. Westbrook’s line: 34-9-9.
Did the Raptors send the Celtics a mid-season message with a convincing 111-91 win in Toronto? Toronto improved to a league best, 22-4 at home. Toronto trails conference leading Boston by one-half game.
Oh my! Another brutal loss for the Cavaliers. Orlando 116 Cleveland 98. The Cavs have dropped 14 out of their last 21 games. Opponents are averaging 122 points against Cleveland the past five games. Wowza.
Philly led wire-to-wire and snapped a five-game Washington win streak 115-102. Joel Embiid, who definitely loved every moment of the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory, finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
James Harden tallied 36 points, and went over the 15,000 career scoring mark, as the Rockets rolled to an easy 123-113 win over the Nets.
The Lakers won for the 11th time in their last 15 games, smacking the Suns 112-93.
Memphis suffered its fourth-straight loss as the Hawks won in Atlanta 108-82. The Hawks biggest lead at one point was 34 points. Marco Belinelli was held out of the game against Memphis, as the Hawks discuss a trade involving the veteran guard.
Always a pleasure!