Chuck's Daily Check In 2.14.18
Chuck Checks In On The Bulls And Previews Tonight's Game Against Toronto
GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Toronto (40-16, 16-12 on the road ) at Bulls (20-36, 13-15 at home).
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7PM CT tipoff.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul.
SEASON SERIES: Toronto 3-0.
October 19, 2017: NBA season opener at Toronto: Raptors 117 Bulls 100. Jonas Valanciunas with a 23-15 game. C.J. Miles drained six three-point field goals. Lauri Markkanen made his NBA debut scoring 17 points.
November 7th at Toronto: Raptors 119 Bulls 114. Bobby Portis returned from his eight game suspension and recorded a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds. Valanciunas had another double-double against the Bulls with a 21-10 game.
January 3 at Chicago: Raptors 124 Bulls 113. Toronto’s bench scored 54 points. DeLon Wright with a career night in points and rebounds with a 25-13 game. DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points. Justin Holiday led the Bulls with 26 points.
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: Make no mistake about it; the Raptors are for real and aren’t going away any time soon. This is group comprised of seasoned, veteran players with a core of young, developing talent. DeRozan and Lowry are in the prime of their careers and carry this ball club. The bench is among the best in the NBA. Can they beat the new look Cavs and LeBron in a seven-game series? I believe they can. I also believe it’s time national broadcasters and media recognize the sensational job Head Coach Dwane Casey is doing and has been doing with the Raps. Recently, he picked up his 300th win with Toronto. He is professional, humble, and a born leader. He is among the best in the NBA. Ultimately, he and the rest of the organization will be judged whether they can get past the second round of the playoffs. This is their year to prove to themselves and the NBA they are legit. Anything short of an EC Finals appearance will be disappointing to their legion of Canadian followers.
KRIS DUNN UPDATE: Head Coach Fred Hoiberg will give us the latest news after today’s shoot around on Dunn’s possible return, which could happen as soon as tonight. (My Twitter will provide: @ctsbulls). Dunn suffered a concussion in the January 17th game against Golden State, and the Bulls have gone 3-8 since.
LAST GAME BEFORE THE BREAK: I expect the Bulls to be focused and energized tonight. They’re down 3-0 in the season series, and no team likes to be swept. It’s also an opportunity to savor a win until the next time they play, which is February 22nd at home against Philadelphia.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
The Raptors now lead Boston by one full game in the Eastern Conference, after holding off Miami, 115-112. Toronto goes to 24-4 at home.
LeBron is rejuvenated, and with the recent trades bringing in new talent, it definitely shows. The Cavs blitzed OKC, 120-112. James with a 37-8-8 game. The athleticism and spacing has improved dramatically.
Joe Prunty, now 9-2 as interim coach of the Bucks, held off Atlanta, 97-92. That’s loss number 40 for the Hawks.
Also joining the 40 loss club is Dallas. Sacramento hands the Mavs a 114-109 defeat.
Nikola Jokic with a triple-double, as Denver beat the slumping Spurs, 117-108, who once again played without Leonard and Aldridge. Coach Pop will be the first to tell you that you’ve got to have really good players to win.
Pop quiz on CCI: a lesson today in Math. Houston nails 22 three-point field goals. Minnesota with 6. Who comes away victorious? The answer? Houston, 126-108, "winner, winner chicken dinner!"
Always a pleasure!