GAME NIGHT FROM BROOKLYN: Bulls (20-39, 7-22 on the road) at Nets (19-41, 11-21 at home)
TV: WGN TV: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 6:30 CT tipoff
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington, Steve Kashul. 6:15 CT pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 17ppg. Nets: Russell: 15ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 7. Nets: Carroll: 6.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6. Nets: Dinwiddie: 6.
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: The Nets were optimistic that maybe, just maybe, they could be in the playoff hunt come early April, but that notion was quickly dampened by the loss of guard Jeremy Lin. The Nets have had numerous injuries this year that have curtailed the growth of players, such as De’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Head Coach Kenny Atkinson is doing a terrific job and it’s only a matter of time before the Nets turn the corner to respectability with GM Sean Marks at the helm. But for now, the Nets are still paying the price of the ill-advised Boston trade that surrendered their first round draft pick to Cleveland via the Celtics.
I’m thrilled for Spencer Dinwiddie and the success he’s had this year. I began following his career at Colorado. He suffered an ACL injury, but fought back and won a roster spot as a second-round pick with Detroit. The Pistons traded him for Cameron Bairstow. Dinwiddie found himself hooping for the Windy City Bulls last season, and got the call to join the Nets. He’s having a career year, averaging 13 points per game, and just beat out Lauri Markkanen for the Skills Challenge Championship at the recent All Star Saturday night event in Los Angeles. As I tell young people all the time, perseverance is a virtue you must accept in order to be great. You can quote me!
The Bulls had a GREAT second quarter against Minnesota. The passing was crisp and the team was pushing the ball up the floor with pace and space. It was a joy to watch. In the fourth quarter, the T-Wolves went to work and KAT woke up and chewed up the Bulls inside, with help from Jamal Crawford’s blazing three-pointers. I love what I’m seeing out of David Nwaba. He plays the game only one way: with energy, hustle and determination.
The Bulls perimeter will be tested tonight, as the Nets, of late, have fallen in love with shooting the three ball. Like a tons of threes! I also expect Lauri Markkanen to have a breakout game.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Houston remains red hot, winning its 12th straight game, 119-114 over Denver. James Harden was flatout incredible. 41 points and 6-10 from 3 point range. He went 13-16 from the foul line. In addition to his 41 points, add 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
Washington hung on and snapped Philly’s seven-game win streak, 109-94. The Wizards are 9-3 without John Wall.
Spurs 110 Cavaliers 94. Cleveland drops to 3-2 since shuffling the deck at the trade deadline. San Antonio ended a four game slide. LeBron sounded off on the officiating.
NOLA 123 Milwaukee 121. Jrue Holiday with 36. The Pelicans are now seven games over .500. The Bucks blew a 17 point halftime lead.
Charlotte 114 Detroit 98. The Hornets are hot, and the Pistons are not. Frank Kaminsky is ballin’ post All Star break.
Always a pleasure!