The Bulls hit the practice floor today after taking Wednesday off. The Bulls host Dallas Friday, then don’t play again until Monday against Boston.
IDLE THOUGHTS FROM THE CCI FILES: 21 regular season games left. I cherish each and every one. There is no drop off regarding preparation or passion. I LOVE my job. LOVE the Bulls and LOVE the game. I hope to work another 20 year, that is if Bulls will have me. I like the core group of the Bulls, but I’m begging our fan base to be patient. The combination of Markkanen, Dunn, and LaVine need an uninterrupted training camp to allow chemistry to organically evolve during the process. Ok, that’s kind of heavy but you get my vibe.
Bobby Portis has a ten-game double-figure scoring streak. I like that. You know what I like even better? EVERY time we have a conversation it's, "Yes sir, no sir, thank you." His manners are off the charts.
Justin Holiday brings a guitar on the road, and it constantly reminds me how I wish I could play a musical instrument or speak a second language.
I was talking to Neil Funk the other day about his brilliant career; did you know his first year in the NBA, the team he was broadcasting for, Philadelphia, went to the Finals and lost to Portland? All told, he has been involved in eight or nine Finals, six of course, with the Bulls. I'd be happy calling one, just one, please!
MORE IDLE THOUGHTS ON A RAINY THURSDAY IN CHICAGO: My mom was an educator; my father a decorated U.S. Naval officer and if there’s one lesson, among many, I learned from them was attention to detail. No stone goes unturned in my prep work for each and every game. All the more reason why I have begun researching everything I can on the roster of the Memphis Grizzlies. Who are these guys? Anyone who puts on an NBA uniform has to have talent, but I’m so unfamiliar with their body of work. Over the weekend I’m going to pour myself into watching nonstop Memphis ball. So, next Wednesday, you will know everything about Dillon Brooks. Apparently, Marc Gasol is not a big fan of what’s going on with his team, telling Sports Illustrated, "This is the NBA, not the G League."
Who wins MVP? Is it Harden, James, Davis, Giannis? I don’t have a vote. Several years ago, the league changed its voting procedures, discontinuing the policy of team employees voting on awards. So I’m just, "Joe Bag of Donuts" like everyone else. If I had a vote right now, I’d give it to Harden, but how can you go against any of these individuals?
If the playoffs started today, I still like Toronto to win the East, followed by Cleveland and Boston. In the West, I’ll take the Warriors, but Houston could win everything.
The best player I have ever seen (in person)? I saw Wilt Chamberlain in the twilight of his career and he was still a force, even in his late 30's. The best player I have ever seen, when healthy, was Bill Walton. The best player ever from a longevity standpoint was MJ, although I must say LeBron has worked his way in to the top 3-5 of all time conversation.
The Pistons have played 61 games, made a major trade in the process, and I still can’t figure them out.
Every time I talk NBA ball with fans, friends, etc., the one question that always pops up is, "where will LeBron play next season?"
I love March Madness. Who doesn’t? But these postseason conference tournaments have seen their better days. Most of these no longer play in front of sellout crowds. To have the Big 10 tournament in NYC is a head scratcher. I get it; TV money, Rutgers, Penn State, Maryland, etc., but this tournament belongs forever in Chicago.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Houston 105 LAC 92. Google James Harden vs. Wesley Johnson. Seriously an, "oh my gosh” moment. It’s ALL over social media. The Rockets winning streak stands at 14 games.
The Mavs' geared up for an appearance in Chicago, losing a heart breaker at home to OKC, 111-110 in OT. Dirk Nowitzki reached the 31-thousand point total.
The Warriors held Washington’s Bradley Beal to eight points in a Golden State 109-101 win. Golden State is 21-3 vs the Eastern Conference.
No stopping the Raptors. Toronto 117 Orlando 104. The Raps have won 11 out of 13, and during that stretch, they are averaging 116 points per game.
Detroit got a 15 points and 16 rebounds game from Andre Drummond, as the Pistons blew out the Bucks, 110-87, stopping Detroit’s three-game slide.
The red hot Pelicans now nine games over .500, as they beat the Spurs in San Antonio, 121-116. Davis 26-15. LaMarcus Aldridge suffered an ankle injury.
Phoenix 110 Memphis 102. Elfrid Payton is opening eyes for the Suns, after being dealt by Orlando for a second-round pick.
Atlanta 107 Indiana 102. Trevor Booker was cut loose by Philly, and is apparently on his way to Indiana. At least that's what Booker is reporting! He scooped the media!
Boston smashed Charlotte, 134-106. Kyrie with 34.
Always a pleasure!