GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER:
Nets (26-53, 12-27 on the road) at Bulls: (27-52, 17-22 at home)
TV: WGN TV: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7PM CT.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul. 6:45 CT pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 15 ppg. Nets: Russell: 15 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 7 Nets: Hollis-Jefferson: 6.
LEADING ASSISTS: Grant and Payne each with 4 Nets: Dinwiddie: 6.
SEASON SERIES: Brooklyn 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 27 in Brooklyn: Nets 104 Bulls 87. Crabbe-21 points.
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: It’s the second game of a back to back for the Bulls and we’re dealing with one of those weird back to backs against the same opponent in a 72 hour span as the two teams collide on Monday in NY. The Nets are suffering through another long season and without it’s true first round pick (KG/Pierce to Boston- to Cavs(Irving), the Nets will need to be creative in the off season. Brooklyn has an excellent front office and coach but patience is in order as they add pieces. They do have some promising talent in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen who runs an effective pick and roll with Russell. I like Allen Crabbe but the player who has a terrific upside is Joe Harris. Spencer Dinwiddie is in the conversation for Most Improved Player but that piece of hardware has Victor Oladipo’s name plastered to the trophy.
The Nets are one of the hardest working teams in the NBA. They may be short on talent but they don’t quit and that’s a testimony to the coaching staff, players and the type of talent GM Sean Marks is bringing in to Brooklyn.
FINAL FROM BOSTON: Celtics 111. Bulls 104. Celtics win season series 3-1.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Kilpatrick: 24. Boston: Brown: 32.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Felicio: 9 Boston: Monroe: 11.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Arcidiacono: 6. Boston: Monroe: 10.
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: Both teams played through depleted rosters as reserves stepped up for each club. Boston’s Greg Monroe came through with his second career triple double of 19-11-10 and rookie Jabari Bird poured in 15. Jaylen Brown notched a game and career high 32 but was looking to stuff the stat sheet with the game all but decided. The Bulls received another strong bench performance from Sean Kilpatrick who scored 24 in his second straight 20 point game. Lauri Markkanen is finishing the season on a strong note with his third straight 20 point game and fourth in his last six. Markkanen’s confidence is through the roof and there is no doubt in my mind his career will be impactful. You’re looking at a highly skilled player with an incredible upside in one, Lauri Markkanen.
CCI STAT OF THE NIGHT: January 30, 2018. Omer Asik saw his first action as a Bull ( second stint) since playing for the Pelicans in late January. Asik logged 16 minutes scoring two points and two rebounds.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Jimmy Butler returned to the T-Wolves lineup scoring 18 as Minnesota got a much needed 113-96 win over the Lakers.
Toronto 92 Indiana 73. The Raps set a franchise record for wins (57) and home victories (33) as they win the EC outright.
Break up the Knicks! NY ripped a listless Heat team, 122-98. Damyean Dotson with a 30-11 game. Luke Kornet scored 17. Were you expecting Ewing and Oakley?
Philadelphia 132 Cavs 130. Make it 13 straight wins for the 76ers. Simmons with 12 triple doubles in his rookie season. 27 points, 15 rebounds, 13 assists. LeBron with a triple double, his 18th of 44-11-11 but missed a key free throw with the game on the line.
NOLA 122 Phoenix 103. The Pelicans are in the thick of it in the WC. Three games left: at Golden State, at LAC, home with the Spurs.
Atlanta 103 Washington 97. The Morris twins ejected on the same night. Marcus with Boston vs Bulls, Markieff of the Wiz vs Hawks. Hard to get a read on Washington as the Wizards lost their fourth straight.
Charlotte 137 Orlando 100. Malik Monk with another solid game, pouring in 26. Not6 a good look anytime when you lose by 37 to a non playoff team.
Detroit 113 Dallas 106 OT. Andre Drummond with a 19-16 game. Reggie Jackson scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and OT. The Pistons and Bulls meet in the season finale in Chicago Wednesday.
In the “Somebody Had to Win Game”: Sacramento 94 Memphis 93.
Always a pleasure!