Tim Goldrick

Turnovers, tired legs and more turnovers: Observations from Bulls-Pacers

Turnovers, tired legs and more turnovers: Observations from Bulls-Pacers

You thought Friday night's ending was ugly? Well, the entirety of Saturday's contest caused an eyesore. 

The Pacers trounced the Bulls by 39 points. Here are the observations: 

Tired legs: Fatigue finally caught up to the Bulls.

Playing in their eighth game in 12 nights, each player Fred Hoiberg subbed in looked as exhausted as the next. 

The second quarter was exceptionally painful to watch as the energetic Pacers jumped off to a 17-2 run, effectively ending the game right there. 

Lethargic play ushered in turnovers – a staggering amount of them. 

The Bulls gave the ball away 11 times in the first half alone, leading to 15 Pacers points. Woof. 

This team is young, yes, but even a youthful team succumbs to the often-brutal NBA schedule at times. 

You don't go, we don't go: After foiling Mavs coach Rick Carlisle's gameplan and taking it to rookie Dennis Smith Jr. early and often on Friday night, Kris Dunn was rendered ineffective in Indy. 

Fred Hoiberg used the "you go, we go" Joe Maddonism after the point guard's career night, but it proves true the opposite way, too. And Dunn definitely didn't "go" in the beginning stages of this one. 

Dunn ended his first quarter with two points, four turnovers and two fouls. His first half ended with him posting a half-worst minus-21. So it's probably no coincidence that the Bulls trailed by 27 points after the first 24 minutes of action. 

Early foul trouble has been developing into a concerning pattern for Dunn, and it too frequently forces Hoiberg to call Jerian Grant's name quicker than anticipated. 

The correlation between Dunn's high-scoring nights and Bulls wins is clear: 

But reaching needed scoring numbers proves challenging when sitting on the bench for extended periods of time. 

The returns: After being sidelined the past four games with a sore right knee, Victor Oladipo suited up and appeared fresh. 

So fresh, in fact, that the guard – who's in the midst of a career year – did most of his damage in transition. Oladipo finished with 23 points on an efficient 9-for-11 shooting.

It helps that the Bulls' passing mirrored that out of a junior high gym in spurts, prompting easy buckets for the high-motor guard. 

Indy had dropped four straight without Oladipo, and they're clearly a different monster with him on the floor. 

After seeing Oladipo's impact, one has to wonder what will the Bulls look like when Zach LaVine returns.

That answer is still murky, but a date for the explosive athlete's Bulls debut is becoming clearer. Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill was in studio Saturday to discuss: 

Stay tuned. 

Players flock to social media after Fox's dismissal

Players flock to social media after Fox's dismissal

For Bears fans, John Fox's termination couldn't have come a moment too soon. For young, core members of the team, though, the firing was a moment for reflection.   

Jordan Howard, who's only known NFL life with the former Bears head coach, thanked Fox for his unwavering belief. The running back has been a revelation since coming into the league, posting back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. 

Thunder wasn't the only one to chime in, though. Lightning, or better known as Tarik Cohen, also expressed gratitude: 

Another rook, Eddie Jackson, was appreciative of the coach's communication: 

Say what you want about Fox's record, which was a miserable 14-34, the guy seemed to have won over a few key pieces for the future.

Five potential coaching candidates for Bears

Five potential coaching candidates for Bears

The John Fox Era is officially over

Now comes the tough part, though.

The Bears' search for their next head coach begins immediately, which had us thinking of five potential candidates worth considering: 

Josh McDaniels: Although his head coaching tenure with the Broncos didn't bear much success, the accomplished offensive mind could be an ideal match for Mitch Trubisky. 

Jim Harbaugh: It will certainly take a hefty pile of cash to lure Harbaugh away from his alma mater, but it may be worth it because of his proven track record of success in the NFL. He developed a young Colin Kaepernick, which could be alluring considering the stage Trubisky is at. Should be noted, however, Michigan has yet to boast a top-notch passing game. 

Frank Reich: Have you seen Carson Wentz's Year 2 improvement? Yeah, enough said. 

Jon Gruden: Seriously, hire Gruden's agent. Every single time there's a coaching vacancy, this guy's name gets floated. There were rumors that the Super Bowl winning coach was linked to the Bears before John Fox was hired, and there will certainly be rumors again. As reported, though, the Raiders are interested in the current ESPN analyst, too. 

Steve Wilks: If the Bears do elect to hire someone who specializes in defense, Wilks would be near the top of the list. He's a Ron Rivera disciple who's propelled the Panthers D to the top of the NFL.