Bulls' Pau Gasol misses All-Star starting spot by 360 votes


Bulls' Pau Gasol misses All-Star starting spot by 360 votes

How close was Pau Gasol to being included in the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference All-Star team?

Three hundred sixty votes.

That's all that separated Gasol from Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who landed a spot in the starting lineup with 567,348 votes. Gasol finished with 566,988.

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Bulls guards were hot on the heels of the players who ended up winning starting spots in the backcourt. Jimmy Butler finished fourth in voting among Eastern Conference guards with 564,637 votes, and Derrick Rose was seventh with 302,389. Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Raptors guard Kyle Lowry were the leading vote-getters among Eastern Conference guards and earned spots in the starting five.

Also starting in the East frontcourt: Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Pacers forward Paul George.

The starting five for the West features Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.

Any of the aforementioned Bulls could still be named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team when the reserves are announced next week.

Kendall Gill named to Illini Athletics Hall of Fame


Kendall Gill named to Illini Athletics Hall of Fame

Kendall Gill can add another bullet point to his resume.

NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls analyst was announced as a member of the University of Illinois' Athletics Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018. Gill enters in the same class as his coach at Illinois, Lou Henson, and former Bulls broadcaster Johnny "Red" Kerr.

Gill was a part of Illinois' 1989 Final Four team and earned consensus Second-Team All-America honors the following year as a senior when he led the Big Ten in scoring (20 points per game). He is third in program history in steals with 218.

He went on to have a 15-year NBA career, which included a stint with the Bulls.

Last year was the inaugural class for Illinois' hall of fame.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling.