CSN to provide expanded Chicago Cubs National League Wild Card Playoffs coverage beginning Oct. 5

CSN to provide expanded Chicago Cubs National League Wild Card Playoffs coverage beginning Oct. 5


Coverage to include Season Recap Special, Wild Card Game Preview Special, Cubs Classic Replay,

plus – extensive Wild Card Game Night coverage on a special edition of “Cubs Pregame Live” and an expanded edition of “Cubs Postgame Live” IMMEDIATELY following the game!


CSNChicago.com coverage to include numerous game previews, features, and extensive game night reports from Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney,

exclusive video interviews, in-game Twitter coverage from CSN talent and much more!


Chicago, IL (October 1, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of 2015 MLB postseason-bound Chicago Cubs, will provide fans with a full line-up of extensive Cubs programming beginning Monday, October 5, in advance of the northsiders’ National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday night, October 7 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 


In addition to brand new season recap/playoff preview specials, a thrilling “Cubs Classic” telecast against the Pirates from earlier this season, extensive nightly coverage on SportsTalk Live and SportsNet Central, Comcast SportsNet will also be airing a special edition of Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group on October 7 at 6:30 PM and a special, expanded edition of Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinoisimmediately following the Wild Card match-up.  Please note Comcast SportsNet’s comprehensive Cubs programming line-up beginning Monday, Oct. 5 (all times are Central Time):



5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs playoffs discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and numerous baseball experts.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – The latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

7:00 PM – Cubs Classic: Cubs vs. Pittsburgh (from 5/15/15) – This thrilling 12-inning battle between the Cubs and Pirates at Wrigley Field saw the Cubs holding on to a 10-5 lead heading into the eighth inning (featuring a 3-run HR from Kris Bryant in the third and an Anthony Rizzo solo shot in the fourth), but the Pirates stormed back to tie it at ten apiece in the ninth. The unexpected, however, took place in the bottom of the 12th inning when Pirates RF Gregory Polanco slipped on a routine pop fly, allowing Starlin Castro to score the winning run.

10:00 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralThe latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

10:30 PM – We Are Good: A Celebration of the 2015 Chicago Cubs – Hosted by Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull), this brand new, half-hour, magazine-style special includes a number of fascinating feature stories highlighted by a recap of the Cubs postseason-clinching celebration from Sept. 26 at Wrigley Field.  Plus, fans can look forward to a number of additional special features, including the following among others:

-          #WeAreGood – Feature on how Miguel Montero’s April 18th hashtag created a team slogan that caught on all season long in both the Cubs clubhouse and with fans throughout the nation.

-          Walk Up Music – How do players pick their walk-up music, and why they do it?  Cubs players weigh in on the new walk up feature brought to Wrigley Field, thanks to the brand new in-stadium video boards.

-          Maddon on atmosphere – Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses what makes the Wrigley atmosphere arguably the best in baseball.

-          The ‘Old Scoreboard’ – With most of the attention on the ‘new’ video boards in 2015, SportsNet Central’s Luke Stuckmeyer (@LukeStuckmeyer) takes us inside the old scoreboard to show us it’s still very much a part of Wrigley Field.

-          The Best of the Cubs – A rollout feature with all the key highlights of the 2015 Chicago Cubs playoff-bound season.

-          Jake Arrieta – A detailed look at the overall dominance of the best pitchers in all of baseball.

-          NOTE: We Are Good: A Celebration of the 2015 Chicago Cubs will re-air Tue, Oct. 6 at 9pm on CSN+ and Wed, Oct. 7 at 12 noon on the main CSN channel location.




5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs playoffs discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan, numerous baseball experts, along with live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – The latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull.

9:30 PM/10:00 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralThe latest Cubs playoffs news, player/coaches interviews, and much more.

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: Cubs Playoff Preview – Hosted by CSN’s Cubs Pre/Postgame Live tandem of David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth (@hollytime28), this special edition of SportsNet Central will provide fans with a full, detailed preview of the Cubs-Pirates Wild Card match-up, including live reports from Kelly Crull and CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney), along the latest team/player news, interviews, season-long match-up highlights, and an overview of every upcoming MLB Playoff series.




5:00 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Extensive Cubs-Pirates Wild Card Game night preview discussion & analysis featuring host David Kaplan, numerous baseball experts, along with live, on-site reports from Kelly Crull and Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney.

6:00 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – Even more Cubs-Pirates Wild Card Game night preview content, up-to-the-minute player/coaches interviews, along with live, on-site reports from Crull and Mooney.

6:30 PM – Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto – Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, this special edition of Cubs Pregame Live will break down and preview every aspect of the Cubs-Pirates battle and will feature numerous interviews, preview highlights, and live, on-site reports from Crull and Mooney.

10:00 PM (time approx.) Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois – An expanded edition of Cubs Postgame Live, hosted by Kaplan and Hollandsworth, will feature Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference, live locker room player interviews, a complete breakdown of the game, plus, additional live on-field post-game reports and much more.


In addition to the comprehensive Cubs Wild Card playoff coverage on Comcast SportsNet, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com throughout the week for even more comprehensive 24/7 coverage, including:

  • Live stream of Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference (sponsored by Xfinity).
  • “Cubs Pulse presented by AT&T U-Verse,” a one-stop social media and behind-the-scenes destination that reveals the latest real time trending topics, player buzz and expert insight from Twitter and Instagram.  Plus, “Cubs Pulse” aggregates all Cubs player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #CubsTalk.
  • “Cubs In-Game Live,” – featuring STATS Inc.’s enhanced Game Zone real-time tracking system – is a second screen platform for PCs, tablets and mobile devices that combine state-of-the-art infographics, data visualization of real-time statistics and game info with rich social interactivity tied to CSN Chicago’s live game broadcasts.
  • Push Alerts: CSN Chicago will deliver Cubs push notifications for breaking team and player news, “Insider” reports, plus game reminder alerts via CSN Chicago’s SportsTalk app for iOS and Android devices.
  • CubsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Cubs playoffs news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. BullsTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and Golf Central. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk and BearsTalk, PrepsTalk and B1GTalk which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney will provide extensive team/player news, special feature stories, and much more throughout the week. Follow him on Twitter @CSNMooney for 24/7 inside access.  Cubs digital reporter and producer Tony Andracki will also provide Cubs reports/features on the beat with Mooney.  Follow @CSNCubs on Twitter for full team coverage, giveaways, fan photos and the very latest team news.
  • CSNChicago.com’s state-of-the-art “AT&T U-Verse Lounge” to provide expanded Cubs playoffs content through daily and weekly shows and segments.
  • CSNChicago.com, NBC Sports and HardBallTalk.com will also produce Cubs content in tandem, which will include on-camera segments and digital reports.
  • Yahoo: Via the Yahoo Sports – NBC Sports Network digital alliance, CSNChicago.com’s Cubs content will be available via sports.yahoo.com.
  • Cubs coverage on CSNChicago.com/Cubs is presented by Toyota.

It's Bobby's World in Bulls' lottery-improving loss to 76ers

It's Bobby's World in Bulls' lottery-improving loss to 76ers

The final 25 games was supposed to be all about the development of the Bulls’ recent acquisitions and securing a record worthy of one of the last three envelopes at the NBA Draft Lottery.

Only Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn seemed to matter, with Cameron Payne and Cristiano Felicio being the perfect window dressing for development as opposed to just saying a team is tanking.

But Bobby Portis is making a case that he isn’t to be forgotten in the big picture, that his worth is more than just being a punchline to the jokes that followed his incident with Nikola Mirotic.

The only thing Portis didn’t do right in the Bulls’ 116-115 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers was missing a point blank shot that would’ve given the Bulls an improbable and unwanted win, and it would’ve given him 40 points.

Instead he had to settle for a career-high 38 as Joel Embiid was bearing down on Portis when he caught a diagonal pass from Dunn with 1.1 seconds left, having the shorter T.J. McConnell on him and taking a power dribble to gather himself.

“If I could go back I would’ve just went up the first time off the glass like I always do,” Portis said. “We just have to try to close out games better.”

Embiid showed he’s worth all the trouble with his health problems, scoring 30 with 13 rebounds and five rebounds while Ben Simmons put up 32 with 11 assists and seven rebounds as the 76ers improved to 31-25, good enough for seventh place in the East.

In a game that featured remarkable resolve from a purposely undermanned Bulls team as they sat Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday, they put themselves in position to win after trailing by 18 early. After leading by five courtesy of a LaVine walk-down triple with 1:02 left, they made a couple critical errors that allowed the 76ers to steal a game the Bulls won’t mind them taking at the end of 82.

Denzel Valentine’s inbounds pass with 5.9 seconds left was intended for LaVine, but Embiid stepped in front for a steal as they were in position to make it a free-throw game the rest of the way.

Similar to the Bulls’ unlikely win over the Orlando Magic before the All-Star break, they returned the favor as 76ers rookie Ben Simmons made free throws after the steal to give the visitors a one-point lead, setting the stage for the final play.

If learning lessons is what the last 100 quarters of basketball is supposed to be about, the Bulls got a big-time lesson in a game that ultimately means nothing.

“These are learning opportunities for our team,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I couldn’t be happier, the way we went out and competed. We dug ourselves an 18-point hold and (fought) our way back—have complete control of the game.”

Control was wrestled from the 76ers by Portis’ able and quick hands. Taking more of a scoring posture since Mirotic’s departure, Portis has never been shy about being aggressive.

But now he’s being encouraged in that department, playing a big part in the Bulls’ tying their franchise record of 18 triples with six of his own, scoring 21 in the first half and not backing down one step from the massive Embiid.

“I kind of struggled from (three) in the last six, seven games,” said Portis, who didn’t take much time off during the All-Star break. “I think I’ve shown this entire year, trying to stay consistent and be a spark off the bench.”

Counting the last two games before the break, Portis has been on the best scoring binge of his career—cementing his place in the league when just a few months ago, many were questioning if the Bulls should’ve actually picked up his player option following the Mirotic incident.

His 25.0 points in the last three, along with scoring in double figures for seven straight games are career-bests. With every flex, every energetic plea to the crowd and resourceful score underneath the rim, Portis is becoming a player the Bulls can’t afford to plan without.

The stage was set for a Portis breakout shortly after the incident, when he was serving his suspension to start the season. When the Bulls traveled to Miami and Orlando, he flew on his own to Orlando for dinner with his mentor, former NBA veteran and Magic assistant coach Corliss Williamson.

Williamson, a player who was not to be trifled with during his career, told Portis essentially, “this too shall pass”.

“Just play your game,” Williamson told NBCSportsChicago.com recently. “Don’t put any pressure on yourself about what’s gonna happen after this year. What’s got him here is hard work, how hard he plays in the game. He continues to do that, he’ll be successful.”

Portis recalled the dinner where he was finally able to confide and unleash after weeks of frustration. Calling Williamson a father figure dating back to their Arkansas roots, where Portis played on Williamson’s AAU teams in middle school, Portis put his trust in him and came back reinvigorated.

“We talked for hours about the whole situation,” Portis told NBCSportsChicago.com “He told me when I come back to come 10 times harder. When people play this game and play the right way, they forget about the other stuff. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Scoring 38 tends to remake a narrative.

“Bobby just continues to improve,” Hoiberg said. “He’s a confident kid that goes out and plays with a ton of swagger and toughness. You need that, to go out and play with that type of effort. He’s tenacious on the glass. He’s getting the crowd into the game.”

When speaking of Portis, Hoiberg’s face went from flush to beaming, knowing how far Portis has come in his three years—being a player who wouldn’t take 3-pointers with confidence to now unleashing them whenever a defender’s feet shows the slightest hint of leaning back.

No hesitation.

“Regardless if I’m making shots, I try to leave it all out on the floor,” Portis said. “It felt good making shots, being able to help the team. I wanted the win tonight.”

Portis helped make up for the Bulls not getting their usual production from Dunn, who struggled guarding the bigger Simmons and Lauri Markkanen, who missed all five of his 3-pointers and made just one field goal in 32 minutes.

“You can put he and Lauri together,” Hoiberg said. “It gives you two guys that can stretch the floor and space it, two guys that can rebound, two that can put it on the floor. It’s exciting to think about when Kris gets his rhythm back.”

And now, Williamson’s words have proven to be prophetic for his pupil, because if the Bulls aren’t seeing Portis as a key part of their future, there’s about 25 other teams who’ll be lining up for his services this summer.

“I told him don’t even worry about it,” Williamson said. “Let your game speak for itself. People who really know you, know what type of person you are. You start producing people will forget about it and love you for what you do on the court.”

His game is talking, even if the Bulls’ loss was one they’d rather have taken in silence.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Projecting the Bulls’ future


Bulls Talk Podcast: Projecting the Bulls’ future

In the latest edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Kendall Gill recap the Bulls’ 116-115 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, look at the continued growth of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn, and discuss if Bobby Portis is part of the Bulls’ long term future.

They also check in on LeBron James and the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers, discuss whether or not the Golden State Warriors can make another title run and the latest on the status of San Antonio Spurs guard Kawhi Leonard. The guys also discuss how Oklahoma guard Trae Young could look in a Bulls uniform if he’s available for them in the draft.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.