Bulls

CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com
1 Simeon (28-1)

Results: Defeated Oak Lawn 63-25 and Vocational 54-30

This Week: Tuesday vs. Whitney Young (4A Argo Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Jabari Parker and Steve Taylor keep the Wolverines rolling. A great rivalry matchup between two Red-West schools is on deck.

2 Proviso East (28-0)

Results: Defeated Hoffman Estates 63-48 and Glenbard North 51-48

This Week: Tuesday vs. Lake Park (4A Schaumburg Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Good free throw shooting late in the fourth quarter against Glenbard North keeps the Pirates undefeated.

3 Warren (24-3)

Results: Defeated Hersey 65-50 and Stevenson 57-47

This Week: Tuesday vs. Lake Forest (4A Barrington Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Nathan Boothe and Darius Paul came up big down the stretch against Stevenson. Another North Suburban-Lake foe awaits.

4 Plainfield East (27-1)
Results: Defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 51-42 and Neuqua Valley 47-45

This Week: Tuesday vs. West Aurora (4A East Aurora Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Brian Bennetts double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) against N-V was one of the keys in helping the Bengals advance.

5 Bogan (26-3)

Results: Defeated Mount Carmel 65-64 and De La Salle 79-63

This Week: Wednesday vs. Marist (4A Argo Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Devaughn Johnsons 23 points, part of which coming in a key 25-11 run in the first half, helped offset the 42 scored by De La Salles Alvin Ellis.

6 Andrew (24-2)

Results: Defeated Lincoln-Way Central 54-37 and Marian Catholic 28-25

This Week: Wednesday vs. Homewood-Flossmoor (4A Lockport Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: The Thunderbolts overcame M-Cs slow tempo to win the schools first boys basketball regional title since 1990.

7 Elgin (25-3)

Results: Defeated South Elgin 41-21 and St. Charles East 57-52

This Week: Wednesday vs. McHenry (4A Dundee-Crown Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Back-to-back regional titles for the Maroons, who got a huge game from Kory Brown (24 points, 12 rebounds) against East.

8 Downers Grove South (23-5)

Results: Defeated Oswego East 69-68 and Hinsdale Central 64-51

This Week: Wednesday vs. Metea Valley (4A East Aurora Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Kevin Honn (20 points) and Jamall Millison (17) help propel the Mustangs into sectional play.

9 Huntley (26-3)

Results: Defeated DeKalb 40-37 and Larkin 46-42

This Week: Tuesday vs. Rockford-Auburn (4A Dundee-Crown Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: A huge challenge is in the cards for the Red Raiders: Auburns point guard and Wichita State recruit-- Fred Van Vleet.

10 Bloom (26-3)

Results: Defeated T.F. North 41-37 and Sandburg 40-37

This Week: Tuesday vs. Thornton (4A Lockport Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: The Blazing Trojans overcame a 12-point deficit against Sandburg and pulled off another close victory. Donald Moore continues to excel.

11 Hillcrest (23-5)

Results: Defeated Evergreen Park 65-53 and Brooks 79-66

This Week: Tuesday vs. Providence (3A Rich East Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: The Hawks cannot overlook the 17-10 Celtics, who defeated a 25-win Lemont team to advance to Tuesdays semifinal.

12 St. Ignatius (23-5)

Results: Defeated Hope 78-64 and South Shore 79-49

This Week: Tuesday vs. DuSable (3A St. Ignatius Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: The Wolfpack cruise past regionals and now get sectionals on their home floor. Life is good for coach Rick Kehoe and company.

13 Marshall (22-7)

Results: Defeated Montini 60-45 and Westinghouse 77-60

This Week: Wednesday vs. St. Joseph (3A Glenbard South Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Cris Craig, Milton Doyle, Korbin McClain and Tyrone Hilton all reached double-figures for the Commandos against Westinghouse.

14 New Trier (23-5)

Results: Defeated Niles West 39-35 and Foreman 65-41

This Week: Tuesday vs. Evanston (4A Glenbrook South Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: A scare against Niles West, a blowout, and now a change to avenge a regular season upset by their biggest north shore rival.

15 Marist (25-5)

Results: Defeated Brother Rice 76-61 and Curie 63-62

This Week: Wednesday vs. Bogan (4A Argo Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Lexus Williams three with two seconds left stuns Curie and gives the Redhawks their ninth win in a row.

16 Curie (25-3)

Results: Defeated Reavis 76-42; Lost to Marist 63-62

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: This was the Condors only loss to an opponent not named Simeon. 6-9 Cliff Alexander should have an outstanding junior season in 12-13.

17 Whitney Young (16-9)

Results: Defeated Richards 60-39 and St. Rita 64-56

This Week: Tuesday vs. Simeon (4A Argo Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Now that the Dolphins are starting to get healthy, can they get revenge on Simeons 62-55 win back on December 22?

18 Seton (27-4)

Results: Defeated Herscher 59-48 and Leo 48-38

This Week: Tuesday vs. Providence-St. Mel (2A Joliet Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Sting won the state championship in 2009. A well-balanced lineup could have them going back to Peoria at weeks end.

19 St. Joseph (20-8)

Results: Defeated Glenbard South 68-65 and Farragut 58-50 OT

This Week: Wednesday vs. Marshall (3A Glenbard South Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: Reggie Johnson (13 points, six steals, five blocks) and the Chargers overcame 26 points and 11 boards from Farraguts Rashaun Stimage.

20 North Chicago (21-6)

Results: Defeated Fenton 87-41 and Elmwood Park 71-54

This Week: Tuesday vs. Grayslake Central (3A Grayslake Central Sectional Semifinal)

Hoops Talk: The Warhawks, paced by Illinois State recruit Aaron Simpson, have had G-Cs number. But how will they fare on the Rams home floor?

Looming & Lurking: Wheaton St. Francis, Thornton, Metea Valley, Mundelein, St. Viator, Oak Park, Grayslake Central, Homewood-Flossmoor, Ridgewood, Niles North, Orr, De La Salle, Thornwood, Farragut, Riverside-Brookfield, North Shore Country Day, Providence-St. Mel, Hope Academy, York, Grant, Yorkville, St. Patrick.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

Is there any better way to break in your new Black Friday television than Bulls-Warriors tonight? We think not. Coverage starts at 9 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live, and the game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports app

Here are three things to keep your eye on: 

1. Not the score. Let's be honest: the Bulls probably won't sneak out a win at the Oracle. In fact, ESPN's matchup predictor only gives Fred Hoiberg's young squad a 2.9 percent chance to come up victorious. UIC has three times better odds against juggernaut Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Sunday, in case you needed some context.  

With the talent gap in mind, though, it will be important for the Bulls to come out with high energy. The Warriors will likely take the contest lightly in the first half, so starting off strong reflects well on the coaching staff and starters. Stay within 10 points by the half, and that's considered a massive triumph. 

2. Lauri Markkanen vs. Draymond Green? Assuming the Dubs start out with Green on Markkanen, this will be rookie's biggest test of the season. Green is an elite defender, capable of wrecking gameplans from the tip. He's physical, quick and athletic. 

Markkanen is coming off two duds on the West Coast trip, but his aggressiveness hasn't wavered. It'll be important for him to continue to attack even with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year hounding him. 

3. Steph, KD and Klay doin' work. The Bulls offense hasn't exactly been a thing of beauty through the first 16 games. Their offensive rating is a brutal 94.4, ranked last in the NBA. Golden State, on the other hand, sits at the top with a rating of 113.1. 

Take some time to admire the skills of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson because when it comes to working cohesively on offense, they've set the gold standard. 

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

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USA TODAY

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

Families gather and people talk about things they are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but what are Chicago sports fans happy for now?

Raised expectations on the North Side

Got to be thankful that a “disappointing” season is winning the division and losing in the NLCS. The expectations have skyrocketed, and that’s thanks to a ridiculous nucleus of bats and a steady front office. Not many clubs can say that. Also, though, it’s important to be appreciative of the Wrigley bar stretch. They may charge $8 for a Miller Lite, but it’s always a damn good party.

Javy tags, too. Don't forget Javy tags.

Rebuild sparking hope in White Sox fans

Where to begin? Obviously, be thankful for the plethora of young talent that will soon take over the South Side. Be thankful for Avi Time (while you still can). Be thankful that taking your friends or family to a game won’t cause you to take out a second mortgage. Be thankful for the 2020 World Series and, of course, 2020 MVP Eloy Jimenez. But most importantly, be thankful that Rick Hahn’s phone stays buzzing.

Eddie O back in the booth for the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are having a rough start to the season, but at least Eddie Olczyk is back in the booth. The longtime Blackhawks broadcaster returned to the booth on Oct. 18 after missing time while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer.

With some of the key names from the Blackhawks’ title runs either leaving or being unable to play this season (in the case of Marian Hossa), Blackhawks fans are probably thankful to see a familiar face and hear a familiar voice during games.

Lauri Markkanen leading the Bulls rebuild

OK, there’s not much to be thankful for about the current Bulls team. At 3-13, the Bulls are tied for the fewest wins in the NBA (maybe in the long-term that’s something to be thankful for as well). However, Zach LaVine’s pending debut after his eventual return from injury should help create some excitement.

The thing Bulls fans really should be thankful for this year is the play of rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 20-year-old leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game) while shooting at a high percentage (34.2 percent on threes and 50.6 percent on twos). It’s only the beginning of the Bulls’ rebuild, but Markkanen is a good start.

Mitchapalooza

If a few things broke the Bears’ way, Chicagoans could have been grateful that the team was finally out of the cellar. Instead, we’ll settle for the fact that there seems to be some building blocks already in place. Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks seem to fit that category. Also, some may be thankful that this is likely John Fox’s last season at the helm.

Fire ending a playoff drought

After finishing dead last in MLS in 2015 and 2016, the Fire were one of the most improved teams in the league in 2017. After posting the third best record in the league, the Fire made a first playoff appearance since 2012.

The playoff run didn’t last long with the Fire losing a play-in game at home, but the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger and the league’s leading goal-scorer, Nemanja Nikolic, helped fill the stadium with six sellouts and gave Fire fans something to cheer for.