Bulls

NBA Power Rankings: Knicks No. 1?

940289.png

NBA Power Rankings: Knicks No. 1?

By Tony Andracki & Mark Strotman

Each Monday throughout the regular season, Mark Strotman and Tony Andracki will rank all 30 NBA teams. Below are Week 2 Power Rankings. Think we're way off? Agree with our picks? Hit us up on Twitter at@BullsTalkCSNwith comments or criticisms.
Past rankings: Preseason Week 1

Tony
MarkComments1
Tony: Wow. Never thought I'd lead off with NY.
Mark: LeBron put on one for the ages vs. Houston
2
Tony: Huh. Maybe age won't ever catch up to them.
Mark: Duncan may never slow down.
3
Tony: Ray Allen a perfect fit in South Beach.
Mark: Still the NBA's only undefeated.
4
Tony: Kevin Martin replacing Harden admirably.
Mark: Ibaka has an offensive game. Look out.
5
Tony: Griffin's numbers have generally declined each year.
Mark: Still the best team in Los Angeles.
6
Tony: They'll be fine. Stop freaking out.
Mark: No Mayo hasn't hurt Memphis' sandwich.7
Tony: D-Will looks rejuvenated. Could be in MVP talks.
Mark:4-game win streak had Denver rolling before Phoenix loss.8
Tony: Rondo has taken his game to another level.
Mark: D'Antoni will do wonders for a team with great individual defenders.
9
Tony: Very solid team. Z-Bo is back with a vengeance.
Mark: 2-game road win streak has them back on track.
10
Tony: Coming off a week with two tough losses.
Mark: Jennings continues to roll in contract year.
11
Tony: Holiday is on fire, but Bynum news a big blow.
Mark: If Hinrich's out, defense suffers big time.
12
Tony: They just need a bit more time to gel.
Mark: Brook Lopez benefitting early.
13
Tony: JenningsEllis learning how to co-exist?
Mark: They're winning, and Love return on the horizon.
14
Tony: And suddenly, Bulls may be favorites in Central again.
Mark: Bynum news (out until January) is huge.
15
Tony: Teague improved, but needs to jump to another level.
Mark: Injuries really piling up in the front court.
16
Tony: Mayo on fire, but can he be a No. 2 option when Dirk returns?
Mark: Always good to win a triple-overtime game.
17
Tony: Bogut's health could damper playoff aspirations.
Mark: Horford healthy and looking great.
18
Tony: Injuries are decimating a decent team.
Mark: Granger to miss 3 months. Paging Paul George.
19
Tony: At least Mo Williams is looking good.
Mark: Huge win over the Nuggets on Monday.
20
Tony: Who said Omer couldn't play offense?
Mark: Anthony Davis didn't miss a step post-concussion.
21
Tony: Gortat is a monster, but he and Dragic need help.
Mark: Maybe Asik is worth 25 million.
22
Tony: Seriously, no depth. Injury to starter would derail this team.
Mark: Tough schedule last week, but they've lost 4 straight.
23
Tony: Surprisingly hot start, but won't last.
Mark: Klay Thompson's shooting needs to improve, and it will.
24
Tony: My boy Kemba is turning into a star.
Mark: Kemba Walker early favorite for most improved player.
25
Tony: Kyrie has gone to next level, but not much of a supporting cast.
Mark: Lowry could be out another week.
26
Tony: Lowry injury allows them to showcase Calderon for trades.
Mark: 2-0 start may have been a mirage.
27
Tony: And...there it is. This is more like what I expected.
Mark: Waiters is starting to really get it going.
28
Tony: Cousins is a child. But a very talented child.
Mark: See: last week. Cousins hasn't grown up.
29
Tony: Hasn't Seraphin earned more minutes?
Mark: Bradley Beal looking like the right pick.
30
Tony: Laughable start to the season. Ouch.
Mark: How have they not won with Greg Monroe?

Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

11-24_gsw_matchup_nba_chi_blank.jpg

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

chicago-thankful.jpg
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.