Bulls

Saad knows he has to prove himself again

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Saad knows he has to prove himself again

Brandon Saad stood in the Johnnys IceHouse West locker room with a smile on his face. It was a confident smile from a guy whos feeling a little more comfortable entering this training camp.

Comfortable and confident. But not overly so in either category to where hes penciling himself into the Blackhawks roster.

Its not really easy, Saad said. Ive got to come in and prove myself again.

Saad has been here, done that as far as the Blackhawks summer prospect camp. But he realizes that his performance here, and in training camp, will be key to making and possibly staying with the Blackhawks this season. After all, nothing is guaranteed, no matter how upstart his performance was last season.

Its a fresh start and I have to work hard; just the comfort level is different, Saad said. Im more familiar this second time around, but theres not much feedback yet. Ill come in here and try out and I have to play well.

Saad made the opening-day roster thanks to his work ethic and productive camp. And after finishing his season with the Saginaw Spirit, Saad rejoined the Blackhawks for two playoff games against the Phoenix Coyotes. And that recall gave Saad a boost of confidence that he hopes to take with him through to this fall.

The Blackhawks brass is high on Saad, and has been since last camp. General manager Stan Bowman said last week that he expects Saad to push for a big role this season. Coach Joel Quenneville talked at the draft about the strides Saad made, even from the start of last season to when he returned for the playoffs.

Saad had visions of making and staying with the Blackhawks last season. He got a good taste of what it will take to do so.

I just keep doing my thing, thats all, Saad said. Hopefully Ill be here all year. Thats the goal, to try to work hard this summer to make that.

With Bulls-Timberwolves looming, Jimmy Butler is diagnosed with meniscus injury

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USA TODAY

With Bulls-Timberwolves looming, Jimmy Butler is diagnosed with meniscus injury

Jimmy Butler won't be facing the Bulls a second time this season.

Butler suffered a non-contact knee injury on Friday night in Houston. The initial X-ray only revealed he didn't have any broken bones, but the MRI had to wait until Saturday.

The Timberwolves announced that the MRI revealed a meniscus injury in Butler's right knee. There is not yet word on how long the All-Star guard will be out of action, but if it wasn't already assumed that he wouldn't play against the Bulls, it's now certain.

The Bulls take on the Timberwolves on Saturday night. Butler dropped 38 points at the United Center in his return to Chicago exactly two weeks ago, but the Bulls won 114-113.

Butler posted on Instagram a reaction to the injury.

Saturday's game will be the returns of Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn to Minnesota after they went the other direction in the Butler trade on draft night last June.

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

High School Lites had a busy show as it was the final week of the regular season for IHSA boys basketball Class 3A and 4A. The Class 1A and 2A playoffs also tipped in boys basketball as the show has some thrilling regional titles that were decided in the final minute. And finally, the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals were played on Friday as the state's top teams played in Bloomington.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Richards wrestler Mia Palumbo

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Simeon boys basketball

Highlights

Marshall shocks Leo in Class 2A regional final

Aurora Christian runs past Harvert Christian for 1A regional title

Buzzer-beater lifts Monticello over Gibson City for regional title

Jacobs goes unbeaten in Fox Valley with win over Dundee-Crown

West Aurora gets by rival East Aurora

Yorkville completes season sweep of DeKalb

Lemont escapes past T.F. North

Marshall needs OT to get past Teutopolis in girls 2A semifinals

Harlan takes down Eureka in 2A semifinals

Stockton runs by Okaw Valley in 1A

Schlarman races by Lebanon