Bulls

Theo Epstein has strong words for lowly Cubs

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Theo Epstein has strong words for lowly Cubs

From Comcast SportsNet
CHICAGO (AP) -- Theo Epstein expected some rough stretches. He just didn't envision anything like this. A few hours after addressing his team's skid, the Chicago Cubs broke one of the longest losing streaks in franchise history, beating the San Diego Padres 11-7 on Monday. That ended a 12-game slide. The work, however, is just beginning. "I saw tough stretches, but I don't think this is indicative of the type of team we are," Epstein said before the game. "I think we're clearly better than this." Only seven times in their cursed history had the Cubs dropped 12 or more in a row, and they entered Monday's game on their worst losing streak since they started the 1997 season with a franchise-record 14 straight defeats. For all the optimism surrounding Epstein's arrival as president of baseball operations in the offseason, the results are awfully familiar. Of course, he needs time. He also realizes something needs to change. One thing that won't is the plan. Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer said they will continue to build for the future, but they don't want this season to get worse than it already is. "On both fronts, short- and long-term, there's work to do," Epstein said. "In the short term, in the trenches, there's a lot of work to do to get ourselves to a respectable level. This is a bad stretch. Just sort of appeal to the base instincts and start scrapping and keep grinding for pride. Long term, it underscores the magnitude of the job here and sort of how far we need to go to get where we want to be." On Monday, they let out a sigh of relief. A big one, at that. Not since they beat St. Louis on May 14 had they won a game, and the losses certainly were wearing on them. "We lost 10 in a row, but now that's in the past, so now we have to try to win 10 in a row," Alfonso Soriano said after collecting three hits with a home run. "We have to turn it around. You have to believe in this team because we're not that bad." The Cubs brought in Epstein and Hoyer, hoping they would help lift that championship albatross that's been hovering over them for more than a century. Chicago last won it all in 1908, when the Model T was rolling off the assembly line. With a new management team in place, there was a new sense of hope when the season began. After all, Epstein built the team that in that in 2004 ended Boston's 86-year championship drought and then won another title in 2007. For now, the Cubs are simply taking their hits. Hoyer called the losing streak "torturous" and insisted better times are ahead. Manager Dale Sveum sympathized with the players before the game, and when it was over, he made no effort to hide his relief. He played for Milwaukee in 1987 and was a part of a 12-game losing streak that year. That team ultimately finished with 91 wins. "Let's not kid yourself," said Sveum, in his first season as Cubs manager. "You lose 12 in a row, you finally win ... thank God I didn't break my streak. It's a big relief. All the guys, like I said today, you feel bad for them. It's tough. It shows you sometimes how tough it is to win a major league baseball game. Then to lose 12 in a row ... hopefully something like that gets everything going, the bats." Hoyer called the skid "a really painful bump that we're going through right now on the way to get there." The starting pitching, with Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster leading the way, has been solid. The bullpen has been a mess, repeatedly blowing games. Carlos Marmol lost his job as the closer, and Kerry Wood struggled before retiring. At the plate, things haven't been much better. Only three major league teams scored fewer runs entering Monday and with a .244 average, the Cubs ranked 21st. "We're losing right now and teams are beating us and we're on this kind of a streak, and it seems like a bad dream," said Bryan LaHair, one of the few bright spots in the lineup with a .312 average and 10 homers. "But if you're not becoming more hungry to want to win and go on 12-game winning streaks, then I don't know. I know it's what it's doing to me." He said it's not tough to show up at the ballpark. It is tough to leave during a stretch like this. "It beats you down more after the game than before because you've lost," LaHair said. It's not what Soriano envisioned when he signed that 136 million, eight-year contract before the 2007 season. He thought he was going to help the Cubs capture that elusive championship, and they came close, making the playoffs during his first two years. Since then, they've been on a steady decline and so has the veteran slugger. "Sometimes, it's like hard to believe where we are right now," Soriano said. "We played so good. And the last 12 games, we're nothing." Hoyer said the Cubs are "very open" to making changes, but they don't want to be "dumping guys off just to make a point." They would probably love to trade Soriano, but finding takers is not easy. Dempster has an expiring contract and might be attractive to a contender. Garza might be, too. He's eligible for arbitration after the season, and the Cubs might want to keep the 28-year-old. "When you rip the scab off, sometimes there's some pain until we grow some new skin," Epstein said. "We're going places. This is a tough road."

NBC Sports Chicago announces Bulls expanded season-long multi-platform coverage details

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NBC Sports Chicago announces Bulls expanded season-long multi-platform coverage details

NBC Sports Chicago’s 46-Game Bulls Regular Season Game Schedule gets underway with the 2017-18 SEASON OPENER at the Eastern Conference rival Toronto Raptors this Thursday, October 19!

Live streaming coverage of EVERY Regular Season Bulls telecast on NBC Sports Chicago – including all Pre/Post-Game Shows –

to be made available to authenticated subscribers on NBCSportsChicago.com and via the NBC Sports app!

SEASON OPENER coverage on October 19 to feature morning practice updates on Facebook Live, “SportsTalk Live,” “Bulls Pre/Postgame Live,”

a new Bulls season preview PODCAST, plus - expanded social media coverage via every NBC Sports Chicago portal all day/night!

NEW THIS SEASON: NBC Sports Chicago to carry “Bulls Pre/Postgame Live” before/after EVERY GAME (including all games airing on WGN and ESPN)!

NEW THIS SEASON: Bulls Legend/Four-Time NBA Champion HORACE GRANT to join NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls Coverage Team!

NBCSportsChicago.com to feature in-depth reporting from Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill; Live Coverage of Every Postgame Press Conference,

“BullsTalk Podcasts,” Expanded Game Highlights, plus 24/7 Twitter updates from NBC Sports Chicago’s crew of Bulls experts and much more!

“Bulls Season Preview” special airs TONIGHT at 9:30 PM CT!

Chicago, IL (October 17, 2017)NBC Sports Chicago, the multi-platform home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Bulls, is once again ready to deliver another thrill-packed season of NBA excitement with 46 live regular season Bulls games, which includes live streaming to authenticated subscribers via NBCSportsChicago.com and the NBC Sports app.  NBC Sports Chicago is also announcing the addition of Bulls legend/four-time NBA Champion HORACE GRANT to its Bulls coverage team, plus – for the first time ever – LIVE pre/postgame coverage for EVERY Bulls telecast (including games airing on WGN and ESPN), and much more!

The 2017-18 Chicago Bulls regular season on NBC Sports Chicago gets underway with the SEASON OPENER at the Eastern Conference rival Toronto Raptors on Thursday, October 19 with expanded, day-long multi-platform coverage; note the following details (all non-game programming also available to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers 24/7 at NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive):

  • (MORNING) Breakfast with the Bulls – NBC Sports Chicago will get the day started with an early morning Bulls practice report from the Air Canada Centre.  Hosted by NBCSportsChicago.com’s Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill, Breakfast with the Bulls will be streamed “exclusively” on Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago). Interviews with Bulls players/coaches can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago’s Facebook page later in the morning.
  • (THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON/EVENING)In addition to Facebook (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) and Twitter (@NBCSChicago & @NBCSBulls), NBC Sports Chicago’s social media outlets will provide fans with a multitude of Opening Night “Sights & Sounds” moments from ‘NBCSChicago’ via Instagram and Instagram Stories. Plus, fans can look forward to a brand new “Season Preview” Bulls Talk PODCAST (NBCSportsChicago.com/podcasts) hosted by the network’s team of Bulls experts.
  • 5:00 PM – “5 at 5” on Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) – Fans can look forward to a special Bulls Opening Night preview on NBC Sports Chicago’s popular “5 at 5” segment on Facebook Live featuring Bulls Pre/Postgame Live host Mark Schanowski, studio analysts/former Bulls standouts Kendall Gill and Will Perdue, along with Bulls digital reporter/producer Mark Strotman discussing the Top 5 hottest Bulls/NBA topics heading into the season opener in Toronto.
  • 5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado Special Bulls Opening Night pre-game edition featuring discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan and a panel of Bulls/NBA experts.
  • 6:00 PM – Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light – Opening Night coverage gets underway with Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light featuring host Mark Schanowski, along with analysts Kendall Gill and Will Perdue.  In addition to up-to-the-minute pre-game reports from NBCSportsChicago.com’s Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill from Air Canada Centre, this half-hour show will feature a complete player match-up breakdown, interviews with Bulls players and coaches, along with a look around the league at additional games taking place during the NBA’s opening week of action.
  • 6:30 PM – 2017/18 NBA SEASON OPENER – Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors – Featuring the always-entertaining announcing tandem – entering their 10th season together – of Neil Funk and Stacey King.  ALSO – NBC Sports Chicago will carry Metro PCS Bulls Halftime Live on a special Facebook Live segment (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) featuring Schanowski, Gill, and Perdue, which will urge fans to send along their comments and questions to the studio team.
  • 9:00 PM – Sprint Bulls Postgame Live (time approx.) – Hosted by Schanowski, Gill, and Perdue, Sprint Bulls Postgame Live will provide fans with a thorough game recap/highlights/analysis, plus live post-game press conferences and player interviews, along with preview of the Bulls home opener on Saturday vs. San Antonio.
  • 9:30 PM – In the Loop presented by GMC (time approx.)  Expanded “Opening Night” recap, along with the latest hot topics, highlights, and can’t miss videos from the day in sports.
  • 12:30 AM – Bulls at Toronto (game replay)

In addition to its Season Opener coverage, NBC Sports Chicago has announced it will begin providing its viewers with surrounding Bulls Pre/Postgame Live coverage for EVERY game (home and road) on the Bulls schedule, which includes local broadcast Bulls telecasts airing on WGN-TV, along with exclusive national games airing on ESPN.  These additional airings of Bulls Pre/Postgame Live will feature primary host Mark Schanowski and primary analyst Kendall Gill, along with Will Perdue for a number of select non-NBC Sports Chicago Bulls game telecasts.  NOTE: Due to live game programming airing on the main NBC Sports Chicago channel location on occasion, a number of Bulls Pre/Postgame Live editions will air on the network’s alternate channel, NBC Sports Chicago+.

ALSO – beginning this season, NBC Sports Chicago welcomes its newest studio analyst as Bulls legend/four-time NBA Champion HORACE GRANT joins the Bulls Pre/Postgame Live crew for a number of select games on the network’s Bulls season schedule.  Grant, known for his trademark on-court goggles, spent 17 standout seasons in the NBA as one of the league’s dominant power forwards and helped guide the Bulls with his fellow teammates Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen to three consecutive NBA titles (1991, 1992, 1993). 

Throughout the season, EVERY Bulls game telecast airing on NBC Sports Chicago, including surrounding Bulls Pre/Postgame Live coverage, will be accessible live via NBCSportsChicago.com and the NBC Sports app to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  For a full list of carriers and more information about NBC Sports Chicago’s live streaming service of Bulls games, viewers are urged to visit the following link: nbcsportschicago.com/live-faq

In addition, airing TONIGHT at 9:30 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago, Bulls fans can look forward to a special sneak preview of the 2017-18 NBA season with the Bulls Season Preview presented by Coors Light special.  Hosted by Schanowski, along with analysts Gill, Perdue, and Goodwill, this half-hour special, filled with player/coaches interviews and detailed season preview analysis, will provide viewers with a comprehensive look at this year’s Bulls roster and all the off-season trades & acquisitions that will have fans ready to go for the Opening Night tip-off.  The Bulls Season Preview special is also scheduled to re-air tonight at 10:30 PM.

In addition to its live stream of every NBC Sports Chicago Bulls game telecast, NBCSportsChicago.com will also provide fans with even more exclusive Bulls content throughout the season including the following:

  • NBCSportsChicago.com will stream EVERY Bulls home postgame press conference LIVE providing insider access to head coach Fred Hoiberg.
  • Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill returns for his third full season on the beat. Follow him on Twitter @vgoodwill for the latest team/player news and inside access 24/7. Bulls digital reporter/producer Mark Strotman (@markstrot) will also provide Bulls and NBA reports/features on the beat with Goodwill. Follow @NBCSBulls on Twitter for full team coverage, giveaways, fan photos and game day news throughout the 2017-18 NBA campaign.
  • Video highlights from every Bulls game, including in-game highlights at halftime.  Pre-game interviews from team practices will also be provided, as well as extensive post-game reaction from the locker room and analysis from the “Sprint Bulls Postgame Live” team. Fans can also check out the network’s fast-paced “Bulls in 60 presented by Sprint,” a comprehensive highlight package on NBCSportsChicago.com and across the network’s social media channels.
  • Weekly analytical features chronicling the Bulls and league-wide data of interest including the “Honda Road Ahead” and “NBA Power Rankings,” presented by WOW!
  • “Bulls Talk PODCAST” – Featuring Bulls Pre/Postgame Live host Mark Schanowski, analyst Kendall Gill, “Insider” Vincent Goodwill, digital reporter/producer Mark Strotman, and an array of special guests, NBC Sports Chicago’s “Bulls Talk” podcast features in-depth Bulls discussion on the hottest topics and breaking news throughout the season. Fans can download all of NBC Sports Chicago’s podcasts at NBCSportsChicago.com/podcasts and simply subscribe to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.
  • Push Alerts: NBC Sports Chicago will deliver Bulls push notifications for breaking team and player news, “Insider” reports, plus game reminder alerts via NBC Sports Chicago’s SportsTalk app for iOS and Android devices.
  • BullsTalk (NBCSportsChicago.com/Bulls) - NBCSportsChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Bulls news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and social media aggregation. BullsTalk contains interactive content with continually updated insights from the network’s talent, which includes the #BullsTalk podcast.
  • Fans can also follow and connect with NBC Sports Chicago’s extensive Bulls coverage on Facebook (including numerous “Facebook Live” segments with NBC Sports Chicago talent), Instagram and Snapchat at ‘NBCSChicago’

 

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

NBCSportsChicago.com/NBC Sports app

2017 - 2018 Chicago Bulls Schedule

REGULAR SEASON

  1. Thu, Oct 19          @ Toronto                                6:30 pm         SEASON OPENER!
  2. Tue, Oct. 24         @ Cleveland                             6:00 pm
  3. Wed, Nov. 1         @ Miami                                  6:30 pm
  4. Sat, Nov. 4           vs. New Orleans                       7:00 pm        
  5. Fri, Nov. 10          vs. Indiana                               7:00 pm        
  6. Sat, Nov. 11         @ San Antonio                         7:30 pm
  7. Wed, Nov. 15       @ Oklahoma City                     7:00 pm
  8. Sun, Nov. 19        @ Phoenix                               7:00 pm
  9. Wed, Nov. 22       @ Utah                                    8:00 pm         NBCSCH+
  10. Fri, Nov. 24          @ Golden State                        9:30 pm
  11. Fri, Dec. 1            vs. Sacramento                        7:00 pm
  12. Wed, Dec. 6         @ Indiana                                6:00 pm        
  13. Fri, Dec. 8            @ Charlotte                              6:00 pm
  14. Fri, Dec. 15          @ Milwaukee                            7:00 pm
  15. Mon, Dec. 18        vs. Philadelphia                         7:00 pm
  16. Wed, Dec. 20       vs. Orlando                              7:00 pm
  17. Sat, Dec. 23         @ Boston                                 6:30 pm
  18. Tue, Dec. 26        @ Milwaukee                            7:00 pm        
  19. Wed, Dec. 27       vs. New York                            7:00 pm
  20. Sun, Dec. 31        @ Washington                          2:30 pm
  21. Wed, Jan. 3          vs. Toronto                               7:00 pm
  22. Fri, Jan. 5             @ Dallas                                  7:30 pm         NBCSCH+
  23. Mon, Jan. 8          vs. Houston                              7:00 pm        
  24. Wed, Jan. 10        @ New York                             6:30 pm
  25. Mon, Jan. 15        vs. Miami                                 2:30 pm        
  26. Mon, Jan. 22        @ New Orleans                        7:00 pm
  27. Fri, Jan. 26           vs. Los Angeles Lakers             7:00 pm
  28. Sun, Jan. 28         vs. Milwaukee                           2:30 pm        
  29. Wed, Jan. 31        @ Portland                               9:00 pm
  30. Sat, Feb. 3           @ Los Angeles Clippers            2:30 pm
  31. Wed, Feb. 14       vs. Toronto                               7:00 pm
  32. Thu, Feb. 22         vs. Philadelphia                         7:00 pm
  33. Tue, Feb. 27         @ Charlotte                              6:00 pm
  34. Mon, Mar. 5         vs. Boston                                7:00 pm
  35. Wed, Mar. 7         vs. Memphis                             7:00 pm
  36. Tue, Mar. 13        vs. Los Angeles Clippers           7:00 pm
  37. Sat, Mar. 17         vs. Cleveland                            7:00 pm        
  38. Wed, Mar. 21       vs. Denver                                7:00 pm
  39. Fri, Mar. 23          vs. Milwaukee                           7:00 pm
  40. Sat, Mar. 24         @ Detroit                                 6:00 pm        
  41. Fri, Mar. 30          @ Orlando                               6:00 pm
  42. Sun, Apr. 1           vs. Washington                         2:30 pm
  43. Tue, Apr. 3           vs. Charlotte                             7:00 pm
  44. Sat, Apr. 7            vs. Brooklyn                             7:00 pm
  45. Mon, Apr. 9          @ Brooklyn                              6:30 pm
  46. Wed, Apr. 11        vs. Detroit                                7:00 pm

23 Home, 23 Road regular season games

Total: 46 games

All Times Central Time

Schedule Subject to Change

20 crazy (or are they...?) predictions for the NBA season

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USA TODAY

20 crazy (or are they...?) predictions for the NBA season

1. The Golden State Warriors will be better than ever this season and will repeat as NBA champions...but will have big time bumps on the road in the Western Conference.

2. Kevin Durant will be better and win his second Most Valuable Player award, even though Steph Curry is still the arbiter for Golden State’s culture.

3. LeBron James will add to his resume as being one of the top five players ever, if not higher, but won’t catch Michael Jordan for total MVPs (five)...

4. ...and Cleveland had better enjoy him this year, because come July, he’s headed out of Ohio.

5. Speaking of headed out of town, a coach will be fired after a year of leaguewide stability, for an underachieving team in the underachieving Eastern Conference...

6. ...In other words, Fred Hoiberg is safe!

7. The Eastern Conference tank-a-thon will be both ugly and necessary for a couple teams in desperate need of lottery luck, including the Bulls.

8. One of the tank-a-thon teams won’t have the stomach for the losing and will make a panic move, especially when incoming college stars Michael Porter Jr or Marvin Bagley show the slightest signs of struggling.

9. Lonzo Ball will look like a point guard in the mold of Jason Kidd, a guy everyone will flock to play with...and not even LaVar Ball can screw that up.

10. But he’ll try because he won’t shut up...and we’ll never stop listening.

10. Dennis Smith Jr. will be the best incoming rookie, but Ben Simmons will win Rookie of the Year in Philadelphia.

11. Kyrie Irving will formally enter the conversation as one of the league’s best point guards, in part because Brad Stevens will help him become a better facilitator...

12. Irving is (bear with me Chicago’s own Isiah Thomas) the greatest scorer in terms of skill set from the point guard spot in the history of the league

13. For different reasons, Russell Westbrook and James Harden will struggle with their new “helpful” teammates…But will be hell on earth in a seven-game series.

14. Remember this name: Caris Levert from the Brooklyn Nets.

15. Giannis Antetokounmpo was on my top-five MVP ballot last season…he’ll be higher this time around.

16. Jabari Parker will be traded from the Bucks this year, perhaps before he returns from injury…

17. Big names will be on the trading block from the center spot: DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside and Andre Drummond.

18. Drummond, though, will have a bounceback year in Detroit and improve from the free-throw line.

19. This year will prove the Bulls didn’t get enough in trading Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves (or TimberBulls/TimberTibs)...

20. But Zach LaVine will show he’s more than deserving of a max contract when he returns from injury.