Watson 'doing better', could return soon


Watson 'doing better', could return soon

MILWAUKEE -- While C.J. Watson doesnt explicitly regret returning to Sundays win at Philadelphia after spraining his left ankle in the second quarter -- his valiant fourth-quarter effort was a major reason why the Bulls staved off the 76ers -- with his injury-filled campaign, he wishes he exercised a bit more caution.

I was just playing off adrenaline, trying to get back out there. Sometimes I think it was a bad idea because my foot was worse the next day, he admitted prior to the Bulls Wednesday-morning shootaround at the Bradley Center. It still hurts a lot. I cant really put pressure on it when I walk on it, so just trying to ice it, stretch it, try to move it and do whatever I can to get back as soon as possible.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed that the backup point guard would miss Wednesdays game at Milwaukee, though he noted that Watson was doing better. Watson himself expects to return to the floor as early as Saturdays home tilt against the Jazz, if not one of next weeks primetime matchups with either New York or Miami.

If you are injured, its hard to get rest and get back on the court because the schedules so short, but everyones getting injuries, said Watson, who has also dislocated his left elbow and suffered a concussion this season. Its just part of basketball, part of the game.

If Watson takes his time in returning to the court, hell have plenty to keep him occupied away from basketball.

I have a couple of events coming up in March, said Watson, who will appear at the Public House on the night of March 13 for a March Madness event to benefit his Quiet Storm Foundation, as well as host a Black History Month Appreciation brunch at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on March 11. A black history essay contest and I have a bowling event for this girl who has brain cancer, so Im just trying to help them out and give back to the community.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling. 

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'


Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."