Blackhawks

Word on the Street: Bulls the NBA's best secret?

Word on the Street: Bulls the NBA's best secret?

Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Bulls: Best kept secret in the NBA?

Columnist Steve Dilbeck thinks that they are. According to Dilbeck, the Spurs with the best record in the league and the Lakers as defending champs get most of the news coverage in the Western Conference. In the east, the Celtics and Heat, each with their own "big three," are the media darlings. But with a 38-16 record, and Joakim Noah ready to return after the All-Star break, he believes that the Bulls will only get better. (TheNational)

Ricketts leaves door open for Pujols

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who was in Arizona on Saturday to address the team on the first day of full-squad workouts, said that the only thing he knows about the Albert Pujols situation is "what I read in the paper."

However, he did leave the door open to a potential mega-deal for the All-Star first baseman should the Cardinals fail to sign him.

Theres going to be a little more financial flexibility at the end of the season than weve had in years past, Ricketts said. Well have to assess the situation when we get there and see whats available. The fact is, well be open-minded to what we think is best for the team when that comes up. (CSNChicago.com)

Jackson likely to start second for Sox

Barring any injuries, setbacks, or other unforseen changes, Edwin Jackson is in line to start the second game of the White Sox season on April 2 in Cleveland. Additionally, the sox have set up their rotation for the first week of Cactus League play, which begins of Feb. 28. Gavin Floyd will make the first start of the spring for the Sox, followed by Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, John Danks, and then Jake Peavy. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Williams to New York in 2012?

Right now the eyes of the New York basketball world are on Carmelo Anthony, however, in another year there may be a new name on their radar. According to sources close to former-Illini, and current-Jazz point guard Deron Williams, he has began informing those close to him that he would like to join Amar'e Staudemire in New York when he becomes a free agent in 2012.

Though, if the Knicks were to pull the trigger on a deal with Anthony, it is unlikely they would have the cap room remaining to make a deal with Williams. (cbssports.com)

Former Chicago Cardinal RB Matson passes away

Hall of Fame running back Ollie Matson, who had a 14-year NFL career and won two medals at the 1952 olympics, died at the age of 80 on Saturday. Matson was the first pick (third overall) for the Chicago Cardinals in the 1952 NFL draft.

Matson passed away due to respiratory failure, surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles. His nephew, Art Thompson, said that Matson had been mostly bedridden for several years due to a type of dementia, and had not spoken in four years. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

(Reminder: Use #AskEdzo on social media and your questions may be answered by Eddie Olczyk, who will be in studio along with Adam Burish, Brian Campbell and Pat Boyle).

1. Another fast start coming?

The Blackhawks had one of their best starts of the season Wednesday in Tampa Bay, and the numbers favor Chicago to dictate the pace of play early again.

The Panthers are tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the fewest goals scored in the first period (13), and have taken a lead into the second period only four times (3-1-0) in 21 games. They are 2-7-1 in the 10 games they've trailed after the opening frame.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are tied for fourth when it comes to first-period goals (22) — albeit, five of them came on Opening Night against Pittsburgh — but they are just 4-2-2 in eight games when leading after one period. In fact, they took a 2-0 lead into the second in their most recent game against the Lightning and lost in overtime 3-2.

So while a fast start could certainly be in the cards, the finish must also be there.

2. Take advantage on special teams.

The Panthers are one of two teams ranked among the bottom six in both power play percentage (26th at 16.0) and penalty kill percentage (30th at 73.2).

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are coming in hot in both areas. They're 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) on the man advantage in their last four games, and own the fourth-best penalty kill unit (84.8 percent).

This is the area to exploit for the Blackhawks going into the matchup, and it could decide the game.

3. Feed Lance Bouma!

In his seventh season, Bouma has faced every NHL team at least five times in his career, with the exception of Vegas (pointless in one game this season).

Bouma is not known for his offensive prowess (72 points in 325 career games), but it's a different story when he plays Florida.

In six career games against the Panthers, Bouma has one goal, six assists and a career-high plus-8 rating. That one goal also happens to be one of his six career game winners.

Florida is the only team Bouma is averaging at least a point-per-game against for his career, so you know what that means: Feed No. 17!

Did Steve Kerr troll the Bulls?

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AP

Did Steve Kerr troll the Bulls?

With Kevin Durant (ankle) and Draymond Green (rest) out, the Golden State Warriors had two starting forward positions open for Friday's game against the Bulls.

One of the two starters who replaced them? Jordan Bell. Does his name ring one, too?

Selected by the Bulls with the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Bell was eventually traded to the Warriors in exchange for cash considerations.

The Oregon product hasn't played much this season for the defending champs, averaging just 3.2 points and 8.3 minutes in 12 games, but he made his first career start against ... his "former" team. Coincidence?

Warriors coach Steve Kerr (jokingly) explained why he gave the 22-year-old rookie the nod in the lineup.

Prior to the game, Bell also had this to say about his trade:

Bell couldn't have played better in his first career start. In 26 minutes, he recorded seven points, six rebounds, six blocks and four assists in a 143-94 Warriors win over the Bulls at Oracle Arena.