Preps Talk

Word on the Street: Bulls set CSN ratings record

Word on the Street: Bulls set CSN ratings record

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Bulls win over Hornets sets CSN ratings record

After big wins against the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls fans are apparently more excited than ever about their team. On Monday, Comcast SportsNet recorded it's best-ever numbers for a Bulls game as the Bulls topped the New Orleans Hornets 85-77. The game recorded a 7.21 household rating. The previous record for a bulls game was 6.35 on April 30, 2009; a triple-overtime victory over the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Hawks talking trash?

According to a story in the Toronto Sun, the Chicago Blackhawks had some unkind words for Brendan Morrison. Morrison was injured in last Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks and, according to him, some Blackhawk players were talking trash while he was on his way to the bench.

I dont know if they understand exactly what was going on, Morrison said. Some young guys were standing and yelling. I dont think it was very professional. They will learn." (Toronto Sun)

Greinke likely to start year on DL

The new Milwaukee Brewer ace Zack Greinke will likely begin his first season with the team on the disabled list due to a fractured right rib. Greinke suffered the injury while playing basketball over the offseason. The initial X-rays came back negative, but an MRI conducted on Monday showed a hairline fracture on one rib and a bruise on a second.

"I've been doing this playing basketball for a couple years now, and people are always saying, 'You're going to get hurt,'" Greinke said. "It finally caught up to me."
(MLB.com)

Northwestern's Bryant to visit with Bears

Northwestern defensive tackle Corbin Bryant is scheduled to meet with the Chicago Bears following his Pro Day workout session today. Bryant is reported to have ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times. Bryant, who is considered a rising draft prospect, is also scheduled to meet with the Jacksonville Jaguars. (National Football Post)

Tiki Barber to come out of retirement?

Sports Illustrated is reporting that Tiki Barber has told the NFL of his plans to come out of retirement and play in the 2011 season. Barber, 36, retired in 2007 after 10 seasons with the New York Giants. The Giants have confirmed that Barber has contacted them, asking to be removed from the reserve-retirement list and that they plan to release him once the league allows it - after a new CBA is in place.

Since retiring, Barber has been surrounded by controversy in both his personal and professional life. During his time as a correspondent with The Today Show and Football Night in America, he made headlines for being critical of his former coach, Tom Coughlin, and his former quarterback, Eli Manning. In his personal life, he left his wife of 11 years in April 2010 for a 23-year-old former-NBC intern. (Sports Illustrated)

Gayle admits to relationship Yang

Former-Bear Shaun Gayle admitted from the witness stand on Tuesday that he had sex with Marni Yang the night before she allegedly killed another woman, who was carrying Gayle's baby. Gayle also described how he was questioned for 10 hours by Deerfield police on the day in October 2007 that his pregnant girlfriend, Rhondi Reuter, was found shot to death in her condo. (ChicagoBreakingNews)

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

CLASS 1A

Revealing the Class 1A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 1A Bracket

CLASS 2A

Revealing the Class 2A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 2A Bracket

CLASS 3A

Revealing the Class 3A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 3A Bracket

CLASS 4A

Revealing the Class 4A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 4A Bracket

Predicting Class 1A-4A

CLASS 5A

Revealing the Class 5A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 5A Bracket

CLASS 6A

Revealing the Class 6A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 6A Bracket

CLASS 7A

Revealing the Class 7A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 7A Bracket

CLASS 8A

Revealing the Class 8A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 8A Bracket

Class 7A and Class 8A Predictions

 

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

Keeping the game simple is often a tough task for rookies entering the NBA, but it seems Lauri Markkanen has been a quick learner in that aspect.

Through two games he’s probably the lone bright spot, especially after the Bulls’ cringe-inducing 87-77 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in their home opener at the United Center.

Jumper not falling? Okay, go to the basket.

“It wasn’t falling so I tried to get to the rim a couple times,” Markkanen said. “At the end, I was like let’s do it and I connected on a 3-pointer, I felt more open just because I was at the rim. I think that helped.”

He was asked what the difference was in the second game of his career compared to the first.

“I mean the crowd was chanting for us (tonight),” Markkanen said, referring to Thursday in Toronto.

He wasn’t attempting to display any dry wit but applying common sense seems to work for him, even though he’s been thrust into a situation after an incident that doesn’t make any sense.

With Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic out for the foreseeable future, playing a game-high 37 minutes will be more common than anomaly.

“Whatever your minutes are, you gotta play them to the best of your ability,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s being allowed to play through some mistakes right now. He’s gonna play heavy minutes every night.”

He only shot five of 14 but achieved his first double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds after a 17-point, eight-rebound debut against the Raptors Thursday.

No, someone didn’t open a door for a draft to come into the United Center on that three-pointer that went wide left, but it didn’t stop him from being assertive and continuing to look for his shot.

There was plenty of muck, easy to see on the stat sheet. The 38 percent shooting overall, the lack of penetration, the 29 percent shooting from 3-point range and 20 turnovers.

It’s not hard to imagine what Markkanen will look like with competent and effective NBA players around him, along with a true facilitating point guard that will find him in this offense.

“Markkanen is a wonderful player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s aggressive, he’s smart and obviously, he can shoot the ball. He’s just going to get better and better as he figures things out.”

He received a crash course, facing the likes of Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay Saturday night. On one instance, Gay drove baseline and made Markkanen buckle with a 3-point play.

Aldridge had 24 shots in 32 minutes as a new focal point with Kawhi Leonard out with injury.

So he’s not getting treated with kid gloves, nor is he backing down from the assignments.

“He didn’t shoot the ball well but he battled,” Hoiberg said. “He had a tough assignment with Pau, who’s gonna be in the Hall of Fame one day. Good experience. He guarded Aldridge, Rudy Gay some. He battled, he fought them.”

Even with the airball, had the moment that gives the Bulls fans hope, when he drove on Gasol, spun and hooked a lefty layup while being fouled by the veteran in the first half—giving the United Center faithful something to have faith in for a moment.

“Sometimes you get labeled as a shooter. That’s the label Lauri had,” Hoiberg said. “But he really is a complete basketball player. He’s versatile, he can put in on the deck. He slides his feet very well for a guy that’s seven feet tall, someone his age. Yeah, he’s learning on the fly. He’s gonna have ups and downs, as young as he is. He’s gonna have some struggles at times. But he’s played pretty darn well for everything he’s been through, understanding two days ago he’s gonna be in the starting lineup.”

And for all the bad air around the Bulls right now, from the on-court product to the off-court drama that seems to follow them around like Pigpen, it would be even worse if Markkanen’s first two games had him looking like a corpse, or someone who would be a couple years away from reasonably contributing to an NBA team.

“He’s good, he’s very good,” Gasol said. “I like him. I like his game.”