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Bulls morning roundup

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Bulls morning roundup

With yesterdays rout of the Charlotte Bobcats, the Bulls focus was already on their series-finale matchup with the Miami Heat.

Luol Deng and Derrick Rose sat out against Charlotte, but Coach Tom Thibodeau remained optimistic that the two All-Stars could rejoin the lineup tonight in Miami.

Richard Hamilton scored 24 points in Wednesdays win and is finding his rhythm at the right time.

Adding to the Bobcats futility was an incident between Coach Paul Silas and forward Tyrus Thomas.

What does Jeremy Lin have in common with President Barack Obama? Besides both being Harvard alumni, both help complete Times Magazine list of the 100 most influential people.

With less than a handful of games remaining, Thibodeau wants his team to play with more of a sense of urgency in preparation for the postseason.

The Boston Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division with a win yesterday, but the Big Three was nearly broken up with a tread deadline deal that fell apart.

Derrick Rose has missed more time on the court this season more than he has in his entire basketball career, but hes keeping a positive attitude with the postseason nearing.

ICYMI: Bears clinch NFC North, Zach LaVine suffers ankle injury, Crawford suffers another concussion

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: Bears clinch NFC North, Zach LaVine suffers ankle injury, Crawford suffers another concussion

The Bears clinched the NFC North on Sunday, the Bulls picked up a big comeback win despite missing an injured Zach LaVine and Corey Crawford was diagnosed with a concussion after exiting Sunday's game due to injury. Here's what you may have missed from Chicago sports over the weekend:

Bears

There was no comeback to be had for Aaron Rodgers and Co. this time around. The Bears took down the Packers 24-17, ending an eight-game home losing streak vs. Green Bay. The Bears clinched their first NFC North title since 2010 with the victory, which Jordan Howard successfully predicted in February.

Winning the division should be celebrated, but the Bears have a bigger goal in mind. And when it comes to putting Sunday's game into a larger perspective, is the Bears' division title the beginning of the end for the Packers, or the end of the beginning for the Bears? 

Off the field, Mitchell Trubisky made quite the appearance when he arrived at Soldier Field, rocking a sweet ugly Christmas sweater. On the field, though, Trubisky laid a blueprint for the Bears' playoff success.

In less positive news, Eddie Jackson suffered an ankle sprain after intercepting Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter. The throw was Rodgers' first interception in more than 400 attempts, but coming at the expense of Jackson's health is less-than ideal. The Bears will know more about Jackson's status in the next few days.

In more positive news, the Bears' resiliency was on full-display Sunday. After botching a fake-punt (which led to the Packers tying the score at 14-all), the Bears bounced back and outscored Green Bay 10-7 the rest of the game.

Also, Khalil Mack sacked Aaron Rodgers with his back, while Charles Leno Jr. proposed to his girlfriend after the game. Sunday was quite an eventful day at Soldier Field.

On the latest Under Center Podcast, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte and Laurence Holmes break down the Bears' win and look ahead to the playoffs.

Bulls

Thursday night, ESPN reported that the Bulls plan to drop forward and Chicago-native Jabari Parker from their rotation. And true to the report, Parker played just four minutes Thursday against the Magic and zero minutes Saturday against the Spurs.

On the latest Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and David Watson discuss Jabari Parker’s removal from the rotation and the impact it has now and in the offseason.

So, what's next for Parker and the Bulls? The team is reportedly engaging in trade talks surrounding Parker; here are three trades that could make sense from the Bulls' perspective.

Without Parker, the Bulls picked up an impressive comeback win in San Antonio. Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen showed the potential of the Bulls' young core, though they were without LaVine.

The Bulls' lead scoring suffered an ankle injury and is out through Monday's game against the Thunder, at least. Dunn will look to build off his late-game heroics from Saturday on Monday against Oklahoma City.

Meeting Michael Jordan for the first time was "godly" for a 16-year-old LeBron James, while Joakim Noah said he was "too lit" to play in New York for the Knicks.

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks lost both of their games this weekend, though they received far worse news: Corey Crawford suffered a concussion after hitting his head in a collision in the crease Sunday. He left the game in the first period and ultimately did not return.

Defenseman Jan Rutta cleared waivers and was assigned to the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL. Injured defenseman Brandon Davidson is close to returning from a knee injury, but the team has a logjam on defense that makes one wonder where Davidson will fit in.

A Blackhawks fan successfully proposed to his girlfriend Friday at the Blackhawks/Jets game, a night where the team's mascot was reportedly attacked.

Sunday, a reported surfaced that said Joel Quennville will become the Flyers' head coach. Both Quenneville and the Flyers denied the report, however.

Is Dylan Strone key to the Blackhawks' success? David Kaplan and Co. discussed that and more on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast.

Cubs 

NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs beat writer Tony Andracki offered his seven takeaways from last week's Winter Meetings. Also, Andracki, Kaplan and Luke Stuckmeyer recap what they learned about the Cubs following the meetings on the latest Cubs Talk Podcast.

The Cubs will also reportedly send a scout to watch former-Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's workout.

White Sox

The White Sox reportedly will meet with Manny Machado this coming week, as will the Yankees. Which team has the best sales pitch for the All-Star infielder?

In non-Bryce Harper/Machado news, the White Sox reportedly signed catcher James McCann and officially acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians. Alonso is Machado's brother-in-law, interestingly enough.

The White Sox will likely shut down top prospect Eloy Jimenez until Spring Training due to a quad injury.

Watch: Bears celebrate beating Packers, winning the NFC North at "Club Dub"

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USA TODAY

Watch: Bears celebrate beating Packers, winning the NFC North at "Club Dub"

Celebrations were in order for the Bears following their 24-17 victory over the Packers on Sunday. Not only did the win clinch the NFC North championship for the Bears, but it also essentially squashed any playoff hopes held by the Packers.

As they do after every win, the Bears celebrated at "Club Dub" (located in their locker room) after the game. Based on a video posted on the team's official Twitter account, the team sure knows how to win and have fun doing so. Take a look:

It's lit, as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky would say. NBC Sports Chicago's Bears beat writer J. J. Stankevitz offered a reaction likely shared by most Bears fans.

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