Bulls try to stop Rondo's run at history on CSN


Bulls try to stop Rondo's run at history on CSN

The Bulls will have an attempt to halt history in the making tonight when they host Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics tonight at the United Center on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.
Rondo dished out 10 assists Friday night in a win against the Bucks, giving him 10 assists or more in 30 straight games, the third longest streak in NBA history. Rondo trails only Hall of Famers Magic Johnson (46, 1982-'83) and John Stockton (37; 1988-'89) on this prestigious list, and he may be happy to see Chicago next on the schedule.
In 22 career games (21 starts) Rondo has averaged 9.4 assists per game against the Bulls. That's his second highest average against any team in the East, behind only Miami (9.9 in 21 games).
The Bulls enter tonight's matchup allowing 19.8 assists per game, the seventh best mark in the league, and starting point guards are averaging just 4.6 assists per game. Only Russell Westbrook (12) has handed out double-digit assists against the Bulls, but they may have to go against Rondo without point guard Kirk Hinrich, who strained his hip Friday against the Timberwolves.
In Game 6 of the 2009 First Round Playoffs, Rondo threw Hinrich into the scorer's table and started a scrum on the court. It's a good bet that Hinrich will try his best to get back for his first game against Rondo back in Chicago.
Rondo has added six games to his list this season, made more impressive because he's doing so without sharpshooter Ray Allen on the perimeter. The NBA's all-time leading 3-point shooter signed with Miami this offseason, and so far Courtney Lee and Jason Terry have produced mixed results as Allen's replacement.
Lee (5.0 points, 41.9 percent) and Terry (11.7 points, 50 percent) have lacked consistency, and because of that the Celtics have been forced to rely on their Big Three of Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
But Boston's decision to move Garnett to center, with Brandon Bass and first round draft pick Jared Sullinger manning the power forward spot, has been up-and-down. The Celtics have been outscored by 13 points in the paint through six games, and the loss of reserve center Greg Stiemsma looms large in the middle.
That's good news for Joakim Noah, whose 15.0 points per game this year is easily a career-high. He's been efficient, is making his free throws at a career rate and should continue his offensive pace tonight. Noah has always played Boston with an extra chip on his shoulder after his memorable steal-and-dunk on Paul Pierce in triple-overtime of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, making him a likely game-changer for the Bulls.
Carlos Boozer also needs a rebound game after failing to make a field goal for the first time since 2003 on Friday against Minnesota. It's been a roller coaster of a year for Boozer, who will match up with Bass, who can defend from 15-feet out. Boozer's best chance may be working inside, where the Celtics have struggled thus far in 2012.
Past point guard, where the Bulls may struggled without Hinrich, the Bulls and Celtics match up perfectly in just about every category. Two defensive-minded, hard-working teams flying under the radar in the Eastern Conference are still showing they can be contenders.
The Celtics have won three of four after an 0-2 start, and the Bulls will want to leave Chicago on a high note before their six-game circus road trip. There's a chance these two teams are battling for playoff position late in the season, so tonight's game may have more implications than simply an added tally in the win column.

Brian Urlacher misses Top 10 of all-time Bears list


Brian Urlacher misses Top 10 of all-time Bears list

Brian Urlacher played his way into the pantheon of Bears linebackers and the Hall of Fame over his 13-year career in Chicago, leaving no question he belongs among the all-time greats.

Where he stacks up with the best of the best in team history is still up for debate.

Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson ranked the top 100 players in franchise history for the team’s official site, and Urlacher fell outside of the top 10.

Urlacher came in one spot ahead of fellow legendary linebacker Mike Singletary, but the greats of pre-merger era earned many of the top spots on the list.

Dick Butkus came in second to only Walter Payton, while old school legends Bill George and Bulldog Turner ranked seventh and eighth, respectively.

It’s difficult to compare linebackers that played 50 years apart, especially when stacking them up with players at other positions.

Urlacher is still near the top of the list of the best Bears ever. They just have so many all-time greats, the likes of Dan Hampton, Richard Dent and Jimbo Covert just don’t have a spot in the top 10.

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Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard


Jalen Rose: Fab Five beef squashed with Michigan hiring Juwan Howard

The Michigan Wolverines are hiring former Fab Five star Juwan Howard as the head coach of their basketball team. Aside from being a part of that prolific college basketball team, Howard is a two-time NBA champion with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.

And he is a former local basketball hoops star at Chicago Vocational Career Academy, where we was named an All-American in 1991.

But the Fab Five have not been on the best of terms over the years, particularly current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose and Chris Webber. With Howard back in Ann Arbor, all beefs are officially over.

“It squashes any drama or any beef because we’re not going to bring that to Ann Arbor’s campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach," Rose told Mike Greenberg when asked about the beef Thursday morning on ESPN's Get Up. "The one thing that we both know is his success turning around the University of Michigan is first and foremost about him and about the players that he’s going to influence. Then it’s about us being there to support him, not being drama, not being splintered, not giving any indication of dysfunction.

"We’re going to move as a family and we’re going to do what we can to build on what John Beilein has established in Ann Arbor.”

Rose reiterated this point later in the day during a segment with fellow Michigan alum Adam Schefter.

Let's wait and see if Howard brings winning ways to Michigan to make this honeymoon period last, otherwise it could be back to business as usual.

Also, does Chris Webber feel the same way? Has Rose already talked to Webber to clear the air? Or is Rose just saying it's over on his side in the hopes Webber follows suit?

Both Webber and Rose made it clear that Howard was their preferred candidate, so they seem to be on the same page.

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