Bulls

Bulls & White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to be next featured guest on 'Inside Look' (debuts Wed, Mar. 14 at 7:00 PM)

Bulls & White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to be next featured guest on 'Inside Look' (debuts Wed, Mar. 14 at 7:00 PM)

CHICAGO BULLS & CHICAGO WHITE SOX CHAIRMAN JERRY REINSDORF TO BE THE NEXT FEATURED GUESTON COMCAST SPORTSNETS MONTHLY INTERVIEW SERIES, INSIDE LOOK

Inside Look presented by Cadillac, hosted by Comcast SportsNets Chuck Garfien, featuring Jerry Reinsdorf
to debut Wednesday, March 14 at 7:00 PM

CSNChicago.com to provide additional web extras coverage of Inside Look, including extended video clips
Chicago, IL (March 8, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look presented by Cadillac.

Debuting Wednesday, March 14 at 7:00 PM -- which tips-off a huge night on Bulls programming on Comcast SportsNet with a special, one-hour edition of McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live airing at 7:30 PM, followed by an Eastern Conference showdown featuring the Bulls hosting the rival Miami Heat at 8:30 PM -- Comcast SportsNets Chuck Garfien hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with Chicago Bulls & White Sox Chairman JERRY REINSDORF.
Reinsdorf discusses everything in this forthright interview including his good fortune of buying the Bulls franchise in 1985, winning the World Series in 2005, winning six NBA Championships in the 1990s, winning the NBA Draft Lottery allowing the Bulls to draft the reigning MVP Derrick Rose, his thoughts on what made Michael Jordan one of the greatest players in NBA history and much more. Plus Reinsdorf also tells the story about the first time he met Jordan, the best White Sox team hes ever had (and its not the 2005 championship team), and he receives a special, surprise visit during the interview from former White Sox All-Star slugger Jim Thome.

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, for additional web extras interview content never before seen on TV. Fans will also be able to watch every Inside Look guest interview online after it debuts on Comcast SportsNet.

Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Inside Look with Jerry Reinsdorf on the following datestimes: Wed, Mar. 14 at 11:30pm - Fri, Apr. 6 at 4:30pm - Wed, Apr. 11 at 2:30pm - Fri, Apr. 13 at 4:30pm - Sun, Apr. 15 at 8pm - Wed, Apr. 18 at 11pm - Thu, Apr. 19 at 4:30pm - Sun, Apr. 22 at 2pm and 8:30pm & Wed, Apr. 25 at 9pm.

Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Jerry Reinsdorf presented by Cadillac premiering Wednesday, March 14 at 7:00 PM on Comcast SportsNet:

REINSDORF on the White Sox winning the 2005 World Series:

"In the spring of 2005, I said this is going to be my 25th year, maybe we're never going to win a World Series. I don't know if it will ever happen. And then it happened. I am still appreciating the moment. The moment wasn't when we won...I mean that was exciting, you know my God we won the World Series...although it wasn't a shock because we were up three games to nothing. What really happened to make it sink in was the parade. There were two million people, there wasn't one arrest, there wasn't one incident. You could see the love coming to the players from those people. Then there were people coming up to me telling me they had gone to the cemetery and decorated their parents or grandparents graves. You could go to any cemetery in Chicago and the graves were decorated with White Sox paraphernalia. And then the next spring a gentleman came up to me in the parking lot and said my father died 15 minutes after the last out, he knew and he died happy. Those things will never, ever leave me.

REINSDORF on his luck buying the Bulls:

"There's been luck at everything I've ever done. (White Sox Executive Vice President) Howard Pizer and I have a little joke between us when we have a problem and can't figure out the solution to the problem. I'll say to Howard, what are we going to do? And Howard's answer will be, well, we'll get lucky, because everything I've ever done, I've had a tremendous amount of good luck. A little bad luck along the way, but the good luck so outweighs it. In that case, the good luck was they had drafted Michael Jordan. At the time we made the deal, no one knew what Michael Jordan was going to be, and I don't think they would have sold the team if they had known what he was going to be. So clearly, I was lucky."

REINSDORF on winning six NBA titles with the Bulls:

I was incredibly proud to be associated with the Chicago Bulls and what they had done. The Bulls are a worldwide phenomenonled by Michael (Jordan), but it was a great team. You have to give Jerry Krause a lot of credit because the only two players who were on the second 3-peat that were on the first 3-peat were Michael and Scottie (Pippen).

What Jerry said was Organizations win championships and it is true. Now, players are part of the organization. At the end of the day, the players have to win the game. But how did they get there? Who put them together? They didn't just drop out of the sky. They have to be coached...they have to have physical training. It really takes a whole organization, but a great organization has to have great players.

REINSDORF on winning the NBA Draft Lottery in 2008 (despite having just a 1.7 chance), which allowed the Bulls to draft reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose:

Two months before (the NBA Draft Lottery), John Paxson and I were talking and Paxson said, 'Where are we going to get a point guard? We've got to get a point guard. I said, 'I don't know, we'll win the lottery, we'll take Derrick Rose. I knew he was going to be a very good player. I can't say I expected him to be an MVP in his third year. What's really good is that he's grounded. He really hasn't changed since he got here. He comes from a solid background. He was protected when he was growing up. He is a lot like Michael in that he just wants to win basketball games.

Timberwolves fan finds a new use for their Jimmy Butler jersey

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NBA Reddit/jdbuffs1

Timberwolves fan finds a new use for their Jimmy Butler jersey

Jimmy Butler finally got his wish earlier this week when the Timberwolves dealt him to the Philadelphia 76ers for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick. The deal gives the Timberwolves a chance to try to stay competitive in the present with an increased focused on their core consisting of former No. 1 picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

Timberwolves faithful were (obviously) hurt at the way Butler forced his way out of town and one fan found an interesting use for his Butler home jersey.

Reddit user jdbuffs1 titled the post "Really cool new doormat to wipe my shoes on."

The post elicited other great responses from users such as "We cant see it [the doormat] with that rag covering it" and "YOU CAN'T WIPE YOUR FEET WITHOUT ME."

T'Wolves fan are right to have a little fun with Butler's departure, which ends one of the more intriguing trade-demand sagas in recent NBA history.

With the makeup of Minnesota's squad post-Butler trade, the team will be in a solid position whether they end up with a 2019 lottery pick or make a surprising playoff run. And while the T'Wolves would likely take Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine over ending their long playoff drought last year, it is tough to fault Tom Thibodeau on the move considering how good they looked for stretches last season.

Only time will tell if the Sixers won the Butler trade with the T'Wolves.

On paper, the Sixers easily won this trade. But if Butler ends up  being a one season rental for Philly, the T'Wolves will be able to look back at this deal and be happy with the fact they were able to extract two players who can bring long-term value, while allowing their core players to take on a bigger role.

As Bears enter season-tipping game, four ascending players could key win over Vikings

11-16brycecallahan.jpg
USA Today

As Bears enter season-tipping game, four ascending players could key win over Vikings

The Bears, sure, haven’t beat anyone good. Their best win is over the 5-5 Seattle Seahawks, and the combined record of the six teams they’ve defeated is 19-38. 

But it’s also true that the Minnesota Vikings haven’t beat anyone good in 2018 either. Their best win came against the 4-5 Philadelphia Eagles, and the combined record of the five teams they’ve beat is 14-33.

The Vikings have lost to the Bills (3-7), Rams (9-1) and Saints (9-1), while the Bears have lost to the Packers (4-5-1), Dolphins (5-5) and Patriots (7-3). All this is to say: One of these two teams will get their best win of 2018 on Sunday night. 

And the Bears have shown plenty of signs over the last few weeks that they have a strong chance of emerging from a critical battle for the NFC North with a win. These four players are among the biggest reasons why:

1. Roquan Smith

The report: There’s little questioning the connection between Smith missing all but about a practice and a half of training camp/preseason and the No. 8 overall pick’s slow start to the regular season, but he’s come on strong as of late. Smith has 12 tackles in his last two games, providing big-time run support to mute the production of LeSean McCoy and Kerryon Johnson, and he sacked Matthew Stafford last weekend, too. 

He’s playing with a certain quickness that perhaps was lacking in the first eight weeks of the season, and it’s clear the game is slowing down for him, allowing him to make plays with his physicality and sideline-to-sideline athleticism. 

“He’s getting better and better every day and not just every game,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “I see better things in practice, just little things, processing quicker, executing his job crisper and more quickly, if that’s such a word, and he’s getting better every day.”

The matchup: The Vikings’ offense hasn’t got running back Dalvin Cook rolling since he returned from a balky hamstring in Week 9. His explosive rushing ability provides a different dynamic for the Vikings’ offense, and getting him going would make things far easier for Kirk Cousins, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. While Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks are critical for the Bears’ run-stuffing efforts, it’ll be Smith and Danny Trevathan who may need to step up to keep him from ripping off a big-chunk play, as he did with a 70-yard dash against the Lions two weeks ago. 

“He’s strong but explosive,” Fangio said. “He can break the big run. He had a 70-yarder here recently against (Detroit) so he’s a threat to go the route all the time. He’s a really good all-around player.”

2. Anthony Miller

The report: Miller’s breakout game against Detroit (five catches, 122 yards, 1 TD) had been coming for weeks — he just needed Mitch Trubisky to connect with him when he ran open. That finally happened against the Lions. His chemistry with Trubisky is becoming apparent, and he’s combining his route-running savviness with increased experience to consistently find openings in whatever defense is in front of him. 

“He's slowly starting to fit into what we see him being down the road here,” coach Matt Nagy said. “And so any way we can get him the ball we're going to try to do that.”

The matchup: Miller primarily plays in the slot, running 71 percent of his offensive snaps from that position. Against the Vikings, he’ll face off against slot corner Mackensie Alexander, who’s allowed 28 receptions on 34 targets for 303 yards, good for 10.8 yards/reception, and a passer rating of 103.8 according to Pro Football Focus (for a slot corner comparison, scroll down for the Bryce Callahan section of this article). The Bears have a matchup edge here, so long as Trubisky is able to take advantage of it. 

3. Bryce Callahan

The report: Forget about the offseason price tag of Callahan, an impending free agent, going up by the game. The 27-year-old is playing spectacular football, holding opposing receivers to 28 receptions 38 targets (73.7 percent) for 219 yards (7.8 yards/reception) and a passer rating of 74.3 when he’s thrown at, per PFF. Perhaps making those numbers more impressive — of the 10 incompletions when passes are thrown his way, five were pass break-ups and two were interceptions. On top of all that, he has two sacks, two quarterback hits and seven hurries this year, good for 11 total pressures — more than double the next-highest total for a cornerback (Arizona’s Budda Baker has five). He’s playing at a Pro Bowl level. 

“There are a lot of little things that he’s mastered and can go to the next level as far as reading and dissecting routes and knowing how to play them, maybe playing them a half-second quicker than he did two years ago,” Fangio said. “Those things start to add up.”

The matchup: Adam Thielen can play both inside and outside, but has played the majority of his 586 snaps from the slot (53 percent). While he won’t be exclusively matched up against Callahan, the two former undrafted free agents will go against each other in a battle of strength vs. strength. Thielen already has 947 yards on 78 receptions, and until Minnesota’s Week 9 win over the Detroit Lions had eight consecutive games with at least 100 receivers yards (he’s also caught a touchdown in six consecutive games). Cousins has a passer rating of 119.2 when throwing Thielen’s way, too. If Callahan can win this matchup, it’ll be massive for the Bears’ chances on Sunday. It’s worth noting two of Cousins’ five interceptions have come when throwing Thielen’s way. 

“Both of those receivers with Thielen and Diggs, they're just very natural receivers,” Nagy said. “They have excellent hands, great route runners, they understand how to beat zones and then Kirk throwing the ball to them, he's been doing it for a long time, he's extremely accurate, he's tough, he finds different ways to get the ball to those guys.”

4. Mitch Trubisky

The report: On one hand, Trubisky lit up the Lions’ defense for 355 yards on 23/30 passing with three touchdowns and an additional rushing score. On the other hand, the Lions’ defense is awful, and the Vikings will bring a stout group to Soldier Field on Sunday night. The thought being: Trubisky still needs to prove himself against a good defense. 

But Nagy explained why what Trubisky did against Detroit didn’t necessarily have anything to do with Matt Patricia’s side having one of the league’s worst defenses. Specifically: Miller easily beat a blown coverage for a touchdown, but what Trubisky did to get him the ball translates against any defense. 

“Find an open guy and throw it to him,” Nagy said. “That's what we did. He has a progression. He has a progression. And so whether it's a blown coverage or a wide receiver runs a good route and beats a guy, as long as he's sticking within that progression and going from one, two, three, maybe four, or one, two, three, to run, etc., as long as he stays within that we're good.”

The matchup: A year ago, in primetime against the Vikings, Trubisky was baited into throwing a late-game interception by safety Harrison Smith, which led to a Kai Forbath game-winning field goal. Smith remains one of the very best safeties in the NFL, with three interceptions this year while allowing a passer rating of 66.1 when he’s targeted, according to PFF. 

“I think I’ve grown a lot since that play,” Trubisky said. “I’m not the same player, not even close. I’ve got better since that instance and I’m excited for the opportunity this weekend.”

Still, Trubisky will have to be aware of Smith at all times. Smith is one of those guys who epitomizes the Vikings’ ability to win close games — a been-there, done-that kind of guy. 

“He’s kind of like “Where’s Waldo?” He’s everywhere,” Nagy said. “And there’s several safeties in this league that are like him, where guys that can come down, play in the box, guys that blitz — very similar to (Jamal Adams). So he’s gonna be everywhere and he’s good at what he does. Harrison’s made consecutive Pro Bowls. We were with him in the Pro Bowl and he can play post-safety, play high, take care of the pass game. He’s got good ball skills. He can hit you hard. He can cover. It’s one of the reasons they’re a top defense. “