Bulls

NBA Power Rankings: Breakout stars re-shaping the league

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USA TODAY

NBA Power Rankings: Breakout stars re-shaping the league

As we near the 15 games played mark, the league's top teams (and some of the struggling ones too) are being aided along by new developments in the playing styles' of their talent.

The Bulls have struggled mightliy with a large batch of regulars missing time but have seen tremendous growth from Zach LaVine, as well as rookies Wendell Carter and Chandler Hutchison. 

Over in the West, the Houston Rockets found out that success is not so easy to translate over to the next year. Their defensive efficiency has fallen and their offense has been largely ineffective, and it is no doubt connected to the loss of their defensive-minded wings in Luc Richard Mbah Moute and Trevor Ariza. It is not all on his shoulders, but the Carmelo Anthony experiment seems to be coming to an end just as quickly as it started. 

With the Bucks, Nuggets, Raptors and Sixers—following the massive news of the their Jimmy Butler acquisition—all looking to be real challenegers to the Golden State Warriors, the regular season wins race will be a little more interesting than usual. Home-court advanatge in the NBA Finals could be the difference between taking the Warriors 6+ games or being swept. 

So keep an eye on who is maintaining contol of the NBA's overall No. 1 playoff seed as the Dubs head into a tough three-game road trip in Texas. In this week's NBA Power Rankings, we take also take a look at which player has been on the verge of a breakout season for each team here

Bulls Talk Podcast: Why Ja Morant would be a perfect fit

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Why Ja Morant would be a perfect fit

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kelly Crull react to the Bulls loss to the Jazz and the mounting injuries.

0:45 Kelly on making the transition to covering the Cubs

1:20 On Bulls limping to the finish line

2:35 On Paxson addressing the media before the Jazz game

4:15 Kendall on Chandler Hutchison

6:20 On Wendell Carter Jr and his leadership and expectations for next season

8:40 Kendall on next season, and his conversation with Robin Lopez

12:40 Kendall makes an analogy on Bulls needing a veteran to elephants

13:45 On Otto Porter Jr and his status for the last few weeks

14:50 On NCAA Tournament and NBA draft prospects; Ja Morant

20:20 Kendall on being recruited by Depaul when he was in high school

22:30 On what LaVine and Markkanen need to improve on during offseason

23:45 Other players biggest improvements

24:55 More on Kendall’s interview with Robin Lopez

25:40 On Sweet Sixteen

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Bulls Outsiders Podcast: Reaction to Jazz loss; message for the Blazers Outsiders

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NBC Sports Chicago

Bulls Outsiders Podcast: Reaction to Jazz loss; message for the Blazers Outsiders

On this edition of Bulls Outsiders, Matt Peck, Dave Watson, and John Sabine react to the Bulls 114-83 loss to the Jazz.

0:30       Reaction to the blowout loss

2:20       Matt’s headwear becomes a topic

5:30       On Markkanen’s night and aggressive play

6:50       Should Bulls sit LaVine and Porter Jr. out the rest of the season?

10:05    Viewer comments on resting starters

11:15    Viewer comment on Ja Morant and if he’s worth trading up for if Bulls don’t get 2nd pick

13:30    We found a John Sabine KFC commercial and critique his acting skills

18:30    Viewer comments about chicken places

21:00    We now have beef with the Blazers Outsiders