Bears

Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage returns to Comcast SportsNet

Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage returns to Comcast SportsNet

First Round Coverage Begins this Saturday, April 18 at 5:00 PM CT!

Network to carry exclusive Bulls vs. Bucks “Hometown Call” coverage featuring Neil Funk & Stacey King!

Comcast SportsNet to air Games 1-4 in the Chicago Market (and Games 5-7 if nec.)

Live coverage available to authenticated subscribers on CSNChicago.com and via the NBA Sports Live Extra app

CSNChicago.com to provide LIVE video stream of EVERY Bulls post-game press conference, plus exclusive behind-the-scenes video from team practices and post-game reports from Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill

“SportsNet Central: Bulls Playoffs Preview” special airs TONIGHT (Thu, Apr. 16) at 10:30 PM

Chicago, IL (April 16, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Bulls, is ready to deliver electrifying 2015 NBA Playoffs “Hometown Call” coverage as the Bulls look to further extend their season in Eastern Conference first round action against the division rival Milwaukee Bucks.  Comcast SportsNet will be the exclusive “local” television home in the Chicago market to see live coverage of Games 1-4, along with Games 5-7 if necessary, featuring the always-entertaining Bulls announcing tandem of Neil Funk & Stacey King.

In addition -- for the first time ever -- Comcast SportsNet’s live first round Bulls NBA Playoffs telecasts, including surrounding Bulls Pre/Postgame Live coverage, will be streamed live on CSNChicago.com and available via the NBC Sports Live Extra app on tablets and smart phones.  Authenticated Comcast SportsNet Chicago subscribers can watch live Bulls playoffs action from anywhere in the United States.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, and Cedar Falls (IA) Utilities.  For more information about CSN Chicago’s live streaming service of Bulls games, viewers are urged to visit the following link: csnchicago.com/page/live-extra-faq.

Comcast SportsNet’s Chicago Bulls/NBA Playoffs first round coverage gets underway this Saturday, April 18 beginning at 5:00 PM CT with a special, one-hour edition of Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light, featuring hosts Mark Schanowski and former Bulls center Will Perdue LIVE from the United Center.  Bulls Pregame Live will provide a complete Game 1 preview, analysis, interviews, along with the latest team/player news and updates from Bulls beat reporter Chuck Garfien & CSNChicago.com Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill.

Then, at 6:00 PM, fans can look forward to the exclusive “Hometown Call” coverage of Game 1 between the Bulls and Bucks live from the United Center featuring Neil & Stacey with the game call.  Immediately following Saturday’s playoff opener and after every Bulls playoff game, Comcast SportsNet will carry Kia Bulls Postgame Live (hosted by Schanowski & Perdue), featuring live locker room interviews, detailed analysis, along with head coach Tom Thibodeau’s post-game press conference and numerous player interviews.  (Comcast SportsNet’s complete Bulls first round coverage schedule is included in this release.)

 TONIGHT (Thu, Apr. 16) at 10:30 PM, Bulls fans can look forward to an NBA Playoffs primer with SportsNet Central: Bulls Playoffs Preview.  This half-hour special, hosted by Schanowski & Perdue, will provide a detailed, inside look at the Bulls vs. Bucks first round match-up, a recap of every regular season game against the Bucks, along with the very latest player status updates, a look back at the entire regular season featuring key highlights, plus - player/coaches interviews and an overview of the entire NBA Playoffs picture with analysis on both conferences.

Throughout the playoffs, viewers are also urged to tune in nightly to SportsNet Central (presented by GMC at 10:00 & 10:30PM and presented by CLR at midnight; times may vary due to airing of live events) for the most in-depth NBA Playoffs coverage, including game recaps, previews, up-to-the-minute team/player updates, interviews and numerous playoff highlights from around the league. 

Also, throughout the playoffs, Comcast SportsNet’s comprehensive website, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more exclusive Bulls/NBA Playoffs content including the following:

  • CSNChicago.com will stream EVERY Bulls postgame press conference LIVE (sponsored by Xfinity) providing insider access to head coach Tom Thibodeau addressing the media as it happens.
  • CSNChicago.com Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill will be on-site -- for EVERY Bulls playoff game -- filing stories and video for each game and team practices, plus Goodwill will provide up-to-the-second Tweets via @vgoodwill throughout the series, as will CSNChicago.com Bulls digital reporter Mark Strotman (@MarkStrot).  Strotman will also provide Bulls coverage and opponent perspective/reports throughout the series.
  • Video highlights from every Bulls playoff game, including in-game highlights at halftime.  Pre-game interviews from team practices will also be provided, as well as extensive post-game reaction from the locker room and analysis from the “Kia Bulls Postgame Live” team.
  • “Bulls Pulse presented by AT&T U-Verse,” a one-stop social media hub that reveals the latest trending topics and player buzz from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Plus, “Bulls Pulse” aggregates all Bulls player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #BullsTalk. For additional 24/7 team updates on Twitter, fans are urged to follow @CSNBulls.
  • BullsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Bulls news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. BullsTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBaskteballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and GolfTalkCentral. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk, BearsTalk, ChiFireTalk, PrepsTalk, IrishTalk and B1GTalk, which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • CSNChicago.com’s new state-of-the-art “AT&T U-Verse Lounge” to provide expanded Bulls playoffs content through daily and weekly shows and segments.
  • Expanded coverage from Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Chuck Garfien, CSN Chicago’s Bulls reporting team will provide pre-game and post-game coverage throughout the playoffs, along with digital content contribution and videos for CSNChicago.com throughout the season.  Follow them on Twitter @MarkSchanowski, @Will_Perdue32, and @ChuckGarfien.
  • CSNChicago.com and Bulls.com will collaborate in content creation and distribution throughout the playoffs to provide fans in-depth player interviews and features plus behind-the-scenes access to everything going on and off-the-ice within the Bulls organization. 
  • CSNChicago.com’s Bulls content will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships, including NBCSports.com, NBCNews.com, Yahoo! Sports and Xfinity.com.

Note the following first round schedule of games and additional coverage information on Comcast SportsNet: 

CHICAGO BULLS vs. MILWAUKEE BUCKS on COMCAST SPORTSNET, CSNCHICAGO.COM & NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA 

* Game 1: Sat, April 18, 6:00 PM – Bulls vs. Bucks (United Center)

(NOTES: Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage on Comcast SportsNet begins at 5:00 PM with a special, one-hour edition of Bulls Pregame Live from the United Center with Bulls Postgame Live immediately following the game; SportsNet Central will air 10:00 PM/10:30 PM with even more comprehensive Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage; game replay at 11:00 PM)

* Game 2: Mon, April 20, 7:00 PM – Bulls vs. Bucks (United Center)

(NOTES: Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage on Comcast SportsNet begins at 5:00 PM with a special Bulls-focused edition of SportsTalk Live hosted by David Kaplan LIVE from the United Center, which will be followed by SportsNet Central at 6:00 PM; Bulls Pregame Live airs at 6:30 PM live from the UC with Bulls Postgame Live immediately following the game; which will be then followed by an expanded edition of SportsNet Central with even more comprehensive Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage; game replay at 11:00 PM)

-- IMPORTANT CUBS NOTE:  The Cubs at Pittsburgh game (originally scheduled to air on Comcast SportsNet) will now move to CSN+/CSN+HD (coverage begins at 6:00 PM; viewers urged to visit CSNChicago.com for exact channel locations in their area).

* Game 3: Thu, April 23, 7:00 PM – Bulls at Bucks (BMO Harris Bradley Center)

TWO POTENTIAL SCENARIOS THIS DAY…

1)    IF THE BLACKHAWKS FACE NASHVILLE IN GAME 5 OF THEIR FIRST ROUND STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SERIES (TIME TBD), THE BLACKHAWKS GAME WILL AIR ON THE MAIN COMCAST SPORTSNET CHANNEL LOCATION…THE BULLS AT BUCKS GAME WOULD THEN AIR ON CSN+. (LIVE, ONE-HOUR PRE-GAME COVERAGE TO BEGIN AT 6:00 PM) (CSN+ CHANNEL LOCATIONS INFORMATION AVAILABLE HERE: csnchicago.com/channel-finder)  

(NOTES: Bulls Pregame Live at 6:00 PM/Bulls Postgame Live after the game; SportsNet Central at 10:00/10:30 PM with even more comprehensive Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage; game replay at 11:00 PM)

-- VERY IMPORTANT WHITE SOX NOTE:  The White Sox vs. Kansas City game at 7:00 PM (currently scheduled to air on CSN+) will move to CSN+2 (available on NBC 5 Chicago’s 5.2 digital channel Cozi TV on Comcast Cable systems throughout the Chicago area on ch. 341, along being available on a variety of additional distributors; CSN+2 channel location details will be available here: csnchicago.com/channel-finder). 

2)     IF THE BLACKHAWKS DO NOT FACE NASHVILLE IN GAME 5 OF THEIR FIRST ROUND STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS SERIES…THE BULLS AT BUCKS GAME WOULD THEN AIR ON THE MAIN COMCAST SPORTSNET CHANNEL LOCATION. 

(NOTES: Bulls Pregame Live at 6:00 PM/Bulls Postgame Live after the game; SportsNet Central at 10:00/10:30 PM with even more comprehensive Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage; game replay at 11:00 PM) 

-- IMPORTANT WHITE SOX NOTE:  The White Sox vs. Kansas City game will now move to CSN+/CSN+HD (coverage begins at 6:30 PM; viewers urged to visit CSNChicago.com for exact channel locations in their area).

* Game 4: Sat, April 25, 4:30 PM – Bulls at Bucks (BMO Harris Bradley Center)

(NOTES: Bulls Pregame Live begins at 4:00 PM with Bulls Postgame Live immediately following the game; SportsNet Central will air 10:00 PM/10:30 PM with even more comprehensive Bulls/NBA Playoffs coverage; game replay at 11:00 PM)

-- IMPORTANT WHITE SOX NOTE:  The White Sox vs. Kansas City game will air on both the main Comcast SportsNet channel location (until 4:00PM) and CSN+/CSN+HD (live game day coverage begins at 12:30 PM; viewers urged to visit CSNChicago.com for exact channel locations in their area).

* Game 5:  Mon, Apr. 27 (Time TBD) – Bulls vs. Bucks (United Center) (if necessary)

* Game 6: Thu, Apr. 30 (Time TBD) – Bulls at Bucks (BMO Harris Bradley Center) (if necessary)

* Game 7:  Sat, May 2 (Time TBD) – Bulls vs. Bucks (United Center) (if necessary)

ALL TIMES ARE CENTRAL TIME

The Packers beat a bad Bears team in Week 1. In Week 15, they'll get a totally new one.

The Packers beat a bad Bears team in Week 1. In Week 15, they'll get a totally new one.

All week, reporters at Halas Hall tried to get Matt Nagy and the Bears to compare who they were during Week 1’s game against Green Bay to where they are now. And all week at Halas Hall, Matt Nagy and the Bears wouldn't bite. 

“We're both different. They're a little bit different, we're different,” Matt Nagy said. “They did a great job both as players and their coaches, so like I said yesterday, it feels like a while ago and that's why you play. You have a 16-game season and in division you get two chances. We'll just do everything we can to put it behind us and try to be better.” 

Different might be an understatement. Gone are Kyle Long and Bobby Massie. The Starting-Center-James-Daniel experiment is over, and Mike Davis is playing in the NFC South now. Adam Shaheen and Trey Burton – though the latter didn’t play in Week 1 – are on IR, too. Normally, losing two starting tight ends, a ‘starting’ running back, and the entire right side of the offensive line means you’re spending the last month of the season scouting for 2020. Instead, the Bears head to Lambeau Field on Sunday with a path to the playoffs still in front of them. 

“I just feel like we’re kind of in a rhythm now. We’re a different team,” Mitch Trubisky said. “There were some things that we had to go through in the first game and the beginning of the season that just didn’t go our way, and there’s things we definitely learned from as an offense. 

“I just feel like we have a new-found identity of what we want to do and everybody is really locked into what they have to do within their job description on the offense.” 

Perhaps the biggest difference between Week 1 and Week 15 has been the play of Trubisky, who looked like he was headed for a clipboard in 2020 before regaining his form over the last month or so. His comfortability in the offense is night and day compared to some of the struggles he went through during the first half of the season. If you ask him – which, duh, we did – he’ll tell you he’s felt the most growth off the field. 

“I just would say mental toughness, the ability to block out things on the outside,” he said. “Adversity, obviously, early in the season with people talking on the outside and then having to play through injuries and stuff, and just coming together closer as a team. My teammates having my back, that really gives me the most confidence.” 

The 14-week turnaround isn’t all about confidence, as Nagy 202 has morphed into something not expected but effective nonetheless. The running game has stabilized and they’ve found successful plays out of 4 WR sets – even if one of those receivers is Montgomery/Tarik Cohen. In Week 1? Montgomery had six rushes and the Bears ran two plays out of 10 personnel. Nagy said that he thought something clicked on Trubisky’s touchdown pass to Ben Braunecker against the Lions. 

“There's something there,” he said. “We felt it a little bit in the Chargers game, we just weren't effective in the red zone. But because we won the [Lions] game it magnifies it a little bit more … And then we just kind of started putting things together and I think over time we've just felt like it's just started to click. I don't know if it's specifically one play or not but that's probably my best guess.” 

It couldn’t have come at a better time, as the team prepares for what Nagy calls a “cat-and-mouse” game against Packers’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who perhaps knows Trubisky better than any other opposing coordinator in the game. 

“Coach Pettine has done a great job throughout his career of being almost tendency-free,” he said. “And they’re even better now with how they deploy those guys, and it’s kind of a perfect, perfect storm of scheme and talent, and the guys on the back end help them out too.” 

The Bears are playing with a looseness that might come from essentially being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but oddly, it continues to work for them. And when you have to go play Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau with your season on the line, you don’t question what works. 

“I love it. You want to go against the best all the time,” said Akiem Hicks, who was taken off IR and will start on Sunday. “If you’re a true competitor, you want the best competition.”

Clippers coach and Chicago native Doc Rivers weighs in on Bears-Packers

Clippers coach and Chicago native Doc Rivers weighs in on Bears-Packers

With Doc Rivers, Patrick Beverly and the Los Angeles Clippers in town to face the Bulls, you knew the question was coming. Both Rivers and Beverly are from Chicago and not shy about their affection for the city. 

"Do you and Pat talk about coming to Chicago?" a reporter asked, during Rivers' pregame media scrum, Saturday night.

"We talk about Chicago, probably every single day," Rivers said with a hint of a smile. "We talk about the Bears the most."

That led to Rivers rapid-fire addressing a number of ruminations on the current state of the Bears, including his respect for head coach Matt Nagy.

"I’m a big Bears fan. A big Nagy fan. I think he’s a terrific coach," Rivers said. "I just do, every once in a while you get a feeling about someone, and I have that about him."

High praise coming from Rivers, the 13th-winningest coach in NBA history and an NBA Finals champion in 2008 with the Boston Celtics.

Now, he coaches the third-winningest team in the league in the Clippers, but he still finds time to keep up with current Chicago affairs.

"[Beverly and I] talk about everything with Chicago. We talk about the dominance of Proviso East [Rivers' high school alma mater] over Marshall [Beverly's alma mater], and every other team. He doesn’t like that conversation very much," Rivers said.

He added that he even contemplated driving down for the Bears' Week 14 matchup with the Cowboys on Thursday Night Football (the Clippers were in town for a game with Milwaukee that Friday).

And as for tomorrow's crucial division game against the Packers, Rivers made his position abundantly clear.

"Well, you know what I think," Rivers said, when asked for a prediction for the contest. "Are you kidding me?"

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