Bulls

CSN to provide expanded Blackhawks opening night pregame coverage live from the United Center

CSN to provide expanded Blackhawks opening night pregame coverage live from the United Center

Opening Night Red Carpet Event (5:00 PM CT) and “Chevy Blackhawks Pregame Live” (6:00 PM CT) to air on CSN+ and available to authenticated subscribers on CSNChicago.com & via the NBC Sports Live Extra app

Chicago, IL (October 6, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, will be providing fans with TWO, hour-long pre-game specials in advance of the team’s 2015 Stanley Cup Championship Banner Raising Ceremony and home/season opener against the New York Rangers TOMORROW (Wednesday, October 7). 

Beginning at 5:00 PM, Blackhawks fans can look forward to the team’s annual Opening Night Red Carpet Event, featuring introductions of Blackhawks players, coaches, and alumni, as they head into the United Center to prepare for the season opener.  Comcast SportsNet’s coverage of the Red Carpet Event will be hosted by Blackhawks Pre/Postgame Live’sPat Boyle and Steve Konroyd, along with Blackhawks Community Liaison Jamal Mayers, who will be interviewing players on the red carpet about the upcoming night’s festivities and game, along with details on their fashion choices for the evening. 

Immediately following Comcast SportsNet’s coverage of the Red Carpet Event, fans can look forward to a one-hour, special United Center edition of Chevy Blackhawks Pregame Live at 6:00 PM.  The pregame show (to be hosted by Boyle/Konroyd/Mayers) will also feature the latest team and player news from Blackhawks beat reporter Luke Stuckmeyer and CSNChicago.com Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers.  The one-hour pregame show will also include taped interviews with Blackhawks players, a recap of the 2015 Stanley Cup Championship season, a detailed look at all the new Blackhawks team members, along with a full preview of the upcoming NHL season.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Both the Red Carpet Event at 5:00 PM and Chevy Blackhawks Pregame Live at 6:00 PM will air exclusively on CSN+. CSN+ is available in high-definition on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area/South Bend, IN & on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 285 in the Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets, along with being made available in DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, RCN, and WOW! homes among others; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER  for complete channel location details. 

In addition, the Red Carpet Event and Chevy Blackhawks Pregame Live will also be streamed live on CSNChicago.com and will be made available via the NBC Sports Live Extra app on tablets and smart phones.  Authenticated Comcast SportsNet Chicago subscribers who reside within Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s regional viewing territory will have the ability to watch both shows live.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  For a full list of carriers and 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.

On Thursday, October 8 at 2:00 PM, Comcast SportsNet will re-air the “NHL on NBC” telecast Blackhawks vs. Rangers opening night telecast, including the 2015 Stanley Cup Championship banner raising ceremony.  Comcast SportsNet’s first regular season telecast of the 2015-16 NHL campaign will take place on Friday, October 9 (beginning at 6:00 PM with Chevy Blackhawks Pregame Live)as the Blackhawks travel to face the New York Islanders in their new home, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  Comcast SportsNet’s Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk will have the face-off call at 6:30 PM, which will be followed by Blackhawks Postgame Live presented by HawkAuto.com (approx. 9:00 PM).

SportsTalk Live Podcast: A sprained MCL and Trubisky's performance. vs the Pats

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: A sprained MCL and Trubisky's performance. vs the Pats

David Haugh, Jordan Cornette, Shae Peppler join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- Mark Schanowski joins SportsTalk Live to discuss Kris Dunn’s sprained MCL, Fred Hoiberg’s tough luck and Zach LaVine postgame criticisms of the coaching. Plus they’ll discuss another 0-3 team- LeBron’s Lakers.

20:00 – The panel discusses Mitchell Trubisky’s performance vs. the Patriots. Jordan makes the case that the media is giving the former No. 2 pick a pass.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Bulls bracing for a Kemba Walker onslaught

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USA TODAY

Bulls bracing for a Kemba Walker onslaught

Through the opening week of the NBA season, Hornets' All-Star point guard Kemba Walker and former Bull Niko Mirotic share the league scoring lead, averaging 33 points per game.

Bulls' fans have seen these hot stretches from Niko before, and chances are he'll start moving down to the mid to high-teens before long. But Walker is a big-time scorer who's quietly emerged as one of the most consistently productive point guards in a league loaded with stars at that position. He's averaged over 20 points and 5 assists in each of the last three seasons, making the Eastern Conference All-Star team twice.

Last season, Walker lit up the Bulls for 47 points in an overtime loss at the United Center in November, making some of the most difficult shots you can imagine to keep his team in the game. He seems to be as this best when facing the Bulls and you can bet Fred Hoiberg and his staff will pull out all the stops to try to slow him down, especially with defensive ace Kris Dunn out 4-6 weeks after suffering a sprained left MCL in his season debut on Monday.

The Hornets made some personnel changes since last season. The one-year experiment with Dwight Howard at center is over. Howard put up solid numbers for Charlotte a year ago, but didn't make much difference in the win-loss column, so he's moved on to Washington in his NBA odyssey. Cody Zeller is now the starting center, backed up by Bismack Biyombo and former Benet Academy and University of Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky.

Charlotte tried to improve the athleticism on their roster by selecting Malik Monk and Miles Bridges in the first rounds of the last two drafts. Monk is getting more playing time this season, averaging 13.5 points in the Hornets' first four games. Bridges is averaging just under 16 minutes a game as a backup to starting forwards Marvin Williams and Nic Batum. Just like he did at Michigan State, Bridges is providing those highlight reel putback dunks, but it remains to be seen whether he'll develop a consistent enough outside shot to be a quality starter in the NBA.

The well-traveled Jeremy Lamb is now starting in the backcourt with Walker, and the Hornets brought in long-time Spurs' point guard Tony Parker to add some much needed experience and veteran savvy off the bench. Given the current state of the Eastern Conference (post-LeBron), it's not out of the question for this group to contend for one of the final playoff spots.

Here's what the Bulls need to do for a shot at their first win of the season. This also applies to the rematch in Charlotte on Friday.

1. CORRAL KEMBA. For whatever reason, seeing that Bulls' logo turns Walker into an almost unstoppable scoring machine. Walker is adept at working off his big men, either in straight pick and rolls or cutting through the post on give-and-go plays. He's one of the league's most creative scorers, and doesn't require much room to get his shot off. The Bulls' bigs will have to provide help on Walker whenever he comes off screens to keep him from taking over the game.

2. PUT THE BALL IN ZACH'S HANDS. Whether he's playing shooting guard or point guard, Zach LaVine needs to be the primary facilitator with Dunn sidelined. LaVine scored 34 points against Dallas Monday night on just 15 shots, which led to him questioning some of the offensive sets that were run in the 2nd half. LaVine told reporters on Tuesday that he smoothed things over with his head coach, explaining his comments were the result of the frustration he was feeling after a third-straight loss to open the season. Still, LaVine is on a major hot streak, joining Bulls' all-time greats Michael Jordan and Bob Love as the only players to start the year with three straight games scoring at least 30 points. The Bulls will need to ride that hot hand for as far as LaVine can carry them.

3. DEFEND THE 3-POINT LINE. You knew I would eventually get to this, right? Dallas made 15 of 47 3-point attempts on Monday after the Pistons knocked down 18 of 40 in a two-point win last Saturday. The Hornets have all kinds of capable 3-point shooters in Walker, Lamb, Monk, Batum and Williams (they're shooting .397 as a team on 3's), so guarding the arc will be crucial for the Bulls to have a chance at their first win.

Don’t forget you can catch Wednesday's game on NBC Sports Chicago and the new MyTeams by NBC sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 pm when Kendall Gill, Will Perdue and Kelly Crull join me for Bulls Pregame Live from the United Center Atrium. Neil Funk and Stacey King have the play-by-play call at 7 pm, then stay tuned after the final buzzer for Bulls Postgame Live and the always entertaining Bulls Outsiders.