Blackhawks

Deng in, Rose, Watson game-time decisions Wednesday

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Deng in, Rose, Watson game-time decisions Wednesday

Due to a groin injury suffered in Mondays win over New York, Derrick Rose is a game-time decision heading into Wednesdays showdown with the Heat, according to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Well see tonight if its any better, said Thibodeau. We held him out this morning.

In addition to his on-court ailments, Rose was involved in a car accident after leaving Tuesdays practice, getting rear-ended on the Kennedy Expressway.

While Rose was unavailable for comment, Thibodeau said, He said hes fine.

Another game-time decision for the Bulls is backup point guard C.J. Watson, who is still recovering from a sprained left ankle.

Im not sure yet, so well see, Watson told CSNChicago.com. Watsons ankle is the same, still sore. Its a lot of stuff. None better, none worse.

Watson practiced Wednesday a little bit. Still hurts a lot. Im not really comfortable planting and moving, stuff like that, to where I can play without hurting, he continued. All Watson did in practice Wednesday was shooting, straight-ahead stuff.

Luol Deng, on the other hand, will play Wednesday. The All-Star missed two games to rest his ailing left wrist.

Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to Senators for Zack Smith

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to Senators for Zack Smith

The Blackhawks are spending the next week focusing on their prospects at development camp, but GM Stan Bowman took care of some housekeeping items on the big club on Tuesday when he traded forward Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Zack Smith.

Anisimov had two years left on his contract that carries a $4.55 million cap hit, but his modified no-trade clause was removed on July 1, which opened up more trade possibilities. He was also owed a $2 million signing bonus when the new calendar year opened and his actual salary over the next two years dropped to $5 million total, giving a rebuilding team like the Senators a chance to add a depth forward for a lower price.

Couple that with the fact Anisimov's role with the Blackhawks has diminished over the years and you can see why this traded was made from Chicago's point of view. 

Smith compiled 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) in 70 games for the Senators last season, and served as the alternate captain during the 2017-18 campaign. He's known to be a power forward, can play a heavy game and has experience playing center or wing. The 31-year-old has one year left on his contract that carries a cap hit of $3.25 million. 

With the trade, the Blackhawks opened up $1.3 million in cap space, which gives them some financial flexibility to make transactions throughout the season and potentially re-sign Brendan Perlini, who remains an unsigned restricted free agent.

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Pro Football Focus: Bears have NFL’s best run defense entering 2019

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USA Today

Pro Football Focus: Bears have NFL’s best run defense entering 2019

Pro Football Focus doesn’t seem to expect much regression for the Bears defense, at least when it comes to run defense.

PFF analyst Mike Renner ranked every team’s ability to stop the ground game, heading into 2019, and Chicago remains on top.

The team retained its entire front seven, top-to-bottom, with the exception of Sam Acho, who spent most of last season on injured reserve anyway.

One of the biggest keys, in Renner’s analysis, is Akiem Hicks, who was among Pro Football Focus’ top performers in the running game.

“The former Saint is proving himself one of the best free agent additions in recent memory,” Renner wrote. “His 13.3 run-stop percentage was the second-highest figure of any interior defender in the NFL last season.”

The Bears allowed the fewest rushing yards and rushing touchdowns of any defense last season, and the 3.8 yards per attempt they gave up was fourth best.

With the whole gang back together for 2019, the team is in a great spot to run it back under Chuck Pagano.