Other Sports

ICYMI: White Sox trending in the right direction; Cubs confident best is yet to come; Bulls rookies shine in Summer League

0610_lucas_giolito.jpg
USA TODAY

ICYMI: White Sox trending in the right direction; Cubs confident best is yet to come; Bulls rookies shine in Summer League

Here are some of the Chicago sports stories you may have missed from the weekend. 

White Sox

The White Sox have had a truly amazing first half of the season when compared to last year's struggles. Whether or not their overall record ends up being closer to last season's, the progress that the White Sox have seen from their young talent is real.

They notched a win over the Cubs in the fourth game of the Crosstown Classic series on Sunday, tying the series at two games apiece. Despite some continued struggles against the Cubs from All-Star Lucas Giolito, the Sox have overall played well the past week.

As Rick Hahn has stated before, the White Sox win total isn't as important as clear-cut development among the core players. Fortunately for White Sox fans, winning games and focusing on player development have gone hand in hand these days. 

Cubs

The Cubs have had an up-and-down season so far but still, sit in the driver's seat in the NL Central.

The North Siders were in the midst of a four-game losing streak before bouncing back with consecutive wins over the Pirates and White Sox. The Cubs' win over the White Sox on July 6 contained a great six-inning outing from Jon Lester but the team still had their fair share of avoidable mistakes. The Cubs dropped the fourth game of the Crosstown Classic series, but still received a solid offensive contribution from rookie Robel Garica, who has been an awesome story for the Cubs.

There is an overall sense of optimism in the clubhouse, as the team feels the best is yet to come.

Bulls

Summer League is not a major indicator of long-term success but it does help us get an idea of how a rookie's game will translate to the NBA. And so far, the Bulls have gotten to see how effective Coby White and Daniel Gafford can be as a duo. Jim Boylen has been very pleased with the overall direction of the team and with good reason after a solid offseason.

White has shown off a variety of nice step-back shots and been a true asset in the pick-and-roll game. Gafford has been a monster around the basket, blocking shots and moving his feet well when defending in the pick-and-roll. There is legitimate excitement surrounding the Bulls.

Between the return of Denzel Valentine and Chandler Hutchison, the free agent additions and another expected leap from Zach Laine and Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls are poised for a (within reason) bounce-back season in a weakened Eastern Conference.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: MLB sign-stealing scandal continues

0113_houston_astros.jpg
USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: MLB sign-stealing scandal continues

David Haugh, Hub Arkush and Matt Spiegel join Leila Rahimi on the panel.

0:00- MLB's sign-stealing scandal continues to dominate the sports world as Carlos Beltran is let go by the Mets. So what could possibly happen next? And Commissioner Spiegel gives his plan for riding the game of this menace.

14:00- The Bears keep adding new offensive coaches. Will they make Mitch Trubisky better?

23:00- Can the Titans pull off another huge upset or is the Chiefs' offense unstoppable? And can Aaron Rodgers find a way to beat the 49ers defense? The panel dissects the conference title games and weighs in on the latest controversy surrounding Odell Beckham, Jr.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

Subscribe:

Houston Texans DE JJ Watt’s fiancée Kealia Ohai traded to the Red Stars

jj-watt-kealia-ohai.gif
USA TODAY

Houston Texans DE JJ Watt’s fiancée Kealia Ohai traded to the Red Stars

JJ Watt has been having an exciting week. Not only did the Houston Texans beat the Buffalo Bills this past Saturday, winning the AFC Wild Card Game and advancing in the playoffs, but his fiancée Kealia Ohai was traded from the Houston Dash to the Chicago Red Stars.

After the trade was announced today, Watt took to social media to celebrate her success.

Ohai has played in the NWSL with the Houston Dash for six years. In a video posted to Twitter, Ohai thanked the organization and the city of Houston for their support. Ohai explains that to be the best player she can be, she needed to grow in a new environment.

Ohai and Watt have been engaged since May 2019, but neither seems too stressed about their new long-distance relationship. Watt posted pictures of him decked out head-to-toe in Red Stars gear.

Welcome to the Red Stars, Kealia! And who knows, maybe her three-time NFL Defensive Player Year fiancée will like Chicago so much he might want to move, too. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.