Cubs

Pacers' George erupts against vaunted Bulls defense

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Pacers' George erupts against vaunted Bulls defense

When the Bulls played the Pacers in the first round of the playoffs two years ago, a then-rookie Paul George was best known as a defender, as Indiana used his combination of size, length and quickness to harass Derrick Rose.
Fast forward to the present and the 6-foot-8 swingman, with injured Pacers star Danny Granger out of the lineup, has developed into a formidable, if inconsistent, offensive weapon. George scored 34 points against the Bulls on efficient 14-of-25 shooting Tuesday night at the United Center. More significantly, he scored the bulk of those points, almost half of the Pacers 80 points on the evening, with one of the leagues best wing defenders, Luol Denga second-team NBA All-Defensive Team selection last seasondraped all over him. It was a defensive battle on both ends. Both defenses were going, both offenses were struggling. David and George, theyre our money guys lately. Both had off nights, but Paul George picked up the slack, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said afterwards.  The kid cares, the kid works, as evidenced by getting off a red-eye flight and going right to the gym for two hours of shooting. I tried to get him involved early, which I hadnt done well enough in recent games and when a guy makes a couple shots early, sometimes he gets going. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, known as a defensive guru, seemed almost offended that an individual player not named LeBron James could have that kind of night against his team.
Got to make it harder on him. Got to make it harder. He made some tough ones, but weve also got to recognize whats going on in the game. If hes taking contested twos, were defending them well, you tip your hat. That was the case on some of the shots, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said afterwards. We also have to have more awareness. Clock winding down, hes got a hot hand, we cant give him space, cant let him catch the ball. Those are things weve got to take care of. Nate Robinson added: Hes going to be a hell of a player in this league. He can score the ball, thats what he does best. He makes tough shots and he made a lot of tough baskets with hands in the faces, so it was good defense, but better offense.

Podcast: Cubs pass the first test in midst of crucial stretch

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Scott Changnon

Podcast: Cubs pass the first test in midst of crucial stretch

On the latest CubsTalk Podcast Scott Changnon and Tony Andracki discuss the state of the Cubs offense, the value of Javy Baez and Addison Russell and what it means now that the starting rotation looks to be finding its form.

With 17 games in 17 days (most of which come against contending teams), the Cubs started things off right with a series victory in St. Louis.

Listen to the entire podcast here:

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Quinn Hughes

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Torey Krug/Kris Letang

Fit for Blackhawks:

It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to restock their pipeline with some high-end defensemen. Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are on the way. But the former isn't a lock to be a full-time NHLer this season and the latter will continue playing in college for the 2018-19 season.

Hughes, who shined at Michigan and the IIHF World Championship with Team USA, would have the best chance of the three to crack the Blackhawks lineup first. The problem is, he likely won't be available at No. 8, so if Hughes is the guy they're locked in on, they'd need to trade up to grab him. 

If they did that, Hughes would give the Blackhawks a third blue line prospect they can get excited about. He's a left-handed shot, which evens out the balance in the system, and he would become a prime candidate to eventually replace Duncan Keith as the team's No. 1 defenseman.