Cubs

Schanowski: No Rose, no title

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Schanowski: No Rose, no title

In an instant, the Bulls lopsided win over Philadelphia in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals was rendered totally meaningless. The MVP was down on the court, writhing in pain, and a packed house at the United Center suddenly became totally silent, knowing the teams championship hopes could be over.

Derrick Rose went to a local hospital to get an MRI done on his left knee, and if the results turn out to be as bad as feared, his season will be done. Reaction from his teammates in the locker room suggest they know theyll have to soldier on without their best player and team leader. Rose had shown signs of returning to top form in Game 1, putting up 23 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists against an overmatched Sixers squad. But now, the Bulls cant bank on the return of Rose at 100 percent. Theyll have to plan on continuing their playoff run without him.

Sure, the Bulls have depth at the position. C.J. Watson started 25 games in place of Rose during the regular season and is capable of putting up good offensive numbers. And John Lucas and Mike James can provide decent minutes off the bench. But this Bulls team is built around the unique talents of Rose, and its almost impossible to envision them making a title run without him.

Rip Hamilton, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer will have to pick up their scoring, and the team defense will have to be tighter than ever. The Bulls should be able to get past Philadelphia, and they could possibly win a second round matchup against the Boston-Atlanta winner. But without Rose, there will not be a seventh NBA championship in the city of Chicago.

Lets just hope this is one star-crossed season in what will turn out to be a spectacular career for Derrick Rose. Rose has admitted he needs to work on his flexibility by doing a regular stretching program. Saturdays knee injury wasnt about all that. It was the type of devastating injury we see too often in basketball, and Chicago sports fans can only hope the 23-year-old Rose will be able to provide many more years of high-flying memories once he recovers.

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.