I BEEN WAITIN’ ALL DAY FOR … THURSDAY NIGHT!
Today’s the day, folks. The Chicago Bears battle the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field to open up the 100th NFL season. Man, just writing that sentence has me even more hyped!! Make sure you’re following Bleacher Nation Bears on Twitter and Facebook to join along in the conversation tonight!
Okay, back to basketball.
- When publications start releasing team and player previews, you know NBA basketball is right around the corner. Only a little over one month away from the first Bulls preseason game, the #content is finally starting to roll in again. NBA.com’s Shaun Powell is giving a brief report on where each team stands heading into training camp, and yesterday, the Bulls were on the clock. Like many, Powell writes with an optimistic-yet-worrisome tone when discussing the Bulls potential this season. The pieces may be there, but whether they can stay healthy and mesh properly with the new coaching staff is still up for debate.
- In his final remarks, Powell states: “So Chicago moves forward with the ongoing rebuilding process, hoping that healthy bodies, potential star power with LaVine and improved production from young players will quicken the road to respectability.” Reading this sentence made me chuckle in frustration. All three of those points are way easier said than done, so fingers crossed.
- NBC Sports Chicago’s Mark Strotman started his series of previews with a nice hefty post on Lauri Markkanen. You may not have asked for all this information on Markkanen, but Strotman gave it to you, and it’s worth a read. I’ve been a big proponent for a more-involved Markkanen, whether that be via creating his own shot or, more simply, helping with the ball movement. Strotman’s one key stat revolved around Markkanen’s need to help “create for others.” While this isn’t always the forte for big men in the NBA, Strotman points out that Markkanen has especially struggled in this category. Hey, the more Markkanen can keep the ball moving, the better opportunities he might have to work off the ball and find open space. I’ll take that.
- The dynamic duo conversation might be the next hot topic in the NBA universe. A recent piece by ESPN’s Zach Lowe discussed the league’s change to a more duo-heavy league, rather than the famous superteam or “big three.” If you ask me, this bodes well for a rebuilding franchise (*ahem* like the Chicago Bulls). You can read about why here:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 4, 2019
- Did I mention this would be a hot topic? The guys over at Bulls Talk spoke about where the Markkanen-LaVine duo rank in the NBA.
- Kendall Gill said the two players have a shot at moving into to the top-10 with a playoff-contending season. More interestingly though, he recently spoke with LaVine about the upcoming season and the two discussed the importance of becoming a two-way player. Considering Gill’s success on the defensive end in the NBA (steals leader in 1999), I hope LaVine’s listening.
- Around the 23min mark, Gill discusses what it takes to be a good defender: quick feet, anticipation and the will to play defense. In my opinion, LaVine’s just missing the third one. Throughout this offseason, he’s recognized his need to improve, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
- No team is safe from The Finnisher (well, except the Bulls, I guess).
- Wait, Felicio was 7-7 from the field? WHO ARE YOU!?
- *turns on jukebox* The boys are back in town! The boys are back in town!
- USA obliterated Japan with a 98-45 victory … but Myles Turner took the L after being dunked on by a rookie.