Shoutout to Scott Van Pelt.
Illinois battled Maryland last night for sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, so Van Pelt took a trip to Champaign to watch his Terrapins. Following many of the folks who still cover/follow the team, my timeline was stuffed with snapshots of Van Pelt simply hanging with fans.
One of ESPN’s biggest faces simply took it in the experience alongside everyone else. Doesn’t matter who you are, that’s what being a sports fan is all about. Great stuff.
- Happy Satur – Oh, come on!
The Bulls by contrast have 8 lottery picks on their roster including 5 players in the top seven and haven't won 3 straight games since February of 2019
— Kevin Anderson (@Kevin_NBCS) February 8, 2020
- NBC Sports Chicago’s Kevin Anderson provides just another harsh reminder at how much this Bulls front office has struggled in the player development department (as well as every other department). Even with the departure of Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors hold a 38-14 record and sit right atop the Eastern Conference, currently in second place. Not to mention, the head coach leading the charge, Nick Nurse, used to work in close quarters with the Bulls organization (he led their G-League team). Yes, the Raptors are known to have one of the best front office minds in all of the NBA (Masai Ujiri), but with limited free agent interest, this team found a way to be ultra-competitive with smart trades and strong leadership. I’m incredibly jealous.
- Coby White quietly had an encouraging night in the Bulls blowout loss to the Pelicans on Thursday night. The rookie scored 14 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out a career-high 9 assists. Considering he was able to score AND facilitate, that’s one of the better all-around stat lines we have seen from White this season.
Coby White handed out a career-high nine assists on Thursday, the most by a Bulls rookie since Derrick Rose in 2009. He also recorded his 30th double figure scoring game of the season, the second-most among rookies coming off the bench.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 8, 2020
- As any frequent reader knows, I’ve been strongly against starting White this season. I thought his role off the bench suited him well and allowed for a more comfortable transition into the NBA. However, as the games pass by, I find myself becoming way more easily convinced that he can earn some starting clock. As this season turns more toward development, White should become a focal point of the team’s gameplan. More consistent minutes off the bench could be fine, but it’s time he starts running with the big boys.
- In case any of the Coby-hype has worn off, watch his midseason highlight reel to get excited all over again!
- Adam Mokoka is still hot from Thursday night!
- For more background on Mokoka’s journey to the NBA, give Sam Smith’s profile on the young two-way player a read.
- John Paxson basically said the Bulls plan to put Markkanen in a position to succeed upon his return from injury … but why wasn’t that happening already?
The Bulls Say They Want to Help Markkanen, But Are They Willing? Capable? https://t.co/gcnEFssOHT
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 7, 2020
- We don’t know the whole story, but according to the Twitterverse, a man was asked to leave the Bulls game early for holding up this jersey:
— Real_86GarPax (@DomesticGsm) February 7, 2020
- Someone even posted a video of the man being escorted out.
— Lugg (@Lugg77) February 7, 2020
- Now, to be very clear, we have no idea what the context of this situation was. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear people seated that close to the court aren’t allowed to have items/signage to hold up since it might block other people’s view. Who knows, maybe this guy was asked to put the jersey down multiple times and didn’t comply. Of course, this also could legitimately be the United Center security kicking him out since he’s hoisting anti-GarPax merch. The Knicks have been under fire in the past for doing the same kind of thing. Either way, I probably wouldn’t read too much into this one situation.
- Read all you want into this situation though:
When the Bulls fired Hoiberg and replaced him with Boylen, here was Paxson's justification: "What we’re lacking is kind of an energy and a spirit about our team, and we need to get that back."
After 111 games of Boylen's tenure, I present to you the new Chicago Bulls. pic.twitter.com/57taVrRnpv
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) February 7, 2020
- The Bulls Talk Podcast continues their 90s Bulls series with the great Bill Wennington!
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) February 7, 2020
- ICYMI: The NBA referees had one of the most absurd no-calls I’ve ever seen at the end of the Portland-Utah game.
Dame finished with 42 points.
This was not two of them. pic.twitter.com/9G82fmUL1c
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 8, 2020
- As you can imagine, Damian Lillard’s response was a tad NSFW. Hey, I’d take the fine too.
We don’t wana hear this punk Ass shit. https://t.co/nuG56kaHbR
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) February 8, 2020