Poor, Bears. They grab themselves a playoffs game only to end up airing at the same time as the Bulls. I mean, seriously, how do the networks expect anyone in Chicago to watch that football game!?
I could not be more annoyed that these two events will be on at the same time. And as much as I will always have my eye on the Bulls, they will have to be demoted to the second screen today. I mean, playoff Bears game or 11th game of the Bulls season with a depleted roster against a title contender? Yeah, I know which I’m more interested in watching, and I know you feel the same way.
With that said, I’ll still watch our beloved Bulls and do some tweeting/Facebooking/writing, but I would like to offer a warning that it will surely be a tad less than normal as I eat some chili and watch both games.
Leave it all out there! 🐻⬇️ https://t.co/GqTwmIGTah
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 10, 2021
• Is this supposed to be cool?
🐐 mentality for Mitch pic.twitter.com/TzU0VTFCzl
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 10, 2021
• I don’t want to bash anyone for watching The Last Dance. I mean, we can all agree an entire movie theater should be built in each city to solely play this docuseries on a never-ending loop. However, this still makes me chuckle because Michael Jordan’s Bulls and Mitch Trubisky’s Bears might as well be from two completely different planets (MJ’s Bulls = Star Wars, Mitch’s Bears = Spaceballs). I’m glad the Bears QB is trying to channel the GOAT’s mindset, but I have a feeling he isn’t going to get very close.
• When I looked at the Bulls schedule two weeks ago and saw the Clippers game, I basically wrote it off as a 40-point loss. Now, after nothing but solid play since, and only a 2-point loss to the Lakers on Friday, I think the Bulls could actually keep this game within single digits. The Clippers haven’t necessarily blown-out opponent so far this season, and the Bulls matchup decently with them. They have the backcourt to counter-act some of the Clippers scoring, and they also have been far better on the glass this season. The Clippers rank last in the league in rebounds per game, whereas the Bulls currently sit 20th. Carter Jr. has been a menace underneath the hoop at times this season, and he should hopefully be able to give Serge Ibaka and Ivica Zubac some problems on that side of the ball. Chicago also happens to play with a top-3 PACE, which is basically the exact opposite of Los Angeles who ranks last in the league. If the Bulls could come out aggressive and try to control the flow of the game, they could throw this Clippers team a bit out of sorts.
• Don’t get me wrong, though, this game will be a huge up-hill battle for the Bulls. Not only do the Clippers have defensive-stoppers like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverly to shutdown this Bulls offense, but the Bulls also added Otto Porter to their jam-packed injury report on Friday. The veteran wing only played six minutes against the Lakers due to back spasms, and it’s now highly unlikely that he takes the court this afternoon. Meanwhile, Lauri Markkanen, Tomas Satoransky, Chandler Hutchison, and Ryan Arcidiacono all remain away from the team. There is hope that Markkanen and Arcidiacono – the two players who did not test positive for COVID-19 – can rejoin the squad are they return home tonight, but only time will tell.
Bulls list Otto Porter Jr. as doubtful for Sunday’s Clippers game. Porter left Friday’s loss to Lakers with back spasms after playing 6 minutes.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 10, 2021
• Honestly, is it crazy to think all these early-season absences have actually helped the Bulls? Head coach Billy Donovan has been adamant about teaching these young players how to handle adversity, and there is no better time to do that than when (what feels like) half of the roster is unavailable. Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White, and Patrick Williams have all played some of their best-looking basketball over the past few games, and I can’t help but think it has at least something to do with the pressure of added responsibility.
• This is for the “Daniel Gafford should start over Wendell Carter Jr.” crowd:
It's hard to see Wendell Carter's defensive impact if you're only watching the ball, but he is great as a high feel help defender. Prevents tons of layups from occurring and alters the ones that do. Cleans up the Bulls' bad perimeter defense.
Some examples from last night: pic.twitter.com/bqAWHsYOKy
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) January 9, 2021
• Patrick Williams about to see this and go off (he is four days younger, by the way):
Charlotte rookie LaMelo Ball has become the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 10, 2021
The Mavs’ practice facility has been shut down after the team’s second positive test in three days, sources said. Maxi Kleber started self-isolation this morning. Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson still quarantining in Denver. Contact tracing being done now.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 10, 2021