TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT.
Not only am I a Marvel nut, but I love everything Spider-Man, so to say I am excited about No Way Home is absolutely an understatement. My tickets have been secured for a 6:00 p.m. showing, so I am avoiding all non-Bulls-related social media until I walk out of that theater with so much adrenaline I might try to scale the building with my non-existent spidey powers.
See, even the Bulls are in the spirit!
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 17, 2021
By the way, if the Bulls got another hardship exception lying around, I’d give it to Spider-Man. The dude would set the best screens as he webs the defender’s feet to the floor, and I’m pretty sure he’d catch every alley-oop as he just sticks to the backboard. Worth a shot.
• Speaking of highly-anticipated, DeMar DeRozan’s return to action could be right around the corner. The Bulls leading scorer posted a fully charged battery to his Instagram story last night. And while I guess it’s possible he was totally bored in quarantine and recharged his old iPhone 1, I’m going to assume this is his cryptic way of telling the world he is ready to get back on the hardwood.
DeMar DeRozan’s latest Instagram story.
Our boy almost back? 👀 pic.twitter.com/i1BJEcfeYx
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 17, 2021
• Thursday did also mark DeRozan’s 10th day in the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, which means he could be allowed back in the Advocate Center today for cardio screening. Coby White and Javonte Green have reportedly been at the facility this week as they try to get in shape for this Sunday’s game against the Lakers. Expecting DeRozan to be totally ready by then is not the safest assumption, but perhaps we can see him take the floor on a minute’s restriction.
• We have to remember everything about the Bulls is pretty up in the air right now. Fortunately, they do appear closer to the end of this outbreak, but the group also hasn’t been able to get together since Monday morning. Head coach Billy Donovan is still waiting for the NBA to give him the green light to return to practice and prepare for their upcoming games.
“In terms of the activities of being able to come in here, get together as a team, work out as a team, do those kinds of things, we haven’t been able to do anything. … I’m hopeful the league will give us some time here, Friday and Saturday, to get the group back together that would be available to play on Sunday,” Donovan told ESPN’s Jamal Collier.
• With so many players still sidelined and so little time to prepare, don’t consider me shocked if the Bulls look a bit off-balance for this weekend’s meeting with Los Angeles. As much as the Lakers have struggled this season, especially defensively (#MissingCaruso), they have now won four of their last five games. The team is missing their own group thanks to the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, but they do still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They also added Malik Monk back to the roster after he tested out of quarantine on Thursday.
Lakers guard Malik Monk has tested out of Covid protocols, sources tell @mcten and me. Prior testing led him into protocols on Wednesday. The Lakers play Minnesota on Friday night. Russell Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard and Talen Horton-Tucker remain in protocols.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 17, 2021
• I think it took too long for the NBA to officially postpone the Bulls’ previous two games, but I’ll still send Adam Silver a medium-sized Edible Arrangement in the spirit of the Holidays. After dropping two straight to the Cavaliers and Butler/Adebayo-less Heat, there is no question the depleted Bulls could have continued to stumble against the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors. Don’t get me wrong, neither team is particularly stout, but the Bulls were about to rely on big minutes from guys like Devon Dotson and Alfonzo McKinnie. And that clear competitive disadvantage is part of the reason why the NBA had to press pause on the Bulls season. Yes, the biggest reason remains the health and safety of players, staff members, and fans, but it’s also true that the legitimacy of the NBA standings was at stake.
• The Washington Wizards and New York Knicks have experienced a significant drop-off over the past couple of weeks. The Wizards have lost seven of their last eight games despite having the majority of their top talent. Meanwhile, the Knicks have lost seven of their last nine games and currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference. These were two teams grouped with Chicago to start the season, and they now are two teams facing some major question marks as trade talks ramp up. While there is a lot of time for things to change, I have to wonder if the NBA’s stoppage of play has saved the Bulls from a similar drop-off. Of course, it would have at least been reasonable for Chicago because of the lack of talent (neither the Knicks nor Wizards have that excuse), but it still could have been a costly losing streak that took them out of their top-4 positioning.
• So my $10 bid wasn’t enough?
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) December 17, 2021
• BULLS LEGEND! Lowkey, I’m kind of surprised Shaquille Harrison doesn’t have a home. I’d still take a shot at him as a back-of-bench defender.
Free agent guard Shaquille Harrison will sign a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 17, 2021
On this day 24 years ago, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan faced off in Chicago.
Kobe: 33 points
MJ: 36 points
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 17, 2021
• You can’t have Arturas. Sorry.
There It Is: Chicago Bears Reportedly Doing Homework on a New GM to Replace Ryan Pacehttps://t.co/srdiUTE1eJ
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) December 17, 2021