Good night and good morning from Wrigley

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 07/30/2014 - 02:18

OK, it's 2:05 a.m. and I'm typing at Wrigley Field. We'll get up later and flesh it all out, but the Cubs just beat the Rockies 4-3 in 16 innings for the longest game in Cubs history in terms of time. The game took 6 hours and 27 minutes to play. The winning run scored when Starlin Castro drove in John Baker on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

The winning pitcher was Baker, a backup catcher who worked the top of the 16th inning because the bullpen was taxed to begin with. Baker joked that he had to shake off fellow catcher Welington Castillo because they weren't on the same page.

Rose excels on first day of Team USA camp (with video)

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 07/28/2014 - 23:19

Derrick Rose took to the court in Las Vegas on Monday as Team USA opened training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup next month.

The NBA sent out a couple of video clips from practice. One featured Rose dunking with two hands on an inbounds play and the other saw the Bulls guard scoring on a drive to the basket while getting fouled.

"The strength in his leg is great. His explosion is back. That’s all there,” said Bulls coach Tim Thibodeau, an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski on the Team USA coaching staff.

Cubs trade Barney to Dodgers

Posted by Bruce on Mon, 07/28/2014 - 15:08

The Cubs today managed to get something for second baseman Darwin Barney, whom they designated for assignment on July 22. They traded Barney and a cash consideration to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later. Barney, who won the Gold Glove in 2012, had a hitting line of .230/.265/.328 with the Cubs.

The emergence of Arismendy Alcantara and the activation of Emilio Bonifacio off the disabled list led to Barney being squeezed out, as did Barney's poor offense.

Noah addresses offseason

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 07/25/2014 - 18:51

Joakim Noah hosted an event in the city Friday. His charitable organization, the Noah's Arc Foundation, unveiled a public service announcement urging Chicagoans to take a stand against violence.

The 60-second clip features Noah and teammate Derrick Rose, as well as renowned rapper Common, a Chicago native.

Noah also talked about the Bulls' summer, which so far has included missing out on free agent Carmelo Anthony and successfully signing former Lakers power forward Pau Gasol.

"I'm really excited," Noah said. "I think Gar (Forman) and (John Paxson) and everybody did a real good job. I'm really, really excited about the Bulls. It just makes you want to work hard and be as ready as possible for the upcoming season."

Carmelo: "I was flip-flopping between Chicago and NY."

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 07/25/2014 - 12:28

Carmelo Anthony talked about his free-agent recruiting experience in an article.

Here's a synopsis: He doesn't care about money, tough decision, was pretty much always between Chicago and New York, and ultimately he believes in Phil Jackson.

We already knew it's never about the money, right? Here's a link to the full article:

Why are Bulls suddenly hot on Kevin Love?

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 07/24/2014 - 01:08

Kevin Love to the Bulls doesn't make a ton of sense.

I've talked about this several times before. The clear trend in the NBA is perimeter stars win championships. San Antonio, Miami and Boston were outside-oriented. The Lakers won two titles with the standard, two-star format – one inside (Pau Gasol) and one outside (Kobe Bryant).
Love, Gasol and Joakim Noah on the same roster would give the Bulls a powerful rebounding game, but that hasn't been a championship formula in recent years. Miami won two titles as one of the league's worst rebounding teams.

The numbers behind the latest Cubs moves

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 07/23/2014 - 15:00

It's another new day here at Wrigley. As of midafternoon, the wind is howling straight in out of the north, and it's borderline jacket weather. Last night, we had sauna conditions here. The Cubs made a flurry of moves after last night's 6-0 victory over the Padres.

At the major-league level, they optioned struggling third baseman Mike Olt to Class AAA Iowa in anticipation of activating lefty Tsuyoshi Wada to start this evening's game against the Padres. It's really hard to believe Olt's batting numbers. But look we will.

Bulls' summer squad lost without McDermott

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 07/20/2014 - 09:42

The Bulls' run of summer-league success ended with a thud Saturday. They lost to Sacramento 80-61 while rookie Doug McDermott sat out with a foot injury.

Whether this injury is significant or an excuse to end McDermott's summer workload isn't clear right now. The rookie from Creighton played in four summer games, averaging 18 points, 4 rebounds and 2.8 assists, while shooting .442 from the field.

Tony Snell finished a strong summer league by scoring 20 points against the Kings. He averaged 20 points over five games, shooting .466. Second-round draft pick Cameron Bairstow showed some promise, averaging 10.2 points and 7 rebounds. Simeon grad Lazeric Jones, a 6-1 guard, was the best of the non-roster players, averaging 10.8 points and shooting better than 50 percent from the field.

McDermott struggles, but Bulls keep winning

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 07/18/2014 - 09:45

The Bulls stayed perfect at the Las Vegas summer league Thursday night by beating the 76ers 79-68.

Rookie Doug McDermott had his first off night of the summer, hitting 3 of 10 shots for 11 points. Tony Snell continued to stand out, though, scoring 18 points.

Thursday's win was something of a breakout game for second-round draft pick Cameron Bairstow, who finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Bairstow, a 6-10 power forward from New Mexico, hit 11 of 13 free throws and outplayed Philadelphia's Nerlens Noel (14 points, 5 rebounds), the 2013 lottery pick who sat out last season with a knee injury.

Following a day off, the Bulls will face Sacramento in the summer quarterfinals on Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBA TV.

Bulls try to extend summer dominance Thursday night

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 08:26

The Bulls will try to continue their summer league mastery tonight (Thursday) when they open the playoffs against the 76ers at 9 p.m. Central time in Las Vegas. This game is not scheduled to be aired live on NBA TV, but will be shown at 8 a.m. Friday morning if you're interested.

The Bulls are the No. 1 playoff seed after rolling to a 3-0 record. They won the three games by an average of 24.7 points, never allowed more than 76 points defensively, and outscored the opponent in all 12 quarters played. Adrian Griffin is head coach of the summer squad.