Hello sports fans, today is Monday so that means another edition of the Windy City Sports Report. How do the new-look Bulls look as preseason opened? Are the Bears still in first place? Will the Blackhawks ever play again?
The Chicago Bears had their bye week, but they still came out winning. They started out Sunday in a tie with the Minnesota Vikings (?) atop the NFC North. The Vikings played the Washington Redskins with Robert Griffin III recovering from a concussion. The Redskins ran out to a 24-9 lead in the 3rd quarter before the Vikings made a charge in the 4th quarter to cut the deficit to 31-26, but the Redskins scored a late touchdown on a 76-yard run by Griffin to seal the victory. The loss dropped the Vikings to 4-2, a half game behind the Bears (4-1). Also, with the Green Bay Packers’ win, the Vikings are only 1 game ahead of them. Now that the spotlight is on the Vikes, will they wilt under the pressure?
The Bears play again next Monday at home against the Detroit Lions, who needed a furious comeback on Sunday to escape with a 26-23 win in overtime. The Bears are looking for some revenge after a poor showing on Monday Night Football in Detroit last season. I have said that the division will be decided between the Bears and Packers, and the Bears need to keep that 1 ½ game cushion over the Pack and keep control of the division.
Over on the Madhouse on Madison, the Chicago Bulls opened their preseason with 3 games. On Tuesday, they faced the Memphis Grizzlies at the United Center and came out with a 92-88 victory. Luol Deng led the team with 18 points and Nazr Mohammed pitched in 13 points and 12 rebounds.
On Friday, the Bulls went down to Assembly Hall in Champaign, home of the University of Illinois to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs ran out to a 23 point lead before the Bulls made a 15-0 run to start the 3rd quarter to get themselves back into the game. They outscored the Cavs 32-13 in that 3rd quarter, but basically exchanged baskets in the 4th quarter (being outscored 23-22) and lost 86-83.
On Saturday, the Bulls traveled to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves. They were without Deng and Richard Hamilton who were just given the night off, and they lost 82-75.
Even though the Bulls will have to go at least the rest of this calendar year without their start PG Derrick Rose, expect them to still make some noise in the Eastern Conference. I won’t say they will win, but they will contend and play better than most think they will. The reason for that is head coach Tom Thibodeau. He is a defensive genius and players just believe in his philosophy.
I know it is just the preseason, but so far they are outrebounding their opponents 149-131 including 54-40 on the offensive glass, and are outscoring their opponents in the paint 108-96. As long as they continue to play tough defense, the Bulls will be contenders and probably win their division, and having Rose back around January will make them that much better.
This week for the Bulls, they face the Milwaukee Bucks tomorrow and the Timberwolves on Friday.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is a famous quote by George Santayana. Apparently, the NHL owners and players do not know about that quote because the lockout is still going after a month. The first two weeks of the season have already been canceled, and the only thing said in the press conferences over the past month is that “No progress has been made.” It looks like 2004-2005 all over again!
Until next week, start getting your winter gear, folks, the famous Chicago winter is coming!