Hello fans, Carlos here with the latest Windy City Sports Report. In this edition, the Bulls’ season is finally here. Are the Bears still on a roll?
The Madhouse on Madison is open for basketball business finally as the Bulls started their 2012-2013 regular season. The season started with a Bulls 93-87 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Joakim Noah had a tremendous game, leading the team with 23 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing out 3 assists, getting 5 steals and blocking 3 shots. There were reports that since he was doing so much he volunteered to sell popcorn in the stands as well. Teammate Carlos Boozer commented on Noah’s game, saying “It’s Halloween, and he had a monster night.”
It was a homecoming of sorts for guard Kirk Hinrich, who returned to the Bulls after several seasons at Atlanta playing for the Hawks. He only scored 3 points but had a team-high 7 assists. He also showed the grittiness that made him a fan favorite the first time he was in Chicago. Battling for a loose ball late in the game, he and Kings guard Aaron Brooks collided and Brooks ended up losing a tooth.
After the game the Bulls announced they came to terms on a contract extension with forward Taj Gibson. They had a deadline to sign Gibson or he could become a restricted free agent. They avoided all that by agreeing to a 4-year, $38 million extension. If Gibson waited for the summer he would most likely receive a lot more than what he ultimately signed for, but he felt being in Chicago was more important than the money. “In the back of your mind, you do want to see what other offers are out there, he said, “but you don’t want to be in some hell hole somewhere just chasing the bucks.”
On Friday, the Bulls traveled to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers and they just blew them out of the stadium. They had a 32-16 quarter and they never looked back. Nate Robinson came off the bench to score 16 points and collected 12 assists. Rip Hamilton and Carlos Boozer each scored 19 points for the hot-shooting Bulls, who had a shooting percentage of 74% in the first quarter and 67% in the first half. They ended up shooting 64% for the night, so the Cavs had no chance.
After that incredible game on Friday, the Bulls came back home to face the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets were without the #1 pick in this year’s draft and Chicago native Anthony Davis, who suffered a concussion in his previous game. It was the only trip to Chicago for the Hornets and Davis could not make it, a disappointment to his friends and family.
Even without Davis, the Hornets played well and came away with a victory, 89-82. After a scorching start in Cleveland, the Bulls took over 5 minutes to get TWO baskets.
It was an all-around ugly game for the Bulls. The bench outscored the starters. Boozer, Hamilton and Hinrich combined to shoot 4-26 (15.3%), and as a team the Bulls shot 33% for the game.
Up next for the Bulls, the Orlando Magic come to town tomorrow. Also, the defending Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder come rolling to Chicago on Thursday, and on Saturday the Minnesota Timberwolves come to town.
Well, the NFL season is half over for the Bears, and if the Bears play as well in the second half as they did the first half, then Bears fans may be making plans for February. They obliterated the Tennessee Titans 51-20 on Sunday, running their record to 7-1.
The Bears defense again made an impact on the game. They forced six fumbles, recovering 4 of them. They also had an interception returned for a touchdown, and a blocked punt also run in for a score. The interception return marked the 7th time the defense scored a touchdown. The record for most touchdowns by a defense in a season is 9 (1961 San Diego Chargers), and the Bears are almost there at the halfway point of the season.
The beatdown started right from the start. “We didn’t want to have a repeat of last week against Carolina,” Charles Tillman said. “This week our whole motto was, `Let’s start fast.’ To create a turnover on the first play of the game was the mindset going into the game.” On the Titans’ first offensive play of the game, Tillman, who forced 4 fumbles, did just that, knocking the ball out of Kenny Britt’s hands.
The Bears made history in an incredible first quarter. They became the first team in NFL history to score a touchdown on a run, a pass, an interception, and a blocked punt. The Bears ended that first quarter with a 28-2 lead, and the blowout was on.
The offense also looked pretty good. Matt Forte ran for 103 on 12 carries, and added 45 yards on 2 receptions. Jay Cutler went 19-26 for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns. Those touchdowns were all thrown to Brandon Marshall, who also had 122 yards on 9 catches. Robbie Gould added 3 field goals to finish off the incredible game.
This Bears defense is playing on such a high level right now. They are getting comparisons to the 1985 Bears (Super Bowl XX champs). I think that is premature, but they have a similar swagger to them.
Now the Bears get to the tough part of their schedule. Up next, they face the also 7-1 Houston Texans. Both teams’ losses have come to the Green Bay Packers, who remain looking up at the Bears in the NFC North.
In hockey…nope still no games
Until next week, go out and vote!!!