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Windy City Sports Report – 12/24/12

26 Dec

 

Hello sports fans, Carlos here with your latest Windy City Sports Report. In this edition, are the Bears still in the playoff hunt? How well are the Bulls playing without Rose? When will they cancel the hockey season?

The Bears faced the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday, fighting for their playoff lives. It showed in their play as they cruised to a 28-13 victory.

The offense again started out slowly, with Cutler missing on 10 of his first 11 throws. He did make 11 of his next 15 for 146 yards and a touchdown. Matt Forte ran very well, gaining 88 yards on 12 carries, but he reinjured his right ankle (for the third time this season) and left early in the second half.

The defense, however, returned to their thieving ways. They forced three turnovers, scoring on two of them. They now have nine turnovers returned for touchdowns, one short of the NFL record. One of those scores was a pick-6 by Charles Tillman. That was the team’s 8th pick-6 of the season, also one short of the NFL record.

The defense has now forced 40 turnovers (23 INT’s and 27 fumble recoveries), first in the league.

Along with the turnovers, the defense also put pressure on the Cardinals. They got 4 sacks in the game, 3 of them by Julius Peppers. Peppers is again having a strong season. With those 3 sacks, he now has 11.5 for the season. He understands the situation the Bears are in and is trying his best to get the team over the top and into the playoffs. He played his best game when the Bears needed it most. Now they need him to do it again next week.

The season for the Bears now comes down to this: Bears need to win next Sunday against the Detroit Lions and the Vikings have to lose against the Green Bay Packers so Lovie Smith’s gang can get into the playoffs. After a great first half of the season (7-1), it was a foregone conclusion that they would make the playoffs. Now Bears fans have to, ugh, CHEER ON THE PACKERS! After the win on Sunday I will be there with my pail so I could vomit while cheering on the Cheeseheads.

The first place Bulls played four games last week, looking to keep hold of that lead in the Central. They started out the week at Memphis against the Grizzlies.

The start was not what the Bulls were looking for as they lost to the Grizz 80-71 in a very ugly game. The Bulls shot a meager 37.3% while the Grizz shot a whole 0.2% at 37.5% for the game. Deng led the Bulls with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Marco Belinelli had 13 points and Luol Deng and Joakim Noah had 11 points apiece.

After the ugly loss at Memphis, the Bulls faced the Boston Celtics the next night. The Bulls came away with an impressive 100-89 win.

Noah was the star of this game, as he recorded his second career triple double. He had 11 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. The Bulls outscored the Celtics in every quarter.

After the win against the Celtics, the Bulls traveled to New York to face the Knicks in a rough and tumble, crazy game.

The Bulls beat the Knicks earlier in the season so New York was looking for payback. The Bulls dominated the game (for the most part) and beat the Knicks 110-106. The score was not indicative of the Bulls’ dominance. They took their foot off the gas in the 4th quarter and made the score closer than it really was. The Bulls started the game with a 14-2 run and never really looked back until the 4th quarter.

The Knicks were frustrated by the Bulls’ stifling defense, and, in their thoughts, shaky refereeing. I agree that the refs had a bad night, but they made bad calls on both sides. The Bulls, though, did not let the refs get them out of their game.

There were nine technical fouls called in the game, six against the Knicks and three against the Bulls. There were also four ejections, three of them Knicks and one Bull.

Carmelo Anthony had 29 points, but was hounded by the Bulls’ defense. He had to work for all his buckets and his frustration boiled over in the 4th when he received his second technical and an ejection.

Shortly after, New York coach Mike Woodson argued with the refs and said some magic words that got him ejected.

Later in the 4th, Noah and Tyson Chandler got tangled up and words were exchanged. It could have stayed there except Chandler tried to head butt Noah and Noah tried to return the favor. Technicals were called and both players were ejected.

In the middle of all the craziness, the Knicks were hitting treys on their way to a 45 point final quarter. The Bulls did not do too bad themselves, scoring 27.

After the craziness in New York, the Bulls went to Atlanta to face the Hawks. They got in late and it showed. The Bulls were listless and their shots were not going down and they lost 92-75.

The Bulls actually had a lead after the first quarter, but the Hawks outscored them by 20 in the second and never looked back.

Deng led the Bulls with just 11 points, while Noah scored 10, and they were the only players to break double figures in scoring for the Bulls.

The Bulls’ record now stands at 15-11, just percentage points ahead of the Indiana Pacers. They are a surprising bunch, considering they are waiting for the return of their MVP, Derrick Rose. Rose is not due back until about late February, but the Bulls are playing together and coach Tom Thibodeau’s defensive philosophy is being run night in and night out. It will be interesting to see this team once its leader comes back.

This week they have a primetime appearance at home on Christmas Day against the Rockets then travel to Indiana to face the Pacers. After a couple of days off, they face the Washington Wizards at home on Saturday.

Nope, still no hockey. They should just go ahead and cancel the season now.

Until next week, sports fans, have a merry Christmas. I hope Santa brings you what you wish for (my wish is for a Bears playoff appearance).

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