Bears avoid 2 point Cardinal PAT to hold on for win

GLENDALE—Mike Glennon was better – not great, but better – in the Bears’ 24-23 preseason victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night.Glennon, just 2 for 8 for 20 yards last week in the Bears preseason opener, played the entire first half in Arizona, completing 13 of 18 passes for 89 yards.

”I thought it was a big improvement,” Bears coach John Fox said. ”I thought the whole offense responded, including Mike.”

Glennon was picked off by Tyrann Mathieu as the Bears were threatening to score but bounced back to throw his first touchdown pass of the preseason.

”The turnover wasn’t a good thing but the way we responded was more important,” Glennon said. ”I thought all our guys responded well, bounced back and got that touchdown drive.”

Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears’ rookie who had an outstanding debut in the preseason opener, played most of the second half. He wasn’t quite as spectacular this time but a solid 6 for 8 for 60 yards and a score. He was sacked once and had a would-be interception dropped.The biggest play of the night came from Deonte Thompson, who returned a missed Arizona field goal 109 yards for a touchdown as the first half ended.Phil Dawson, who has never kicked one longer than 56 yards in his 18 NFL seasons, attempted a 63-yarder with a second to play in the half and was short and wide right.

”Phil kicks 65-yard field goals every day in practice so why not try one in the game?” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. ”That one’s on me.”

Thompson fielded the miss a step inside the end line and dodged tackles all the way downfield for the score.

”I’ve never had one returned like that, that I can remember off the top of my head,” Dawson said.

The Cardinals nearly pulled out the win behind Blaine Gabbert.After Arizona recovered a late onside kick attempt, Gabbert threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Ross with nine seconds to play, but the two-point conversion try fell incomplete.The Bears were up 3-0 and had driven to the Arizona 11 when Mathieu stepped in front of intended receiver Kendall Wright, picked off Glennon’s pass and returned it 52 yards to the Bear 43.

”It was just a ball I shouldn’t have thrown,” Glennon said, ”just a bad decision.”

The Cardinals needed 11 plays to drive for the touchdown. Chris Johnson was stuffed on third-and-goal from the 1 but Arizona went for it on fourth down. Palmer found tight end Jermaine Gresham in the back of the end zone and the Cardinals led 7-3.After the Bears held Arizona’s second offensive unit deep in its own territory, Glennon directed the Bears on a six-play, 44-yard drive, capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass to Wright to make it 10-7 with 36 seconds left in the half.David Johnson barely played for Arizona, gaining 3 yards in three carries.

”He doesn’t need to get tackled that much,” Arians said. ”Get the feel for the game, he and Larry (Fitzgerald) both, and get him out.”

Palmer was 9 for 14 for 67 yards and a touchdown.

”Carson was not as sharp as he’s been,” Arians said. ”We didn’t get a lot of work against these guys for him and it showed.”

Gabbert played the entire second half, completing 14 of 25 for 174 yards with one interception. He ran 4 yards for a score.With Jordan Howard and Jeremy Langford out with injuries, rookie Tarik Cohen started at running back for the Bears and was impressive. The 5-foot-6, 181-pound fourth-round pick out of North Carolina A&T carried 11 times for 77 yards.

”That’s the mainstay of my game, being a speedy back with a low center of gravity,” Cohen said, ”so I’m hard to tackle.”
Arians said his starters ”tackled really poorly.”
Robert Aguayo, a 2016 second-round draft pick released by Tampa Bay earlier in the week, missed a 49-yarder wide right in his first field goal try for the Bears.The Bears were without 14 players to start the game due to injuries. The most recent additions were defensive end Akiem Hicks (Achilles) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring).

Might Bulls and Wade still work a buy out?

Bulls Logo
When the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler for a horde of young talent on draft night, many wondered whether Dwyane Wade would be the next to leave town.Well, the Bulls are expected to reach a buyout agreement in the near future.The Bulls owe Wade nearly $24 million next season, the final year of his contract. Wade would likely insist on receiving a large portion of that sum in any buyout agreement. Once Wade clears waivers, he will become an unrestricted free agent, able to immediately sign with any team except for the Bulls who  are clearly building for the future around the young players they picked up for Butler: Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 35-year-old Wade is not interested in being part of a rebuilding effort, so it makes sense for both parties to cut ties as soon as possible.If and when the buyout is reached there will be a furious market for Wade, who averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 60 games last season, his first season outside of Miami. 

 

Bulls open season Oct 19 at Toronto/Home opener Oct 21 vs S.Antonio

The Bulls will tip off their 2017-18 regular-season campaign on Oct. 19 when they travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Two nights later at the United Center, they will host its home opener on Oct. 21 when the San Antonio Spurs make their lone appearance of the season in the Windy City. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT).Other prominent home games in 2017-18 include: the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 28, the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 4 and March 17, the Boston Celtics on Dec. 11 and March 5, the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 3 and Feb. 14, the Houston Rockets on Jan. 8, the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors on Jan. 17, the Minnesota Timberwolves on Feb. 9, and the Los Angeles Clippers on March 13.
Regular Season

Oct 19 @Tor 6:30 PM
Oct 21 SA 7:00 PM
Oct 24 @Cle 6:00 PM
Oct 26 Atl 7:00 PM
Oct 28 OKC 7:00 PM
Nov 1 @Miami 6:30 PM
Nov 3 @Orl 6:00 PM
Nov 4 NO 7:00 PM
Nov 7 @Tor 6:30 PM
Nov 10 Ind 7:00 PM
Nov 11 @SA 7:30 PM
Nov 15 @OKC 7:00 PM
Nov 17 Char 7:00 PM
Nov 19 @Pho 7:00 PM
Nov 21 @LAL 9:30 PM
Nov 22 @Utah 8:00 PM
Nov 24 @GS 9:30 PM
Nov 26 Miami 2:30 PM
Nov 28 Pho 7:00 PM
Nov 30 @Den 8:00 PM
Dec 1 Sac 7:00 PM
Dec 4 Cle 7:00 PM
Dec 6 @Ind 6:00 PM
Dec 8 @Char 6:00 PM
Dec 9 NY 7:00 PM
Dec 11 Bos 7:00 PM
Dec 13 Utah 7:00 PM
Dec 15 @Mil 7:00 PM
Dec 18 Phi 7:00 PM
Dec 20 Orl 7:00 PM
Dec 21 @Cle 6:00 PM
Dec 23 @Bos 6:30 PM
Dec 26 @Mil 7:00 PM
Dec 27 NY 7:00 PM
Dec 29 Ind 7:00 PM
Dec 31 @Wash 2:30 PM
Jan 1 Port 7:00 PM
Jan 3 Tor 7:00 PM
Jan 5 @Dal 7:30 PM
Jan 6 @Ind 6:00 PM
Jan 8 Hou 7:00 PM
Jan 10 @NY 6:30 PM
Jan 13 Det 7:00 PM
Jan 15 Miami 2:30 PM
Jan 17 GS 7:00 PM
Jan 20 @Atl 4:00 PM
Jan 22 @NO 7:00 PM
Jan 24 @Phi 6:00 PM
Jan 26 LAL 7:00 PM
Jan 28 Mil 2:30 PM
Jan 31 @Port 9:00 PM
Feb 3 @LAC 2:30 PM
Feb 5 @Sac 9:00 PM
Feb 9 Min 7:00 PM
Feb 10 Wash 7:00 PM
Feb 12 Orl 7:00 PM
Feb 14 Tor 7:00 PM
Feb 22 Phi 7:00 PM
Feb 24 @Min 8:00 PM
Feb 26 @Brooklym 6:30 PM
Feb 27 @Char 6:00 PM
Mar 2 Dal 7:00 PM
Mar 5 Bos 7:00 PM
Mar 7 Mem 7:00 PM
Mar 9 @Det 6:00 PM
Mar 11 @Atl 2:30 PM
Mar 13 LAC 7:00 PM
Mar 15 @Mem 7:00 PM
Mar 17 Cle 7:00 PM
Mar 19 @NY 6:30 PM
Mar 21 Den 7:00 PM
Mar 23 Mil 7:00 PM
Mar 24 @Det 6:00 PM
Mar 27 @Hou 7:00 PM
Mar 29 @Miami 6:30 PM
Mar 30 @Orl 6:00 PM
Apr 1 Wash 2:30 PM
Apr 3 Char 7:00 PM
Apr 6 @Bos 6:30 PM
Apr 7 Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Apr 9 @Brooklyn 6:30 PM
Apr 11 Det 7:00 PM

Trubisky outplays Glennon, but Bears fall late to Broncos 24-17

Mitch Trubisky threw for 166 yards and led three scoring drives after Mike Glennon struggled, before the Denver Broncos scored two long touchdowns in the closing minutes to beat the Bears 24-17 in the preseason opener on Thursday night.Though the Bears have insisted Glennon is their starter, Trubisky just might have created a quarterback controversy.Denver’s Trevor Siemian,a former Northwestern Wildcat, did nothing to hurt his standing as the leader for the starting quarterback job, while Paxton Lynch did little to close any ground.Third-stringer Kyle Sloter threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie with about six minutes left in the game, and De’Angelo Henderson ran for a 41-yard score with just under two minutes remaining to put the Broncos on top 24-17.But the biggest development in this game was Trubisky showing exactly why general manager Ryan Pace traded up a spot with San Francisco to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick.The North Carolina product completed 18 of 25 passes in his first pro appearance after making just 13 college starts.Trubisky replaced veteran Mark Sanchez late in the second quarter and completed his first 10 passes while leading the Bears to touchdowns on his first two possessions and a field goal on the next one. That gave the Bears a 17-10 lead.Glennon had a rough time in his first appearance for the Bears. Signed to a three-year contract after the Bears parted with Jay Cutler, he was 2 of 8 for 20 yards with a zero QB rating. Chris Harris Jr. intercepted an overthrown pass on the game’s third play from scrimmage and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.Things didn’t get much better for Bear’s offense until Trubisky came in with 1:55 left in the half.He completed four passes on a 50-yard drive, connecting with Victor Cruz from the 2 to cut it to 10-7 with 13 seconds left.Trubisky then led the Bears on a 75-yard drive early in the third, going 5 for 5 for 50 yards before Benny Cunningham ran it in from the 1 to give the Bears a 14-10 lead.Siemian – a surprise successor to Peyton Manning last season – completed 6 of 7 passes for 51 yards and led a field-goal drive.Lynch came on early in the second quarter and was 6 for 9 for 42 yards.

Cutler puts broadcasting career on hold, signs with Dolphins.

 

 

DAVIE,FL.—The Miami Dolphins just made a $10 million mistake.They signed free-agent Jay Cutler to a large, one-year contract that won’t result in more victories than last season — or even an equal amount (10) — or a trip to the postseason. The only thing guaranteed by this move is that the Dolphins lost $10 million in cap room for this season — Jarvis Landry extension, anyone? — or to roll over into next season with the blind hope that Cutler will lead Miami to the playoffs.The Dolphins believe they are a playoff team and made a desperation play with Cutler after Ryan Tannehill suffered a left knee injury that likely will sideline him for most or all of this season.By now you know the connection: Cutler played one year under Adam Gase with the Bears in 2015. Gase believes in Cutler perhaps more than any coach whom the quarterback has had in his career. Cutler threw for 3,659 yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in their one season together.The Bears also went 6-10 that year and ranked 23rd in passing. How much higher is the ceiling in 2017 for Cutler, 34, who is now two years older and coming off a season-ending shoulder injury last season? Add in the fact that Cutler didn’t have an offseason of minicamp, organized team activities and a good portion of training camp, and expectations should be lowered.What seemed like an obvious conclusion is becoming reality: Cutler is going to end up playing football in 2017 and he is going to reunite with Adam Gase in Miami. The question isn’t if, but simply when, as multiple reports indicate the two sides are closing in on a one-year deal that will allow Cutler to leave Fox Sports to replace Ryan Tannehill, who suffered a knee injury on Thursday in practice. Cutler left football this offseason to join Fox’s NFL broadcasting team.The deal is a one-year contract worth $10 million. Tannehill injured his left knee back in Week 14 of the 2016 season but ultimately elected not to have surgery on what was diagnosed as a partially torn ACL. Hindsight is always clear, but that decision appears to have been a very poor choice, as Tannehill injured the knee again early in training camp during a non-contact situation while wearing a brace. At the time of the initial injury, Dolphins coach Gase reportedly reached out to Peyton Manning as possible help to replace Tannehill. The Cutler connection for Gase here was very obvious: he coached Cutler in 2015 when he was the offensive coordinator for the Bears. That season featured Cutler playing arguably the most efficient stretch of football during his Chicago tenure. Before the Dolphins could even determine the severity of Tannehill’s injury, folks were clamoring for Colin Kaepernick as a replacement at quarterback in Miami. The reality is that Cutler always made more sense given his history with Gase. Cutler’s contract presents a pretty interesting situation for the Dolphins as well. He is very clearly just a single-year rental and reportedly wanted to be careful about how he handled the situation with respect to Tannehill.

Brian Campbell retires, joins Hawks Front Office.

usatsi-9989258.jpg
Brian Campbell played over a 1,000 games in 17 seasons, winning one Stanley Cup. 

Brian Campbell has announced his retirement from the NHL, ending a 17-year career that began with the Buffalo Sabres but was highlighted by two stints with the Blackhawks.Here are three takeaways from the 38-year-old defenseman stepping off the ice:
*The Hawks lacking experience at blue line
*The Blackhawks already traded Trevor van Riemsdyk and lost both Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya. And while Campbell was left to sit on the free agent market since his one-year deal expired on July 1, his loss still magnifies the Hawks need for some veteran presence on defense.
*Campbell played over a 1,000 games in 17 seasons, winning one Stanley Cup-in 2009-10.

Campbell noted after the 2016-17 campaign that he’d either return to the Blackhawks or hang it up, so his departure isn’t exactly surprising, but it still makes for notable news after a 1,082-game career that included 504 points and a Stanley Cup win between four teams.Campbell can be considered a Blackhawk for life.It’s not often a blue-liner of Campbell’s caliber and durability spends such a long time in the NHL before playing for a franchise he truly can call home. He spent nearly eight seasons in Buffalo — with a brief sting in San Jose — before landing in Chicago. Even after he was dealt by the Blackhawks to the Florida Panthers for salary cap room, a move that followed up three years’ worth of playoff contributions, the D-man kept a house in Chicago, and took a discount to come back to in 2016-17. Now, as he heads into retirement, he’s embracing a marketing spot in the team’s front office.The Hawks offseason has been all about nostalgia.Talk about a nostalgic summer for the Blackhawks. It’s up to you to decide if it’s been a good one, too. Before Campbell made his announcement and made his quick transition to the front office, the team made headlines for welcoming back several ex-Blackhawks in free agency and through trades, including former Jonathan Toews line partner Brandon Saad. Only time will tell whether or not Chicago’s blast from the past will pay off in a question-filled 2017-18 season.
The Blackhawks annual Fan Convention started Friday at the Chicago Hilton & Towers.

Phil Jackson and NY Knicks part company

The New York Knicks and president of basketball operations and former Bulls six time NBA Champ Phil Jackson have “mutually agreed” to part ways, the team announced Wednesday morning.

Via Knicks.com:
MSG Executive Chairman Jim Dolan and Phil Jackson announced today that, after discussing the future of the New York Knicks, they have mutually agreed to part company. Mr. Jackson is leaving his post as President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately.
“After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” said Mr. Dolan. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.

The Knicks’ offseason has been non-stop chaos, as Jackson publicly feuded with the team’s two best players, making it clear that he believes New York would be better off without Carmelo Anthony while also putting Kristaps Porzingis on the trading block because he wasn’t able to get over the young big man skipping his exit interview. Both are still on the team, however, as Anthony holds a no-trade clause, giving him all the power in any trade talks. Even though he has recently become open to a buyout, the Knicks are hesitant to lose him for nothing. Meanwhile, no team was able to meet the exorbitant price for Porzingis, and that whole ordeal seems to have perhaps been more of a charade to punish Porzingis. Already looking towards the future, Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Dolan has his sights set on Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri as a replacement.

Bulls trade Butler to Minnesota for LaVine and Dunn.

Image result for 2017 nba draft logo

 

 

The Bulls have traded Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a draft-night trade. Butler was the subject of trade rumors since the season ended and will be reunited with former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. The Bulls received the rights to No. 7 pick, forward Lauri Markkanen, and along with guards Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn. The Wolves received the rights to No. 16 pick, center Justin Patton, along with Butler.
Butler had said he didn’t want to be traded, but the Bulls have been wanting to move him for quite some time. Due to this trade, Butler will no longer qualify for the super max contract, but he does get to play on one of the brightest young teams in the NBA. He’ll immediately be the best player in Minnesota while having a chance to grow with their young core.
Going to the Bulls will be rising shooting guard LaVine. LaVine was playing incredible basketball last season before going down with a knee injury. He’s a dead-eye 3-point shooter and can jump out of the gym. If he’s healthy, the Bulls have acquired one of the stronger guards in the NBA.
Minnesota made out great in this trade. To get Butler and still manage to stay in the draft via the No. 16 pick — which turned out to be Justin Patton — is incredible use of their assets. They had to let go of LaVine, but they’ve become a much better team by adding Butler. Minnesota is going to win more games next year and Butler will be why.

ALL-NBA TEAMS–Butler on 3rd Team.

Image result for nba logo

 

2016-17 All-NBA First Team

Position Player Team 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total
Guard James Harden Rockets 100 500
Forward LeBron James Cavaliers 99 1 498
Guard Russell Westbrook Thunder 99 1 498
Forward Kawhi Leonard Spurs 96 3 1 490
Center Anthony Davis Pelicans 45 34 16 343

2016-17 All-NBA Second Team

Position Player Team 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total
Center Rudy Gobert Jazz 43 38 10 339
Guard Stephen Curry Warriors 1 93 6 290
Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo Bucks 81 15 258
Forward Kevin Durant Warriors 3 66 26 239
Guard Isaiah Thomas Celtics 71 23 236

2016 All-NBA Third Team

Position Player Team 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total
Forward Draymond Green Warriors 4 21 51 134
Guard John Wall Wizards 19 68 125
Forward Jimmy Butler Bulls 19 45 102
Guard DeMar DeRozan Raptors 4 50 62
Center DeAndre Jordan Clippers 3 7 18 54

Bulls out of misery,, blown out by Celtics

 Image result for 2017 NBA PLAYOFFS LOGO

The Bulls are out of their misery! The Boston Celtics kept reminding each other not to let up as they closed in on a lopsided victory and a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals.No need to worry about that.Avery Bradley scored 23 points, and the hot-shooting Celtics pounded the Bulls 105-83 to win their first-round series 4-2 on Friday night.The top-seeded Celtics simply torched the Bulls to finish off a tougher-than-anticipated series and advance in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Boston regrouped after dropping the first two games at home and will meet Washington in the Eastern semifinals. Game 1 is Sunday.

”Once we started to get the game at hand and in control, we all just kept repeating to stay focused, to keep it going, to keep pushing,” Al Horford said. ”We didn’t want to give them any life. We were as focused and we were enjoying the moment.”

Bradley finished one point shy of a playoff career high he set in Game 5. He nailed three 3-pointers and the Celtics hit 16 of 39 from long range.Gerald Green scored 16 in his fourth straight start and Isaiah Thomas had 12 before heading home to Washington state for his sister Chyna’s funeral on Saturday. Her death in a car accident the day before the playoff opener dealt a blow to the Celtics. But Boston rallied around its star player and regrouped when it looked like the series might slip from reach.

”Bigger things than basketball happen and that takes precedent,” coach Brad Stevens said. ”I was really proud of our guys, how they treated each other and how they stuck together. Nobody pointed fingers and we’re a great support network for one another, especially Isaiah. I think they appreciated being counted out.”

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 23 points. But the Bulls never really found their rhythm over the final four games with point guard Rajon Rondo sidelined by a broken right thumb.Dwyane Wade shot just 1 of 10 in a two-point effort that could be his final appearance for the Bulls. He has a $23.8 million option on the two-year deal he signed last summer to leave Miami and come home to Chicago.

”The big thing about it is we got off to poor starts in pretty much every game after the first two,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”But we found a way to bounce back and make it close.”

Not this time.The Celtics set the tone by hitting 3s on their first three possessions on the way to a 13-point halftime lead. They buried the Bulls in the third, outscoring them 34-18. Things got so lopsided that Thomas gathered his teammates near the baseline late in the quarter and screamed: ”That’s a wrap for these (expletives)!”

”We came out and moved the ball around, we got open looks and they were going down for us,” Bradley said. ”It felt good to be playing Celtic basketball again. We were all smiling and having fun and that’s how it’s supposed to be.”

The Celtics are 5-0 in playoff series against the Bulls. … Boston made 76 3-pointers in the series while Chicago hit 42.

NOTES—The Bulls had 15 turnovers and 13 assists. … Hoiberg said there is no structural damage in Butler’s right knee. He also had this response when asked what soreness means: ”Uh, that it hurts.” … New Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2 pick in the draft, got a rude welcome from the Chicago crowd. He was booed when he was shown on the videoboard in the third quarter.Butler, whose name has come up in trade rumors, on his future with the Bulls: ”I don’t know. Go home and grab some dinner and talk about it with it my guys. Talk to them tomorrow and into two weeks.”

Bradley thought about attending Chyna Thomas’ funeral. That won’t happen with a game on Sunday, but his family will be there.Bradley grew up near Thomas and they’ve known each other since they were youngsters.