God morning, frents!
And happy NFL schedule release day! Early reports have the Bears opening up against the Rams on Sunday Night Football, which probably means NBC isn't buying that Andy Dalton QB1 tweet either.
Another report has the Bears playing the Vikings on Monday Night Football in Week 15. We'll find out if both are true starting at 7.
Sox 9, Twins 3
Indians 3, Cubs 2
Nets 115, Bulls 107
Cubs at Indians (12:10, Marquee)
Twins at Sox (7:10, NBCSCH)
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Are the Bulls feeling lucky?
Here are the four greatest all-time conspiracy theories:
- Lee Harvey Oswald was framed.
- The moon landing was staged.
- Aliens really landed in Roswell, N.M.
- NBA commissioner David Stern rigged the 1985 draft lottery by having the Knicks' envelope frozen before he picked so they'd be the team to land Patrick Ewing
Who's to say about the first three?
But today is the 36th anniversary of the Knicks winning the Ewing lottery, an event that was supposedly designed to resurrect the franchise and place it on a championship trajectory again.
It's also the day after the Bulls put themselves on the verge of elimination from the playoffs race after a 115-107 loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday night.
So let's just come out and say it: Do you think we could ask Adam Silver to participate in some lottery hijinks for the Bulls on June 22?
With NBA ratings falling and interest in the Bulls still riding a post-Last Dance high, it would be a boon for the NBA commissioner to get Michael Jordan's former franchise back on the scent of the Larry O'Brien trophy.
And with apologies to the Milwaukee Bucks, it would also fill the league's big hole in the midwest.
Out east, the Knicks are seemingly rising behind Julius Randle and our old pal Tom Thibodeau. Brooklyn has their three-headed monster (though only Kevin Durant figured heavily into last night's win.) The 76ers and Celtics have dangerous cores if they can ever overcome their respective soap operas.
Out west, Los Angeles has LeBron and Kawhi. Utah and Phoenix could be building something. Golden State isn't going away and Denver has the presumptive MVP in Nikola Jokic.
The midwest, though, needs a little help and let's not pretend that anyone is going to ever rig anything for the Indiana Pacers or Minnesota Timberwolves or even the Greek Freak, as nice as his smile might be.
Let's also be real: The Bulls' current troika of Nikola Vučević, Zach LaVine and Patrick Williams need more great talent among them.
To make it happen and bring the Bulls another potential franchise talent, they need some luck, or whatever was in (or on) the Ewing envelope those many years ago.
There will be a lot riding on the lottery for the Bulls. If they get a top four pick, they get to keep it. If their pick is anywhere else, it goes to Orlando as part of the Vucevic trade. (Next year's first-rounder is headed there as well.)
According to Tankathon, the Bulls' pick will likely by No. 8 or 9. But there's still also a 26.3 percent chance it will fall between picks 1-4. The Bulls haven't won the lottery since Rose in 2008, and before that Elton Brand in 1999, but there is a not-small chance they could have their pick of anyone in the draft.
But is there even a Patrick Ewing-type in this draft like in 1985? Or even a Karl Malone-type? Probably not on both accounts, but the Bulls also would take a new Terry Porter, Detlef Schrempf, Chris Mullin or Joe Dumars, too. They might be able to get one of those. And hey, hardly anyone thought Michael Jordan was the best player in the 1984 draft.
The top prospects this year project to be Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 point guard; the G League's Jalen Green, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard; USC's Evan Mobley, a 7-foot center; and Gonzaga's Jalen Green, a 6-foot-4 point guard. Cunningham would be ideal, but let's just say that the Bulls roster isn't so stacked that president of operations Arturas Karnisovas would turn away any top pick from the Berto Center if they showed up on the stoop.
Not that winning a draft lottery would be the end-all to reaching prosperity for the Bulls. It wasn't that way for the '80s Knicks, who ever since winning the NBA championship in 1973 had been on a downward slog. They had the league's top scorer in Bernard King in 1985, but a serious knee injury knocked him out in March and the rest of the team stunk like a dump. The NBA's New York City franchise had no hope for the future until May 12 of that year when Stern just happened to pluck the right envelope from the lottery drum.
The Knicks certainly played much better with Ewing, though the championship never happened with him on the roster. That had more to do with the presence of Michael Jordan on the Bulls (and later Hakeem Olajuwon on the Houston Rockets, and Tim Duncan on the Spurs) than anything Ewing himself failed to do. At least Ewing's Knicks twice reached the NBA Finals, although those events happened well after the Ewing lottery. But they also wouldn't have happened without Ewing.
So, we watch and we wait for the Bulls to have another opportunity at a sweepstakes. Here's to gambling — and maybe a little help on lottery night?
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Final: Sox 9, Twins 3
Yasmani Grandal's three-run homer in the bottom of the second inning erased a sloppy effort in the top of the frame and the Sox offense turned on the jets late to cruise to a fourth straight victory.
- Jose Abreu added his seventh homer of the season to stay hot. Dylan Cease struck out seven over five and the bullpen turned in four scoreless innings.
- The 20-13 Sox extended their lead over the 12-21 Twins to eight games, though Cleveland stayed a game behind with its win over the Cubs.
Next: Twins lefty J.A. Happ (1-1, 1.91) tries his hand against the Sox's lefty-hungry lineup while Dallas Keuchel (1-1, 3.79) goes for the home team.
Final: Indians 3, Cubs 2
The Cubs offense made Shane Bieber work harder that we might have expected, getting nine hits and forcing 121 pitches over 6 2/3 innings. But the Cubs still couldn't plate more than two runs and the reigning Cy Young winner still managed to strike out eight and walk away with the win.
- Javy Baez was a late scratch and Kris Bryant was pulled from the game in the sixth, inciting a mini-panic on Twitter before the team said he wasn't feeling well with a sinus issue. (Yeah, we should probably keep a close eye on that anyway.)
- The Cubs acquired Trayce Thompson from Arizona for cash earlier Tuesday. You might know him by being a White Sox draft. pick or being the brother of Klay Thompson. Either way, he's a 30-year-old outfielder with only 202 MLB games to his name and a report date with the Iowa Cubs. He's injury insurance with a little name recognition.
Next: Zach Davies (2-2, 6.30) gets a chance to bring that ERA down against Sam Hentges (1-0, 5.00), who will be making his first major league start today at noon.
- Michael Jordan revealed the contents of his final texts with Kobe Bryant. For The Win
- The Blackhawks came out strong against broadcaster Pat Foley, calling his joke about suicide "absolutely unacceptable." Tribune
- It's not every day you see a Chicago athlete on The Daily Show. Here's Candace Parker talking about a bunch of things with Trevor Noah. The Daily Show
- 13 Bears were on NFL.com's list of the best picks at every slot in NFL draft history, including No. 3 (but not No. 4). Chicago Bears
5. Nice Chicago homes that cost under $300,000. Chicago Mag