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Good morning, friends!
There's a big Bulls game in Milwaukee tonight and a big playoff weekend starting tomorrow. Let's get straight down to business.
Illinois at Maryland (6, FS1)
Bulls at Bucks (7, ESPN)
Wild at Hawks (7:30, NBCSCH)
Missouri State at Loyola (2:30, CBS Sports Net)
DePaul at Creighton (4:30, CBS Sports Net)
Hawks at Wild (8, NBCSCH)
Northwestern at Purdue (Noon, BTN)
Bulls at Magic (5, NBCSCH)
If December was the month the Bulls couldn't lose, January has turned out to be the complete opposite.
Lonzo Ball will miss the next 6-8 weeks after surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee, the team announced on Thursday. The news comes as a surprise after the injury was initially diagnosed as a "bone bruise." But it's less of a shock after a report the knee did not respond to treatment as Ball missed the last three games. It's also the same the meniscus that Ball had surgery on back in 2018.
So now what?
Well, the Bulls are going to be up against it for awhile. Zach LaVine still has ~3 weeks left on the initial diagnosis for his knee injury, though Billy Donovan said on Wednesday that the guard was responding well to treatment.
Derrick Jones Jr. also remains sidelined, but the good news is that Alex Caruso is again playing and Javonte Green should return soon from a groin strain.
Also good: Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White have been acquitting themselves well under increased expectations.
Still, it's a bummer we won't see Ball again until after the All-Star break and maybe even closer to St. Patrick's Day. He had been the Bulls' most consistent weapon, not missing a game until being the last big contributor to hit the COVID list in late December.
Ball joked at the time that fans and media had jinxed by talking about all the games he'd played while other teammates missed their own time.
Three weeks later, maybe Ball was right about being hexed.
📬 Reader mail
"Kane is totally untradeable for Hawks. Has many good years left and they will have Toews money off the cap next year. They won’t even get back fair value on the ice let alone the insane sadness for the fan base and PR that would ensue. No one will take Toews contract. I think he re-signs here for less after next season. Kane should get a mega extension this summer." — Matt B.
"The other element of Les Grobstein's past is his work as a radio play-by-play guy. Yes, he not only did NU basketball, which everyone seems to remember, but also Chicago Sting soccer for two seasons in the 1970s, the long forgotten women's basketball team the Hustle for their three seasons, long time radio voice of the UIC basketball and hockey Flames, Horizon indoor soccer, and even roller hockey in the mid 1990s.
Much of this was in the era prior to the FCC allowing companies to own massive numbers of stations in the market so there were stations seeking programming or were willing to offer broker time. Les was good as a play by-play guy often with no sidekick to fill air time. I suspect that one of the disappointments of life is that he never landed a gig as play-by-play for one of the major franchises. — Mike P.
Bears coach/GM search
Here's what happened on Thursday ...
• The team announced it completed interviews with Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Miami senior exec Reggie McKenzie on Thursday.
• Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown will interview on Monday, NFL Network's Ian Rapaport reported. That's the same day that Colts DC Matt Eberflus will return for his second interview.
• The Bears plan to interview Chargers director of player personnel JoJo Wooden, according to Chargers GM Tom Telesco.
• The Bears also plan to interview Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, according to Nick Underhill.
• Old friend Josh McCown interviewed for the Texans' head coaching job.
1. Evan Drellich says MLB is testing the union and won't make significant concessions without a fight. The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Monday with the players making a counter. The Athletic
2. On the heels of her TED Talk, Candace Parker is producing a documentary on the impact of Title IX with Turner Sports. Sun-Times
3. Jeff Agrest just released his second annual ranking of Chicago broadcasters and radio voices. Now do writers, Jeff! Sun-Times
4. Scott Powers thinks we need to appreciate Pat Foley while he's still calling games for the Hawks. I think the Hawks need to name John Wiedeman his successor. The Athletic
5. Crown Point, Indiana is getting a new Northern League baseball team. Name? The Lake County Corn Dogs. I'm going to need a hat. Region News Source
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