Good morning, frents!
Only 49 days until opening day. Thank you for being a subscriber of Midway Minute.
Bruins 2, Blackhawks 1 (OT)
Pelicans at Bulls (7 pm, NBC Sports Chicago)
Wait … a Bulls game worth watching?
Thank god for small favors.
It was late Wednesday afternoon when the Pelicans sent out a tweet that rookie sensation Zion Williamson was questionable for tonight’s game at the United Center. His toe had been sprained in Tuesday’s loss in Milwaukee.
For Bulls fans, it was just another disappointment in a dreary season full of them. Zion’s first regular-season visit to Chicago was one of the few remaining highlights for any of the poor saps who invested in season tickets. Now it was disappearing faster than Derrick Rose from the All-Star Weekend skills challenge.
Luckily, the Pelicans reversed course a few hours later and said Zion was available for the game the Bulls have been touting on sponsored Instagram ads as the big “Coby vs Zion” matchup.
No, I’m not kidding. I get that the franchise is too proud to only feature the opponent who’s driving ticket sales. I also get that Coby and Zion have a history dating back to AAU and high school, but … yeah, this still makes me laugh.
At any rate, it’s nice to know that Bulls fans can have nice things, even if Zion’s minutes will be managed. Since missing the season’s first 44 games with injury, Zion has averaged 19.6 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes a night.
What remains to be seen is if Zion’s visit will be the day’s biggest headline for the Bulls. The NBA trade deadline comes at 2 p.m., which is occasion enough to get Joe Cowley to call for a Zach LaVine and Wendell Carter for Joel Embiid trade.
All of the national writers have been saying the Bulls view LaVine as untouchable which is a capital INFREAKINGSANE insane considering the Bulls are 19-33, haven’t won a damn thing with LaVine on their team and isn’t a guy you’re ever going to build anything around.
What makes the whole thing even more entertaining is that GarPax works just a few miles away from a Cubs front office that can’t trade the 28-year-old former MVP fast enough despite said star being one of the heroes of the franchise’s first title in 108 years. My head hurts just thinking about it.
At least Zion should be able to distract us from everything for an hour or two.
We’re owed at least that much, right?
In a season where every point is going to matter, the Blackhawks were robbed of a point in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Boston. With just over a minute left in regulation, Drake Caggiula fired a shot past Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak. After playing poorly for most of the night, it looked like the Hawks were going to get two huge points against a Stanley Cup contender.
But the play was mistakenly whistled dead because of a hand pass, the goal didn’t count and the game went to OT, where the Hawks fell for the second time in as many nights. Combine the early stop with what should have been a penalty shot for Kirby Dach earlier in the period and it was an awful night for the officials at the UC.
• The Hawks are now off until they start a five-game road trip in Winnipeg on Sunday night. Until then, they’ll await news on d-man Adam Boqvist, who left Wednesday’s game with a shoulder injury. Jeremy Colliton said he doesn’t believe the rookie’s condition is “super serious.”
No news is good news. Kris Bryant is still a member of the Cubs.
• HUGE news in high school hoops: Mike Oliver, the coach of top-ranked Curie, was removed from his position on Wednesday after an allegation of a physical altercation with a student. Between this and the Lincoln Park mess (which is getting even messier), not a good few weeks for CPS programs. (NBC Prep Talk)
• Great conversation between two men who have always made following the Cubs fun: Len Kasper and Bruce Miles. (The Athletic)
• First the Fire unveil that weird new logo and now they’ve got blue uniforms that are being criticized by fans. I’m fairly ambivalent about MLS soccer kits — you’ve seen one corporation across the chest, you’ve seen ‘em all — but what do you think? (Fire)
• As the father of another little Kenzie who likes hockey, I AM HERE FOR THIS SEABROOK FAMILY CONTENT. (Blackhawks)
Have a great Thursday, everyone …