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Chicago Sporting Home Chicago Sports - Sports News with Purpose | Bulls | Bears | Blackhawks | Cubs | White Sox | College | Preps Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:53:57 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Grading Every Chicago Bears Starter's 2013 Regular Season's-2013-regular-season's-2013-regular-season The Chicago Bears were sent on early vacation after a crushing loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The Bears finished with an 8-8 record in what is considered an underachieving season. 

Changes to the roster will come, but before the Bears can move forward they must evaluate the team. The offense seems to be on the right track, while the defense needs a complete overhaul. 

Here are the grades for the starters this season. 

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frontpage Mon, 30 Dec 2013 12:23:36 +0000
Bears vs. Eagles: Takeaways from Chicago's 54-11 Loss to Philadelphia's-54-11-loss-to-philadelphia's-54-11-loss-to-philadelphia Losses by both the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers Sunday afternoon put the Chicago Bears' playoff chances squarely in their own hands, needing a victory on Sunday Night Football to shore up the NFC North crown.

Despite having the opportunity in front of them, the Bears failed to grab it and lost 54-11 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The loss dropped the Bears to 8-7 on the year, and they will now host the Green Bay Packers this coming Sunday afternoon with the winner taking the NFC North title and moving on to the playoffs.

Here are my five takeaways from the Bears' 54-11 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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frontpage Mon, 30 Dec 2013 12:23:36 +0000
NFL Draft Picks Who Would Be Instant Starters for the Chicago Bears With the Senior Bowl in the books and the Super Bowl coming up, it's time to focus on the NFL draft. The Bears hold the 20th overall pick in the first round and could go in a number of different directions. 

General manager Phil Emery has a reputation for evaluating talent at a high level, selecting the best player available and the best player who fits his football team. With that in mind, they may not necessarily go the direction of left tackle like many assume. 

Based on where the Bears are drafting, there are a handful of players who may be on the board at that time who can come in and not only start right away but be a valuable contributor to the team.

Here are five guys from five different positions who can start next season on the Bears. 

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read full article ]]> (Chicago Sporting) frontpage Mon, 22 Apr 2013 06:00:00 +0000
Report: Chicago Blackhawks to Play Penguins at Soldier Field in March 2014 Pull the knit hats out again, Blackhawks fans.

According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Blackhawks are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, on March 1, 2014.

The game is part of the NHL's new format for the "Winter Classic."  Instead of playing one outdoor game on New Year's Day, the NHL has scheduled six outdoor games throughout the season.  The typical Winter Classic will go on as scheduled on New Year's Day between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.

The other reported games are as follows:

Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks; Dodger Stadium, Jan. 25

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers; Yankee Stadium, Jan. 26

New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders; Yankee Stadium, Jan. 29

Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks; BC Place, Vancouver, Canada, March 2

BC Place is an outdoor stadium located in Vancouver.  The facility played host to the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The game will be the first outdoor match for the Chicago Blackhawks since their appearance in the 2009 Winter Classic, which saw the Blackhawks fall to the Red Wings, 6-4.

Earlier in 2013, Soldier Field hosted the inaugural "Hockey City Classic," a doubleheader matchup between four college teams.  The Chicago Tribune deemed the Classic "a hit at Soldier Field."

The Blackhawks also skated on the Soldier Field ice and participated in a friendly scrimmage with disabled veterans before the Hockey City Classic.

The NHL has already approved a radical conference realignment for next season, although the Blackhawks and Penguins will remain in separate conferences.

Conditions could have an enormous impact on the proposed game.  According to, the average high on March 1 in Chicago is 41 degrees Fahrenheit.  In 1992, Chicago set a record high on that date with a temperature of 73 degrees.  The record low is five-below, set in 1962.

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frontpage Mon, 22 Apr 2013 04:27:07 +0000
In tuning out distractions, Rios has thrived,-rios-has-thrived,-rios-has-thrived read full article ]]> frontpage Mon, 22 Apr 2013 04:25:11 +0000 Chicago Bulls Prove Health Is Under-the-Radar Factor in NBA Playoff Success This year, the Chicago Bulls have been plodding through a series of injuries. But right now, they are getting healthier, and they will prove that health matters in NBA playoff success.

The basic facts speak volumes. Just look at what’s happened when they are injured this year.

When the Chicago Bulls have had their starting five, they’ve been 18-8.  When they’ve been without one starter, they’ve gone 14-16.  When they’ve had three or fewer starters, they’ve gone 12-14. Amazingly they’ve been without two or more starters for 26 games this season.

And that’s not including the injuries to their rotation. In all, the Bulls have 98 games missed from key rotation players, a sum which does not include games missed by end-of-the-bench players like Vladimir Radmanovic or Marquis Teague.

And they don’t miss all players equally. This Mike McGraw tweet reveals what the Bulls record is in the games which each rotation player missed:

Bear in mind that you can’t take things in isolation. For example, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah both missed several games at the same time. Were only one or the other out, it would have been easier for one defensive-minded big to compensate for the other, but with both out they suffered more.

A fascinating blog entry from Jacob Grinyer at SB Nation reveals some interesting details about teams and injury history. He went through a decade of roster histories, compiled the data and analyzed it. This is his synthesis, with the italics being my oversimplification of his oversimplification.

Simplifying everything and ignoring all outside factors, basically this graph would tell you that the average team with zero injuries starts out with 49 wins. Then, for every game lost by one of the top 9 rotation players, a team loses on average 0.1 wins. Since the average team had around 80 games lost due to injuries per year, that means the average team won 41 games (internal consistency, huzzah!). Again, this is really oversimplifying it, but it provides a general idea of how injuries impact a team. The regression's r-squared is fairly low at just 0.16, but the coefficient of 0.1 is statistically significant from zero: the 95% confidence interval suggests between 0.078 and 0.128 wins are lost for each game missed due to injury. Ideally you'd specify a much more complete regression factoring in all the other aspects which impact wins and losses, but as a first approximation it's worth considering. Overall, the closer to the bottom left the more underachieving the team, the closer to the top right the more overachieving the team.

Based on his data, the most games missed by a winning team was the 2006 Dallas Mavericks, who remarkably went to the Finals in the same season.  .

Other teams with more than 100 games lost and a winning record were the the 2008 Cleveland Cavaliers, (127; 64-18), the 2009 Chicago Bulls, (116 games; 41-41), and the 2011 Celtics (110 games; 56-26).

The Chicago Bulls, including the absence of Derrick Rose, have missed a staggering 180 games due to injury, making them far and away the hardest-hit team with a winning record.  

What makes this even more impressive is that while the Cavaliers might have had a very impressive win total, they did it with the MVP of the league only missing eight games. Of course, it makes James MVP that much more impressive, too.

The Bulls have straggled their way to a winning record in spite of their injury woes. In fact, their last game, on April 15, was only the third time since Jan. 2 that they had their full nine-man rotation in the game.

But therein is the key. They had their full nine-man rotation (minus Rose) in their last game. Even if we discount Rose, using Grinyer’s conclusions, the Bulls “lost” about 9.8 games due to injury his season, meaning they are closer to a 54-win team than a 44-win team.

That’s also consistent with their winning record if their starting line played the whole season. Based on their winning percentage featuring the full allotment of starters, they would project to 57-win team.

Obviously, it would be overly optimistic to assign a “perfect” health season to a team, but even if you look at the Bulls' injury woes above the average 40 player-games lost due to injury, it translates to six more actual wins, meaning that the Bulls, when healthy and without Rose, are a 50-win team.

If injuries translate into wins and losses in the regular season, how much more is that so in the postseason? Last year’s injuries first to Rose, then to Noah, and then to Gibson was the negative proof of that.

It’s a strange place for Bulls fans to be in as the postseason is about to start. The Bulls are actually better than their record right now, for the first time since Vinny Del Negro was coaching. While Noah and Gibson might be available for limited minutes, they will be available. They are actually healthier than they’ve been in months.

Certainly, you have to be good to succeed in the postseason, but it doesn’t hurt to be healthy. Having their full rotation available to them make the Bulls a dangerous team, with or without Rose. 

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frontpage Mon, 22 Apr 2013 04:26:45 +0000
Joe DeCamillis leaves Dallas Cowboys for Chicago Bears read full article ]]> frontpage Tue, 29 Jan 2013 10:51:34 +0000 NBA Rumors: Time Is Right for Chicago Bulls to Move on J.J. Redick With almost each passing day, another report surfaces about Derrick Rose's recovery from a torn ACL. And with almost each surfaced report, it appears that the former MVP is wildly closer to once again gracing the United Center court.

When he does, the Chicago Bulls better make sure he's got as much help as possible, and J.J. Redick could be the perfect fit.

Over-the-hill rotation players Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson and Rip Hamilton have filled in admirably this season, and combined with (arguably) the league's best frontcourt, they've been able to keep the Bulls in contention—and then some. At the time of publication, Chicago sits third in the Eastern Conference (and atop the Central Division) with a 26-17 record—just three games back of top-seeded Miami.

But for as well as Chicago's replacements have played, and even accounting for the boost Rose's return will provide, this roster—in present form—is hard to take seriously as an NBA Finals threat. They might be one impact piece away from competing.

Enter J.J. Redick. The oft-divisive former Duke star is currently enjoying the best season of his NBA career, averaging 15.3 points and 4.4 assists on 46 percent shooting. But his Orlando Magic, despite their admirable pluckiness, are only 14-29—essentially hopeless in their bid to make the playoffs.

With Redick's contract set to expire at season's end, it only makes sense for Orlando to explore trading him. Especially on the strength of his very recent play. He's coming off a career-high eight three-pointers against the Pistons, something one Magic blog lamented as bittersweet:

The folks at Magic Basketball Online are right. Orlando parting ways with Redick is starting to become a matter of "not if, but when." And according to, the Bulls could be one of the teams that comes calling:

The Chicago Bulls are one team that has been linked to Redick. The Bulls were the team that extended a three-year, $19 million offer sheet to Redick in 2010, and they may pursue him again before the trade deadline.

The Boston Celtics are also sniffing around Redick, but in the wake of Rajon Rondo's injury, bringing in immediate help might seem less appealing. Why make a win-now transaction when your best player won't be around for the playoffs? Can you reasonably expect to win now by replacing Rajon Rondo with J.J. Redick? When you weren't even winning games with the status quo in effect?

That leaves Chicago as the most logical destination for Redick, and if the Bulls know what's good for them, they'll start moving soon. Why? The reasons are three-fold:

  1. Most simply: Redick helps them become a better team right now—meaning, until Derrick Rose returns to the floor. His season PER of 16.79 would be the fourth-highest total on the Bulls roster, significantly higher than Richard Hamilton's and Kirk Hinrich's (who have combined for 69 starts this year). They've done a good job bridging the gap between now and Rose's return, and this would only help them in that endeavor.
  2. The sooner they move on Redick, the longer Redick gets to play with his new coach and teammates. The longer he gets to play with his new coach and teammates, the more comfortable he'll be with the system come May—once the games start really counting. In like manner, it also gives Tom Thibodeau more time to tinker with his rotations, and see how many minutes each of his interchangeable parts should be playing.
  3. The longer Chicago waits to pull the trigger, the more leverage Magic GM Rob Hennigan obtains. Every day the Bulls wait is another day closer to the Feb. 21 trade deadline. If the team starts slumping in the interim, it will force its hand to Orlando—potentially having to give up otherwise retainable assets.


Even if Rose fails to regain a semblance of his old explosiveness, his vision and savvy will ostensibly remain intact. He'll still be able to get into the lane, and he'll still be able to find open teammates beyond the arc. The degree to which defenses collapse on him depends on how he acclimates himself as a scorer, but he'll demand a modicum respect either way.

If the Bulls want to make a serious run in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, they'll thus have to assume, essentially, a college basketball game plan. Winning depends on defense, rebounding, execution and three-point shooting.

How could that team say no to acquiring one of the greatest college basketball players ever?

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frontpage Tue, 29 Jan 2013 10:51:45 +0000
Buying or Selling Chicago Bulls as Title Contenders Upon Return of Derrick Rose The Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls have won seven of their last 10 games and are holding steady at the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

It hasn’t been easy, sure, as the team has hit some rough spots along the road and floated around the .500 mark for much of the campaign.

But the team’s current surge has made us wonder a few things about this year’s Bulls team.

Are they better off having lost Rose for this extended stretch this season? That doesn’t mean that the team is better without Rose on the floor. But their loss and perseverance could have rewarding benefits down the stretch this season.

Rose expects to come back in the coming weeks, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

He would get thrust back into a lineup that has grown together in his absence and could be even more deadly with his scoring and ability to facilitate the team’s offense.

In the past, without Rose on the court, scoring was at a premium for the defensive-minded Bulls.

Others, though, have been forced to step up in his absence.

Five players are averaging double-digit scoring totals per game and Marco Belinelli has been a pleasant surprise off the bench by contributing 9.7 per contest.

It isn’t so much one guy who has shouldered the weight, but a collective effort that has extended to the team’s bench, too.

Deep teams often make noise in the postseason, and the Bulls will arguably be one of the deepest in the playoffs as a result of their hard work this season.

Without Rose, the Bulls have grown and established other “go-to” players that can and will step in and take the heat off of him in the postseason.

The East is getting crowded, though, with the rapid rise of the New York Knicks this season. Competition will be stiff, but the Bulls will undoubtedly be in the mix to earn an NBA Finals trip once the playoffs kick off this summer.

They are just too deep and talented across their roster to be considered anything but title contenders.

Buying, definitely.

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frontpage Fri, 25 Jan 2013 01:39:11 +0000
Chicago Blackhawks: What to Take from Solid Opening Weekend The Chicago Blackhawks have come out of the gate in strong fashion following a pair of impressive road wins. Weekend victories in Los Angeles and Phoenix amp up an already-exciting home opener Tuesday night.

There is a lot to like about the 'Hawks 2-0 start, but there are also some areas of concern. Let's focus on the positives first.


Marian Hossa seems intent on showing us all that he's just fine, thank you

Hossa posted two-goal efforts in the two wins and showed no ill effects from the devastating hit that ended his season last April.


The captain seems all right

Jonathan Toews was kept off the scoreboard in Sunday night's 6-4 win over the Coyotes, but won 58 percent of his draws to go with a 16-for-25 performance from the dot in Saturday's 5-2 win. Toews also had a goal and an assist against the defending champs and was a plus-five for the weekend.


Dave Bolland is fitting into the second line

Playing alongside Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp, Bolland had a big game Sunday. The Rat tallied Chicago's fist and last goals and set up Sharp in the second period. 


The defensive pairings suggest more balance

The second pairing of Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson was a combined plus-seven for the weekend. The duo picked up an assist apiece and equaled the minutes of the top pairing of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

Hjalmarsson seems less rattled with the puck as he and Oduya have played well. Former Coyote Michal Rozsival played 16 minutes Sunday and added two helpers, including a nice give-and-go with Hossa that gave Chicago the lead late in the second period.

Of course, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Here's some issues from the first weekend.


Daniel Carcillo will be missing significant time

Like him or hate him, Carbomb played pretty well until getting injured Saturday. He assisted on Hossa's first goal and was a plus-three for the afternoon.

Brandon Saad skated in his place Sunday and is a more skilled player, but Carcillo may be missed while his lower body issue heals.


Ray Emery left a lot of pucks around the net

To be fair, Corey Crawford wasn't pressured much, Saturday. However, Emery's rebound control left a lot to be desired when coach Joel Quenneville gave him the crease the next day.

Of course, a lot of top goalies had trouble over the weekend, so let's wait a week or two before we begin fretting too much about the play in goal.

The weekend wasn't perfect, though it was great to have NHL games to discuss, and it's hard to be disappointed about a 2-0 start. Next up is the hoopla of the home opener with a tough opponent in the St. Louis Blues.

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frontpage Fri, 25 Jan 2013 01:40:00 +0000