Even missing in action, Chicago native Davis a hot topic


Even missing in action, Chicago native Davis a hot topic

Chicago native Anthony Davis, the top overall pick in Junes NBA Draft, didnt get to make his happy homecoming to his hometown in the Hornets win Saturday night over the Bulls at the United Center. The University of Kentucky product suffered a concussion in New Orleans game Friday evening and didnt travel to Chicago.

Still, the big manan unknown, 6-foot-2 guard at a charter school on the South Side just a few years agohas already made a big impression. Although Davis didnt play Saturday, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau prepared for him by studying on film and was impressed by what he saw.

Amazing, Thibodeau described. Hes a really skilled player. Hes a basketball player. He does everything. He can shoot, he can put it on the floor, he can pass, play great defense, great timing, shot-blocking, great quickness. Hes going to be a great pro.

Davis was billed as a shot-blocking presence with raw offensive ability, but early in his NBA career, hes showed that hes retained his guard skills on the offensive end of the court. At 6-foot-10, he has perimeter skills, include the ballhandling and outside shooting of a much smaller player.

He can handle it. He handles it like a guard. He can dribble, take people off the dribble, pull-up jump shots. Hes got all of that, Bulls rookie Marquis Teague, a college teammate of Davis, said. At Kentucky, he just did what Coach Cal Kentucky head coach John Calipari asked him to do. Coach Cal didnt want him to do all that. He just played his role.

Chimed in Hornets head coach Monty Williams: He can dribble, but he doesnt dribble unnecessarily. Hell do the things necessary for him to make a play and thats what I like about him. Hes efficient. He had a play against Miami, where he went full court and laid it up, and then, there are times where hell make one or two dribbles and make the right play, and hes still learning. Ive talked to him about exploring his game, so that when the game does slow down for himits real fast right nowhell be that much better, and his handle may be an asset to him. Right now, hes just using it to get out of certain situations.

Hes certainly getting used to the physicality of the game. Im still learning who he is as a player because he shoots the ball better than I thought, really good footwork, can handle the ball, pass, he continued. Conditioning and strength will be big for him. The stronger he gets, the less hell have to think about being tired or not being strong as guys hes going against. Then, Ill think well see more because hes not tired. Young guys are so tired because theyre not used to it, still growing. I think hes got another inch of growth. Hes a coachs dream. He really is because he does everything you tell him to do and some, still got a competitive edge.

Williams thinks Davis experience with USA Basketball over the summer, winning a gold medal in the London Olympics and playing alongside veteran superstars accelerated his development.

It really did help him, being around better players and more experienced guys, especially Tyson Chandler, said the coach, citing the former Bulls draft pick, last seasons NBA Defensive Player of the Year. I thought Tyson was going to be the biggest impact on him, just teaching him how to play that position in the NBA and I saw some of the residual effect of that when he got back. He was ahead of the curve in pick-and-roll defense and some other things on the block, so that experience and the coaching, being around Coach K Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Nate McMillan, the ex-Portland head coach and Williams former boss every day had to help.

Williams expressed his disappointment about Davis not being present prior to the game, criticizing the leagues new concussion protocol. The coach spoke to the player after Friday nights game, as well as Saturday morning.

Hes okay, just has to go through the testing. Unfortunately, the NBA is strict on concussions. I could say a lot about that, but Im not; Ill refrain. But hell be okay.
You just do what youve got to do. I dont know to coach outside of dealing with Ive got to deal with every day. We have no idea when hes going to be back. Its one of those situations that the NBA, the doctors and the medical staff, they have a protocol that has to take place before guys can get back on the floor. The better he feels the next couple of days, it helps the situation, he explained. He got touched up a little bit last night. That happens a lot in basketball. Its just that now they treat everybody like they have white gloves and pink drawers. Its getting old, but its just the way the league is now.

This city should be proud of who he is, not just as a player, but as a person. I could tell he was down that he couldnt come last night and it wasnt any fault of his own, but the rules say he cant fly. Its a mans game, man. Were treating these guys like theyre five years old. He desperately wanted to come, Williams continued. Im not saying I dont like it. Weve got to protect our players, but I think the players should have more say-so about how they feel. Im sure I had four or five concussions when I played and it didnt bother me. I think the NBA is doing whats necessary to protect the players, but this is not the NFL. You dont get hit in the head that much. So, I understand it, but as a coach, Im a baby about it. I want my guys ready to play, so thats basically the bottom line. Im just a baby.

Complete Cubs-Indians World Series schedule

Complete Cubs-Indians World Series schedule

The 2016 World Series is set: Cubs vs. Indians.

The Cubs are on the main stage for the first time since 1945 and the Indians are back since 1997.

The first game will be played on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at Progressive Field.

Cleveland will host Games 1 and 2 since the American League won the All-Star game this season. Then the series will head to Wrigley for Games 3-5, and if necessary, head back to Progressive Field for Games 6 and 7.

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Check out the complete schedule below:

Date Game Time / TV Matchup
Tue, Oct. 25 Game 1 7 p.m. CT on Fox Cubs at Indians
Wed, Oct. 26 Game 2 7 p.m. CT on Fox Cubs at Indians
Fri, Oct. 28 Game 3 7 p.m. CT on Fox Indians at Cubs
Sat, Oct 29 Game 4 7 p.m. CT on Fox Indians at Cubs
Sun, Oct 30 Game 5* 7 p.m. CT on Fox Indians at Cubs
Tue, Nov. 1 Game 6* 7 p.m. CT on Fox Cubs at Indians
Wed, Nov. 2 Game 7* 7 p.m. CT on Fox Cubs at Indians

**CSN will air a postseason edition of Cubs Pre- and Postgame Live an hour before the first pitch and immediately following the final out.

How Cubs beat Clayton Kershaw to move on to World Series

How Cubs beat Clayton Kershaw to move on to World Series

Two quick runs off the best pitcher on the planet on Saturday night afforded the Cubs exactly what they needed to snap a 71-year-old drought.

Already confident after consecutive offensive outbursts in the previous two games, a two-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw had Cubs hitters in a positive frame of mind.

They rode the surprising rally and a dominant performance by Kyle Hendricks to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win earned the Cubs their first NL pennant since 1945 and on Tuesday night they’ll seek their first World Series title since 1908 when they face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.

“It’s huge for the confidence, the positive momentum from LA, to carry over back home,” left fielder Ben Zobrist said. “Those were the biggest moments in the game early on to help everybody keep pushing and that we got this thing -- that we’re in charge of the game early. “That’s a huge momentum builder.”

The Cubs did a little bit of everything in the first inning against Kershaw, who dominated them for seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. Some hitters took a more aggressive approach against the three-time NL Cy Young winner while others remained patient. The one constant throughout the 30-pitch frame was that Cubs hitters took advantage whenever Kershaw made a mistake.

Dexter Fowler started with an opposite-field double on a 1-1 slider and Wrigley was rocking when Kris Byrant singled him in to make it 1-0. Andrew Tolles’ error on Anthony Rizzo’s gapper to left center put runners on second and third. Zobrist took advantage and put the Cubs ahead by two with a sac fly to center.

“I think the boys were just ready to go,” Fowler said.

The confidence gained from 18 runs scored in the fourth and fifth games of the series was evident before the Cubs ever took the field. Players looked loose during pregame warmups, whether it was Albert Almora Jr. and several teammates banging air drums to Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’ or Javy Baez pumping his fist to a loud beat mere seconds before the Cubs took the field.

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The confidence carried over as the two runs represented the first time all season that Kershaw had allowed a pair to score in the first inning.

“They jumped on it,” catcher Miguel Montero said. “They were all over his fastball and they spit on his breaking ball.

“We felt good coming into the game knowing that we were facing the best pitcher on the planet. But we felt good about ourselves because we got the lead.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts thought the key was that the Cubs took advantage of Kershaw’s mistakes as opposed to his previous start when he allowed two hits. Addison Russell kept the pressure on Kershaw when he ripped a hanging slider for a leadoff double in the second inning and he later scored on Fowler’s two-out single to left.

Rookie catcher Willson Contreras crushed a hanging slider for a solo homer in the fourth inning to make it a 4-0 lead.

“They had a great game plan tonight,” Roberts said. “And there was a couple mistake sliders that they took advantage of. But they were running counts, they used the whole field, and there was traffic all night for Clayton. And he gave it everything he had, but when they did -- when he did make a mistake, they made him pay.”

Rizzo gave the Cubs an even bigger lead when he hammered a 1-1 fastball from Kershaw in the fifth inning for a solo homer and a 5-0 lead. Combined with the dominance of Hendricks, the cushion made any talk about curses or billy goats or five outs seem downright silly.

“It felt really good, amazing,” Rizzo said. “We were on the board and I tell our pitchers all the time, ‘If you don’t let ‘em score, it’s impossible (for them) to win.’ ”