Word on the Street: '85 Bears honored at White House

Word on the Street: '85 Bears honored at White House

Friday, Oct. 9, 2011
CSNChicago.com

'85 Bears honored at the White House

The Super Bowl winning Bears were saluted today by President Barack Obama, a quarter century after their big win. The team would have been honored by President Reagan if not for the tragic explosion on the space shuttle Challenger. It was no time to celebrate and the Bears never made it to the White House until Obama's two year plan came to life to have his hometown team at the country's capital. (ChicagoTribune)

Calipari, Rose paid to dismiss lawsuit

Derrick Rose and former Memphis coach John Calipari agreed in 2010 to pay 100,000 to dismiss a potential lawsuit that stemmed from the Tigers' 07-08 season. The NCAA vacated victories from the season, ruling Memphis used an ineligible player.

The two paid the sum after some ticket holders threatened to sue, arguing their season tickets were devalued because of the NCAA punishment. In addition Rose will make donations to Memphis' scholarship fund before 2015. (ChicagoTribune)

Squirrel causes uprising at Busch Stadium

Rally monkeys sure sound like old news after the Cardinals encountered some disturbing visits from their very own rally squirrel. That's right, this little guy has outsmarted the peanut butter and all seven traps, resulting in what Busch Stadium refers to as a 'public safety crisis' after he ran across the field in Wednesday's game.

The squirrel's behavior is being monitored by multiple groundskeepers. He was most recently caught burying a peanut in the outfield and covering it back up with grass. He seems to be pretty advanced for his kind, perhaps we should give him a glove and see what he can do. (HardballTalk)

Nova diagnosed with strain

After only two innings, Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova was pulled from last night's game due to tightness in his forearm. Today the team announced he has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 flexor strain. The injury is expected to heal on its own over the winter. (HardballTalk)

Jagr gets point 1,600

Jaromir Jagr left fans wondering about the results of his return after a three-year leave from the NHL. He did not waste any time on the ice, earning his 1,600 point within the first period of the Flyers season opener against the Bruins. Jagr became the nineth NHL player in history to reach the 1,600 point mark. (ProHockeyTalk)

Doug McDermott's return boosts Bulls' bench

Doug McDermott's return boosts Bulls' bench

Doug McDermott wasn’t exactly hunting for his first shot, but the first time he touched the ball in an NBA game in nearly a month wasn’t the optimal situation for him to let one fly.

It wasn’t in transition where he runs to an opening behind the 3-point line, nor was it a drive-and-kick situation where the help defense collapsed and left him open. It was a regular, simple, pass to the perimeter and McDermott’s defender was in reasonable proximity with 3:23 left in the first quarter.

He launched and the crowd soon roared its approval as his sweet jumper was sorely missed by the Bulls bench brigade—and moments later when he ran the floor for a fearless layup that caused Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to call a timeout, McDermott showed he missed the United Center crowd too, calling for more noise on his way to the bench.

“Anytime you have a guy like Doug, he comes back and makes his first 3, that’s hard to do,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He stepped up with confidence on that first shot. I’m sure he had a lot of nerves getting back out there.”

Missing 12 games and suffering two concussions, McDermott looked right at home in 25 minutes of run Thursday as the Bulls were able to rely on their reserves in some form in their 95-91 win over the previously perfect road warriors known as the Spurs.

“We defended and kept them off the foul line,” McDermott said. “Coach (Jim) Boylen was with them, so we feel we know them and I think all this time they were missing my defense.”

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The last statement was certainly tongue-in-cheek, but the Bulls’ bench production was certainly missing in action while he was out with the concussion protocol. So much so that his return prompted the Bulls’ coaching staff to call out the reserves in the morning shootaround, demanding more.

“It’s definitely Dwyane (Wade) and Jimmy (Butler) and (Rajon) Rondo (but) the coaching staff kinda called out our bench like, we gotta have you tonight, bench,” McDermott said. “We took that to heart, we were really locked in.”

Seemingly his presence aided the Bulls’ spirits and production, as the Bulls’ bench had the least effective scoring bench in the NBA since Nov. 13, the day after McDermott hit the unforgiving floor against the Wizards for his second concussion this season.

Their net rating ranks ahead of only the Wizards, Mavericks and Nets, who are a combined 17-45 this season. Their effective field goal percentage, which takes into account 3-pointers, is worst in the league in that span (42.3 percent).

When McDermott was healthy for that smaller sample size, the Bulls’ bench ranked fifth in offensive efficiency, seventh in net rating, and fifth in efficient field goal percentage. Whether McDermott – and his absence – was directly related to those numbers, it’s clear the Bulls are better when they have their best reserve – and only true floor spacers on the second unit – on the court.

“We’re all professionals and we want to help the guys who are busting their butts in the first unit to get us the leads,” McDermott said. “Tonight we did a great job of sustaining it. We take it personal when teams come back on us.”

[MORE: Pau Gasol relishes consistency with Spurs he couldn't find with Bulls]

Nikola Mirotic was four of eight from the field, and Cristiano Felicio seems to be back in Fred Hoiberg’s good graces as he’s carved out a rotation spot for himself with nine points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes.

It seems as if Hoiberg will stick with this rotation of players, at least for a little while until Michael Carter-Williams returns from his injuries. If McDermott is the mark of the Bulls’ bench going from bottom feeder to adequate, it should show this month.

“When he’s out there on the floor and we get him coming off screens, it forces the defense to shift as another person they need to be aware of,” Hoiberg said. “It opens up driving lanes for our guys. It was great to have Doug back with us.”

Morning Update: Bulls beat Spurs in Pau Gasol's return to Chicago

Morning Update: Bulls beat Spurs in Pau Gasol's return to Chicago

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