Thunder coach Brooks talks Thibs, Bulls

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Thunder coach Brooks talks Thibs, Bulls

OKLAHOMA CITYThunder head coach Scott Brooks is very familiar with his counterpart on the opposing sideline, Tom Thibodeau. During his playing career, Brooks, a longtime journeyman NBA backup point guard, played for teams on which Thibodeau was an assistant in Minnesota and New York.

His work ethic is at a high level. His basketball knowledge and passion for the game is really good. He works and works. He puts in a lot of time, cares about what he does and his team, Brooks said before his team faced Thibodeaus Sunday afternoon. Im glad he got a chance. It took him 20 years to get this opportunity but its well deserved and hes going to be doing it for a lot more years.

Then, Brooks elaborated, opining on Thibodeaus famous singlemindedness.

I mean, the guy has no life. Even when he was young as an assistant, he never wanted to go out to dinner with me. He had things to do, the Thunder coach quipped. Hes boring. He just wants to coach basketball.

Brooks also discussed the Bulls success this season.

Theyre willing defenders. They have a lot of pride in what they do. Their bigs protect the paint, theyre a great rebounding team and they just come at you on both ends, Brooks explained. Offensively, they play hard and they go through screens harder than any team in the league. They set great screens. Theyre a good team. Their record proves that.

Theyre the best team in the league. They do a lot of great things at both ends of the floor, he continued. Chicago always brings the best out of you because they play so hard at both ends. If you dont match that, then youre not going to look good against them. You cant have an off day and win.

Thibodeau and Brooks are both former NBA Coaches of the Year and if Brooks superstar player, Kevin Durant, continues playing the way he has this season, the pair will have something else in common: Coaching league MVP winners.

You could probably mark the conversation down for the next decade or so. The guy is only going to get better. Hes a worker. I love what hes about. I dont talk to him about it. Hes never mentioned it to me. Hes about winning. If youre one of the better players and youre winning the way were winning, hes always going to be in consideration and thats the thing about Kevin, Brooks said of Durant. He scores and hes scoring this year efficiently, not taking a lot of shots to get his points, gets to the free-throw line at a good rate and hes passing the ball better, hes rebounding better. Hes doing a lot of things better for us and were winning games.

Monday on CSN, CSNChicago.com: Bulls introduce Denzel Valentine

Monday on CSN, CSNChicago.com: Bulls introduce Denzel Valentine

The Bulls will introduce first round draft pick Denzel Valentine on Monday at the Advocate Center, and CSN has you covered all the way.

Tune in to CSN Chicago or catch a live stream on CSNChicago.com at 11 a.m. as GM Gar Forman and head coach Fred Hoiberg introduce Valentine, the Michigan State senior whom the Bulls selected 14th overall in last week's NBA Draft.

Valentine, last year's AP Player of the Year, became the first player in NCAA history to average at least 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a single season. The shooting guard's versatility and ability to shoot from the perimeter will make him a perfect fit in Fred Hoiberg's system, and his passing will help in the wake of the Bulls dealing Derrick Rose to the Knicks.

Check out our coverage of Valentine and the rest of the Bulls draft:

Bulls 'absolutely thrilled' to land Denzel Valentine

Gar Forman shoots down Jimmy Butler trade talk

How the NBA cap spike will affect the Bulls

Bulls get 'a well-rounded player' in Paul Zipser

How the Bulls' Central Division foes fared in the 2016 NBA Draft

White Sox Road Ahead: Heating up on the South Side

White Sox Road Ahead: Heating up on the South Side

CSN's JJ Stankevitz and Siera Santos discuss the struggles of James Shields while also going over a difficult upcoming series for the White Sox in this week's Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Honda dealers.

On the back of Chris Sale and his 13th win, the White Sox are back to .500 after taking two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays.

The South Siders have now won five of their last seven games, and won back-to-back series for the first time in nearly two months. They're now 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot and are playing much better baseball as they head toward the All-Star break.

Hear what JJ Stankevitz and Siera Santos had to say about their big week, as well as their upcoming three-game series against the Twins, in this week's Honda Road Ahead video above.

White Sox win consecutive series for first time since late April

White Sox win consecutive series for first time since late April

The White Sox have been adamant the baseball they’ve played the past six weeks isn’t far removed from their torrid start to the season.

Now they have something to show for it.

Courtesy of a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox have back-to-back series victories for the first time since they swept the Texas Rangers and Toronto two months ago. With five wins in their last seven tries, the White Sox improved to 38-38 as they head into a much-needed day off.

“It’s huge,” said outfielder J.B. Shuck, whose second homer in as many days provided an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. “You feel kind of a weight lifted off the shoulders in the clubhouse. We’ve been grinding. Even some of our losses, we’ve been in games. We’ve come back, we’ve given ourselves a chance and one thing here or there kind of led us to losing and now it’s starting to work for us a little bit.”

A week ago the White Sox were coming off yet another demoralizing road sweep against an AL Central opponent. They had played well in two of three contests against the Cleveland Indians but came up empty. That sweep followed one at the Detroit Tigers earlier in the month and another previous one during a hellish May weekend in Kansas City.

But starting with an extra-innings win at the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, the White Sox have started to put things together more consistently than they had of late.

They capitalized on good pitching in the first two victories over the Red Sox and then the offense did the heavy lifting in an 8-6 win on Wednesday. Though they didn’t close out a sweep of Boston, the White Sox carried it over to their home series against Toronto.

“We need some of those,” said closer David Robertson, who retired the side on 10 pitches in the ninth to convert his 20th save. “When you get your butt kicked and you get swept in places, you gotta come home and win some games. We’re playing a lot better baseball. We’re pitching better. Hopefully it continues and we stay strong.”

Sunday’s victory was full of quality play in all aspects for the White Sox.

-- Chris Sale was dominant for seven of eight innings and earned his 13th victory in 15 decisions.

-- Robertson’s inning aside, Sale gave the bullpen another critical day of rest.

“It’s kind of relaxing,” reliever Zach Duke said.

-- Beginning with Adam Eaton’s major-league leading 10th outfield assist in the first inning, the defense turned in several big plays behind Sale, including double plays in the fourth and seventh.

-- The offense provided several timely hits, whether Melky Cabrera’s two-out RBI single in the third or Shuck’s solo homer to increase the lead back to three runs in the eighth.

Now the White Sox have a day to rest before they continue their homestand on Tuesday with the first of three against the Minnesota Twins.

“I like the way we're playing,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I think offensively, we're swinging it a little bit, doing some things, and playing defense along with it. That's a good sign for us to be able to continue to do that. Pitchers are getting back to being healthy and getting after it. I like the way this is headed. I like the fire that these guys have shown and bouncing back in some tough situations.”