Bulls try to stop Rondo's run at history on CSN

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Bulls try to stop Rondo's run at history on CSN

The Bulls will have an attempt to halt history in the making tonight when they host Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics tonight at the United Center on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.
Rondo dished out 10 assists Friday night in a win against the Bucks, giving him 10 assists or more in 30 straight games, the third longest streak in NBA history. Rondo trails only Hall of Famers Magic Johnson (46, 1982-'83) and John Stockton (37; 1988-'89) on this prestigious list, and he may be happy to see Chicago next on the schedule.
In 22 career games (21 starts) Rondo has averaged 9.4 assists per game against the Bulls. That's his second highest average against any team in the East, behind only Miami (9.9 in 21 games).
The Bulls enter tonight's matchup allowing 19.8 assists per game, the seventh best mark in the league, and starting point guards are averaging just 4.6 assists per game. Only Russell Westbrook (12) has handed out double-digit assists against the Bulls, but they may have to go against Rondo without point guard Kirk Hinrich, who strained his hip Friday against the Timberwolves.
In Game 6 of the 2009 First Round Playoffs, Rondo threw Hinrich into the scorer's table and started a scrum on the court. It's a good bet that Hinrich will try his best to get back for his first game against Rondo back in Chicago.
Rondo has added six games to his list this season, made more impressive because he's doing so without sharpshooter Ray Allen on the perimeter. The NBA's all-time leading 3-point shooter signed with Miami this offseason, and so far Courtney Lee and Jason Terry have produced mixed results as Allen's replacement.
Lee (5.0 points, 41.9 percent) and Terry (11.7 points, 50 percent) have lacked consistency, and because of that the Celtics have been forced to rely on their Big Three of Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
But Boston's decision to move Garnett to center, with Brandon Bass and first round draft pick Jared Sullinger manning the power forward spot, has been up-and-down. The Celtics have been outscored by 13 points in the paint through six games, and the loss of reserve center Greg Stiemsma looms large in the middle.
That's good news for Joakim Noah, whose 15.0 points per game this year is easily a career-high. He's been efficient, is making his free throws at a career rate and should continue his offensive pace tonight. Noah has always played Boston with an extra chip on his shoulder after his memorable steal-and-dunk on Paul Pierce in triple-overtime of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, making him a likely game-changer for the Bulls.
Carlos Boozer also needs a rebound game after failing to make a field goal for the first time since 2003 on Friday against Minnesota. It's been a roller coaster of a year for Boozer, who will match up with Bass, who can defend from 15-feet out. Boozer's best chance may be working inside, where the Celtics have struggled thus far in 2012.
Past point guard, where the Bulls may struggled without Hinrich, the Bulls and Celtics match up perfectly in just about every category. Two defensive-minded, hard-working teams flying under the radar in the Eastern Conference are still showing they can be contenders.
The Celtics have won three of four after an 0-2 start, and the Bulls will want to leave Chicago on a high note before their six-game circus road trip. There's a chance these two teams are battling for playoff position late in the season, so tonight's game may have more implications than simply an added tally in the win column.

Cubs hopeful Kyle Hendricks returns before All-Star break

Cubs hopeful Kyle Hendricks returns before All-Star break

MIAMI – The Cubs are hopeful Kyle Hendricks could return before the All-Star break and stabilize a rotation that misses his overall consistency and the unique stuff that made him a National League Cy Young Award finalist last season.

A healthy Hendricks is critical to any second-half surge the Cubs are hoping for now, and so much of his game revolves around feel and the ability to manipulate a baseball in different ways. The tendinitis in his right hand has subsided to the point where he can soon reboot his throwing program.

“He’s feeling good,” manager Joe Maddon said before Friday night’s game at Marlins Park. “He’s going to throw any moment now, tomorrow or the next day possibly. (Athletic trainer) PJ (Mainville) was very optimistic, and so was Kyle.”

The Cubs placed Hendricks on the disabled list retroactive to June 5 and needed at least two MRIs to get a better sense of the inflammation in a tendon on the back of his middle finger.

The year after leading the majors in ERA, Hendricks is 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA and getting an unplanned break after making seven playoff starts in 2015 and 2016 combined. The Cubs aren’t thinking conservatively and waiting until after the All-Star break.

“If he’s ready to go, go ahead,” Maddon said. “This is one of those things in the finger (where) you got to throw the ball and just feel a baseball. If he’s doing that, there’s no reason to hold him back.

“Whatever that pinching feeling was…as long as he’s good to go, I think it’s wise to just let him go and play.”

White Sox Minor League Report: Micker Adolfo tapping into power potential

White Sox Minor League Report: Micker Adolfo tapping into power potential

As part of a weekly series, presented by Ozinga, CSNChicago.com will highlight the top performances of several prospects in a weekly minor league report.

White Sox Blueprint Player of the Week: Micker Adolfo (OF), Kannapolis Intimidators

The White Sox are finally seeing the player they envisioned when they signed the No. 2 ranked international prospect in 2013.

As he still grows into his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame, Micker Adolfo has put his power potential on display in Kannapolis this season.

Adolfo has been on a tear throughout his last 10 games as he's hit .368 to go along with three home runs, seven RBI and four walks. 

On the season, Adolfo is slashing .286/.347/.493 and has already set career-highs in several categories, including home runs (8), RBI (35), hits (65), doubles (21) and runs (37).

Charlotte Knights

It looks like that nagging thumb injury is finally behind MLB's No. 1 prospect.

In his last 10 games at Charlotte, Moncada is batting .282 with a home run, six RBI and a stolen base. Moncada has also shown an impressive eye at the plate during that span, as he had a 12/11 BB/K ratio.

Birmingham Barons

It's spelled trouble for opposing hitters when Jordan Stephens has been on the mound in 2017.

The Texas-native has started three games since coming off the DL and carries an 0.98 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 18.1 innings pitched.

Stephens is currently MLB Pipeline's No. 14 White Sox prospect.

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Winston-Salem Dash

After a slow start following a promotion to Winston-Salem, the forgotten piece from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade has been on a tear.

In three June starts, Dane Dunning has allowed just three earned runs on 13 hits and has 23 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched.

DSL White Sox

Although he hasn't homered since his first game in the Dominican Summer League, Cuban outfielder Luis Robert has shown tremendous discipline in the batter's box. 

Robert has averaged one walk per game and has a .258 batting average in 10 games. He's also added four stolen bases on the season.

Great Falls Voyagers

A pair of players from the White Sox 2016 draft class have gotten off to hot starts in the Rookie League.

Anthony Villa, a 19th rounder out of St. Mary's, has a robust 1.777 OPS in his first four games and has belted two home runs and six RBI.

Infielder Luis Curbello, a sixth-round selection out of Cocoa High School in Florida, has a .429/.529/.714 slash line with a home run and two RBI.