Noah improving, but unlikely to play in Game 5

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Noah improving, but unlikely to play in Game 5

DEERFIELD, ILL. A sight for sore eyes was at the Berto Center Tuesday morning: Joakim Noah, in practice gear, shooting free throws. Now, dont read too much into that, as Noah, coming off a badly sprained ankle in Fridays Game 3 loss in the Bulls' first-round series against the 76ers, hasnt done any running yet.

In fact, when asked about the centers progress, teammate Kyle Korver quipped, He pedaled really well. Looking real strong on those pedals.

While Noah was limited to just the stationary bike during the Bulls Tuesday-morning shootaround, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau called him a game-time decision for Tuesday evenings Game 5, a potential elimination game.

Moving around a lot better, said the coach, who noted that Omer Asik would again start at center. Well see. Maybe he gets better from now until tonight.

Its highly unlikely that Noah suits upthough with his heart and passion, dont completely rule it out just yet, as Korver echoed: I hope so. I dont know. It was a pretty bad sprain, but Jos a pretty tough guybut that doesnt mean the Bulls have given up hope.

Thibs had a thing on the wall the other day. It said weve won three games in a row 57 times over the last two years. You guys didnt know that stat, right? So we can do it for sure, but weve got to play really good basketball, said Korver, in a surprisingly jovial mood, given that his season could end in mere hours. Weve got to play inspired basketball, weve got to make hustle plays, weve got to get the crowd into it.

But Korver acknowledged that the Bulls miss both Noah and Derrick Rose, particularly the duos ability to manufacture easy baskets via the transition game, something theyve struggled with against Philadelphia.

For the most part defense has been fairly solid, but Derrick and Jo are two of the guys, when they get the ball, we go out and run, he said. Were not getting fast-break points, were not getting into our sets very quickly, so were having to take a lot tougher shots...I think thats where we miss them. We miss them in a lot of ways, but we miss them a lot in our ability to get out and run. Weve got a deep team, weve got a lot of bodies and one of our strengths all year has been getting out and running, and we havent been able to do that in this series.

Added Thibodeau, when asked about Noahs absence: Hes got an unusual skill set. He runs the floor, he playmakes, he can shoot, he can post. Theres a lot of things he can do. Big-time offensive rebounder. With that being said, weve got more than enough to win with.

We just have to play well. Everyone has to do their job. Emotions part of it, but I think you just have to concentrate on doing your job and you have to do it for 48 minutes, he continued. Im concentrating on our next game and then, whenever the season is over, which I dont want to think aboutIm just thinking about the gamebut thats lessons learned from the season something, at the conclusion of every season, you go through every aspect of the team and I dont think you can draw conclusions until everything is done. Hopefully you learn from every situation. Youre always trying to improve, so thats the way we approach things.

Cubs Talk Podcast: The making of Reign Men

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Cubs Talk Podcast: The making of Reign Men

In the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull sits down with CSN executive producers Ryan McGuffey and Sarah Lauch, the creators of 'Reign Men: The Story Behind Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, which premieres March 27 at 9:30 p.m. on CSN.

McGuffey and Lauch share their experience making the 52-minute documentary as they sifted through hours of sound from the likes of Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo and more recapping one of the greatest baseball games ever played.

Plus, hear a sneak peak of 'Reign Men’ as Heyward and Epstein describe their perspective of the Rajai Davis game-tying homer and that brief rain delay that led to Heyward’s epic speech.

Check out the latest Cubs Talk Podcast right here:

Bears adding Mark Sanchez shouldn't come as a surprise

Bears adding Mark Sanchez shouldn't come as a surprise

The Bears went into the 2017 offseason with a clear plan to make changes, presumably positive ones, at the quarterback position. The idea was and always is to improve the quality of players at this or any position.
 
With the Bears agreeing to terms with former Jet/Eagle/Bronco/Cowboy Mark Sanchez, as first reported by NFL.com's Ian Rapaport, GM Ryan Pace and the organization are addressing the quantity aspect of the position, if not necessarily the quality. And that should not be dismissed.
 
Sanchez fits the template of a Brian Griese, Jason Campbell and even Josh McCown, veterans with less than auspicious resumes' but with more a David Fales or Caleb Hanie had brought to previous rosters. He gives the Bears a third quarterback under contract; expect another to be added before training camp, most likely through the draft next month.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]
 
It really does not matter that Sanchez, the No. 5 overall pick of the 2009 draft, could not beat out Trevor Siemian in Denver two years ago or Dak Prescott in Dallas last season (while Prescott was still an unknown backup to Tony Romo). The Bears before Thursday had just Mike Glennon and Connor Shaw under contract, and teams typically go into training camps with four passers, if for no other reason than to have arms to spread drill work around.
 
But Sanchez, whose career began with trips to the AFC Championship game his first two seasons in the NFL, represents the kind of backup that teams crave, irrespective of any journeyman status they might have. Sanchez is 30, whose teams have gone 37-35 in his starts, and has experienced winning, albeit less and less as his career has played out.
 
Not that the comparison is particularly notable, but Mark Sanchez or Matt Barkley? If Sanchez somehow surprises perhaps even himself and challenges Glennon, the Bears and Glennon are the better for it.