Bulls basketball returns to Comcast SportsNet!

Bulls basketball returns to Comcast SportsNet!

Pre-Season Action on Dec. 20 -- First Regular Season game on Dec. 29 -- Regular Season HOME opener on New Years DayJan. 1Plus Live PrePost-Game Shows all season long and comprehensive nightly coverage on SportsNet Central highlight 2011-12 ScheduleCSNChicago.com to feature 247 reporting from Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam; website to also feature live video of Post-Game Press Conferences, Daily PlayerCoaches Interviews, Game Highlights,plus - On-Air Talent Blogs, Live Chats, In-Game Live Scoreboard and more!

Chicago, IL (December 13, 2011) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the defending regular season NBA Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls (who finished the 2010-11 regular season with the NBAs best overall record at 62-20), is once again ready to deliver another thrill-packed season of NBA excitement with 35 live regular season Bulls games (18 home, 17 away), including in-depth pre-game and post-game shows, and the most thorough 247 online Bulls coverage to date on CSNChicago.com!

The 2011-12 Chicago Bulls regular season on Comcast SportsNet gets underway on Thursday, December 29 as NBA MVP Derrick Rose, along with a top-tier supporting cast featuring Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and the NBAs reigning Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau, visit the Sacramento Kings at 9:00 PM (McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live begins at 8:30 PM).

In addition, Comcast SportsNet will also be carrying the HOME OPENER on New Years Day: Sunday, January 1 vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. Prior to the 7:00 PM home opener tip-off, Comcast SportsNet will carry a one-hour, expanded edition of McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live beginning at 6:00 PM, featuring all the opening night festivities live from the United Center. Kia Bulls Post Game Live immediately follows the game featuring Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeaus post-game press conference (to also be streamed on CSNChicago.com), along with live locker room player interviews and complete post-game analysis.

In addition to the 35 regular season games, Comcast SportsNet will also televise a pre-season match-up on Tuesday, December 20 as the Bulls host the Indiana Pacers (7:00 PM tip-off; McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live at 6:30 PM).

Fans can also look forward to a thorough look ahead to the upcoming BullsNBA season on SportsNet Central: Chicago Bulls Season Preview on Wednesday, December 21 at 10:30 PM (replayed on Saturday, Dec. 24 at 10:30 PM). Hosted by Bulls PrePost Game Lives Mark Schanowski & Kendall Gill, the season preview special will feature interviews with Bulls General ManagerNBA Executive of the Year Gar Forman, along with Thibodeau, Rose and other members of the 11-12 Bulls roster. The special will also review all the latest off-season moves from the around the league and how these moves impact the Bulls this season.

This seasons Bulls regular season schedule on Comcast SportsNet features 25 games against Eastern Conference foes, ten of which are against Central Division opponents. In addition, Comcast SportsNets Bulls schedule features a highly-anticipated Eastern Conference Finals home game re-match against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat (Mar 14), plus games against the defending Atlantic Division champion Boston Celtics (Jan. 13), the defending Western Conference regular season champion San Antonio Spurs (Feb. 29), a home battle against the rival New York Knicks (Mar. 12) and a road match-up against the always-competitive Orlando Magic (Mar. 19).

For the fourth-straight season, veteran Bulls play-by-play announcer Neil Funk will be teamed up with former Bulls standout center Stacey King, who will handle color analysis all season long. SportsNet Centrals Gail Fischer, Sarah Kustok and Luke Stuckmeyer will rotate as the primary courtside reporters for Bulls home game telecasts this season.
McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live (hosted by Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill) is a half-hour pre-game show featuring a breakdown of the evenings match-up, interviews with coaches and players and a look at the other games around the NBA. McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live will air prior to every Bulls game this season with the exception of 6:00 PM game time starts on Feb. 1, Feb. 10 & Apr. 25 (pre-game coverage for these games can be seen at 5:30 PM on Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morganhosted by David Kaplan, CTL will also be the place to hear from BullsNBA experts all season long).

Following every game this season, viewers can look forward to the most comprehensive post-game wrap-up show on Kia Bulls Post Game Live. Kia Bulls Post Game Live (hosted by SchanowskiGill) will also feature live coverage of Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeaus post-game press conference and locker room interviews with Bulls players. Following the majority of evening Kia Bulls Post Game Live airings, viewers can catch GMC SportsNet Central at 10:00 & 10:30 PM and SportsNet Central presented by Lexus at 12 Midnight with the most complete recap of the days top local and national sports news.

Three regular season Bulls games are currently scheduled to be telecast on Comcast SportsNet Plus (see attached schedule). Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN) telecasts are provided to Comcast SportsNet affiliates and distributed to viewers when two live events are scheduled simultaneously. Comcast Cable and RCN subscribers can watch all CSN games on CLTV. Cable and satellite operators who do not carry CLTV will place CSN telecasts on a to-be-determined channel. Viewers can visit CSNChicago.com for the exact channel location of Comcast SportsNet, CSN, Comcast SportsNet HD and CSN HD telecasts in their area.

From an online perspective, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 247 Bulls coverage all season long, including the following highlights:

Live stream of Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeaus postgame press conferences.
Video highlights from EVERY Bulls game that airs on Comcast SportsNet.
Bulls Insider Aggrey Sam returns for his third season covering all home and away games. Sam will also file daily storiesvideo reports (including reports from practice and shoot-arounds) and will make regular on-air appearances throughout the season on McDonalds Bulls Pre-Game Live, Chicago Tribune Live and SportsNet Central.
In addition to his on-air duties, Bulls PrePost Game Live host Mark Schanowski will partner with Sam this season on CSNChicago.com providing multi-platform coverage via on-going blogs, weekly live chats, fan Q&A mailbag segments and much more. Fans can also follow Schanowski (@MarkSchanowski) and Sam (@CSNBullsInsider) via Twitter 247 for the latest teamplayers news, insight and insider access.
Bulls In-Game Live: Real-time, live data combined with timely editorial, including compelling elements such as up-to-the-second game stats, detailed box score & play-by-play, photos, out of town scoreboard, Twitter feeds from Sam & Schanowski, LIVE in-game chat sessions, team headlines and more.
In addition CSN Chicago.com will work closely with NBCSports.com and its ProBasketballTalk blog, plus new this season CSNChicago.com introduces its Bulls Talk blog, a high-frequency blog covering all Bulls news, rumors, trades, etc., which will include contributions from Sam, Schanowski and Gill as they lend their knowledge and expertise to the latest happenings in the Central Division, as well as league-wide. It will also include special Sam and Sam weekly video segments, featuring CSNChicago.coms Aggrey Sam and Bulls.coms Sam Smith, talking up the Bulls and the NBAs biggest headlines.
Sam will be featured in all Comcast SportsNet Bulls games, highlighting BullsTalk blog on CSNChicago.com.
Stacey Kings Poster Shop: Get all of Staceys poster calls all season long, as well as those from last season on CSNChicago.com.
Bulls content this season will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, NBCSports.com, SB Nation and Bleacher Report.

NBA Trade Deadline: Bulls deal Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott to Thunder

NBA Trade Deadline: Bulls deal Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott to Thunder

The Bulls turned into sellers ahead of the NBA's trade deadline.

According to CSNChicago.com Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill, the Bulls have traded Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow and Joffrey Lauvergne. The Vertical first reported the trade.

Both Gibson and McDermott had been on the trading block, as Goodwill reported last week.

Payne, 22, was drafted by the Thunder in the first round (14th overall) in the 2015 NBA Draft. In 20 games this season, Payne is averaging 5.3 points, 2.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Lauvergne, 25, was acquired by the Thunder from the Denver Nuggets prior to the 2016-17 season. In three seasons, Lauvergne is averaging 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

The 31-year-old Morrow is averaging 5.8 points in 40 games this season.

Bulls GM Gar Forman and VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson will meet the media following today's 2 p.m. deadline.

White Sox rebuild offers 'leeway' for Lucas Giolito after frustrating 2016 season

White Sox rebuild offers 'leeway' for Lucas Giolito after frustrating 2016 season

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Lucas Giolito knows if he had performed better in 2016 he wouldn’t have endured the season from travel hell. 

Instead, the top pitching prospect in baseball struggled with consistency in the big leagues and the Washington Nationals constantly shuffled him around. Giolito — one of three pitchers acquired in the Adam Eaton trade in December and MLB.com’s 11th-ranked prospect — was moved eight different times throughout the Nationals organization last season. 

More irritated by his inability to pitch well for a team in a pennant race, the tall right-hander understands why he spent much of last season on the go. But it’s also one of the main reasons why Giolito, who is likely to begin the 2017 season in the starting rotation at Triple-A Charlotte, is excited for a fresh start with the White Sox.

“It was frustrating because I knew if you get up there and pitch well I can stay, but I didn’t,” Giolito said. “I wanted to help the team win. That’s really all I wanted to do. And all my starts, aside from my debut, which got cut short by the rain, I did not give the team a chance to win. So rightfully so I got sent down. But yeah, it’s frustrating. 

“At the same time, with this club I know there might be a little more leeway. I know they might allow younger guys more time to settle in, at least from what I’ve seen.”

The White Sox have made no secret about their plans to rebuild. Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech are four of the seven prospects acquired in December whom the White Sox hope to build around. 

General manager Rick Hahn has made it increasingly clear that player development is the team’s top priority.

“At this point going forward we’re really not going to have anyone in Chicago until they’ve answered any questions we’ve had for them at the minor league level and we feel they’re ready to succeed,” Hahn said last month at SoxFest. 

And once those players arrive, they’ll be given ample opportunities to prove whether or not they belong. The routine will be normal with regular turns in the rotation rather than spot starts here and there. 

The team’s mindset is in stark contrast with Washington, which has been in win-now mode for the past few seasons. Whenever the Nationals called upon Giolito, who hadn’t pitched above Double-A Harrisburg before last June, they needed him to fill in for a rotation that only had three pitchers make more than 25 starts.

[MORE: Lighter Avisail Garcia wants to show White Sox his best]

Giolito pitched four scoreless innings in a rain-shortened MLB debut on June 28 and then didn’t pitch again until July 7. With Stephen Strasburg back in the rotation, the Nationals then sent Giolito to Single-A Hagerstown so he could get another turn before the All-Star break. Then it was on to Triple-A Syracuse for one start and back to Washington for another. 

After he struggled in that outing, Giolito spent a month at Syracuse, returned to the bigs to struggle again on Aug. 28 against Colorado, and went back to Triple-A for one more. Finally, Giolito returned to Washington on Sept. 7 and stayed the rest of the season, though he only pitched twice in a month. In six big league games (four starts), Giolito had a 6.75 ERA. 

The up-and-down nature of Giolito’s season prompted MLB.com’s Jim Callis to write: “I also don't think the Nationals handled him very well last season, calling him to Washington on five separate occasions but never letting him take consecutive turns in the rotation, as well as having him change teams nine times.”

Giolito remembers a couple of small planes back and forth from Washington to Syracuse. He also drove a few times because it was so close. 

“All sorts of ways of moving around,” he said.

It’s also treatment that’s normally reserved for a Four-A pitcher who has options to burn rather than a top prospect trying to find stability.

Giolito — who was drafted 16th overall in the 2012 draft out of high school — thought some of his struggles were related to poor mechanics and getting away from what had made him successful. The 6-foot-6 pitcher said he tried to simplify his mechanics this winter in order to allow the ball to leave his hand more freely and easily. 

Giolito is pleased with the results so far. His main goals early in camp have been commanding his fastball low and away to right-hander hitters and learning how to throw his curveball for a called strike.

“It’s coming out very good,” Giolito said. “Much better than last year. I made a lot of positive changes.

“The time in the big leagues was definitely fun. But going up and down a lot can be like a grind. Getting on the plane, doing this, you’re pitching the next day. You have to be able to try and stay level headed and focus on the next day or task at hand. But when you’re moving around a lot it can be difficult.”