The Detroit Pistons got there fourth win in five games last night as they beat the Chicago Bulls 102-91 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The win gets the Pistons over .500 on the season at 12-11. This was the third loss in a row for the Bulls and there record fell to 11-10.

Is it time to look at the Bulls schedule and question if fatigue is an issue. The Bulls had a solid 7-game west coast road trip going 4-3. That road trip ended November 25th and they got four days off before playing there next game. Then starting with there game November 30th the Bulls will play 10 games in 12 days. While seven of the game at  home there is travel involved. Earlier the Bulls had a the 2nd of a back to back in Dallas. Last nights game was also the 2nd of a back to back and they went from Chicago to Detroit. Now that’s not a terrible travel, but being the 2nd game of a set could be the issue. The Bulls have five games left in this set of games. They end with a set of back to back games against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 15th and 16th.

The Pistons started the game with three 3-point shoots. They made two and Reggie Jackson was fouled on his and made 2 of his 3 free throws to give the Pistons an 8-0 lead to start the game. The Bulls went on a 9-2 run to get right back in the game at 10-9. The Pistons went on to control the rest of the 1st quarter scoring 22 points to the Bulls 11. Detroit took a 32-21 lead after one quarter.

The Pistons built there lead to 17 points with 3:47 left in the 2nd quarter at 51-34 after an Andre Drummond dunk. Drummond’s dunk was the last points the Pistons would score in the quarter as the Bulls did there best to cut down the lead. Chicago scored the final 10 points of the quarter to cut the Detroit lead to 7 points at 51-44 going into halftime.

The Bulls hit the first 6 points of the 3rd quarter and cut the lead to 1-point at 51-50. The Pistons built the lead back to 5-points at 57-52, but then the Bulls went on a 12-5 run to tie the game at 64 all. From there the teams traded the lead seven times in the final 4:11 of the quarter and it was the Bulls that ended up with a 72-71 lead after three quarters.

The Pistons came back at the beginning of the 4th quarter to take the lead at 76-75 and never gave the lead up again. Darrun Hilliard hit a lay up with 5:48 left in the game to extend the Pistons lead to 10 at 89-79. The Bulls never got any closer than 6 points as the Pistons pulled away for a 102-91 win.

Tobias Harris was the Pistons leading scorer with 22 points. Andre Drummond had 15 points and tied for the game high in rebounds with 10. Marcus Morris scored 15 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 12 points. Ish Smith came off the Pistons bench to lead the game in assists with 10.

Jimmy Butler was the Bulls and the games leading scorer with 32 points. Dwayne Wade had 19 points and a team high 7 assists while Taj Gibson had a double-double scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to tie for the game high. Rajon Rondo returned from his one game suspension to add 10 points.

Detroit has to turn around and play again tonight as they’ll travel to Charlotte to face the 12-9 Hornets. The Bulls get a day off before they face one of the top teams in the Western Conference. On Thursday night the Bulls play the 18-4 San Antonio Spurs.

Pretty  much since the 2016 season the talk has been that the Chicago White Sox had to trade Chris Sale and start there rebuilding process. Now just about every team had been rumored to be in on Sale and you can’t blame them. It was looking like the Washington nationals where the front runner to land Sale, but they weren’t willing to give the White Sox two top prospects. In the end the Nationals where left holding the bag as the Boston Red Sox stepped up and gave the White Sox four of their Top 30 prospects for Sale. The Red Sox sent #1 minor league prospect Yoan Moncada, right handed pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz plus outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe to Chicago for Sale.

Sale was the 13th pick of the 1st round in 2010 by the White Sox. He made his debut that same year. Sale didn’t become a starter until 2012, but has finished in the Top 6 of the Cy Young voting since then. Sale is 70-47 as a starter. Sale has had over 200 strikeouts the last four seasons and led the A.L. in 2015 with 274 strikeouts. Sale led the A.L. in complete games last season with 6. It’s tough to give up a pitcher like Sale as he is a true ace. It will be a few seasons before we know how this trade will be evaluated. Moncada did play in 8 games and got 20 at bats at the major league level last season, but spent most the year in Double-A where he hit .277 with 11 home runs. It appears as though Moncada will play 3rd base, but he spent the majority of his time at 2nd base in the minors. Kopech finished last season at high Class-A where he made 11 starts going 4-1 with an E.R.A. of 2.25. Kopech throws 100 m.p.h. but is still a few seasons away from being a factor in the White Sox rotation. Diaz spent all of last season at Class-A. He pitched in 37 games all in relief and had 10 saves. Diaz record was 2-5 and his E.R.A. was 3.88. Basabe spent most of last season on the same team as Diaz before being moved up to high Class-A for 5 games. Basabe hit .264 combined with 12 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Basabe did steal 25 bases. Moncada is 20, Kopech is 20, Diaz is 22 and Basabe is 20; so while we may see Moncada in a White Sox uniform it will be a while before the other players acquired in this reach the major league level.

Sale will be added to a Red Sox rotation that features 2016 Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, David Price and it looks like the other two rotation spots are to be decided between Clay Buchholz, Steven Wright, Drew Pomeranz  or Eduardo Rodriquez. Right now it doesn’t look as though the Red Sox other top pitching prospect Henry Owens will be in this battle.

While Sale was the biggest move the Red Sox made it wasn’t the only move they made on Tuesday. Earlier in the day they sent 3rd baseman Travis Shaw and minor leaguers Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington to the Milwaukee Brewers for set up man Tyler Thornburg. Shaw can play 3rd and 1st base hit .242 with 16 home runs with 71 RBI’s last season. Dubon is a shortstop who finished the year at Double-A where he hit .339 in 62 games. Pennington made 13 starts in low Class-A last season going 5-3 with a 2.86 E.R.A. Thornburg appeared in 67 games for Milwaukee last season gong 8-5 with an E.R.A. of 2.15. Thornburg did save 13 games, but blew 8 saves last season. Thornburg should serve as the Red Sox main set up guy and he did have 20 holds last season.

The other move the Red Sox made on Tuesday was the signing of Mitch Moreland to a 1-year deal worth $5.5 million. Moreland had spent his entire 7-year career with the Texas Rangers. Moreland had a down year average wise hitting just .233, but did have 22 home runs and drove in 60 runs. Moreland is a left handed hitter who has played mostly 1st base in his career, but he has played 45 games in rightfield. Moreland has a career .996 fielding percentage at 1st base; so it looks as though he may take over in the field and Hanley Ramirez will move into the DH role.

Not to be out done the other Chicago baseball team that just happened to win the World Series appears to have found their closer. With the prices for Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman get up around $20 million a season the Cubs turned to the trade market to get a closer. While it hasn’t been officially announced it’s being reported that the Cubs have agreed to send outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for Wade Davis. Davis did miss some time last season with a forearm injury, but still converted 27 of 30 save opportunities and had an E.R.A. of 1.87. Soler appeared to be the odd man out in the Cubs outfield; so moving him makes sense. Soler also had some injury issues last season. He played in 86 games, hitting .238 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI’s. While Davis is in the final year of his contract Soler still has 3 years left on a 9-year $30 million dollar deal.

There where a couple of other signings yesterday. Carlos Gomez agreed to return to the Texas Rangers in a 1-year $11.5 million dollar deal. The Rangers acquired Gomez as a free agent on Aug. 20 after he had been released by the Astros. He played in 33 games for the Rangers and hit .284 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs. He had a .362 on-base percentage and a .543 slugging percentage. The other signing saw the Tampa Bay Rays ink catcher Wilson Ramos to a 2-year $12.5 million dollar deal, but the deal includes playing time incentives to make up to $18.25 million over the two years. Ramos is recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered last September; so he has to pass a physical for the deal to be completed.

Here’s how are NFL picks went for Week 13. Mr. Fantasy won another week going 12-3. Schaumburg Stu and I both had 10-5 records for the week while Dan the Man struggled going 8-7. Overall Schaumburg Stu still has the lead at 123-69. It’s looking like Schaumburg Stu is going to be tough to catch. Mr. Fantasy has moved into 2nd place by  a game as he is 118-74 overall with Dan the Man right behind him at 117-75. That of course means I am still in last place. My overall record is 110-82. I guess we’ll see how Week 14 goes for us.

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The Chicago Bulls dropped there second game in a row this time a close contest at home to the Portland Trail Blazers 112-110. The Bulls where closing late, but ran out of time. With the loss the Bulls fall to 11-9 on the season. Portland improves there record to 12-10 with the win.

The 1st quarter was tied at five different times and the biggest lead either team had was when the Trail Blazers where ahead 23-16. The Bulls came back to tie the game at 25 and then again at 29 all. Chicago scored the last 3 points of the quarter and took a 32-29 lead at the end of the quarter.

The 2nd quarter was close for a while and the teams found themselves tied on five different occasions. The last tie was 49 all and then the Trail Blazers went on a 12-2 run to take a 61-51 lead. The Bulls managed to knock off a couple of points from the lead and went into halftime trailing 65-57.

The Bulls went on a 10-1 to start the 3rd quarter and after Robin Lopez tip in the Bulls had the lead at 67-66. Chicago was able to get the lead to 5 points a couple of times, but for the most part the lead stayed right around 3 points. After Lopez hit 2 free throws C.J. McCollum hit a 3-pointer to close the quarter and cut the Bulls lead to 1 point at 87-86.

The teams traded baskets and after Dwayne Wade hit a couple of free throws the Bulls had a 93-92 lead with 8:33 left to play. Portland then went on a 11-0 run to take a 103-93 lead and the Trail Blazers never trailed again. The Bulls where able to cut into the lead and with 5 seconds to play they where down 3 points. Damian Lillard was fouled and hit both free throws and even though Jimmy Butler hit his last second shot the Bulls still dropped a 112-110 contest.

Damien Lillard was the Trail Blazers leading scorer with 30 points and handed out a game high 7 assists. C.J. McCollum scored 24 points, Maurice Harkless had 11 points and a team high 8 rebounds while Mason Plumlee added 10 points. Allen Crabbe came off the Portland bench to score 17 points and Evan Turner added 10 points off the bench as well for the Trail Blazers.

Dwayne Wade led the Bulls and was the games high scorer with 34 points. Jimmy Butler had 26 points and a team high 5 assists. Nikola Mirotic (18 points) and Isaiah Cannan (10 points) came off the Bulls bench to score double figures. Robin Lopez scored 7 points and grabbed a game high 14 rebounds.

This was game one of a 5 game road trip for the Trail Blazers. Portland gets a day off before they face the 10-9 Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. The Bulls on the other hand don’t get any time off as they have to turn right around and play the 11-11 Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills tonight.

The Bulls faced the Trail Blazers without starting point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo was suspended for the game for “Conduct detrimental to the team”. It was reported that Rondo was yelling at the Bulls coaching staff specifically assistant coach Jim Boylin. The report also said that Rondo has apologized to the coaching staff and the team and will play tonight against the Pistons.

A day after beating the Eastern Conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers the Chicago Bulls were blown out by the team with the worst record in the NBA the Dallas Mavericks by 25 points. What can you even look for? It is the 2nd of a back to back or maybe the fact that Dwayne Wade was given the night off. Even though the Bulls are at a weird point of their schedule where they play 10 games in 12 days, but this is just the second game of that schedule. Maybe it was just as simple as they looked past a team that was 3-15 coming into the game. It also didn’t help the Bulls that the Mavericks went 13 of 31 (41.9%) from behind the 3-point line, but anyway it’s a loss and not a good one.

As hard as it might be to believe in today’s NBA, but the Mavericks never trailed in this game. Dallas scored the first 7 points of the game and built the lead to 17 at 23 to 6 before the Bulls knew what hit them. The Bulls did close the 1st quarter on a 12-6 run to cut the Mavericks lead to 11 points 29-18 at the end of the 1st.

The teams played a very even 2nd quarter. The Bulls could only get as close as 6 points and the Mavericks biggest lead they built in the quarter was 13 points. Overall the Mavericks outscored the Bulls 28 to 27 in the 2nd quarter. Going into halftime the Mavericks had a 12 point lead at 57-45.

The Mavericks continued to build on there lead in the 3rd quarter. Dallas grab a 21 point lead on two different occasions. First at 74-53 after a Dwight Powell dunk with 6:01 left in the quarter and then again at 79-58 after a Wesley Matthews 3 pointer with 3:24 left in the quarter. The Bulls cut 6 points off the lead, but still went into the 4th quarter down 82-66.

Down 16 points maybe the Bulls thought the game was pout of hand as their bench played the majority of the 4th quarter. With the bench players on the floor the Bulls scored just 16 points and the Mavericks where able to add to the lead scoring 25 points in the 4th quarter. By outscoring the Bulls by 9 points in the final quarter the Mavericks picked up there 4th win of the season 107-82.

Wesley Matthews had 26 points which tied him for the games high scorer. Matthews did most of his damage from behind the 3 point line going 7 of 11 in the game. Harrison Barnes had 22 points while Dorian Finney-Smith added 11 points. Dwight Powell came off the Dallas bench to score 17 points. Andrew Bogut was the games leading rebounder with 11 and Deron Williams led everyone in assists with 15.

Jimmy Butler was the other player in the game with 26 points as he led the Bulls in scoring. Robin Lopez had  points and Taj Gibson added 11 points. Isaiah Canaan came off the Bulls bench to score  points..

The win improved Dallas to- on the season while the Bulls saw there record drop to 11-8. The Mavericks get a day off before hosting the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night. There is a chance the Mavericks will have Dirk Nowitzi back for that game. The Bulls will also have Sunday off as they head back to Chicago where they’ll host the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

How was your week

Posted: December 3, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in sports
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What do we have to do to get a well played Thursday Night Football game? This week looked to be the week as we had the Dallas Cowboys coming in on a 10-game winning streak against the Minnesota Vikings who have been struggling, but where still a playoff contender. Even with these two teams we got a terrible 17-15 game that the Cowboys won. Now all I’ve had to listen to is the fact that the referees missed a call on the Vikings 2-point attempt and that cost them the game. Okay Sam Bradford did get hit in the face and there should’ve been a penalty called, but are you really confident that an offense like Minnesota’s would’ve been able to convert another 2-point conversion attempt. Then of course instead of focusing on the football game itself the media turns right to the missed call and played it over and over on highlights; so we know what happened. Now they did miss the call, but we’re talking about very large men moving very fast and calls are going to be missed. Do you think that the referees called every holding or pass interference penalty in the game. Remember it’s been said by many former players and referees as well that they could throw a penalty flag on every play. Do you want to watch that football game? I know I don’t. Now it wasn’t a blatant hit to Bradford’s head as the defensive lineman was trying to block the pass and his momentum carried him into Bradford with his hands up and they got into his face. Again it is still a penalty and it should’ve been called, but it was missed.

Let’s focus on the game itself. This was the first time that Dak Prescott didn’t look that great under center. Prescott only attempted 18 passes in the game and he did complete 12 of them, but for just 139 yards. He did throw a touchdown pass and had some success running the football. Prescott carried the football 6 times for 37 yards, but he had 2 fumbles losing one of them. Minnesota does have a very opportune defense; so the fact that Prescott had just the one turnovers is a plus, but he didn’t look like the quarterback people where in love with. Now I don’t know if you can say Bradford was much better. He did throw 45 passes and completed 32 of them with a touchdown pass, but in true fashion none of the passes where really downfield. Bradford average just under 5 1/2 yards a pass attempt. The Vikings have been having offensive line issues and Bradford is releasing the football very quickly to avoid being sacked, but it’s not producing much yardage. Bradford was sacked 3 times in the game, but with no threat of a downfield passing attack defenses can key on the other things the Vikings offense does well. I don’t know how to fix this, but Minnesota needs to find a way to give Bradford some more time to at least look downfield; so the defense has to respect it.

I need your assistance with this one. I heard someone say that Ezekiel Elliott didn’t have a good game. Elliott carried the football 20 times for 86 yards; so he averaged 4.3 yards per carry and he scored a touchdown. Elliott also caught 4 passes for 19 yards. Was it the fact that Elliott had a 30 yard run in the game and if you take that away from his stats he averages just 2.9 yards a carry? Don’t forget that the Vikings have the 3rd ranked defense overall in the NFL and are #18 against the run. Of course you have to add in that teams are already keying on Elliott and with Prescott having a down game the Vikings where able to look for Elliott even more. Overall Elliott’s game was fine and there are times even the best running backs have to bang the football against a defense to set up a big run. It wasn’t Elliott’s best game, but I think you take the numbers he put up and move on.

Dallas is now 11-1 and on an 11-game winning streak. There’s no doubt they’ll be in the playoffs and should get the #1 seed in the NFC. The Cowboys can clinch a playoff spot if week if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Redskins lose. It doesn’t matter if it’s this week or not the Cowboys are going to the playoffs. Minnesota who you always have to mention started off the season 5-0 is now .500 at 6-6 and in 2nd place in the NFC North division. With 4 games left the Vikings are fighting for a playoff spot. They’ll face the Jacksonville Jaquars on the road next week. They’ll return home to take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. Then they end the season against two divisional rival; Week 16 they’re on the road against the Green Bay Packers and then they end the season hosting the Chicago Bears in Week 17. The Vikings should be favorite in three of those four games, but will 9-7 get them into the playoffs. Maybe the rumored return of Adrian Peterson helps the Vikings struggling offense down the stretch.

With Wilson Ramos injured and out on the free agent market the Washington Nationals addressed their catching situation by acquiring Derek Norris from the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Pedro Avila. Norris will be entering his 6th major league season. He spent the first 3 with the Oakland A’s before being dealt to the Padres where he’s played the last two seasons. Norris was an All-Star in 2014 with the A’s, but struggled with San Diego. Norris hit 14 home runs last season, but his batting average was just .186. Washington does have veteran catcher Jose Lobaton and 23-year old Pedro Severino on the roster. That duo replaced Ramos after he was injured. Lobaton is known for his defense and pitch handling, but is a career .226 hitter over 7 seasons. Severino is the Nationals catcher of the future and with this deal it looks like he’ll catch full time in Triple-A. Severino did hit .321 in 18 games for the Nationals last season. In Washington’s one post season series Severino went 1 for 10 while Lobaton was 2 for 9 in the post season. Now there are conflicting reports on when Ramos will return. When he was first injured it appeared as it would be the 2017 All-Star break before he returned, but now there are some saying that Ramos will be ready a month into this coming season. There is also some talk that Ramos won’t be able to catch full time because of this knee injury. It looks as though the Norris deal means Ramos will be looking for a new team next season.

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LeBron James paid off his baseball bet to friend Dwayne Wade as he wore a full Chicago Cubs uniform into The United Center for Friday’s game. After the bet was paid Wade and his Chicago Bulls teammates sent James and his Cleveland Cavaliers to there 3rd straight loss 111-105 Friday night.

In the 1st quarter the Cavaliers built 5-point leads on five different occasions, but the Bulls worked there way back into the game every time. The Cavaliers took there first lead of the game at 8-6 and led the rest of the quarter. The bulls cut the lead to 1-point a couple of times, but Iman Shumpert’s lay up with 10 seconds left gave the Cavaliers a 33-30 lead at the end of the quarter.

Cleveland started the 2nd quarter on a 7-2 run to build an 8-point lead at 40-32. The bulls cut into the lead. but the Cavaliers built it back to 8 at 49-41. The Bulls did finally manage to take the lead at 59-58 on a Taj Gibson dunk with 1:23 left in the quarter, but Kevin Love was fouled with 5 seconds left shooting a 3-pointer. Love made two of his three free throws and the Cavaliers held the lead going into halftime 60-59.

The Bulls took the lead early in the 3rd quarter at 63-62. They built the lead to 8-points at 74-66 with 6:58 left in the quarter. After the Cavaliers cut the lead to 5 the Bulls went on a 10-5 run to take a 10 point lead at 88-78. LeBron James got the last basket of the quarter to make the score Chicago 88, Cleveland 80.

The 4th quarter was pretty even, but at one point the Cavaliers cut the Bulls lead to 3-points at 92-89. That was as close as Cleveland could get as the Bulls where able to build the lead back to 8-points at 97-89 after a Rajon Rondo 3-pointer. Chicago managed to keep the lead between 5 and 8 points and after Jimmy Butler made two free throws with 6 seconds left in the game the Bulls had a 111-105 win.

Jimmy Butler was the Bulls leading scorer with 26 points. Dwayne Wade had 24 points while Taj Gibson scored 23 points and tied for the game high in rebounds with 11. Rajon Rondo posted a triple-double as he scored 15 points handed out 12 assists and tied Gibson for the game lead with 11 rebounds. Robin Lopez also hit double figures with 10 points as all the Bulls starters scored in double figures.

LeBron James was the Cavaliers and the games high scorer with 27 points. James also handed out a game high 13 assists. Kyrie Irving had 20 points while Kevin Love had 15 points and a team high 9 rebounds. Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye (off the bench) both hit double figures with 11 points on the night.

With the win the Bulls improve to 11-7 on the season. The loss was the Cavaliers 3rd in a row and fell to 13-5 on the season. Chicago has to turn right around and play Saturday night on the road against the 3-15 Dallas Mavericks. This was the 2nd game of a back to back for the Cavaliers; so they’ll get a couple days off before they go on the road to face the 13-6 Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

The Chicago Bulls had their first home game in 16 days Wednesday night as they dropped a 96-90 contest to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Bulls played the Lakers on there recent west coast road trip and beat them on their home court 118-100 on November 17th. The Lakers played Wednesday night without Nick Young a.k.a. Swaggy P. as he’s going to miss 2 to 4 weeks with a right calf injury.

The Lakers scored the first 4 points of the game, but it was really the Bulls who control the 1st quarter. The Lakers actually managed to score just 13 more points in the quarter as the Bulls jumped out to a 11-point lead 28 to 17 after one quarter.

The Lakers began to cut into the Bulls lead right at the start of the 2nd quarter. After a 17 to 7 run by Los Angeles the Bulls lead was down to 1-point at 35 to 34. The Bulls did rebuild there lead to 6 at 42-36, but the Lakers made another run and the game went into halftime tied at 47 apiece.

Through the 3rd quarter the Bulls worked to build a lead. After Nikola Mirotic hit a lay up with 3:21 left in the quarter the Bulls had there biggest lead of the quarter at 65-57. The Lakers spent those final three plus minutes cutting into the Bulls lead outscoring Chicago 13-8 to end the quarter at 73-70 Chicago.

The 4th quarter started with another Mirotic basket to give the Bulls a 5-point lead, but the Lakers scored 8 of the games next 13 points and the game was tied at 78 apiece. The teams traded the lead three times, but then the Bulls where able to take a 3-point lead at 85-82 with 6:24 left to play. The Lakers quickly evened the game and built there own 3-point lead at 90-87, but a Jimmy Butler 3-pointer tied the game at 90. Of course those where the Bulls last points of the game while the Lakers had a field goal and then went 4 of 6 from the free throw line to win the game 96-90.

The Lakers where led in scoring by Jordan Clarkson and louis Williams who each came off the bench to score 18 points. Williams also led the team in assists with 5. Julius Randle scored 13 points and grabbed a game high 20 rebounds. Larry Nance Jr. had a double-double off the Lakers bench scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Former Bull Luol Deng also scored in double figures with 10 points.

The Bulls shot just 32 of 91 (35.2%) from the field which included going 4 for 21 (19%) from behind the 3-point line. Even with a rough shooting night Jimmy Butler was the games high scorer with 22 points. Dwayne Wade had 17 points while Rajon Rondo had 14 points. Wade and Rondo where the game leaders in assists with 6 each Taj Gibson posted a double-double with 11 points and a team high 10 rebounds and Robin Lopez scored 10 points.

The win gets the Lakers back to .500 at 10-10 on the season. This was the 2nd game of a 4 game road trip for the Lakers. They’ll get a day off before going to Toronto to face the 12-6 Raptors. The loss drops the Bulls to 10-7 on the season. The Bulls will also get a day off before they host the Eastern Conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers (13-3) on Friday night.

games last season games last season nd see how we did with our NFL picks for Week 12. It was a good week for everyone, but Mr. Fantasy led the way with a record of 14-2. HIs two losses where the Seattle Seahawks; like I’m sure everyone lost on and he had the Denver Broncos over the Kansas City Chiefs. Dan the Man and I finished a game behind Mr. Fantasy at 13-3 while Schaumburg Stu was well over .500 as well at 11-5, but for a change he ended up last. Overall Schaumburg Stu is still in the lead with a record of 113-64. Dan the Man is in 2nd place at 109-68. Mr. Fantasy gained some ground, but is still in 3rd place at 106-71 and I am still in the cellar with an overall record of 100-77. Will have to see if we can continue to pick this well in Week 13.

Now I’m an avid fantasy player. I play in yearly leagues for the big four sports and would like to think I’m an above average player. I play in yearly leagues and I also play daily fantasy on the FanDuel website. I try to take in my share of fantasy news be it through the television or what I can read online. I’m always interested to see who they think the hot players are going to be and hopefully they’ll give a reason why they’re going with that player. When it came to quarterback for Week 12 it was a lot of the names that you’ll always hear; Eli Manning, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson where three of the guys that most experts liked in Sunday’s games. Now the name I didn’t hear as a hot play for Sunday was Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers. I think most of not all experts had Kaepernick as a below average play against the Miami Dolphins defense. In just one of those odd fantasy twist Kaepernick ended up being the highest scoring fantasy quarterback for Week 12. Kaepernick was 29 of 46 for 296 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kaepernick also ran the football 10 times for 113 yards. Now Kaepernick did throw an interceptions and was sacked 2 times for 14 yards, but in a basic Yahoo Public Fantasy :League Kaepernick was worth 34.14 fantasy points. According to Yahoo Kaepernick is owned in just 24% of their leagues. So the question becomes; is he a good pick up for the final 5 weeks? This week Kaepernick faces a Chicago Bears defense that is missing quite a few players due to injury and suspension. In Week 14 he faces the New York  Jets. Week 15 it’s the Atlanta Falcons. In Week 16 it’s the  Los Angeles Rams and to wrap the season up Kaepernick goes up against the Seattle Seahawks defense. It looks as though you could get some use out of Kaepernick if you’re looking for quarterback help down the stretch.

The Baltimore Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals 19-14 on Sunday and while it wasn’t that interesting of a game it was the way it ended that has everyone talking. With 1:05 left in the game the Ravens got the football on there own 21 yard line. After three running plays that gained 7 yards total the Ravens where facing 4th down and 3 yards to go with 55 seconds left in the game. The Ravens took a delay of game call to make it 4th and 8 yards to go, but more importantly there was just 11 seconds left in the game. Baltimore sent out Sam Koch to punt, but when the ball was snapped to Koch he started to back up slowly into his own end zone as the clock counted down. Now to give Koch the time he’d need to run out 11 seconds all the blockers on the Ravens punt team held which every Bengals player that was closet to the and in some cases even tackled them. Koch worked his way to the back of the end zone and was able to run the clock out with yellow flags all over the field as I think every referee had throw his flag. What Ravens head coach John Harbaugh knew was that the game could end on an offensive penalty; so why take the chance on punting the football. This way there was no chance of a blocked punt or a punt return and he also took away the Bengals chance to throw a “Hail Mary” and win the game. Now there where quite a few people who didn’t like this play, but the Ravens didn’t do anything wrong. I thought that it was very smart of them to go this route. Just imagine the heat that Harbaugh would be taking if the punt had been either blocked and recovered by Cincinnati for a touchdown or if they would’ve returned that punt for a touchdown and what if they would’ve throw that “Hail Mary” for a game winning touchdown. This could turn out to be a big win for the Ravens as they improved to 6-5 and are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 1st place in the AFC North. Baltimore does currently hold the tiebreaker over the Steelers as they won their first head to head meeting, but the teams play again Week 16 in Pittsburgh.

The World Champion Chicago Cubs reached an agreement with free agent outfielder Jon Jay on a 1-year $8 million dollar contract. Jay missed about two months of the 2016 season when he was hit by a pitch and broke his forearm. The injury limited Jay to 90 games last season with the San Diego Padres. Jay hit .291 in those 90 games and has a career batting average of .287. Jay has played 7 seasons in the majors; his first 6 where with the St. Louis Cardinals before playing last season in San Diego. Jay has played all three outfield spots in his career and has a career fielding percentage of .995. It appears as though the signing of Jay ends any chance of Dexter Fowler returning to the Cubs. It looks as though Alberto Almora Jr. will be given a chance to be the everyday centerfielder with Jay serving as a back up to Almora and possible a late inning defensive replacement for leftfielder Kyle Schwarber.

Also on the free agent front one of the top names looks to be off the board as it’s being reported that Yoenis Cespedes as re-signed with the New York Mets on a 4-year $110 million dollar deal. Cespedes will get $22.5 million next season, $29 million in 2018 & 19 then his salary goes to $29.5 million for the 2020 season. The deal also includes a full no trade clause. It’s no surprise that Cespedes re-signed with the Mets as they seemed to be the front runners as soon as he opted out of his deal after last season.

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The Atlanta Braves added their third free agent of the off season as it’s being reported that they have a deal in place with utility man Sean Rodriguez on a 2-year $11 million dollar deal. Rodriguez will be entering his 10th season and he’s a career .234 hitter. Rodriguez posted career highs in games (140), home runs (18) and RBI’s (56) last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rodriguez is a true utility man as throughout his career he’s played every position except for catcher. Career Stats It appears as though Rodriguez will spend time at 2nd base, 3rd base and rightfield for the Braves, but as through his career can and may fill in at the other positions.

If you’re a Braves fan I’m interested to know what you think if this signing. This signing like the other two the Braves had made are just short term. It’s two years for Rodriguez, one year for R.A. Dickey with an option for a second year and then a year long deal for Bartolo Colon.It looks as though these guys are just place holders as there younger players try to get major league ready. I guess what I really want to know is do you feel these three signings will help the Braves improve from last seasons 68-93 record.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners made a trade this week and I have to tell you from the Mariners side of the deal I don’t understand it. The Diamondbacks acquired starting pitcher Taijuan Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte while the Mariners received shortstop Jean Segura and two minor league prospects outfielder Mitch Haniger and left handed pitcher Zac Curtis.

Now Segura did lead the National League in hits with 203 and is an upgrade at shortstop over Marte, but adding Walker to the deal hurts a rotation that had it’s issue last season. Now I get it Walker had his issues last season and was even sent to Triple-A for a short stint, but he’s just 23 years old. Walker made 25 starts for the Mariners last season tied for second most on the team. Seattle had 13 different pitchers make starts for them during the 2016 season and losing a pitcher who had a rotation spot locked up can be tough to replace. Marte is also a young player (22 years old), but looked to be the Mariners shortstop for a long time. Segura fills that role, but how do the Mariners replace Walker. The free agent starting pitching market is down this season; so you have to think they have someone from there own system in mind or will they make another trade to get a starter.

Of course the Mariners got the word every team loves to hear in a deal back PROSPECTS!. Haniger split last season between Double and Triple-A and hit .321 with 25 home runs and 94 RBI’s combined. Haniger did play 34 games for Arizona last season and hit ..229. It was just 34 games, but you have to wonder if Haniger’s skills will translate to the major league level. Zac Curtis spent time at high Class-A and Double-A before the Diamondbacks called him up. Curtis pitched in 21 games for Arizona last season. Curtis was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA and one blown save opportunity over 13 and 1/3rd innings. Curtis has pitched strictly in relief and maybe the Mariners are looking at him as a future closer. Curtis has 53 career saves in 59 chances in the minors.

Will Arizona make Marte the everyday shortstop or is he going to be added to there three man rotation at 2nd base/shortstop. Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed are the other two guys that rotate in these positions. Owings and Ahmed both missed time with injures last season and Owings spent some time in centerfield as well. Walker may have to win a spot in the Diamondbacks rotation. As it looks like there are six pitchers for five spots, but then again the Diamondbacks could go with a 6-man starting rotation.

I guess like all trades we’ll have to wait and see how this works out for both teams, but just looking at it I think Arizona got the better end of this trade on paper. Of course we all know they don’t play the games on paper.

The Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 117-104 last night. Now it looks like just your typical Western Conference NBA game, but the Rockets set an NBA record in this game by taking 50 3-point shots in the game. The Rockets made 21 of the 50 3-points shots they took in the game. Eric Gordon took the most 3-pointers going 4 for 12. Trevor Ariza and James Harden each took 11. Ariza made 6 and Harden made 3. Ryan Anderson took 7 making 3 while Patrick Beverly took 4 making 2. Sam Dekker took 3 making 1 and Corey Brewer took 2 3-pointers and made both of his.

While we’re talking about the 3-point shot the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to make 20 3-point shots in back to back regular season games. The Cavaliers made 21 3-pointers in there Wednesday night win over the Portland Trail Blazers and then last night Cleveland made 20 3-pointers in there win against the Dallas Mavericks. The Cavaliers accomplished this feat in last season playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks. Now I’m sure you’re thinking that the Golden State Warriors have done this a number of times, but they’ve never done it in back to back games.

This leads me to part of the reason I don’t enjoy the NBA game. How many times in a game do you see a guy pass up a short jumper to kick it out to the 3-point line for that shot instead. The NBA seems to be a league where you either get a player driving to dunk the basketball or he throws it out to the 3-point line for that long jumper. While the dunks can be fun and exciting to watch, but players standing at the 3-point line waiting for the basketball to be passed to them isn’t great basketball to watch. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who enjoy this style of basketball, but I’m not one of them. From time to time I’ll see a play where a team has great ball movement and it ends with them finding the open man for a 3-point bucket. I’m fine with that, but there are just way too many times where it’s one guy handling the basketball and then just tossing it out to the 3-point line for the shot. You’ll have to let me know if I’m off base here. How do you feel about the state of the NBA game right now?

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The Chicago Bulls wrapped up their 6 game road trip with a 16 point victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. It was a 4-2 road trip for the Bulls who improved there record to 10-6 with the win while the loss dropped the 76ers to 4-12 on the season.

The Bulls scored the first 8 points of the game and never trailed. The Bulls built a 12 point lead at 20-8, but the 76ers ended the quarter on a 11-3 run and cut the Bulls lead to 4 points 23-19 by the end of the 1st quarter.

A Hollis Thompson 3-pointer to start the 2nd quarter cut the Bulls lead to 1 point, but that was as close as the 76ers could get. The Bulls built the lead back to 10 points at 38-28 with 6:30 left to play. The Bulls where able to get the lead to 12 points on a couple of occasions, but couldn’t keep it there. After Jimmy Butler hit 2 free throws to end the quarter the Bulls went into halftime with a 57-47 lead.

The Bulls stretched the lead to 15 points 67-52 after a Dwayne Wade basket, but the 76ers where able to knock the lead back down to 10 after a 7-2 run. Chicago dominated the rest of the 3rd quarter as they went on there own run of 21-5 to end the quarter. The Bulls ended the 3rd quarter with a 26 point lead 90-64.

With the outcome apparently I hand the Bulls bench saw quite a bit of 4th quarter action. Philadelphia did work the lead down and outscored the Bulls by 10 points in the final quarter 25-15, but there wasn’t enough time to pull out what would’ve been a huge comeback and the Bulls ended up with the win 105-89.

Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler shared high scoring honors for the Bulls and the game with 26 points each. Taj Gibson contributed 12 points and Robin Lopez added 10 points. The Bulls other starter Rajon Rondo had game highs in assists with 8 and rebounds with 10. Butler played a team high 31 minutes while Wade played just 29 minutes in the game.

The 76ers where led by Ersan Ilyasova with 14 points. Richaun Holmes and Nik Staukas came off the Philadelphia bench to each score 13 points. Jerryd Bayless and Hollis Thompson (off the bench) each had 11 points Jahlil Okafor added 10 points. Ilyasova and Dario Saric tied for the team lead in rebounds with 7. Saric also toed with Staukas and Sergio Rodriguez for the team lead in assists with 3 each. Since the 76ers game before tonight went double overtime Joel Embiid was given the night off.

The Bulls will get a little bit of time off as they don’t return to the court until Wednesday night when the host the Los Angeles Lakers. The 76ers will host the Eastern Conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon.