Good morning, Chicago!
What did you do with your Bears-free Sunday? I raked my leaves, mowed the lawn and put up some Halloween decorations. I was even able to make it back inside to enjoy the second half of the Jets’ surprise attack on the Packers at Lambeau.
I’ve had worse Sundays.
The Bears aren’t back in action until next Monday night in New England and there’s luckily plenty to keep our minds off everything that a primetime game usually brings.
The biggest attraction this week is the return of the Chicago Bulls, who tip off their season Wednesday night in Miami and then kick things off at home Saturday against Cleveland.
We have an exciting announcement coming for CHGO Bulls fans later this week. No seriously, it’s kind of mind-blowing and you’re all going to be pretty jazzed when we roll it out.
Until then, we have plenty of time to weigh what kind of season the Bulls might have. It’s far from a guarantee they’ll make the playoffs and the list of concerns is long enough to make the pessimists feel optimistic about their projections.
You know the issues: We don’t know when Lonzo Ball is coming back, Patrick Williams isn’t developing as fast as we hoped and the roster didn’t get the outside shooting help or rim protection it so desperately needed last year.
Can Billy Donovan figure out a way to maximize the talents of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic to overcome those questions? That trio obviously can’t do everything and it’ll be on three players to shoulder an additional burden as the Bulls wait and hope that Ball can rejoin the team at some point.
- Alex Caruso: The team’s slide last season coincided with his injury troubles. His defensive presence will be sorely needed.
2. Ayo Dosunmu: Big sophomore season coming up as he takes the starting point guard spot in Ball’s absence. His responsibilities will be many.
3. Patrick Williams: So much of the Bulls’ hopes for this current era rest on the No. 4 pick becoming a true difference-maker on the floor. The sooner the better for this team.
Can the Bulls figure out a way to put it all together and approach last year’s 46-win total, which allowed them to finish sixth in the East?
It’ll be a tall order, but I’m ready to see them try.
Join us at an upcoming CHGO Bears tailgate!
The Week Ahead
• The Bears are preparing to face the Patriots in Foxborough next Monday night. Anyone else excited to see Matt Eberflus match wits with Bill Belichick? No?
• The Blackhawks went 1-2 on their opening road trip, taking home a nice 5-2 win in San Jose after falling behind two goals on Saturday night. They’ll open up things at home against Detroit on Friday night.
• The Red Stars are taking stock of a solid season, which ended with a 2-1 loss to San Diego in the NWSL playoffs late last night. The team had plenty to battle both on the field and off, but they went down swinging. Can’t ask for much more than that.
• The White Sox continue their search for their next manager. Vinnie Duber outlined what they’re looking for in their next candidate.
• Nothing big on the horizon for the Cubs — at least not that we can see. The hot stove rumor season started in earnest over the weekend as Bruce Levine pinned Jose Abreu as a possible Cubs target. Our own Ryan Herrera also wonders if extensions are coming for Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ.
• Illinois football gets a bye after taking control of the Big Ten West title race with a decisive win over Minnesota on Saturday. They’ll be back in action with a trip to Nebraska on October 29.
• Notre Dame is facing plenty of questions about first-year coach Marcus Freeman after the Irish dropped to 3-3 after a loss at home to Stanford. UNLV visits South Bend on Saturday.