The Mike Glennon era was fun while it lasted.The Bears provided the first stunning moment of the 2017 NFL Draft, aggressively trading up one spot with San Francisco to draft North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. General manager Ryan Pace, on the hot seat after a 3-13 season, just put all his cards on the table.The 49ers picked up the No. 67 overall pick, the No. 111 pick and a 2018 third-round pick in exchange for moving down just one spot. Glennon, signed to a big free agent contract in March, now looks like a short-term bridge starter before he eventually gives way to Trubisky. Pace confirmed that Glennon remains the starter after the selection on Thursday night.The trade caps a stunning rise for Trubisky, who soared high in this draft process after only starting 13 games in his career at UNC. He impressed scouts by looking the part. He has prototypical size, a quick release, good accuracy and has the athleticism to improvise when the play breaks down. But Trubisky also didn’t show the typical standout traits like a big arm or the ability to go through his reads that usually accompanies a pick this high.It’s safe to say that Trubisky does not enter the league with nearly the same predraft expectations as recent high picks like Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. But Trubisky definitely cost the pricetag typical of a franchise quarterback.The Bears need help throughout their roster, yet will have three fewer picks over the next two years because Pace believes in Trubisky so much. The same is clearly not true of Glennon. While Glennon’s much criticized contract in Chicago cost the team “$45 million” over three seasons, a close examination of the deal revealed it was essentially a one-year promise with $18.5 million guaranteed. Only $2.5 million is guaranteed into 2018, and Glennon may no longer be on the team by then if Trubisky develops as hoped this season.This trade puts a lot of pressure on Trubisky and creates an awkward situation for coach John Fox. After winning only nine games in two seasons, Fox will have to manage his desire to save his job with the instinct to get Trubisky playing time.Fox may be worried about the present, but Trubisky is the future. How thrilled is Fox about thius pick? He’s so old school, that’s it’s inconcievable that he’s play a Rookie QB.
BOSTON—The Celtics and Bulls found another thing to argue about after Game 5 of their spirited first-round playoff series: Was Avery Bradley more impressive on offense, or on defense? ”Everyone knows he’s a good defender. Tonight, he got his offensive game going,” Dwyane Wade said after Bradley scored 24 points to lead Boston to a 108-97 victory and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
”You expect him to do what he does defensively, but we gave up 24 points to him tonight. He hurt us offensively tonight more than anything.”
Isaiah Thomas also scored 24 for the Celtics, the top seed in the East. After the road team won each of the first four games, the Celtics won at home in Game 5 to earn a chance to eliminate the Bulls on Friday night in Chicago. A Bulls victory would force the series back to Boston for a decisive Game 7 on Sunday.Al Horford had 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Celtics. Bradley’s 24 points were a career playoff high, but after watching him hold Bulls star Jimmy Butler to 14 points – and just one foul shot – Celtics coach Brad Stevens praised Bradley’s defense.
”Jimmy Butler’s a hard guy to guard. Dwyane Wade’s a hard guy to guard. You’re not going to stop those guys, but you just try to make it as hard as possible,” Stevens said. ”Avery … has done a really good job.”
Butler, who shot 23 free throws in Game 4 and made 19, was 0 for 1 on Wednesday.
”I was trying to eliminate letting Jimmy Butler get to the free throw line. That was my goal this game, and I feel like I did it,” Bradley said.
Wade had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. But Wade and Robin Lopez were called for technical fouls 32 seconds apart with just under five minutes left, helping the Celtics to a 20-5 run that turned an 84-84 game into a 15-point Boston lead.The Bulls cut it to nine before Horford got loose for a dunk, Wade missed a 3-pointer and then Horford fed Jae Crowder for a layup that made it 108-95 with 99 seconds to play.Despite the technical fouls, there was little of the tension that characterized Game 4, when Butler and Marcus Smart got in each other’s face on the court and continued the criticism in their postgame comments.The Celtics started slowly on their home court, making just one of their first nine shots to fall behind 12-4. Boston missed its first eight 3-point attempts before making three in a row at the end of the first quarter.
NOTES—Before winning the first two games of the series, the Bulls had only won one playoff game in Boston ever – Game 1 of the 2009 first round. … Butler brought the ball down with 6.2 seconds left in the third quarter and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulls an 81-79 lead. … The Bulls had 16 turnovers that led to 23 Boston points. The Celtics only had six turnovers, leading to four Bulls points…..There were at least nine members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the crowd, and a handful of players from the Boston Bruins as well. … Thomas missed his first four shots and didn’t make a basket until a second-chance 3-pointer with 42 seconds left in the first half. … Gerald Green made his third start, but he played less than 13 minutes and finished with two points after scoring 18 with seven rebounds in Game 4.Rajon Rondo, who was the point guard on the 2008 Celtics team that won the franchise’s record 17th NBA title, did not play for the third straight game because of the broken thumb and strained ligament in his right wrist. He was on the court handling a basketball with his left hand before the game, then sat on the Bulls bench in a suit – this one with sleeves – and cheered on his teammates.The Bulls fell to 0-3 without him in the series, with Wade largely taking over as point guard in Game 5.Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg made waves after Game 4 when he questioned whether Thomas was getting away with carrying the ball when he dribbled.Thomas took exception with the suggestion, saying it was the way he’d dribbled his entire career and was no different than the style of other All-Stars such as LeBron James and Rondo.The final question to Hoiberg Wednesday was whether he’d had spotted any illegal dribbles from Thomas in the Game 5 loss.
”No,” he said, before walking out.
Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, and the Boston Celtics beat the Bulls 104-95 on Sunday to tie their first-round playoff series at 2-all.Boston blew a 20-point lead, but Thomas keyed a third-quarter run that put the Celtics back on top after Bulls briefly went ahead.Gerald Green made four 3-pointers on his way to 18 points, helping the top-seeded Celtics return the favor in the United Center after dropping the first two games at home. Al Horford added 15 points and 12 rebounds.Game 5 is Wednesday in Boston.Jimmy Butler carried the Bulls with 33 points and nine assists. Nikola Mirotic and seldom-used Isaiah Canaan each scored 13 points, but Dwyane Wade finished with just 11.Canaan made his first appearance since April 10, with Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg searching for help at point guard with Rajon Rondo missing his second straight game because of a broken right thumb.The Celtics led by 20 in the second quarter and were still up 10 in the third when the Bulls scored 12 straight. The Bulls went ahead 65-63 on Robin Lopez’s hook shot with 4:35 left in the quarter.Thomas answered with back-to-back layups and scored 10 points in a 12-0 run that gave the Celtics a 75-65 lead, and they withstood a push by the Bulls early in the fourth.With Thomas and Green each scoring 16 in the first half, the Celtics carried a 57-46 lead into the break.Butler led the Bulls with 17 in the half. But the offense struggled in a big way with Rondo unavailable. Jerian Grant started and went to the bench after about five ineffective minutes. Michael Carter-Williams then picked up two quick fouls, forcing the Bulls to go with Canaan in the first quarter.The Celtics, meanwhile, led 41-21 early in the second quarter. But things started to turn after Canaan stole the ball from Marcus Smart and scored on a layup.Smart feigned throwing the ball at Butler. The two came nose to nose, resulting in technical fouls for both players, and the Bulls started to shoot their way back into it.Mirotic hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight in the quarter. Bobby Portis cut it to 52-42 with his basket late in the half, and Butler hit two free throws with 22.6 seconds left to make it 57-46.
NOTES—The NBA fined Rondo for attempting to trip Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder from the bench in Game 3. Crowder jawed at the Bulls’ bench after hitting a jumper and Rondo extended his leg as Crowder walked by….Hoiberg figures to be fined next for his comments about Thomas,claiming the Boston guard carries the ball everytime he dribbles……Thomas was just 1 of 9 on 3-pointers but made 12 of 13 free throws…..Butler made 19 of 23 foul shots after failing to get to the line in Game 3. … Canaan was inactive for the first three games.
Al Horford had 18 points and eight rebounds, Isaiah Thomas scored 16 points, and the top-seeded Boston Celtics beat the Bulls 104-87 on Friday night after dropping the first two games of their opening-round series at home.The Celtics pulled away after a 20-point lead shrunk to one early in the third quarter and put themselves in position to tie a series that was in danger of slipping away from them. Game 4 is Sunday in the United Center.Dwyane Wade scored 18 and Jimmy Butler had 14 points on 7-of-21 shooting, and the offense simply didn’t click the way it had been, with Rajon Rondo out indefinitely with a broken right thumb. The Bulls shot about 39 percent and committed 18 turnovers.Thomas, grieving the death of his sister in a car accident last week, rejoined the team after spending time with his family in Tacoma, Washington. He scored eight points in the third quarter, helping the Celtics regain control.Jae Crowder finished with 16 points. Avery Bradley scored 15 and hit four of Boston’s 17 3-pointers.The Celtics’ lead was down to 44-43 early in the third when Thomas hit Horford for an alley-oop dunk and nailed back-to-back 3-pointers. Boston maintained a comfortable edge after that.The Celtics led by 18 after hitting 7 of 11 3-pointers in the first quarter and were up 37-17 early in the second before the Bulls jumped back into it.They had the crowd rocking in the closing minute of the half. Nikola Mirotic nailed a 3, cutting it to 44-41, and pointed toward the sky. Wade then blocked Bradley’s 3, causing a shot-clock violation with 4.7 seconds left, before Butler missed a desperation 3 for the Bulls as time expired.Celtics Coach Brad Stevens shook up the lineup looking for more shooting and athleticism. Gerald Green started over Amir Johnson and had eight points in 21 minutes.The Bulls are 121-50 all-time in home playoff games.Rondo, who was injured in Game 2, will probably be re-evaluated in a week to 10 days. The Bulls said he won’t need surgery.He watched from the sideline and got in on the action to some extent late in the first quarter. Crowder jawed at the Bulls’ bench after hitting a jumper and Rondo extended his leg as he walked by
NASHVILLE—Pekka Rinne stopped almost every shot he faced. Nashville’s top line was outstanding, and Roman Josi and P.K. Subban keyed a solid defensive performance.The Predators were relentless, all the way to the very end. Way too much for the slumping Blackhawks.Roman Josi scored twice, Rinne had 30 saves and Nashville beat the Hawks 4-1 on Thursday night to complete a surprising sweep of the Western Conference’s top seed.
”It’s definitely a great feeling,” Josi said. ”I thought we played a great series. That’s a great team over there. We’ve got a lot of respect for them. They’ve got some world-class players and I thought we played really well in all those four games.”
Colton Sissons also scored and Viktor Arvidsson added an empty-net goal as Nashville completed the franchise’s first playoff sweep. Led by Rinne’s shutouts in the first two games, the Predators limited the high-scoring Blackhawks to just three goals in 13 periods.Nashville will face the winner of the St. Louis-Minnesota series in the second round. The Blues have a 3-1 lead heading into Game 5 on Saturday in Minnesota.The Hawks became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the opening round since the Los Angeles Kings knocked off the Vancouver Canucks on their way to the Stanley Cup title in 2012.The Hawks second straight first-round exit followed a regular season in which the Blackhawks went 50-23-9 and recorded 109 points, the second-highest total in franchise history.
”Not good enough,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”I don’t think anybody exceeded their expectations, didn’t compete to the level that’s necessary. I take that personally as a coach to find the `all-out’ button and didn’t get the job done.”
It was the first time a No. 1 seed was swept in the first round since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 1994. The Blackhawks had the best record in the Campbell Conference and were the Norris Division’s No. 1 seed in 1993 when they got swept by St. Louis in the opening round. That also was the last time the Blackhawks had been swept in a playoff series before Nashville’s dominant performance.
”It’s tough enough to lose a series and fall short,” captain Jonathan Toews said. ”It’s a whole different story to lose four straight and get swept like we did.”
It was particularly sweet for Nashville after it was eliminated by the Hawks during the Blackhawks’ 2010 and 2015 Stanley Cup title runs. The Blackhawks also had gone 4-1 against the Predators during the regular season.
”I feel like 2010 and 2015 we lost against these guys in the first round,” Rinne said. ”Now we’ve had a chance to redeem ourselves, a little payback.”
The Predators were billed as Stanley Cup contenders before the season after putting together arguably their most talented roster since the franchise launched in 1998-99. But they struggled through an inconsistent season that left them playing the mighty Blackhawks in the opening round.Now they are living up to their preseason billing – and have a veteran goaltender in peak form.
”Anytime we seemed to start to get things going, they found ways to stymie our momentum or our offense,” Toews said.
Game 4 was scoreless midway through the second period when Ryan Johansen won a faceoff against Marcus Kruger and passed to Ryan Ellis, who sent it to Josi on his right. Josi fired a slap shot from behind the right circle that got between Corey Crawford’s legs and sneaked into the left corner of the net at 9:41.Nashville extended the lead to 2-0 with a bizarre goal at 8:52 of the third. Sissons fired a shot that bounced off the cage and appeared to end up in the area of Crawford’s blocker before the puck came loose and rolled into the net. Less than 90 seconds later, Josi beat Crawford on a wrist shot.Crawford was exceptional for the first 29 1/2 minutes, but he didn’t get much help in the final part of the game. He finished with 22 stops.In an attempt to create a spark, the Blackhawks altered their lines, and star forward Patrick Kane played almost 24 minutes. They dressed seven defensemen – Michal Kempny made his playoff debut – and nothing worked.The Hawks avoided the shutout when Toews scored at 14:42 of the third for his first postseason goal since Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. Toews had been held without a goal for 12 straight postseason games.Arvidsson wrapped up the sweep with an empty-netter with 1:48 remaining.
”We are proud of ourselves,” Sissons said. ”That’s no easy thing to do, sweep the Blackhawks. They have championship-caliber talent over there. We did it in four, so we couldn’t be happier.”
NOTES—The Blackhawks also dropped their last four games in the regular season. … Predators forward Craig Smith was scratched after he got hurt in overtime of Game 3. … The Predators brought out more Nashville star power by having Luke Bryan sing the national anthem. John Hiatt performed on a stage behind one of the nets between the second and third periods. Carrie Underwood, who is married to Predators captain Mike Fisher, sang the anthem Monday. … The sellout crowd of 17,326 included Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey and general manager Jon Robinson
SUN 9/10 FALCONS NOON FOX
Sun 9/17 @ Tampa Bay Noon FOX
SUN 9/24 STEELERS NOON CBS
Thu 9/28 @ Green Bay 7:25pm CBS/NFLN
MON 10/9 VIKINGS 7:30PM ESPN
Sun 10/15 @ Baltimore Noon* FOX
SUN 10/22 PANTHERS NOON* FOX
Sun 10/29 @ New Orleans Noon* FOX
Sun 11/5 Bye
SUN 11/12 PACKERS NOON* FOX
SUN 11/19 LIONS NOON* FOX
Sun 11/26 @ Philadelphia Noon* FOX
SUN 12/3 49ERS NOON* CBS
Sun 12/10 @ Cincinnati Noon* FOX
Sat 12/16 @ Detroit 3:30pm NFLN
SUN 12/24 BROWNS NOON CBS
Sun 12/31 @ Minnesota Noon* FOX
BOSTON—The Bulls talked often during the regular season about believing they had the personnel to play as a physically imposing team.Their output has caught up to those desires so far during the postseason.Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, Rajon Rondo finished one rebound shy of a triple-double and the Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 111-97 on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their series against the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.While some might be shocked by how the Bulls have played as a No. 8 seed that was just 41-41, Butler made it clear he’s not one of those folks.
”I’m not surprised because everybody’s so locked in right now,” said Butler, who added eight rebounds and eight assists.
Rondo had 11 points and 14 assists on a night when all five Bulls starters reached double figures. Dwyane Wade had 22 points, including 16 in the second half, and Robin Lopez added 18 points and eight points.
”Everybody’s putting in each work, watching film, working on their game,” Butler said. ”That’s where your confidence always comes from.”
The Bulls host Game 3 on Friday.After a better start by the Celtics, a familiar theme started to take hold as the Bulls took control by again dominating on the offensive glass. The Bulls held a 43-38 rebounding edge for the game.Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston.Boston got within 91-82 early in the fourth before the Bulls went on a 14-4 run to push its lead up to 19.The Celtics did a much better job containing reserve Bobby Portis in Game 2 after he hurt them with 19 points off the bench in Game 1. But Paul Zipser picked up the slack in Game 2, scoring 16 points in 29 minutes.After getting thoroughly pushed around underneath in Game 1, the Celtics grabbed the first four rebounds of the night while scoring the game’s first seven points.That changed quickly, though, as the Bulls responded with a 20-4 run. Boston’s early rebounding edge evaporated just as fast, with all five Bulls starters grabbing an offensive rebound in the first six minutes of action.Boston shot 46 percent for game, but too many times was just one-and-done in the half court.The Bulls again used their big men to push the Celtics out of the paint and was quicker to the ball in a lot of 50-50 situations. The Bulls outscored the Celtics in the paint 32-20 for the half.
”I feel like in the second half, the ball stopped moving. It wasn’t moving at all,” Celtics guard Avery Bradley said. ”Even when we made a good play, got a steal, got an offensive rebound, we were just thinking quick 3s. As a polished team we have to know when to take those shots and when not to.”
Nikola Mirotic finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. … The Bulls held a 14-9 edge in fast-break points and 14-12 advantage on second-chance points. … Now hold a 22-rebound advantage through two games of the series…..Finished with 16 turnovers, leading to 23 Bulls points. …Thomas shot 7 of 13 from the free throw line. …. Scored 46 points in the first half of both Games 1 and 2. … Have failed to score 100 points in three of their last four postseason games dating back to last year.Wade said the Bulls’ performance so far in this series is a testament to how much they’ve grown.
”You play the 82 games to learn a little bit about yourself,” he said. ”One thing I learned about this team is through adverse situations, this team sticks together.”
Thomas did not speak to the media afterward and will now head to Tacoma, Washington to be with his family to finalize funeral arrangements for his sister, Chyna Thomas. But Bradley said while the team continues to grieve for him, it can’t be a distraction when they are on the court.
”We have to play hard no matter what,” Bradley said. ”You go through a lot throughout a season. You’re going to face a lot of adversity. The best teams overcome any type of adversity.”
Boston fell to just 14-4 in Game 2 at home following a loss in Game 1. The Bulls win also snapped the Celtics’ six-game winning streak in such games.The series shifts to the United Center on Friday night for Game 3.
NASHVILLE—The Nashville Predators are at a point they’ve never been before in franchise history, and now they have a chance to keep their first-round series from going back to the United Center.They can thank a 20-year-old playing the fourth postseason game of his career for putting them in that position.Kevin Fiala scored on a backhander 16:44 into overtime , and the Predators rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period to push the Blackhawks to the brink of elimination with a 3-2 victory early Tuesday morning in Game 3 of the first-round series.The Predators have never won the first three games of any playoff series, and they got here by outscoring the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed 9-2. Even with the Blackhawks finally ending their scoring drought in this series, it wasn’t enough as Filip Forsberg scored twice in the third period to force overtime.
”Obviously, we want to close it out at home, but we’ve got to focus just the same way we focused on this one and prepare the same,” Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne said.
Rinne made 34 saves, even with his franchise playoff scoreless streak ending early in the second period at 141 minutes, 5 seconds.Game 4 is Thursday night in Nashville.Dennis Rasmussen and Patrick Kane each scored the first goals this series for the Blackhawks.But the Hawks, winners of three Stanley Cup titles in the past seven years, now trail 0-3 for the first time since the 2011 quarterfinals as a No. 8 seed. They lost that series in seven games to Vancouver.
”That was a long time ago,” Joel Quenneville said.Asked if this group can bounce back, Quenneville had a short answer: ”We’re going to have to.”
Jonathan Toews called it a very disappointing loss. His personal goal drought is now 12 straight postseason games, though he did have an assist.
”We got to find a way to put pressure on them, got to make them realize that winning a fourth game is the toughest for any team in any series,” Toews said.
Fiala finally converted on his third chance in overtime. Crawford got a glove on a puck nearly midway through the extra period off Fiala’s shot from the high slot. Crawford also got his left toe on a shot from Fiala in the slot with 6:00 left.Then James Neal found Fiala with a pass, and he beat Crawford to send fans home shortly after midnight local time.
”It was a great save by Crawford,” Fiala said of the toe save by the Hawk goalie. ”I was pretty angry, I could have finished it there, but never mind, we won.”
The Predators brought out the star power with country singer Carrie Underwood, married to Nashville captain Mike Fisher, to sing the national anthem. Five catfish also were tossed onto the ice before the puck dropped and combined with a late start for a very loud standing-room only crowd of 17,204.Nashville outshot the Blackhawks 49-36.Rinne’s shutout streak ended when Rasmussen scored the first postseason goal of his career 65 seconds into the second period. He beat Rinne glove-side off an assist from Marcus Kruger. The goal also snapped a scoreless skid for the Hawks that spanned 177:45 back to their first-round loss to St. Louis last postseason.Then the Blackhawks quickly made it a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal by Kane. He scored the 50th postseason goal of his career with a wrister from the right circle at 11:15 of the second, taking advantage of Marcus Kruger standing in front of Rinne.Forsberg started the rally. He scored on a wrister hitting the puck in the air past Crawford, who was caught having turned around in the crease, at 4:24. Blackhawks forward Richard Panik argued the puck went off the netting, but the play was called a good goal after a review.
”It went off the shoulder and then off the glass and then straight in, so I didn’t really see why they were talking,” Forsberg said.
Then Forsberg tied it up at 14:08 with a wrister off Ryan Ellis’ shot from the point. Officials also reviewed for Arvidsson interfering with Crawford outside the crease before ruling another good goal.
”I don’t know,” Crawford said when asked about interference. ”Game’s over.”
NOTES—This is Nashville’s third straight overtime win at home in the playoffs. The Predators won Games 4 and 6 versus San Jose in the second round last year. … Kane became the fourth Hawk player with 50 career goals, joining Bobby Hull, Denis Savard and Stan Mikita. This was Kane’s 126th playoff game.
NOTES—The Bulls outrebounded the Celtics 32-16 in the first half, including 16 offensive rebounds…..The Celtics were 18 for 45 from the field in the first half.