CHICAGO Teams

Hornets fly out to big lead

Charlotte has made 7 of its first 9 shots from the field, taking a 17-6 lead and forcing an early Bulls timeout. Chicago is playing without Derrick Rose (soreness). Follow live

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Derrick Rose out vs. Hornets

The Bulls guard will miss tonight's game due to general body soreness. "Just soreness all over," Rose said before the game. "That's pretty much it. Body soreness."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Clifford said that Thibodeau has made himself a better coach during his time off from basketball. "I think what he's done is exactly what I thought he would do is I think he used it to grow as a coach," Clifford said. "We talk regularly and when you talk to him -- he's an expert on this league. He's using this to study teams, study trends, study players. He's always been on top of it anyway, but a sabbatical, it's not like he's -- he's relaxing and doing different things like that, but he's studying. He'll be an even better coach when he comes back."

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer 

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford is one of Tom Thibodeau's closest friends and confidants. Clifford was asked before the game how much interest he thought Thibodeau would have in the New York Knicks job now that Derek Fisher has been fired. "I don't have any idea," Clifford said before Monday's game against the Chicago Bulls. "Obviously, he wants to coach again and that's a great job, he worked there and everything, but you'd have to ask him about that."

Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals lineup vs. Jake Arrieta

In eight starts over the past two seasons, Arrieta has a 1.86 ERA against the Cardinals and they've hit .208 against him. The four or five games that Arrieta starts against St. Louis could decide the NL Central. Hitter vs. pitcher matchups to watch

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Miguel Cabrera vs. Chris Sale

Injuries have diminished his power, but maybe a healthy Cabrera can storm back as a 40-homer threat. Sale is coming off an incredible 274 strikeouts in just 208 innings. Who has the upper hand? Hitter vs. pitcher matchups to watch

Nike

Ranking Air Jordans

As all the sneakerheads know, the Air Jordan XXX drops Friday. What better time to look back at all 29 looks of past Jordan kicks? Full ranking

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Will the Bears regress in '16?

The Bears got better in 2015, but there is concern among panelists that Jay Cutler could regress in 2016 without Adam Gase guiding him. The Bears landed near the bottom of our list as a result. Way-too-early Power Rankings

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Todd Frazier's fantasy value rises with trade to White Sox (0:48)
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Tom Thibodeau for next Knicks coach?

He's one name mentioned by ESPN's expert panel in the wake of Derek Fisher's firing. Would that require Phil Jackson to scrap his beloved triangle? 5-on-5 (Insider)

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Where will Ian Desmond end up?

Desmond might be in the toughest spot among free agents who turned down qualifying offers, with no slam-dunk SS openings existing in either league. Consider the White Sox, however. Their payroll is flat from last year, and they fancy themselves contenders. Unsigned qualifying-offer free agents (Insider)

Warren Wimmer/Icon Sportswire

Where will Dexter Fowler end up?

For Insider Tony Blengino, Fowler is the best free agent still on the board who turned down a qualifying offer. The Nationals, Dodgers, Cubs and Rangers are the most likely landing spots for the outfielder, according to Blengino. Unsigned qualifying-offer free agents (Insider)

David Zalubowski/AP Photo

Jimmy Butler out again on Monday

The Bulls' All-Star swingman will miss another game with a left knee strain he suffered on Friday. Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg is unsure when Butler would return and said he likely would also miss Wednesday's game, the last one before the All-Star break.

Stats & Info

Defense reigned supreme

The Broncos put together one of the most dominant defensive efforts in Super Bowl history, putting up numbers similar to the '85 Bears and '00 Ravens.

Stats & Info

Plenty of ways to win

Peyton Manning is the first quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XL to win the Lombardi Trophy without throwing a touchdown pass.

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Blackhawks finding championship-caliber consistency (3:03)
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10hDavid Schoenfield

Five free agents worth the gamble

Dexter Fowler's consistency puts him on David Schoenfield's list of five free agents teams should consider signing.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
10hAustin Ward

Recruiting wrap: Illinois Fighting Illini

The return of healthy WR Mikey Dudek might just be one of the most important additions in the league as Illinois tries to get back to a bowl.

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Taj Gibson's fantasy stock rising

The Bulls' big man is one of the only healthy members of its frontcourt. Gibson can help your team with his rebound production and is available in just over half of ESPN leagues. Fantasy Forecaster