All Bull - Chicago Bulls
Feel the basketball excitement in the air? No?
That's understandable, since FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, decided to wait until the opening of American football season to begin the renamed World Cup of Basketball.
The event begins tomorrow (Saturday), with Team USA battling Finland in Bilbao (2:30 p.m., ESPN). That's the first of five games in six days for the U.S. Here's the full slate:
Saturday vs. Finland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday vs. Turkey, 2:30 (ESPN)
Tuesday vs. New Zealand, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Wednesday vs. Dominican Republic, 2:30 (ESPN)
Thursday vs. Ukraine, 11:30 (ESPN)
Round of 16: Sept. 6-7
Quarterfinals: Sept. 9-10
Semifinals: Sept. 11-12
Gold Medal game: Sept. 14
The Bulls have not yet released their preseason schedule. But Cleveland did on Friday and it features a game against the Bulls on Monday, Oct. 20 in Columbus, Ohio at the Schottenstein Center.
This is relatively late in preseason, so fans may get a reasonably good look at the expected Cavs trio of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving playing together.
The Cavaliers are playing LeBron's old team, the Miami Heat, on Oct. 11 in Rio de Janeiro.
The Bulls will also get a chance to check on No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins with Minnesota. The Bulls will face the Timberwolves on Oct. 24 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Derrick Rose took to the court in Las Vegas on Monday as Team USA opened training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup next month.
The NBA sent out a couple of video clips from practice. One featured Rose dunking with two hands on an inbounds play and the other saw the Bulls guard scoring on a drive to the basket while getting fouled.
"The strength in his leg is great. His explosion is back. That’s all there,” said Bulls coach Tim Thibodeau, an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski on the Team USA coaching staff.
Joakim Noah hosted an event in the city Friday. His charitable organization, the Noah's Arc Foundation, unveiled a public service announcement urging Chicagoans to take a stand against violence.
The 60-second clip features Noah and teammate Derrick Rose, as well as renowned rapper Common, a Chicago native.
Noah also talked about the Bulls' summer, which so far has included missing out on free agent Carmelo Anthony and successfully signing former Lakers power forward Pau Gasol.
"I'm really excited," Noah said. "I think Gar (Forman) and (John Paxson) and everybody did a real good job. I'm really, really excited about the Bulls. It just makes you want to work hard and be as ready as possible for the upcoming season."
Carmelo Anthony talked about his free-agent recruiting experience in an espn.com article.
Here's a synopsis: He doesn't care about money, tough decision, was pretty much always between Chicago and New York, and ultimately he believes in Phil Jackson.
We already knew it's never about the money, right? Here's a link to the full article:
Kevin Love to the Bulls doesn't make a ton of sense.
I've talked about this several times before. The clear trend in the NBA is perimeter stars win championships. San Antonio, Miami and Boston were outside-oriented. The Lakers won two titles with the standard, two-star format – one inside (Pau Gasol) and one outside (Kobe Bryant).
Love, Gasol and Joakim Noah on the same roster would give the Bulls a powerful rebounding game, but that hasn't been a championship formula in recent years. Miami won two titles as one of the league's worst rebounding teams.
The Bulls' run of summer-league success ended with a thud Saturday. They lost to Sacramento 80-61 while rookie Doug McDermott sat out with a foot injury.
Whether this injury is significant or an excuse to end McDermott's summer workload isn't clear right now. The rookie from Creighton played in four summer games, averaging 18 points, 4 rebounds and 2.8 assists, while shooting .442 from the field.
Tony Snell finished a strong summer league by scoring 20 points against the Kings. He averaged 20 points over five games, shooting .466. Second-round draft pick Cameron Bairstow showed some promise, averaging 10.2 points and 7 rebounds. Simeon grad Lazeric Jones, a 6-1 guard, was the best of the non-roster players, averaging 10.8 points and shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
The Bulls stayed perfect at the Las Vegas summer league Thursday night by beating the 76ers 79-68.
Rookie Doug McDermott had his first off night of the summer, hitting 3 of 10 shots for 11 points. Tony Snell continued to stand out, though, scoring 18 points.
Thursday's win was something of a breakout game for second-round draft pick Cameron Bairstow, who finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Bairstow, a 6-10 power forward from New Mexico, hit 11 of 13 free throws and outplayed Philadelphia's Nerlens Noel (14 points, 5 rebounds), the 2013 lottery pick who sat out last season with a knee injury.
Following a day off, the Bulls will face Sacramento in the summer quarterfinals on Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBA TV.
The Bulls will try to continue their summer league mastery tonight (Thursday) when they open the playoffs against the 76ers at 9 p.m. Central time in Las Vegas. This game is not scheduled to be aired live on NBA TV, but will be shown at 8 a.m. Friday morning if you're interested.
The Bulls are the No. 1 playoff seed after rolling to a 3-0 record. They won the three games by an average of 24.7 points, never allowed more than 76 points defensively, and outscored the opponent in all 12 quarters played. Adrian Griffin is head coach of the summer squad.
Already the defending champs in the East lost their best player when LeBron James returned to Cleveland.
Now the team that lost in the Eastern Conference finals has lost a starter. Indiana shooting guard Lance Stephenson reportedly agreed to join the Charlotte Hornets for $27 million over three years.
There were reports the Pacers offered Stephenson a similar annual salary over four seasons, but for some reason, the two sides couldn't agree.
It's tough to say how much this move helps the Hornets. They're looking at a guard rotation of Stephenson, Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson. The front line has Al Jefferson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, rookie Noah Vonleh and free-agent addition Marvin Williams. Oh, and Bismack Biyombo if he ever becomes a player.