All Bull - Chicago Bulls
Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 04/03/2010 - 01:42
The obvious highlights from the Bulls’ 95-87 win at Washington on Friday were Luol Deng’s return from a calf injury and Joakim Noah’s alley-oop pass to Derrick Rose.
But it’s tough to ignore the remarkable consistency of rookie power forward Taj Gibson. All he did against the Wizards was collect 14 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks.
As I pointed out in the game story, Gibson has six double-doubles in his last eight games and during that span has averaged 13.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field. Reminder: The USC product and Brooklyn native was the 26th pick of last year’s draft.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 03/31/2010 - 14:53
The Bulls-Suns was the featured game on NBA TV’s Tuesday “Fan Night,” which this week included special guest Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers star was asked several Bulls-related questions and gave some interesting responses.
Here’s Bryant on Derrick Rose: “He is at the top of the list, but he’s still young so he has a lot to improve on -- mainly his shooting. He can handle the ball. He can change his pace very well for a young player, finish at the rim. The biggest key for him is getting that long ball. He has got a pretty good mid-range game as it is. What I like about him is that he is not all speed.”
Back in 2007, Bryant claimed he wanted to join the Bulls. That urge faded quickly, but Bryant had some advice on what the Bulls need to take a step forward.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 03/31/2010 - 01:03
The Bulls seem willing, but may not have enough left in the tank to push their way into the playoffs.
Tuesday’s 111-105 loss to Phoenix at the United Center was a classic case of the more poised, experienced team getting things done in crunch time.
Brad Miller’s corner 3-pointer gave the Bulls a 97-93 lead with 4:50 remaining. From then on, the home team made far too many mistakes.
Losing Kirk Hinrich at halftime because of a sprained left ankle was costly. But the Bulls can’t seem to stay on the same page defensively since making those deadline trades.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 14:35
Before Toronto lost to Miami on Sunday, Raptors star Chris Bosh told South Florida reporters that he expects to take his time deciding on a new destination once he becomes a free agent on July 1.
“I think it's going to drag out for a while,” Bosh said, according to the Miami Herald. “There are so many possibilities and scenarios, with guys staying with their own teams and trying to get other guys.
“You have to look at combinations and possibilities of what could happen. So I don't expect it to be over too quickly.”
Bosh also mentioned a specific guideline for choosing a team.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 18:43
Before Saturday’s game against New Jersey, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro announced that rookie forward James Johnson has a partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot.
Johnson said he felt a pop in the foot during the first quarter of Thursday’s loss to Miami. He came out of the game for a spell, but returned to play 13 more minutes after the injury occurred.
Johnson had started seven of the last eight games in place of Luol Deng, who is out with a right calf strain.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 14:26
James Johnson wore a walking boot on his right foot Friday at the Berto Center and appears questionable at best for Saturday’s game against New Jersey.
During Thursday’s brutal loss to Miami, Johnson played 6 ½ minutes in the first quarter, then the Bulls passed along an injury update saying the rookie forward had a right foot sprain and his return was questionable.
Johnson did return late in the second quarter and went on to play a total of 20 minutes. So it appeared the injury scare was no big deal, but apparently it got worse overnight. Coach Vinny Del Negro said Johnson was planning to get an MRI exam.
The Bulls are already missing starting forward Luol Deng with a right calf strain and Johnson has started seven of the last eight games in his place.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 02:22
From my seat, the Bulls’ non-competitive 103-74 loss to Miami on Thursday, more than anything, was a brilliant performance by Eric Spoelstra and the Heat coaching staff.
The Heat spent two off days in Chicago after playing in New Jersey on Monday. Spoelstra told reporters he was treating this as a playoff game and showed up well-prepared.
Miami had an answer for everything the Bulls tried in the first half. The visitors scored points off one-on-one isolations – Jermaine O’Neal vs. Brad Miller and Quentin Richardson vs. Flip Murray were popular choices – then repeatedly picked apart the Bulls’ pick-and-roll defense.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 03/25/2010 - 01:50
Miami decided to show Dwyane Wade that he can experience his hometown of Chicago during NBA season without changing teams.
After playing in New Jersey on Monday, the Heat headed straight to Chicago for two days off before facing the Bulls on Thursday at the United Center. After practicing Wednesday at Attack Athletics on the West Side, the players were talking up the intensity of the Bulls-Heat rivalry.
Here are the quotes, courtesy of the South Florida Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.
“It started when we beat them in the first round of those playoffs (in 2006), and it will always be something there,” Wade said. “This is always a physical game, playing against the Bulls. If it gets any more physical, nobody would be playing."
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 15:53
Things were relatively quiet at the Berto Center after Tuesday’s practice.
Joakim Noah livened things up by grunting through an extra 15 minutes of cardio workouts, sprinting repeatedly up and down the court, sometimes dribbling a ball along the way.
Once Noah sat down and caught his breath, he offered an interesting take on coach Vinny Del Negro’s ejection in the third quarter of Monday’s 98-88 win over Houston.
“Just try to win it for Vinny, man,” Noah said, using a mock intense voice. “Kirky (Hinrich, presumably) said that on the court yesterday and everybody just started laughing. I thought it was pretty funny. ‘Come on guys, let’s do it for Vinny.’ I thought that was pretty funny.”
Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 03/20/2010 - 00:06
With LeBron James in town and the NCAA Tournament on television, I can’t help but think that it’s a shame the NBA didn’t forbid high-schoolers from entering the draft a few years earlier.
It might have been the most intriguing tournament ever if James followed through on a threat to take his four high school teammates from St. Vincent-St. Mary to Akron University for one run at glory.
Imagine if the 2003 Final Four featured Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse, Kirk Hinrich’s talented Kansas squad, Marquette with Dwyane Wade and Akron? (Edit -- I got my college seasons messed up, see below).
I think it’s possible James could have won a title essentially by himself, but we’ll never know.