All Bull - Chicago Bulls
Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 14:41
The Bulls were back at the Berto Center on Friday, practicing there for the first time in a week after the trip to London.
Guard John Salmons didn’t go to London because his wife is due to give birth very soon (it hasn’t happened yet, though). After practice, he shared his forecast for the Bulls this season.
“I think our goal should be to finish no lower than fourth in the East,” Salmons said.
Bulls fans will probably appreciate hearing that expectations are to improve on last year’s No. 7 seed. I think the top four is possible, but there’s a slew of competition beyond Cleveland, Boston and Orlando.
Atlanta, Miami and Philadelphia should be in the running once again, while Toronto and Washington are popular candidates to show great improvement this season.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 10/06/2009 - 16:22
For those without the means to watch NBA TV on Tuesday afternoon, the Bulls won their preseason game in London 102-101 when rookie James Johnson buried a 17-foot jumper at the buzzer to beat the Utah Jazz.
After Utah’s Ronnie Price hit 2 free throws with 25.4 seconds left to give his team a 1-point lead, Johnson shot an air ball from the corner, but the Jazz lost the rebound out of bounds with 6.5 seconds on the clock.
This time, Derrick Byars missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key, but a long rebound landed in Johnson’s hands and he drained the game-winner in front of the Bulls’ bench before being mobbed by teammates. The shot left his hand a split-second before time expired.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 10/05/2009 - 11:06
Here’s some news from London as the Bulls prepare for Tuesday’s preseason game against Utah. A sellout is expected at the O2 Arena for this contest.
John Salmons did not make the trip because his wife is due to give birth to the couple’s second child. Center Aaron Gray, not surprisingly, stayed home to start recovery from a stress fracture in his left fibula.
Derrick Rose celebrated his 21st birthday on Sunday and was treated to a rookie rendition of “Happy Birthday” on the flight across the Atlantic.
But Rose skipped Sunday’s practice at the O2 because of a sore right ankle and Achilles tendon. He still hopes to play against the Jazz. There’s a good chance Tyrus Thomas will sit out Tuesday after being injured in Friday’s preseason win at Indiana.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 10/01/2009 - 22:18
The NBA finally stood up for fans rights. The league sent word that bench players are required to sit down unless they’re reacting to a specific, exciting play.
I made this suggestion early last season after noticing the Cleveland Cavaliers bench stood up for the entire fourth quarter of a Nov. 8 game at the United Center. The benchwarmers were caught up in a Cavs run early in the quarter, fine. But then they kept standing and standing -- most with arms folded, starting blankly at the action on the court.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 09/29/2009 - 20:26
Bulls center Aaron Gray was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left fibula on Tuesday. He’s expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
The 7-foot Gray has played well at times during his two seasons with the Bulls, but was re-signed mostly to serve as an emergency big man backing up Joakim Noah and Brad Miller. Gray averaged 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 points last season.
The Bulls still have two extra big men in camp – 7-foot Steven Hill and 6-9 Chris Richard. So they don't figure to be in any hurry to add an extra center to the roster. Veteran Jerome James is trying to come back from a torn Achilles tendon and expects to be ready to play in a month or two.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 13:36
Bulls media day just wrapped up at the Berto Center and there weren’t many surprising insights being passed around.
The overall goal of the team is to play better defense this season. That’s a nice idea, now let’s see if they can put it in motion.
One player that did carry some questions into the building was center Jerome James, acquired last February from New York while suffering from a torn Achilles tendon. James said he fully intends to play this season, but doesn’t expect to be ready to practice for a month or two. James is definitely on the heavy side, but he always has been.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 09/23/2009 - 19:09
Sure, the Bears have played just two games, but it's time for NBA training camps to convene. The Bulls will host their media day on Friday, with the opening practice set for a day later at the Berto Center.
This is a good time, then, for a refresher course on the off-season. The NBA's summer carried a common theme: Most every contender added one key player, listed below (the Spurs had two). Now which one will make the biggest difference?
L.A. Lakers - Ron Artest
Cleveland - Shaquille O'Neal
Boston - Rasheed Wallace
Orlando - Vince Carter
San Antonio - Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess
Dallas - Shawn Marion
Atlanta - Jamal Crawford
Portland - Andre Miller
Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 09/21/2009 - 17:34
The Bulls will start training camp a little earlier this year because of their trip to London for an Oct. 6 preseason game against Utah. Media day is set for Friday at the Berto Center, with two-a-day practices commencing a day later.
There haven't been many changes over the summer. From the 12-man roster used in last season's epic playoff series against Boston, Ben Gordon, Linton Johnson, Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson are gone. James Johnson, Taj Gibson and Jannero Pargo have been added, along with a hopefully healthy Luol Deng.
On the coaching staff, Del Harris retired and the Bulls brought in Sidney Green as a big man coach. Green was the Bulls' first-round draft pick in 1983 and stuck around for three years before being traded to Detroit for Earl Cureton.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 09/15/2009 - 22:51
I had another question about Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame speech and maybe others are also confused.
One of the many people Jordan credited for motivating him to be great was Leroy Smith, his teammate at Laney High School in Wilmington, N.C. Jordan mentioned that Smith was at last Friday's ceremony in Springfield, Mass.
This made me wonder if there's a real Leroy Smith or was he talking about the fictional character portrayed by Charlie Murphy, Eddie's older brother? Anyone who watched NBA TV this summer would have seen the mock commercials for Leroy Smith, "The Michael Jordan of motivating Michael Jordan." They are pretty funny, although the music video, "My Gift to the Game," is no "Party All the Time."
Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 18:10
Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf didn’t want to make a judgment call on Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech.
“Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player who ever played,” Reinsdorf said at a ceremony to help open Chicago Bulls College Prep, a charter high school a few blocks from the United Center. “He said what he wanted to say that night and it’s not up to me to grade it or interpret it.”
Jordan discussed a long line of characters who helped motivate him to be great – his siblings, Jerry Krause, the alleged all-star “freeze-out” culprits, Pat Riley, Bryon Russell and others. The speech met with mixed reviews.