All Bull - Chicago Bulls
As the Bulls prepare for Thursday's game in Brooklyn, word is an MRI exam on Taj Gibson's injured left knee showed no tear.
So basically, Gibson aggravated an already sprained knee in the second quarter of Tuesday's loss at Washington. Gibson originally suffered the injury on Feb. 24 in Oklahoma City. He sat out 10 games, then played in six before the knee buckled again.
There's no telling when he might return, but it does seem conceivable he'll be close to full strength when the playoffs begin. Gibson played well in those six games after returning from the original knee sprain, averaging 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds.
I've heard NBA scouts complain for months that this year's draft will be weak at the top, which is one reason why Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel might be the No. 1 pick despite suffering a torn ACL during the college season.
The 2014 draft should be different, thanks to a loaded group of incoming college freshmen. All of the top players are scheduled to play in Wednesday's McDonalds All-American Game at the United Center. Basically, this game could be a 2014 lottery-pick preview.
Here’s a quick rundown of the reaction to LeBron James’ post-game complaints in Chicago on Wednesday:
Boston GM Danny Ainge commented the next day during a radio appearance.
“I think the referees got the calls right. I don't think it was a hard foul,” Ainge said. “I think the one involving LeBron against (Carlos) Boozer, that was flagrant. I think the officials got it right.
“I think that it's almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.”
Bulls fans can probably relate to that sentiment. James shoots hundreds of free throws after minimal contact. The 2011 Eastern Conference finals provided plenty of examples. So Ainge believes James should be complaining when he’s been the beneficiary of so many favorable calls.
There’s no doubt LeBron James was hit hard a few times during Miami’s streak-busting 101-97 loss to the Bulls on Wednesday.
In the first quarter, Kirk Hinrich basically tackled James on a fast break. James was hit in the face by Taj Gibson near the basket in the first half, then a hard foul by Gibson in the fourth quarter was reviewed by referees before being called a common foul.
On the very next possession, Carlos Boozer set a screen on his former Cleveland teammate and James threw his shoulder into Boozer’s chest and also swung his arm without making significant contact. This time, the call was a flagrant foul on James.
Miami’s Dwyane Wade said he expects to play against the Bulls Wednesday after missing the previous two games with a sore knee.
Nothing has changed with the Bulls’ injury situation, though. There’s a chance Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) could play tonight. He’ll be a legitimate game-time decision.
Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain) is likely out. Richard Hamilton (sore back) is definitely out and Derrick Rose’s status is unchanged.
“Just taking my time and that’s about it,” Rose said at Wednesday’s shootaround. “Been the same way for a couple months now.”
Asked if there’s still a chance he’ll play this season, Rose didn’t give a definitive answer.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau revealed before Saturday's game against Indiana that Joakim Noah has had a recurrence of plantar fasciitis in his feet. Noah will not play against the Pacers and is most likely out for Sunday's game at Minnesota.
Noah missed three games in early February with a sore right foot, but has played well since returning to the lineup.
On the positive side, Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson -- who returned from injuries on Thursday against Portland -- are expected to play. Derrick Rose (knee) and Rip Hamilton (back) remain sidelined.
David West (back) and Danny Granger (knee) are out for Indiana, which is trying to complete a four-game season sweep of the Bulls.
With time to assess what went wrong in the Bulls’ 119-118 overtime loss to Denver on Monday, here’s how things shake down:
--Joakim Noah’s potential game-winning tip in with 1.7 seconds left in overtime, by rule, was offensive goaltending. The play started with a baseline jumper by Marco Belinelli. Noah’s initial contact with the ball appeared to come outside the cylinder, but on a shot like that, which was likely to hit the rim, no player on either side is allowed to touch the ball on its downward flight.
Now, if Noah had caught and dunked it, who knows? Plays like that happen in every NBA game. Denver’s JaVale McGee tipped in a ball during the first half, and whether it was meant as a shot or pass, it was probably going to hit the rim.
According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida, Lou Amundson will bolt from the Bulls when his 10-day contract officially expires and sign with the New Orleans Hornets for the remainder of the season.
Amundson played just two minutes during his stint with the Bulls, so it's no surprise he took another offer.
It's not clear if the Bulls will fill that roster spot. They're hoping Taj Gibson will be back soon from a left knee sprain.
Melissa Isaacson does a nice job of rehashing Derrick Rose's rehab in a story posted on ESPN Chicago on Friday, but there's still no word on when he might take the court.
This story says Rose has been cleared to play by doctors. He's been practicing full speed for more than a month, so that's not a revelation.
It also says Rose doesn't feel fully comfortable jumping off his left leg. This information was mentioned during the Bulls-Sixers TNT broadcast on Feb. 28.
It's been clear for a few weeks that Rose's return is a matter of him telling the team he's ready to play. This could happen anytime and I don't think anyone has a handle on the exact date. As coach Tom Thibodeau says, he'll play when he's ready.
The Bulls will soon lead the NBA in shampoo consumption.
A team source confirmed they plan to sign free agent power forward Lou Amundson to a 10-day contract on Saturday. Like Joakim Noah, Amundson has long hair he usually wears in a bun during games.
Many mistake Amundson for a foreign player, but he actually grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended UNLV. He does have Swedish ties on his father’s side, according to his Wikipedia page, which gives him something else in common with Noah, whose mother is from Sweden.
The 6-9 Amundson began his pro career in the D-League, before signing a 10-day with Philadelphia in March, 2007. Since then he’s bounced around, but has been a well-regarded backup because he works hard and has good athleticism.