All Bull - Chicago Bulls
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.
Cleveland second-year guard Kyrie Irving has never played against Derrick Rose, thanks to a series of injuries to both players over the past two seasons.
Neither one is expected to play tonight. The Cavaliers announced Tuesday morning that Irving will not play vs. the Bulls at the United Center because of a sore and hyperextended right knee.
Rose has been out all season recovering from ACL surgery. He's been practicing with the team and could realistically return any day, but there has been no specific information about his status.
Kirk Hinrich is a game-time decision due to his sore right elbow. Hinrich has missed 10 of the last 11 games.
Long after the Bulls lost an ugly 86-67 decision to Miami on Thursday at the United Center, Luol Deng said he didn't know anything about Reggie Rose's critical comments about the Bulls roster.
Reggie Rose, the older brother of Derrick, did acknowledge the team's two all-stars, Deng and Joakim Noah, but suggested the Bulls should have made a move before the trade deadline.
“I don’t know if it did (distract any players), but we didn’t talk about it as a team," Deng said. I don’t think that was the problem."
The most obvious problem Thursday was a season-high 27 turnovers against the red-hot Heat. The Bulls were never closer than 7 points in the second half.
The NBA trade deadline passed without much fanfare. The most significant trade was shooting guard J.J. Redick going from Orlando to Milwaukee for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb. The Buck also get PF Gusatvo Ayon.
How Redick will fit with Brandon Jennings, Monte Ellis and Mike Dunleavy is anyone's guess. Redick's contract -- originally a 2010 offer sheet from the Bulls -- ends after the season. The Bulls don't play the Bucks again this year.
Another deal of note is former Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer going from New York to Oklahoma City for a second round pick. The Thunder moved backup PG Eric Maynor to Portland.
The Bulls no doubt tried to find takers for Rip Hamilton and Carlos Boozer, but found the market hostile.