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Why are Bulls suddenly hot on Kevin Love?

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 07/24/2014 - 01:08

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 numbers behind the latest Cubs moves

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 07/23/2014 - 15:00

It's another new day here at Wrigley. As of midafternoon, the wind is howling straight in out of the north, and it's borderline jacket weather. Last night, we had sauna conditions here. The Cubs made a flurry of moves after last night's 6-0 victory over the Padres.

At the major-league level, they optioned struggling third baseman Mike Olt to Class AAA Iowa in anticipation of activating lefty Tsuyoshi Wada to start this evening's game against the Padres. It's really hard to believe Olt's batting numbers. But look we will.

Bulls' summer squad lost without McDermott

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 07/20/2014 - 09:42

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.

McDermott struggles, but Bulls keep winning

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 07/18/2014 - 09:45

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.

Bulls try to extend summer dominance Thursday night

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 07/17/2014 - 08:26

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.

Another free agent surprise: Lance Stephenson to Charlotte

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 08:31

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.

Free-agent update: Pierce pulls late-night surprise

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 07/13/2014 - 09:15

The Washington Wizards lost starting forward Trevor Ariza to Houston on Saturday and moved quickly to land a surprising replacement.

Paul Pierce joined the Wizards late Saturday night, taking a two-year deal for the mid-level exception (around $11 million total). The Bulls discovered during the playoffs that Washington is on the rise and Pierce, who turns 37 in October, is an interesting addition.

Most people assumed Pierce would stick with his Boston buddy Kevin Garnett in Brooklyn. But after paying a record luxury tax bill last season, the Nets are looking to cut costs and Pierce saw the opportunity to escape.

Pierce also has a history with Tom Thibodeau from Boston, but the Bulls probably couldn't have matched Washington's offer after signing Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic.

Report: Pau Gasol commits to Bulls (update)

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 07/12/2014 - 11:02

UPDATE 1:54 p.m. -- According to multiple reports, Carmelo Anthony has informed all parties that he plans to accept a five-year, $120-million deal to stay with the New York Knicks.

So the Carmelo chase (and wait) appears to be over and the Bulls are working on a way to use a sign-and-trade with the Lakers to get Pau Gasol to Chicago.

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The early Saturday news had Marca.com in Spain reporting a commitment to the Bulls by Barcelona native Pau Gasol.

The story said he is waiting for a sign-and-trade with the Lakers to be finalized, but gave no further details. It also said Gasol is planning to take a physical in Chicago, then return to Spain.

Friday AM update: LeBron keeps them guessing

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 07/11/2014 - 09:33

Most of the NBA attention was focused on LeBron James in the last 24 hours. Maybe that's why Carmelo Anthony is waiting so long to make his decision, so he can get a few days to himself in the national spotlight.

It's difficult to tell where Anthony is going. The story is accurate that he's still engaged with the Bulls, but how genuine is his interest in Chicago? Only time will tell.

Anthony's plight seems to rest on these NBA words of wisdom repeated so often, they've become a cliché -- he's not leaving $30 million on the table. This line ignores the fact that he'll likely play a fifth year with a new team, which would lower the money differential, and his opportunities would grow by playing on successful teams, in Chicago or anywhere else.

Thursday AM update: Still waiting on Melo, LBJ decisions

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:27

There have been predictions of Carmelo Anthony staying with the Knicks and LeBron James returning to Cleveland, but as of Thursday morning, the NBA world was still waiting official announcements.

There is also no telling when either player might make a decision. James is reportedly planning to attend the World Cup final in Brazil on Sunday, so maybe he'll say something first. Or maybe announce during the break between extra time and penalty kicks.

After James met with Pat Riley in Las Vegas on Wednesday, there were some reports that James wants to talk to his family before deciding.