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Tag:Chicago Bulls
Posted on: January 4, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 2:55 pm
 

Power Rankings 3-Up, 3-Down 1.4.11

Three teams rising and three teams falling this week as the Lakers take a tumble, the Bulls keep slugging and wait, the Clippers?!

Posted by Matt Moore




In this week's edition of 3-Up, 3-Down, the Bulls go up, the Lakers go down, and most everyone else stays just about the same. The latest edition of the power rankings this edition reflects will be up this afternoon on CBSSports.com so check back soon to vent your rage and/or shake your pom-poms.

3-Up



Chicago Bulls (6): The Bulls are without Joakim Noah, and yet they've won four in a row, and 8 of their last 10. It's Derrick Rose. It's Carlos Boozer. It's Tom Thibodeau. And the combination thereof. Turns out Thibs is letting Rose set the table, and in doing so, has freed up the Bulls in a way the offense hasn't been let go in years. And about that jumper that Derrick Rose improved upon? Rose is currently the 10th best scorer in the NBA in spot-up situations, shooting 48%. That's league wide, not just among point guards. That's up from 293rd last season. Pretty incredible turnaround. And a huge reason why the Bulls are the #3 seed right now. 

Philadelphia 76ers (16):  There's a belief afoot that Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday play better without Andre Iguodala on the floor. And considering the spurt the Sixers have gone on with Iguodala on the shelf. But they've now lost two in a row without him, so the boost is fading, and Iguodala is in the top six lineups for the Sixers in plus/minus. So you can see why they're torn on when to ship Iguodala out. The Sixers are getting back to their mean, though, which is enough to not be terrible. And Evan Turner showing signs of life is the best news of all. 

Los Angeles Clippers (22): I'm not saying they're a playoff team, far from it. But it's hard to ignore the improvements they make with each game. If they can just get Baron Davis off the floor, they may have something here. Oh, and Blake Griffin, Blake Griffin, Blake Griffin.

3-Down:



Los Angeles Lakers (10): That's a pretty steep fall, there, Lake Show.  Getting your face caved in by a Grizzlies team on the second night of a back to back will do that. The Lakers will be fine, but a point should be made here. If the Lakers find themselves down by three possessions in the third quarter, what's their best approach? In the minds of many it's to get the offense moving. Get off-ball movement, flows through the triangle, guys off screens. Get the offense moving, and if it results in a Kobe jumper, terrific. He's certainly the guy you want as the tip of the spear. But what you don't want is Bryant going one-on-five in ISO to try and spark the offense. That doesn't spark the offense. It just stagnates it. Until Bryant learns that, they're going to have issues because he doesn't have the physical abilities he used to. 

Milwaukee Bucks (13): There's something seriously wrong with Milwaukee and by all appearances it looks like a matter of trying to fix something that wasn't broken. The Bucks scored 102.0 points per 100 possessions last year, 23rd in the league. They brought in massive amounts of offensive firepower with Drew Gooden and Corey Maggette among others. They're dead last in offensive efficiency, averaging 96.8 points per 100 possessions. That's not a fall, that's a cratering. The Bucks are in big trouble right now. They can't stay above water (in the playoffs in the East, anyway) with that kind of noose around their neck forever. 

Cleveland Cavaliers (30): This is bad as it gets. Right? Right?
Posted on: December 28, 2010 10:10 am
Edited on: December 28, 2010 10:10 am
 

Shootaround 12.28.10: Tweaked

Rose having a tough time in the mid-range, Dirk and Horford to get scans, Bynum still brimming, and Steve Francis bids ... whatever the Chinese word for goodbye is to China. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Derrick Rose is having a hard time in the midrange game, mostly because he doesn't trust his jumper yet, even though it's improved. He's especially improved in 3-point shooting, but continues to try floaters from mid-range. 

Dirk Nowitzki will have an MRI this morning on his injured knee. So try not to scare your Maverick fan friends too much this morning.  They're going to be a little jumpy.

Al Horford will also have an MRI on his hand this morning. We'll keep you updated on both of their statuses. 

Andrew Bynum is still "brimming with potential" apparently. At this point I think it's better to say he's brimming with disappointment. Or, "brimming with doctor's appointments."

And just like that... Steve Francis was gone. From China.

Fan sensation Jeremy Lin will likely spend some time in the D-League. 

The sixth-man who was traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar now is a restaurant mogul

One thing of vital importance to the Celtics? Transition defense, because it's feast or famine for them.

The Rockets and Bobcats are both in talks with Houston about acquiring the Yao Ming salary dump. 

Nets blog Nets Are Scorching asks the question: "LeBron James: Evil or Stupid?"

Posted on: December 25, 2010 3:28 pm
Edited on: December 25, 2010 4:14 pm
 

Felton gets the best of Rose in Knicks win

Knicks point guard comes up big to help Knicks topple Bulls on Christmas.
Posted by Matt Moore


Raymond Felton isn't mentioned as a top point guard in the league with so many amazing players at the position. His performance on Christmas Saturday against Derrick Rose and the Bulls. Felton finished with 20 points on 9 of 18 shooting, 12 assists, 5 steals, and 5 turnovers to Rose's 25 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 steals and 7 turnovers, with 12 of 28 shooting. But it was Felton's play in the fourth quarter that was essential at both ends. He managed to disrupt Rose enough and snagged two steals to help the Knicks pull away while the Bulls' offense went into the tank.

Then with the lead cut to six inside of a minute, Felton threaded a behind the back bounce pass to Wilson Chandler who used the space afforded to get his man in the air, then slice to the bucket for the score that iced the game. It was the kind of play he made all day, that he's made all season. Chicago elected to try the Boston approach on Amar'e Stoudemire and throw all their defense at him, which left space. Felton took advantage of it.

In particular, Saturday's game showed the difference in Felton under Mike D'Antoni versus Larry Brown. Under Brown, Felton would need to peel back on possessions like the fourth quarter jump ball he obtained, to set the offense. Under D'Antoni, Felton saw an opening and immediately attacked the basket.

Stoudemire gets all the marquee attention at the Garden, but Felton was the big difference for the Knicks today.

**********************************

Assorted bullet thoughts: 
  • Chicago finished with a 94 efficiency rate, which is horrific. They scored 12 points in the 4th, and wen through an 8-minute drought in that quarter, which allowed the Knicks to pull away in a close one.
  • 45 combined turnovers today for the two teams, who apparently had a little too much egg nog last night.
  • Landry Fields was simply everywhere, and is the kind of player that rarely finds himself on Mike D'Antoini's teams. A fierce rebounder who makes all the little plays, gets good steals, and will do whatever is asked. He was also very efficient with 5 of 7 shooting.
  • Kyle Korver is up there with Ray Allen for best "off-the-curl-screen" catch-and-shoot three-point shooter. His only playing twenty minutes has to make you scratch your head a bit.
  • Boozer, Rose,and Deng all played 40+ minutes Saturday, and the Bulls have a back-to-back Sunday on the road at Detroit. That should be fun. 
Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:01 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 11:26 am
 

NBA stocking stuffed on Christmas Day with games

Tis the season for Heat-Lakers, Celtics-Magic and more as we preview the NBA Christmas Day extravaganza.
Posted by NBA F&R Blog Staff



With five games on the NBA schedule Christmas Day, we walk you through each one, letting you know how to fit in your basketball with your sugarplums (we don't even know what those are, just go with it). 

Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers, 5 p.m. ET

When the Lakers and Heat tip off Saturday afternoon at Staples Center, their goal will not have anything to do with the other team. Forget sending messages, staking claim, or becoming top dog in conference (an impossibility for both teams considering their records relative to the conference leaders). This is about finding out about themselves. 

The Lakers have drifted after a stunning start, losing to teams they have no business losing to and doing so on a regular basis. Even the win streak they peeled off came against exceptionally weak opponents like the Wizards, Sixers, and Pacers. In reality, this is their first big test against a contending opponent since their loss to the Bulls two weeks ago in Chicago. No one really doubts the Lakers, not yet. But a loss on Christmas Day in a major hyped game against the Heat would definitely put a damper on Christmas and plant some seeds of doubt about their ability to simply breeze through to another title. Beating LeBron and company allows them to send a message: "Don't confuse our coasting with weakness. We've got our fingers on the switch ready to flip."

The Heat on the other hand, are in a no-win position. Should they beat L.A., downing the defending champs with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, critics will simply say what they've said every time the Heat have managed to win this season: it doesn't matter until the playoffs. (Note that when the Heat lose, this same approach is not employed; suddenly the games matter when the Heat lose "meaningless" games.) Should the Heat lose, well, that just means they're definitely not ready for prime time and that Kobe is still the real King. But testing themsevles against LA give them an opportunity to see where they're at and if the progress they've made is real in any sense. Beating the Lakers wouldn't be a real victory in terms of contending status, but would at least give them a measure of how good this team can be. 

So how does this matchup shake out, exactly?

L.A.'s interior defense is considerably bolstered by the return of Andrew Bynum, and they're going to have considerable advantages inside. The Heat have no one to counter Bynum or Gasol inside, as Chris Bosh is simply not good enough to slow down Pau Gasol if he gets touches. Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, and Kobe Bryant should have their hands full on defense in this game, and in fact, Bryant may want to take a backseat on offense just so he can keep Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in check on the perimeter. This isn't to say Kobe can't get it done on the offensive end, but it's a strategy that would play both to the Lakers' strengths and the Heat's weaknesses. Somehow I doubt Bryant will opt for that. 

Bryant needs to be careful though. If he decides to come out guns slinging and the triggers aren't perfectly aligned, he's going to start the fast break for the Heat. And that's their bread and butter. The Lakers need to slow this game down and force Miami to beat them in the halfcourt set, with Carlos Arroyo and James Jones taking jumpers. Do that, and Miami will wither and die on the vine. But get into an up-down type game with them, and the youth of Miami may create some problems for the Lakers.


Bench play will probably be huge in this game, since the Lakers have such a phenomenal advantage. Shannon Brown versus Mario Chalmers. Matt Barnes versus Juwan Howard. Steve Blake versus Eddie House, should Erik Spoelstra elect to turn to the veteran. The Lakers are dominant in this regard and should be able to extend leads or close deficits while multiple members of the Big 3 for Miami rest.

This isn't a game about sending a message to a possible Finals opponent. The Heat just aren't there, yet. But it is about proving something to themselves. For the Lakers, it's a firm conviction that they can turn it on whenever they need. For the Heat, it's that they may finally be ready to play with the big boys, something they have yet to show this season.


Should be merry and bright, indeed.

Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic (2:30 p.m ET)

The Magic just started clicking a bit with their new, revamped roster with a big win over the streaking Spurs. Now they get another chance to bust a big streak. 

The sizzling Celtics come to town riding a 14-game streak and playing as the best team in the Eastern Conference. Boston is doing damage behind a devastating defense and an offense that scores consistently throughout the entire 48. If Orlando expects to hang with Boston, the Magic will have to get production from their new line of scorers. Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson will have to provide Dwight Howard some major help. If Orlando doesn't get that, the Celtics will feast on the Magic's stalled offense and probably cruise to a 15th straight win. 

What Boston does so well defensively is that it funnels the opposing offense into becoming one dimensional. The Celtics take what you want to do and use it against you. Orlando wants to use dribble penetration to clear lanes for Howard and also to free shooters. Boston's fine with letting you try and do that, but they're just going to close those lanes off and shut down the shooters. This is a game where Howard will have to play big on the inside of Orlando wants to play with the Celtics. 

However, the new Magic have options that they didn't have before. This feels like it could be a big opportunity for Arenas to really break out offensively or for Turkoglu to get some of that isolation play going where he drains step-back after step-back. The Celtics can play with Orlando if it's scoring, but the Magic have the players to put points up in a hurry. Boston wants a game in the high 80s, while the Magic probably want to push the pace a bit more and score in triple-digits. 

This game will likely come down to who gets to play their game the longest, and also who plays the other guy's game better. The Celtics are tested and typically thrive in these situations, but the Magic may be gelling a bit. There's definitely a chance here to play streak-buster a second time for them.

Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks (12 p.m. EST)

A rematch of the November 4th Knicks win, this game features two teams still trying to gain an identity. After a long impressive win streak, the Knicks dropped three straight to Boston (understandable, especially on a buzzer beater), Miami (understandable, even in a blowout), and Cleveland (not understandable in any universe ever created). Then they go out and drop the Thunder this week, just to keep us on our toes.  The Bulls? We know they're good. But Joakim Noah is out with a hand injury, which changes much of their dynamic.  This game could wind up being a preview of a first-round playoff series, and we're going to see a lot of familiar themes most likely. Primarily that Carlos Boozer can't guard Amar'e Stoudemire in any impactful way, and that the Knicks are going to be run through by the saber that is Derrick Rose, especially on the pick and roll. 

This should be a fun one to open the day with, in a fast paced affair featuring two good point guards (and one elite), two good power forwards (and one elite), along with capable supporting players. The Knicks will need to send help in the form of wing defenders when Rose drives off the pick and roll, or he's going to get to the basket all day long. They have to take their chances with Kyle Korver and Luol Deng on the perimeter. The Bulls on the other hand will need to flash help at Stoudemire to get him off the shot-fake elbow-jumper that he's killing teams with this season. Tom Thibodeau versus Mike D'Antoni also means a classic clash of styles. 

Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder (8:00 p.m. ET)

The primetime Christmas Day game lost some of its luster with Carmelo Anthony missing due to a recent death in his family. Obviously, basketball has taken a backseat for Carmelo and rightly so. But despite his absence, there's still an important Northwest Division game to be played.

The Thunder are right atop the division with the Nuggets just a few back. Oklahoma City hasn't been the most consistent team in the world but with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook playing as the most dangerous tandem in basketball, they don't have to be. Denver will look to run and get hot from outside to keep pace with the Thunder's big guns, but OKC's improving defense will be a key in shutting off a big Nuggets run.

The game may not have the same star power and spotlight head-to-head matchup of Carmelo and KD, but it's still something worth watching.

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET)

Four out of five big-time match-ups isn't bad. Christmas Day's nightcap is easily the least glamorous affair on the schedule, with the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers, two teams that have battled injuries for the last two seasons, facing off in California.

Blazers guard Brandon Roy and center Joel Przybilla won't play, and Portland will continue to run things offensively through its make-shift centerpieces, LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews. The duo has stepped up big in Roy's, as has reserve guard Rudy Fernandez. The Blazers just beat the Warriors in Portland last week, so what will be different this time around? For starters, Portland always struggles on the road against the Warriors, and Golden State point guard Stephen Curry, as of this writing, is expected to make his return from a nagging ankle injury that has kept him out since Dec. 8. In Curry's absence, it's been all Monta Ellis all the time for the Warriors, as Golden State's leading scorer has maintained his big numbers from last season (25.6 points, 5.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds), while improving his field goal (from 44.9% to 48.0%) and three-point shooting (from 33.8% to 36.4%) numbers. Ellis had a chance to beat the Blazers at the buzzer in Portland, but it rimmed out. He's hit for 30+ four times in December, and could easily make it five on Saturday, assuming that he's out for a little Christmas revenge.
Posted on: December 23, 2010 4:10 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2010 4:13 pm
 

Video: NBA teams try and say Happy Holidays

Posted by Royce Young

I think the video production departments for NBA teams will look for any excuse to put players in a video doing something silly. That's why the holiday season is a perfect opportunity to get these really tall people to sing badly, put on silly hats and do weird dances. Nothing says Merry Christmas like J.J. Barea not knowing any of the words to "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."

A good number of teams have put out a "Happy Holidays!" video. Here's four of the best (I'm not sure if "best" is actually the right word) ones out there:

Chicago Bulls



The Bulls sang (or spoke) the "12 Days of Christmas" with a hilarious basketball twist. Instead of four calling birds, Carlos Boozer gives us "four pick and rolls." And of course Joakim Noah finishes with "a basketball in a pear tree." The first time, funny. Second time, still kind of funny. Third not, not so funny. Eighth time, moving on.

Detroit Pistons




The Pistons put a spin on "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" doing the whole change-the-words-to-basketball-stuf
f thing. You can tell that it took Chris Wilcox more than one take to get "With tales of hot dogs and other good eats," just right. I also like how awkward Jason Maxiell does his line, especially with the through-the-nose laughing at the end.

Dallas Mavericks



The Mavericks are the best in the league at making funny/creative videos with their players. It helps to have Dirk Nowitzki because anything he does is pretty much awesome. He should host Saturday Night Live or something. But their rendition of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is no exception. It's of course excellent, with Dirk stealing the show (why is he wrapped in lights?).

Denver Nuggets



The Nuggets tried the funny costume routine with a bad rap added in. If you're not paying attention, you'd have no idea this had anything to do with Christmas. It's like they tried to do a "Super Bowl Shuffle" but add in The Birdman's neck tattoo and mohawk, plus some oversized clocks and big glass on Chauncey Billups. Success, I guess.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 4:54 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:42 pm
 

Rodman: Bulls' big 3 beats Heat's 'no contest'

Former Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman says that Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and himself could beat LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in a game of 3-on-3. Posted by Ben Golliver

In a wide-ranging interview with Miami radio station WQAM and transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews, former Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman argues that he and former teammates Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen could defeat the Miami Heat's big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in a game of three-on-three. After first letting the radio audience know that Bill Laimbeer "wasn't a [male private part]" and suggesting that popular television talk show host Oprah Winfrey should retire, Rodman said that an imagined match between the Bulls' core and the Heat's current star-studded lineup would be "no contest. That's not even a question." Rodman's statement should come as no surprise: former NBA players almost uniformly believe they are more talented than their modern-day counterparts, and Rodman has the ultimate ace in hole because he won three NBA titles with the Bulls and the newly-constructed Heat have yet to win anything.   With that said, it's difficult to argue that the Heat would be able to give the Bulls a real money in a three-on-three game. Jordan is clearly the best player out of the bunch, Pippen is the prototype for a LeBron-stopper given his strength, length and quickness, and Rodman would get so far inside Bosh's head the Heat forward might start openly weeping on the pavement. The Bulls would also be able to switch every pick on the perimeter, as Jordan, Pippen and Rodman are all talented, versatile defenders, while the Heat wouldn't have that luxury, as Bosh would have no chance against Pippen, much less Jordan. When you stop to think about it, it's comical that Bosh is even included in these hypothetical conversations concerning NBA Hall of Famers.  The only threesome that could give the Bulls a run for their money would be one with a talented, humongous center in the middle, someone like Shaquille O'Neal or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who could overpower or play above Rodman on the block. You're simply not beating that team on the perimeter, it's impossible. Taking this further, I'm not sure whether James, Wade and Bosh could defeat the Boston Celtic's trio of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett or the Los Angeles Lakers' trio of Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. Boston would have a distinct playmaking and intensity advantage while Los Angeles could match Miami's perimeter versatility and boasts added low-post length and skill in Gasol. Finally, though, there's no shame in not being able to stay with Chicago's legendary group for the Miami Heat. They've got larger, real-life problems anyway, as they look to extend their 12-game winning streak on Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are one of the league's hottest teams, having won nine of their last 10 games. 
Posted on: December 15, 2010 8:47 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:36 pm
 

Bulls' Joakim Noah to have right thumb surgery

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will reportedly undergo surgery on his right thumb. Posted by Ben Golliverjoakim-noah-surgery

Wednesday morning, we noted that Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has been dealing with pain on his injured hand. Wednesday night, the Chicago Tribune reported that Noah will undergo surgery on his right thumb.
Joakim Noah is scheduled to undergo surgery on his right thumb, two team sources told the Tribune. 
The Bulls' starting center could be sidelined for up to 10 weeks.  Noah played with the injury Wednesday night against the Raptors after team physicians determined he could do no further damage to the injury. 
The Bulls sent out a press release Wednesday night with additional details.
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will have surgery to repair a torn ulna collateral ligament in his right thumb.  The surgery will be performed tomorrow morning by Dr. Mark Cohen and Dr. John Fernandez of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center.
Noah was first injured in the Nov. 27 game at Sacramento, and he has played the last two weeks with ongoing discomfort and slight functional impairment.   Additionally, Noah has had significant sprains of his right index and middle fingers, which will not require surgery.
  “Joakim’s injury presentation was unusual in that he was able to function at a high level with the injury.  More often, athletes are unable to play at all due to pain and instability of the thumb,” said Chicago Bulls Head Team Physician Brian Cole. “As the days proceeded from the original injury, it became clear for all that surgery was best for Joakim,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.  “We have always valued Joakim’s toughness and willingness to put the team above himself, but in this case his health took precedence.”
The Bulls, at 15-8 entering Wednesday night's action, are looking like runaway winners of the Central Division, so this isn't crippling news by any means. But it surely is frustrating for Bulls fans who simply want to see the team's frontline healthy and playing together. Forward Carlos Boozer just returned from a hand injury less than two weeks ago after missing the first month of the season. Noah averaged 14.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks in 37.2 minutes per game. That's a ton of minutes, and the Bulls will struggle to fill that hole given their available personnel. Chicago will likely continue to rely heavily on Boozer, who is averaging 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in eight appearances so far, and ask more from Taj Gibson, who has played 25 minutes a night. Rookie Omer Asik is also likely to see his role increased, perhaps dramatically, as he is the only legit center-sized player in Chicago's bench rotation.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:45 pm
 

Joakim Noah suffering through hand issues

Bulls center Joakim Noah suffering through injured hand as reports surface regarding possible ligament damage. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Joakim Noah does plan to play against the Raptors Wednesday, but there are storm clouds on the knuckle-shaped horizon. Noah's battling a hand issue that he's had for weeks. From the Chicago Tribune:

Noah has been battling sore knuckles and tendons on his right hand for weeks. He has been taping his knuckles. The Tribune reported late Tuesday that management has held internal discussions about resting Noah, whose situation hasn't improved. Surgery has not been ruled out, if that becomes necessary to fix the problem.
via Bulls' Rose, Noah planning to play vs. Raptors - Chicago Breaking Sports.

There's a report stating that the Bulls are "concerned" there may be ligament damage in his hand which would necessitate surgery, resulting in him missing eight weeks of play or more. This comes just as Carlos Boozer had returned from his broken hand and the Bulls are starting to mesh into the power they were expected to be. But losing Noah for an extended period of time would be a crushing loss that would hurt them in an area they can't afford to lose players at. Omer Asik is fine for spot duty, but a lineup of Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson would be overmatched by nearly any team with a legit center. 

With the Bulls focused on defense under Tom Thibodeau, rebounding is fairly important and losing one of the best rebounders in the league would be, what's the word? Oh, yeah, bad. 
Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com