Tag:Chicago Bulls
Posted on: October 11, 2010 9:36 am
Edited on: October 11, 2010 9:36 am
 

Shootaround 10.11.10: Ins and Outs

Turtlenecks are in for SVG, Splitter is out for the Spurs, Ron Artest's second ring is already on its way out, and Ryan Anderson is in gear for the Magic, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


When the NBA announced a rule regarding coaching dress codes, which presumably would outlaw turtlenecks, everyone immediately thought of Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy himself actually said they should name the rule after him. But the Orlando Senitinel went out and discovered that SVG will be able to wear turtlenecks this season due to how the rule works. I don't know whether SVG should be happy or sad about his development.

Greg Oden says he can be an All-Star , when healthy. Honestly, no one doubts that out of Oden. He's tall, a huge advantage in the sport of basketball, and bulky, a big deal in the NBA. But he needs to not say things like this because it only attracts more attention to the fact that he hasn't proven he can stay healthy, or rehab effectively, or that his head's in the right place. He just needs to not talk about it, go out, and do it. Anything else is just going to bring the vultures.

Tiago Splitter continues to miss time with a leg injury . In the myriad of ways that his NBA career could have started, this isn't the worst, but it's up there. Nagging small injuries aren't just obnoxious and painful, they're hard for coaches and players to sympathize with, and call into quiestion a player's toughness. That's what Splitter's facing in preseason with a tough veteran Spurs club.

The Blazers are adding Steven Hill due to their lack of big men, which is awesome, because he's from Branson, Missouri. Hill should instantly be the leader in mini-golf handicaps .

Anthony Mason Jr. son of the former Knick star has been cut from the Heat. Too bad, he showed some flashes in limited time, but that roster's kind of full-up if you haven't noticed.

Ready for a storyline you can bank on this year? Raptor fans are going to go from feeling disdain towards Andrea Bargnani to outright hatred. He's going to get all the blame for the Raps , even while he probably leads the team in scoring. He's overpaid, but that guy needs a fresh start somewhere else more than anything.

The New York Daily News reports that the Bulls are investigating Carlos Boozer's fall to see if he really did injure himself tripping over a bag . Bulls by the Horns says that the investigation is neither surprising nor troubling , just business as usual. It's still not the way the Bulls wanted to start the era of their marquee free agent from the biggest FA summer in history.

Ron Artest is offering his second championship ring to whoever writes the best essay on how to improve the country. In case you're confused, no he has not won that second ring yet. Ron is not lacking for confidence on this team.

Vince Carter is beaming about Ryan Anderson, which is a good sign for the Magic. It really looks like Orlando will be in a position to use him more this season.

This is probably the last season for Antonio McDyess, and might be the last one for Marcus Camby. Bizarre to think of an NBA without those two vets, and sad to think they'll probably wrap up their careers without a ring.

Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:10 am
 

Shootaround 10.8.10: Denver scouting Favors?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "I watched in open-mouth amazement after Thursday's practice as Howard drained bank-shot after bank-shot, then made some turnaround jumpers. He worked for about 20 minutes with assistant coach Patrick Ewing and center Daniel Orton, catching and shooting. I'm not crazy about his turnaround J. But anything that doesn't make him as predictable as he has been in the crowded paint and draws in defenders can't be all bad."
  • Jeff Pendergraph had a pretty nasty injury last night and today he tweets: "Thanks for the well wishes everyone. Gonna b heading back to Portland tomorrow to get checked out by doc but so far word is nothing major... Keep praying y'all. We will get through this. God doesn't put you through anything he knows you can't handle."
  • Blazersedge looks at Portland's options: "Another option would be to grant Rudy Fernandez's release request, which Cho has repeatedly said he will not do.  He could also release another player. Rookie Armon Johnson, picked in the second round and earning just $473,604 this season, would be the cheapest player to release, but this would be extremely unlikely to happen given how high the team's brass is on Johnson's future and how well he has looked during training camp."
  • Larry Brown on OKC: "I look at him and some of our young guys in the NBA and I think our league's in pretty good shape," Brown started. "And this team (the Thunder) probably is a testimony to that. Look at their young kids. Their not only terrific talents, they're better kids. They've done the greatest job of bringing in good kids that represent the league well. When they're talking about respect for the game, that team's a poster child for that. So the West better watch out."
  • Brian Robb of CelticsHub: "Luke Harangody has yet to show me something besides hustle. We should have just kept Scal if we needed that." Ah, missing Brian Scalabrine. What are the chances you thought you'd see someone say that?
  • What will the Hornets rotation look like? Ryan Schwan of Hornets24/7 says Willie Green has the edge to back up CP3: "It appears Willie Green has locked up the backup position at the point.  Color me surprised.  Every statement out of training camp has indicated he is leading the charge as the backup point guard and relegated DJ Strawberry and Mustafa Shakur to purely end-of-the-bench roles.  I won’t lie.  I worry about Green being able to pull this off.  He’s been a swingman for 95% of his career."
Posted on: October 7, 2010 9:28 am
 

Shootaround 10.7.10: Thinkin' 'Bout Things

Bulls thinkin' 'bout Dampier, Wizards thinkin' 'bout a name change, and Kidd thinkin' 'bout playing till he's 40, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


Peja Stojakovic says health will determine if he plays past this season , the final year of his contract. He wants to get through just one year pain free. It's something we rarely consider with these players, treating injuries like they're some sort of outside clamp that prevents them from playing instead of actual pain the players are experiencing.

With Boozer on the shelf, the Bulls are taking a long look at Erick Dampier, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com . The Bulls waived Chris Richard this week, which is surprising considering their lack of frontcourt depth and the job Richard did in limited minutes.

Marcin Gortat is not going to suddenly get quiet about the issue: he wants a bigger role, now. Unfortunately for him, the Magic are pretty much like "Deal with it, baldy ." Gortat signed a huge contract with the Mavericks last summer but the Magic matched it in restricted free agenc and here we are. For some reason the Magic think having a severely disgruntled Polish guy called "The Hammer" on their team is a good idea.

So this is pretty awesome. Ted Leonsis, the new Wizards owner, posted 101 things the Wizards have put in play to try and improve the fan experience at Wizards games. Some of the smallest details are covered, like how fresh the hot dog buns are. But hidden in there is the following: Changing the name back to the Bullets. Status? "Under consideration." Hold your breath, Bullets fans.

The Hawks exercised their option on Jeff Teague, which should surprise absolutely no one. Teague's locked up through next year, if there is a next year.

Kevin Garnett "went to a dark place " after last year's Finals, which is just classic over-the-top Garnett talk. He was pretty much a wreck after losing that series, leaving you to wonder how he deals with life in any sort of way whatsoever.

Rudy Ferandez' agent went absolutely psycho-hose-beast on local radio, basically pulling a "Leave Britney alone" speech for Fernandez. The kicker is when asked why Rudy wants to go home: "There's friends, there's family, he's a shy guy. He's special." And also a Fraggle, apparently.

Josh McRoberts had an outstanding line last night and the bandwagon is starting to Heat up. McRoberts has already filled into the starting PF spot for the Pacers, and with little competition, will probably hold onto it. A star is born? Maybe?

Jason Kidd wants to play until he's 40 , which is just ridiculous and yet completely believable on all fronts. Oddly, he's already a defensive liability, but the Mavs are thinking about moving him to shooting guard. Which could end up disastrous, but hey, you never know with Kidd. Dude's a survivor. He's going to make it. He's going to work harder. Keep on survivin'. What ?

This Nets-Knicks rivalry gets more entertaining every day .
Posted on: October 5, 2010 2:32 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2010 2:57 pm
 

NBA 2K11 Review: The game lives up to its cover

Posted by Royce Young

NBA 2K11 knew exactly what it was doing.

When 2K Sports announced Michael Jordan would be on the cover of the game, they knew what the were indicating. You put The Greatest on the cover and make him the center of your game and you better produce something similar in quality.

And boy, did they ever.

NBA 2K11 isn't quite on par with basketball's top legend, but that's only because it's not flawless. It's like the 1991 MJ - near perfect, but not quite there.

Before you even see a menu, the game starts with a dimmed screen with Jordan standing with his back to you in the tunnel. You can hear a hum as strobe lights pulse around Jordan. And as soon as I heard that hum, I knew what was coming. It honestly gave me chills for a second. That low organ note and then the riff. Before I knew it, I was reliving one of the biggest moments of my childhood. The Alan Parsons Project was blaring and I'm hearing, "From North Carolina... at guard.... Mike-alll Jorrrrrrr-dannnn!" It was pretty awesome.

You're immediately put into the 1991 NBA Finals against the Lakers with Jordan, Pippen, Paxson and the bunch taking on Worthy and Magic. In other games I never play with the all-time teams because I didn't buy Madden 11 to play with the 1966 Bears, but this is a whole other experience. The Jordan Challenge could be its own game. Seriously, they could have just forgot the My Player, the Association Mode and the other 30 teams. Forget Kobe and LeBron and Durant and Wade. The Jordan Challenge really is almost a game in itself.

It's almost a bad thing. Because I don't see myself getting off the Jordan stuff for a while. I can't wait to try and drop 63 against the Celtics in '86. Or get the shrug against the Blazers. Or take over in the flu game. It's the stuff I grew up loving and finally, I get the memories brought back. 2K11 knew what it was doing and it's genius. As it's gaming audience changes, the people that were 10, 12 or 15 when Michael Jordan ruled the world are now its peak market. And if they're anything like me, they'll jump at the chance to see it all again.

But what about the other stuff? I keep telling you, you almost forget there's a game in there after all this. The gameplay is terrific. At first, I had written down a qualm about the passing because it seems to defense really is eager to jump a passing lane and a long crosscourt pass never seems to work. But then I realized that's just because a lot of us are used to making dumb passes all the time. This game plays like real basketball. If the passing lane is cut off, you're not getting a ball through. You're not getting lucky. The defenders will get their hands on it and they'll be going the other way in a blink. It's a little frustrating at first, but the more you get used to it, the more it makes you appreciate a perfectly executed bounce pass or beautiful lob.

The AI is just terrific. Honestly, it's probably the underrated top highlight in the game. For instance, the switching. The computer knows when it gets a mismatch and it works right at it. If the Heat are running a pick and roll with Bosh and Wade and Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick get caught in a switch with Redick on Bosh, the computer immediately calls a play trying to get the ball to Bosh in the post. That's impressive. The computer switches for you as defenders would in a real game and if you bring a guy over to try and switch back, your defense helps and recovers as if it were real life.

Game presentation and feel are probably the most important things to me in any video game because I want it to seem like I'm just taking part in a real game. And while Clark Kellogg is more known as a college announcer than an NBA one, the combo of him and Kevin Harlan is terrific. My wife was in the other room and she came in and asked, "Who's playing? Is this a replay or something?" The announcing sounds that legit. They have set topics for each team to touch on. For instance, when playing with the Thunder, Harlan talks about how 150 fans or so met the team at the airport after OKC clinched a playoff berth. (I only mention that one specifically because I probably found that cooler than others because I organized that meet-up.) But Kellogg and Harlan even cut off one of the anecdotes if something big happens. When Jonny Flynn flashed in the paint for a big dunk, both announcers letting out a "Ohhh!" with Kellogg putting the story he had going on hold.

There's an incredible attention to detail down to things like accurate tattoos and free throw routines. Kevin Durant does his shimmy. Steve Nash goes through his practice motion and then quick dribble routine. And 2K11 once again nailed individual shooting styles. Magic Johnson's is so spot on it's ridiculous. I found myself trying to get fouled with Bill Cartwright to see if his free throw style was replicated. (It was.) I absolutely eat that kind of stuff up.

Now what keeps this game from being the 1997 Jordan in terms of perfection are a few minor things. For instance if a player has white knee-high socks on, they constantly turn black. I'm sure a patch could fix it, but I found it pretty annoying. Another thing is that I'm not in love with the ball-handling. There's not a ton of control over what your player does and while Elite 11 was otherwise a mess, the ball-handling system was pretty cool. But that's picking nits there.

Overall this game is as good as any basketball game - or sports game period for that matter - you'll ever play. From the crowds, to the announcing, to the play calling system - everything is as close to real basketball as it can be. Basketball games have notoriously struggled to bring the actual game into a video game because it's so free flowing and basketball lacks structure. But 2K11 is as close as you can get.

If you saw Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, the last line of the movie is Brad Pitt's character saying, "I think this just might be my masterpiece." Some saw it as a direct statement from Tarantino about the way he felt about his movie. And in the same way, by NBA 2K11 putting The Greatest on the cover of its game, I think they were probably trying to make the same statement.
Posted on: October 4, 2010 1:08 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2010 1:10 pm
 

How Carlos Boozer broke his hand

Posted by Royce Young

Most times, when you suffer a dumb injury, it's sort of protocol to make up a way cooler story as to how it happened. "How'd you break your arm? Oh, you were arm wrestling and it just snapped ?" You don't say, "Yeah, I was hanging a picture and while on my tippy-toes, I lost my balance and landed sideways on the coffee table."

But Carlos Boozer went with the honest approach in explaining how he busted his hand:
It was just dark. My doorbell had rang and I tripped over a bag, tried to brace myself and it popped. I jumped back up, opened the door and my hand was still a little bit numb. “It was a gym bag. It was a big bag I had first thing over here at the hotel for training camp. I went back to my place, hadn’t unpacked the bag yet, came around the corner, running to get the door and fell over it. I’m 265, 5 percent body fat. I’m heavy, man. I guess I had to brace myself and my weight just collapsed the bone right there."
Because of the injury, Boozer will have surgery and will miss as many as 15 games. Matt Moore already told you what an effect that could have on his new team. But what about Boozer's pride? That's got to be hurting too. Though he has some company to make him feel better. He's not the first athlete to suffer a dumb injury and certainly won't be the last. A few other notable ones:
  • Sammy Sosa: Sprained a ligament in his back sneezing
  • Plaxico Burress: Shot himself
  • Ken Griffey Jr.: He's missed his fair share because of other things, but Junior once missed a game because his hand slipped putting on his protective cup and pinched one of his... you know
  • Joel Zumaya: Missed time because of an inflamed forearm and wrist because he was playing guitar hero
  • Gus Frerotte: Headbutted a wall after a touchdown and got a concussion
  • Slobodan Jankovic: After fouling out of a game in the Greek championship playoffs, Jankovic was so mad that he rammed his head against the concrete post supporting the basket. He fractured his neck, damaged his spinal cord and had to have spinal surgery.  The injury left him paralyzed from the waist down.
  • Kevin Johnson: After KJ hit a game-winner, he hugged teammate Charles Barkley but the hug resulted in a dislocated shoulder for Johnson
  • Bill Gramatica: The kicker tore his ACL enthusiatically celebrating a kick he made in the first quarter
It's always interesting when an athlete gets hurt in such a normal human way. We hear stories of slipping in the shower, falling off a ladder or tripping over a gym bag. They almost seem just as made up as the fictional one I mentioned above. Because these guys aren't supposed to be normal like us. They're not supposed to be able to step awkwardly off a curb or slam their hand in a car door. We forget that athletes have to live and do normal things just like us when they're not at work. Now some of those above are far more dumb or accidental than what happened to Boozer, but you get the point.

It's just bad luck for a guy that put 265 pounds of pressure on his hand and it gave way. There aren't any lessons to learn here other than for Carlos Boozer, maybe he should start picking up after himself a little better.
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 3, 2010 11:43 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2010 11:50 pm
 

Report: Bulls and Noah agree to extension

Posted by Royce Young

Well, it doesn't look like Joakim Noah is getting traded for Carmelo Anthony.

According to multiple outlets, Noah has agreed to a contract extension worth somewhere in the $60 million range over five years. The extension makes Noah only the second player in the class of 2007 to sign an extended deal, Kevin Durant being the other player.

Noa probably earned the big payday last season as he averaged 10.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in his thirs season. He became known as one of the East's best intertior defenders and his energy and effort is something that's become a calling-card for Noah. And evidently he is something valuable enough that the Bulls said no to trading him for Carmelo and also paid him $12 million a year.

The Bulls were on the clock too. If the two sides could not come to an agreement by Nov. 1, Noah could be a restricted free agent after next season and then an unrestricted free agent. And according to Smith, the two sides were stalled in the recent weeks with the Bulls offering $55-57 million over five years while Noah wanted somewhere in the $65 million range. So it looks like there was a nice compromise.

But what does it mean for Chicago? The Bulls made big news this offseason giving huge money to Carlos Boozer, plus Derrick Rose is only a few seasons away from an extension from Chicago. With $12 million a year locked up in Noah, plus the big money owed to Luol Deng, the Bulls will have over half their total salary wrapped up in four players.

And also think about Ken Berger's recent report about the potential for a new hard cap. Noah's salary could hog as much as a quarter of the Bulls' total payroll and with all the salary and CBA stuff up in the air, maybe it made sense for Chicago to let Noah test the restricted free agent market. But then again, Noah was important enough to them to turn down Anthony, so obviously they weren't willing to risk him next summer.

What's also interesting about Noah's extension is that it probably gives some sort of measuring bar for the Hawks to go off of for Al Horford's looming extension. Horford has been working actively with the Hawks to get something done and now there's a five-year $60 million deal to base things off of from another center from his same draft class that he competes against.

Is Noah worth $60 million? A few other big men making around $12 million a year are Antwan Jamison, Andrew Bogut, Josh Smith, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nene, Al Jefferson and Chris Kaman. Is Noah in that category? Not necessarily statistically, but in terms of importance to his team, you could probably say so.
Posted on: October 3, 2010 5:43 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2010 6:01 pm
 

With Boozer out eight weeks, Bulls start behind

Boozer forward not just out, but out at a bad time. Bulls may start in a hole to begin the season. Posted by Matt Moore

Carlos Boozer is out eight weeks with a broken hand , and while missing Boozer for any extended time is bad news for the Bulls, the timing is less ideal than some alternatives, even. Not only will Boozer miss the remainder of training camp while the team tries to integrate its schemes on both sides of the ball, but the schedule ensures that the Bulls will most likely be staring up at their Eastern Conference competitors when Boozer returns.

With an unofficial return date of November 28th, Boozer could miss up to fifteen games in that window if he's out the full eight weeks. Of those fifteen, nine of those games are against playoff teams from last season . Among the six non-playoff teams? They've got an improved Kings squad, and a much-improved Knicks team that may challenge for the playoffs. Detroit, Golden State, Washington, and Houston make up the remainder, and it's not like Houston's looking far behind this year. They've got four back-to-backs in that span, but the real problem? The real problem is the circus.

The Bulls are gone for a long stretch each November thanks to the circus occupying the United Center. It's a rough road stretch, and one that pretty much sprung the Bulls like a bad spring wound too tight last season. You're looking at Boozer missing the entire two weeks of that trip. If he were to try and come back six weeks in, he'd be coming in right at the start of that trip, including this murderer's row: at Houston, at San Antonio(back-to-back), at Dallas, at the Lakers, at Phoenix (back-to-back). Yikes.

While Boozer's out, the Bulls essentially become last season's team with better shooting guard play. Taj Gibson will take the majority of the time at power-forward, which he played admirably at last season. But the offensive gap in the post between him and Boozer is so high, that almost slices the Bulls in half. Then you've got to factor in time for Boozer to get back into rhythm with the offense and for the team to adjust.

The Bulls wanted to contend immediately in the East, with Boozer talking about winning a championship with this team. If they're going to get where they want to be, they're either going to need an absolutely hellacious run by Boozer's backup, or a stunning streak when he gets back. From where we're at on the eve of his injury, the Bulls look like they'll be climbing out of a hole immediately to start what was supposed to be their emerging season.

Them's the breaks, unfortunately. Tom Thibodeau's got his work cut out for him, right off the bat. Derrick Rose, you want to win the MVP ? Now would be a great time to hit that level. Like, now.


Update: K.C. Johnson of Chicago Breaking Sports reports that Boozer will need surgery and will defintely not return until after the circus trip.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 10:14 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 10:15 pm
 

More Carmelo info? More Carmelo info

Posted by Royce Young

A few things of note from the past few hours of my Internet Carmelo Anthony stalking:
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports the Carmelo deal is in a holding pattern. One executive not involved in the trade told Berger, ""With every day that passes, the bigger deals fall apart." But that doesn't mean this is falling apart. Another source told Berger that the feet-dragging from Denver was simply "part of getting a deal done."
  • Berger reports multiple executives watching the Carmelo situation believe the reason behind making the four-team trade talk public was an effort to solicit better offers from other teams. But the list is already short. Still, Melo prefers New York with Chicago, Houston, New Jersey and even the Clippers on the list. But the only places that Melo has reportedly been ready to sign is New York and Chicago. Part of the reason we've been hung up here is because of a potential hesitance for Anthony to re-sign with the Nets.
  • A completely random team that's tried to jump into the trade talk? The Cavs. Berger reports Denver has targeting Anderson Varejao as an acceptable replacement for Anthony and that Cleveland has at least inquired. Brian Windhorst of the Plain Dealer reports a similar thing, saying that like most teams, the Cavs have at least placed a phone call or two. The thing the Cavs have in their back pocket though is a $14.5 million trade exception. That's something that makes them a player in pretty much any deal.
  • According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo!, Kobe Bryant has given Carmelo some advice: Don't leave just to leave. Reportedly, Melo asked Kobe for some thoughts since Bryant was in a similar position in 2007 with the Lakers. Bryant asked to be traded but ended up staying in LA and I think the team has done alright since then. “We’ll see if he signs a reasonable extension and if he’s 100 percent happy that it’s where he wants to go,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports Saturday. “If not, don’t make a move just to get out of the situation. …Make sure it’s a move that you’re very happy in and you’re comfortable with.”
  • Reportedly, Carmelo wants a promise from any team he signs with that he gets to be the head coach and handle all personell moves for his new team. OK, I made that one up. Just seeing if you were still paying attention to all this stuff.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com