Tag:Chicago Bulls
Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:02 pm
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Derrick Rose out vs. Suns

By Matt Moore


Derrick Rose will miss his second straight game with what he describes as turf toe, according to ESPN Chicago. The star also missed the Bulls' Monday loss to the Grizzlies. Rose has been wearing a boot to alleviate the pain in his foot. Interestingly, Tom Thibodeau has described the injury not as turf toe, but a sprain. 

John Lucas or C.J. Watson will start in Rose's place. Lucas had 28 points in his debut a week ago, but struggled against the Grizzlies, while Watson played well for two quarters against Memphis before Mike Conley ate his lunch in the fourth. The Bulls have endured a long and intense schedule of games, part of the reason for the Bulls to be cautious as to not exhaust the reigning MVP.  

You can see our picks for tonight on Facebook.  
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:25 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 2:27 pm
 

NBA GMs survey: Heat over Thunder in 2012 Finals

Posted by Ben Golliver  

lebron-last-second

The NBA's chief basketball operations executives have weighed in: The Miami Heat should win the 2012 NBA Finals.

An annual survey of the NBA's general managers by NBA.com reveals that 74.1 percent believe the Heat will revenge their 2011 Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Back in November, Miami was set by Las Vegas as the early favorite to win the title.

An overwhelming 96.3 percent voted Miami as Eastern Conference champions. Miami is currently the No. 6 seed in the East, trailing the conference-leading Chicago Bulls by 2.5 games. The Bulls received just 3.7 percent of the vote. Miami topped Chicago in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

Out West, the conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder are the clear favorite. 67.9 percent of voters believed the Thunder will win the Western Conference. OKC is currently 12-2 and already holding a 3-game lead in the conference. The Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs also received votes. The defending champion Dallas Mavericks,  who started the season slowly, did not receive a single vote.

The survey's selection for Division winners tended to favor established, veteran teams. In the East, Miami, Chicago and the Boston Celtics, currently toiling at 4-8, were picked. In the West, Oklahoma City, the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers were the picks.

Voters selected Thunder forward Kevin Durant over Heat forward LeBron James as the guess for league MVP. Durant is currently averaging 26.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.1 blocks in 35.9 minutes per game. James is averaging 29.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 37.5 minutes per game. Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who is leading the NBA with 30.8 points per game, did not receive a single vote.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 5:39 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 12:11 am
 

Report Card: Anderson and Orlando work some magic

Posted by Royce Young and Matt Moore



Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.

Ryan Anderson and the Magic

Orlando might've picked up its best win of the season Monday in New York and the Magic did it behind Ryan Anderson's scoring barrage. Anderson has emerged as a legit option for the Magic and with Dwight Howard inside, Anderson, a finesse power forward, can afford to play on the perimeter. It's really a pretty perfect pairing, much in the way Rashard Lewis worked well playing alongside Howard. Anderson went for 30 against the Knicks and did it with seven 3-pointers. -- RY

Kyrie Irving

Irving closed out the Bobcats with a series of dervish inside moves and layups. His handle and confidence improves every game and he's now distributing as well. Ricky Rubio has all the hype but right now Irving needs to at least share the lead for ROY. The Cavaliers keep winning, surprisingly, and it looks more and more like they have a star to build around. He's got great control over his body in mid-air and his shooting is surprisingly on target for a rookie. He took the team on his back to get the win Monday, and that's exactly what the Cavs want to see. -- MM

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder

That's six straight for Oklahoma City, but how about Westbrook? He drilled back-to-back 3-pointers in crunchtime, scored 26 points and made plays all over the court in Boston for the Thunder. He was helped obviously by Kevin Durant (28 points) but the unusual suspect of Thabo Sefolosha stepped up with 19 points on 7-9 shooting. The Celtics were a desperate team Monday looking for a win to hang their hat on and OKC did what needed to be done. Impressive victory for the team now with the league's best record.

Memphis Grizzlies

The bad: the third quarter where the Grizzlies let a 25-point lead evaporate. But other than that, which was largely fueled by a free throw disparity and C.J. Watson stealing the spirit of Derrick Rose who missed the game with turf toe, the Grizzlies were brilliant. Rudy Gay scored 24 points, his third 20-plus points game. The offensive flow was working and they hustled defensively. Memphis has won three straight and is back to ball hawking in the passing lanes to force turnovers. Rose's absence was of course the difference. -- MM

John Wall

It's not his fault his team stinks. OK, maybe it's kind of his fault because as the de facto "star," he's supposedly to lift everyone else to a higher place. But still, against the Rockets Monday, he did what he could do. Wall went for 38 points, eight assists and six rebounds but didn't get much else from his fellow starters who scored a combined 30 points as the Wizards lost to Houston. -- RY

Zone

The Magic dropped into a zone, and much the same way the zone has jacked with the Heat's star-powered lineups, it clogged up the works. It makes sense if you think about it. Teams with star power that don't have competent shooters are going to struggle when the athleticism is compromised and more pressure is applied by angling the zone to the star players. Zone is seldom used in the NBA, but the playoffs could have a ton of it this year. -- MM

Sixers Distribution

Against a very good defensive team in Milwaukee, the Sixers had four players in double digits. The Sixers aren't beating teams with star power, they're beating teams with coaching, execution, and depth. It's really important to note now how good this Sixers team is because if they're playing this well in May, they're going to make a run and stun some teams. They have a great bench scorer, they have a solid all-around frontcourt, they have a do-it-all forward in Iguodala playing the best ball of his career. Fear the Sixers. -- MM

Boston Celtics

The Celtics were competitive and actually had a chance to beat one of the best, if not the best team in the league Monday, but were bitten by the unlikely barrage of 3-pointers from Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook. It has to be a tad encouraging that the Celtics were ready, played good defense and really pounded the glass. Still they lost their fifth straight and their four wins are against Washington (twice), New Jersey and Detroit. -- RY

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls without Rose reverted back to a largely inefficient team, but more concerning was their lack of defense as the Grizzlies relentlessly attacked the rim. Essentially, unless Omer Asik was in, the rim was vulnerable. The question has to be asked for the hundreth time, if the Bulls would be better off with Taj Gibson starting, and now Asik is angling for the job of Joakim Noah. Noah was particularly bad, getting outworked and outsmarted by Marc Gasol and dunked on by Rudy Gay in space, while missing layups. Rose is the reason they lost, but there was a lot not to like for Chicago. -- MM

Carmelo Anthony

He returned to the Knicks. He scored 33 points but did it in 9-27 shooting and New York lost to the Magic. So a pretty Melo day all around. (Get it? Melo... You get it.) -- RY


The Hornets

Here's the starting five the Hornets rolled out against Portland: Jarrett Jack, Marco Belinelli, Emeka Okafor, Jason Smith and DaJuan Summers. Does that strike you as a competitive NBA team? Jack led the Hornets in scoring with 21 points, but my goodness does that team need Eric Gordon back. A lot of teams are fun to watch even when they're bad because of young players or because it's comical, but the Hornets don't really even have interesting players right now. -- RY
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:55 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 3:01 pm
 

Baseline Awards 1.16.12: Rosey Run



Welcome to the Baseline Awards, a weekly feature that goes over the biggest stories of the past week and hands out awards. Because awards are fun!

Eastern Conference Player of the week: Best overall performance by Eastern Conference player

Tie: Dwight Howard/Derrick Rose

Dwight Howard absolutely annihilated teams this week. He only played in two games. During that back-to-back set he destroyed an elite team, the Blazers, and a pretty good team, the Warriors. Howard missed an epic tonnage of free throws vs. Golden State... and still scored 45 points and grabbed 23 rebounds. Against Portland he only scored 13 but had 13 rebounds and four assists. Howard is showing why everyone wants to trade for him.

But Derrick Rose? He's back to playing at an MVP level. No, I'm sorry, that's not right. Because he won the MVP last year and he's actually playing better this season, and did so this week. Rose played four games last week, sitting out with turf toe against the Wizards, and averaged 24 points and 9 assists. That last digit is particularly important. Rose has become a better passer, and is helping what is largely the same Bulls unit become better offensively. Be afraid, NBA.

Western Conference Player of the Week: Best overall performance by Western Conference player

Kobe Bryant

Um... have YOU scored 40 points in each game this week, four times straight? I didn't think so. If I have to explain this, you've been either living in a cave or in suspended animation only to discover a strange new world. Either way, let me break it down. Kobe Bryant = dominant offensively this week. There may be a cost on the Lakers' offense as a whole and the competition was a little weak, but that doesn't change the fact he scored 40 freaking points in four straight contests at age 33.

Struggler of the week: Player with worst performance qualified for expectations

LeBron James

The numbers are fine. The numbers aren't everything. I rarely if ever use the phrase "choked" but James choked away a very winnable game vs. Golden State by missing free throw after free throw. Then had similar issues against the Clippers, struggling in the fourth quarter and overtime. And finally he was frustrated and beaten handily by the Nuggets.

It was probably an outlier, he'll likely rebound, at least in the regular season. But James had a huge letdown after a promising start to 2011-2012.

DOMINATOR AWARD: Most dominant performance

Paul Millsap

Millsap was an absolute beast for the Jazz this week, helping them to a 3-1 record while averaging 23 points and nine boards...while shooting 62 percent from the field. In three of those games, he shot better than 55 percent. Millsap's ability to hit from range, finish inside, and score in the post is making him one of the most complete power forwards in the league. The Jazz really have something going (again) in Salt Lake, and Millsap this week has been a huge part of it.

Broken Promises Award

Mark Jackson, Golden State Warriors

Jackson's guarantee of a playoff trip was questionable when he made it after being hired last summer and it looks even worse now, just 12 games into the season. The team's major free agent prize, Kwame Brown, is likely done for the year, a desperate ownership is realizing it can't make stars appear out of nowhere, and Stephen Curry is tragically sidelined yet again. Jackson, meanwhile, embarked on an historically stupid Hack-a-Dwight strategy en route to a home loss and then watched as his team laid an egg in Charlotte, of all places. The good news: the W's season will be over and Jackson will have plenty of time to get back to the rhyming dictionary to craft some new catchphrases. I know you wanted to make a splash; your mouth made a promise that your team can't cash.

Home Cookin' Award:

Portland Trail Blazers

Portland's hot start and contender buzz hit the brakes this week thanks to a 3-game losing streak. After an early-season win at Oklahoma City raised hopes that this new-look Blazers team might be over the road struggles of previous years, Portland lost back-to-back games in Texas to start its current 6-game road trip, bringing their road record to 1-4 through 11 games. Losing to the undefeated at home Spurs is no shame, but dropping one to the Houston Rockets in overtime can't happen if Portland is to reach its high internal expectations.

Fuzzy Math Award 

Boston Celtics 

The "Big 4" is Boston wasn't supposed to be a reference to how many wins the Celtics have through the first three weeks of the season. But that's where the aging C's find themselves and it's brought on the possibility of a full-fledged identity crisis in the works. Boston is average on offense, average on defense and pathetic on the boards. Given the major cap flexibility the Celtics will have this summer, the worst case scenario is that this season ends up being a waste of time between eras. But settling for that is painful given that four Celtics were 2011 All-Stars.

The Walter White Award

Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder.

It's not a coincidence that the two teams rolling along early in the season are the two squads that had virtually everything in place. With teams like the Knicks and Mavericks looking a bit lost with new pieces early on because of no training camp, the Thunder and Bulls haven't had issues because they haven't had to work on any chemistry. It's already there.

Dead Man Walking Award

Deron Williams 

I don't know how Deron Williams is putting up with this stuff, but he's obviously playing through gritted teeth. Kudos to him, but it has to be painful to basically be flushing a year and a half of your career down the toilet. The injury to Brook Lopez was unfortunate, but let's be honest: The Nets weren't going to be good regardless. If it all works out and Dwight Howard finds his way there, I'm sure he'll look back on these days as a good character builder, but if Howard goes elsewhere and Williams does as well, it'll just be wasted time.

The "Really, guys? Really?!" Award: Worst performance that isn't just bad, but inexcusable

Washington Wizards

You lost to the Bulls without Derrick Rose? Really? You let John Lucas go off on you, John Wall? Really? It's like every time we think the Wizards have hit the very bottom, they show us they can go just a little bit lower.

The "Begin Assembly" Award: Team starting to get it together

Memphis Grizzlies

A tough loss to the Lakers seemed to spark this team. They needed a boost and since that game in which they competed to the end, Rudy Gay has started to produce at the level he has to. Mike Conley is playing well. Marc Gasol is beasting. O.J. Mayo has his shot going. The Grizzlies are moving away from the debacle that was their first game against Chicago.

The "Tom Brady Is Better Than You" Award for Offensive Failure

The Sacramento Kings scored 42 points on Saturday through the third quarter. The Patriots scored 42 points againt the Broncos on Saturday. The Kings were outscored by an NFL team. I don't know who that's sadder for, the Kings or Tebow and the Broncos.

Awkward Water Cooler Conversation Award for Coaching Struggle:

Mark Jackson

Jackon's own players asked him not to go hack-a-Dwight vs. the Magic, feeling they could defend Howard. It would be one thing if it had worked, but Howard dominated them even with the missed free throws and it completely detonated the Warriors' offensive flow. Jackon's been pretty good overall this season, but that was a pretty damaging series of events.

Blog of the Week:

The Two Man Game

With the Mavericks starting to put it together, their analysis is relevant again, and TMG is the best Mavs blog out there. Thoughtful analysis and discussion on the bigger picture, which is what the Mavericks are all about this season.

Awards Watch:

MVP Five to Consider (no particular order):
Derrick Rose
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Dwight Howard
Kevin Durant

ROY Five to Consider:
Kyrie Irving
Ricky Rubio
MarShon Brooks
Kawhi Leonard
Iman Shumpert

6th Man of the Year Five to Consider:
James Harden
Al Harrington
Lou Williams
Jamal Crawford
Ricky Rubio
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:13 pm
 

Rose out against the Grizzlies

Posted by Royce Young

Derrick Rose is out for the Bulls Monday game against the Grizzlies with a sprained toe. He missed a game last Wednesday because of the toe, but played in games against Toronto and Boston on Friday and Saturday.

In his place will be John Lucas III and Mike James, who was recently signed from the D-League. Lucas had 25 points and eight rebounds against the Wizards last week filling in for Rose.
Posted on: January 14, 2012 12:17 am
Edited on: January 14, 2012 12:48 am
 

Bulls reveal Celtics just aren't able

By Matt Moore

The Boston Celtics lost to the Chicago Bulls 88-79 Friday night. Just a nine point loss at home. At one point in the fourth, it was just a one-point lead. There is every reason to feel that the Celtics had a routine regular season loss to what may be the best team in the league at the moment.

And all of that fails to recognize what actually occurred, which is the Chicago Bulls dominated and toyed with the Celtics on their own floor, another game in which the Celtics revealed a very ugly truth. This team can't run with the great teams in this league this season, because this team can't run.

The Celtics are going to go on a winning streak sometime this season. They're going to put together a run of games where they look like the vintage Celtics of old. They'll have to, because their pride won't allow them to continue at this pace. The problem is that in order to get themselves in that position, they'll have to torch the afterburners they usualy save for the playoff, just to make the postseason.

Friday night wasn't about just missing shots. It wasn't about just missing rotations. And it wasn't just about having an off night.

The Celtics struggled in essentially every area. They gave up open looks on the outside. They couldn't hang with Chicago's fast break. The help defense that has effectively defended Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant in the past was unable to get to Derrick Rose in time as he sliced his way through. You cannot belabor this point. The Celtics' model was built on a help defense that eliminated perimeter penetration. You don't get in. And if you do, you don't get the bucket, you get fouled or blocked or stripped. Rose, on the other hand, slipped his way through. When the Celtics did get a third defender in front to stop him, he zipped a pass they never saw coming for an easy score.

Paul Pierce was tortured by Joakim Noah all night. Kevin Garnett struggled with both Noah and Brewer. It was the bench unit that helped spark the comeback. Ray Allen shot well, but even he wound up with an off-balance drifting three under Chicago's pressure.

The Celtics aren't as good of a team as Chicago right now. But the gap reveals that while the Mavericks (7-2 in their last nine) have corrected matters, and the Lakers have discovered their new identity, the Celtics are stuck in a sequel with the same cast of characters. They'll still get the same standard level of success because of the star power of the cast. But the days of box-office smashes are over.

They struggle with rebounding. They struggle with turnovers. They struggle with shooting against quality defenders. And most of all they struggle with beating good teams. They fell to 0-5 against teams with winning records Friday night. Maybe they are just waiting longer than usual to turn it on. Maybe they will get into condition, put on the jets, and roar into the playoffs with homecourt advantage for the fourth straight season.

The Celtics' regular season struggles have been about effort. They've openly admitted in years past that they were simply bored. They had issues from time to time with execution, where the team simply wasn't able to function at a high level. But they've always had the ability, the talent, the capability to go out and dominate the best teams in the NBA. 

But the problems so far this season with Boston aren't rooted in effort, execution, or talent. They're rooted in ability. 

And if that's gone?

They're gone.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 5:48 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 5:54 pm
 

Rose will play against Celtics

By Matt Moore

From ESPN.com: 
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose was still in a walking boot at one point Friday but told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that he would be playing in that night's game against the Boston Celtics as he recovers from a sprained toe.

"He'll warm up tonight and see if he can go," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Friday morning. "He's feeling a lot better today."

Rose injured his toe in Tuesday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. John Lucas III started in Rose's place in a victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday and had 25 points in 48 minutes of play.

"Most guys in the league are hurting in some way, Thibodeau said. "But we're not going to risk further injury to him. If he's at risk we certainly wouldn't play him. But Derrick has always responded well to treatment. He was feeling better [Thursday], and he's feeling a lot better today."
via Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose (toe) says he'll play vs. Boston Celtics - ESPN Chicago.

Rose should take his time returning. The Bulls managed to win without him, and considering the toll Rose took in the playoffs last season, the Bulls need him as healthy as humanly possible going into the playoffs. Rose's ankle injury against Indiana in the first round limited his effectiveness, and the wear and tear caught up with him when he was defended by LeBron James, particularly because being guarded by James is like being guarded by a centaur with eight arms. 

Furthermore, the Bulls having to score without Rose could have the same effect as tossing a baby in the water to learn how to swim. No, it's not necessarily best for the child, but the theory is that the Bulls will possibly learn to function on offense if they can't use Rose as a crutch. They certainly need to learn to produce points that don't involve him getting beaten up every drive he takes. 

But this is Rose. He wants to play, he will play, and it's likely he'll be back in action soon.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:14 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 2:16 am
 

Report Card: Heat fail crunch-time again

Posted by Royce Young



Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.

New York Knicks

You have to give credit to the Knicks. They've been up and down so far this season but against division leader Philadelphia, the Knicks played a quality all-around game getting necessary stops, getting big games from Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire and killing the glass. Everyone was riding high on the 76er bandwagon this week, but the Knicks handled them by getting out to a 28-15 first quarter and never looked back.

DeMarcus Cousins

The embattled big man had himself a ball game against the Raptors. Yeah, it was the Raptors who aren't typically strong inside, but Cousins put up 21 points and 19 boards. That's the type of stuff that makes him worth picking over a coach, no matter what the issues may be. Cousins has serious talent no matter what's going on in his head. If he can ever start channeling it properly, the guy is going to be a beast.

Kobe Bryant

A night after going for 48, Kobe put up his 109th career 40-point game dropping a four-oh on the Jazz in a Laker overtime win. He played 43 minutes, took 31 shots (making 14), grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists on top of it all. Kobe has been as good as ever to open this season. Whether it's the German knee treatment or freedom from the Triangle, Kobe's off to an MVP-type start.

John Lucas

Playing for MVP Derrick Rose, John Lucas stepped up and scored 25 points and dished out eight assists leading the Bulls to maybe the ugliest win ever over the Wizards, 78-64. But 25-8 is 25-8. Sure, it took him 28 shots, but that has never stopped us from being impressed with Rose. I think the lesson here is that obviously it's just the Chicago system and basically you can insert any player into that point guard spot and he'll produce big numbers. Also, I'm not at all serious about that. But seriously, what the crap John Lucas?

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clips got their biggest win of the season and while it's a very nice victory, it was U-G-L-Y. Chris Paul was terrific, DeAndre Jordan wonderful (six blocks), but the Clipper bench provided only eight points and Blake Griffin struggled, scoring just two baskets in the second half. It's a great win for the Clippers and something for them to build on, but it wasn't exactly a clean victory.

Mavericks beat the Celtics 90-85

A big game between two very high profile teams with big stars. It should be a good one, right? But the game was just ugly all over. Missed free throws, bad offense, sloppy play -- it wasn't pretty. It was close though and got entertaining late as Dirk completed a three-point play to put the Mavericks over the top, but you were watching two potentially over-the-hill teams look very much like it for 48 minutes.

Offense

Across the league tonight, only a couple games saw a team score 100 points. There were a bunch of games played in the 80s and a few with totals down in the 70s. The Wizards scored 64 total and the Hawks scored only nine in a quarter for crying out loud. It's the way life is in a lockout shortened season I guess, but man, there has been some ugly offense lately.

Crunch-time Heat

On a second consecutive night the Heat essentially choked in crunch-time. They missed 14 free throws (including eight from LeBron, four in the fourth quarter) and went nearly 12 minutes without a basket spanning the fourth quarter and overtime. And the one basket they finally got? It was a 3 from Mario Chalmers. We all make a big deal about this fourth quarter stuff with Miami, but it's a thing. You can't ignore it. Going almost a quarter's worth of basketball without a hoop is a problem.

Washington Wizards

Sixty-four points? Really? I mean, really? Are they even trying to score? Yeah, it was against the Bulls who are a great defensive team, but geez. Thirty-one percent from the floor, only one quarter over 20 points and only 27 points total in the second half? The Wizards terrible. Just terrible.

Injuries

Al Horford went down with a shoulder injury that could cost him a month or more. And he's just the latest in a long line of players getting dinged up. Blame it on the condensed schedule with no camp or just coincidence, but it has seemed like the injury bug has been biting quite a bit this season.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com