2012/2013 Chicago Bulls Thread
Butler makes most of summer action
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- By all accounts second-year Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler did everything asked of him this past summer as he looks to improve on an up-and-down rookie year. Butler missed a lot in his first offseason, due to the 2011 NBA lockout, and this year the coaching staff wasted little time with him.
“I think I was a little bit of everyone’s project,” Butler joked after Saturday’s practice at the Berto Center. “I spent a lot of time with each guy individually… Things I didn’t know from last year I definitely got them down over the summer.”
Between the time spent with coaches and a rise in his own confidence Butler is primed to fill the hole left by the departure of Ronnie Brewer, though he wants to carve out his own niche. First, he has to keep his conditioning in prime shape.
“It’s definitely a different pace going up and down with pro guys, you have to be winded but still execute,” Butler said.
Coach Tom Thibodeau likes everything about Butler, but now wants to see it translate on the floor. He was asked to assess his rookie year.
“Some good, some bad,” Thibodeau said. “He got to the free-throw line very efficiently but he didn’t shoot as high a percentage as we would have liked. And his defense was up and down.”
So there was plenty of room for improvement. The NBA summer league isn’t necessarily the place to judge it, but considering it was canceled in 2011, the time spent playing games this past summer was as important as anything. Butler averaged 20.8 points per game, good for fourth in the league. And that poor free throw percentage, 76.8 percent last season, shot up to 90 percent in summer league play. That came on 34 attempts in just four games.
“He’s done all the things that he should have done,” Thibodeau reiterated. “He’s a young player that is still developing. I like his versatility. He can play the three, the four and in some cases, the two. That’s a big plus. … He has to prove that he’s durable.”
That last sentiment is the one Butler agrees with the most.
“I think the biggest thing is how hard you have to play every single possession,” he said. “Offense, defense, offense, defense. Winded, tired. All of that, you still have to go hard.”
Butler was repeatedly asked what kind of player he wants to become. What will his niche actually be? He responded like a veteran, which incidentally, he believes he is now.
“Whatever my team needs me to be,” Butler said. “I know that’s going to be on the defensive end the majority of the time but I want to be able to make that open shot, drive, finish at the rim and hit those open guys. And be able to yell whenever you see Taj [Gibson] yelling out there on the floor.”
Getting started: The Bulls open the preseason on Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies.
“I’m excited about it because it’s the first opportunity for us to compete as a team so that will help give us a baseline for where we have to go,” Thibodeau said. “But I view this whole month as our training camp.”
“He is loud and I prefer the loud to be on defense. But he’s sort of an X factor and I like that.”--Thibodeau on notoriously exuberant guard Nate Robinson.
“Great kid, plays hard. He’s country. It’s hard to believe there is someone more country on this team but there is.”-- Kirk Hinrich, on getting to know Butler.
Thibodeau: Derrick Rose long way from practice
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Tuesday that Derrick Rose is not close to being able to practice and wouldn't commit to it happening before the new year.
"Who knows?" Thibodeau said after Tuesday's shootaround. "He's a long ways away from that, but he's doing well. He's doing well." Rose tore his ACL on April 28, had surgery on May 12 and the prognosis was for eight to 12 months of rehab. The 24-year-old Rose has been cutting on the knee and sprinting, and he's been impressing his teammates. "I think he looks really good," Joakim Noah said Monday at a charity event for his Noah's Arc Foundation. "He looks great, actually." The Bulls started Tuesday with an 8-7 record and in first place in the Central Division. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told ESPN Chicago in the summer that the Bulls won't allow Rose to return until he is 100 percent. "Every time (I see him) he's working a lot in the gym, so everybody can't wait for (his return)," Bulls guard Marco Belinelli said. "Right now we are focused (on) playing without him. He's going to be back soon, but right now it's important for us to win the game that we (have now). "Derrick is a great guy. I remember the first time when I (made) the decision to come here and play for Chicago he texted me, and I can't wait to play with him. I played with (Chris Paul) (in New Orleans), one of the best point guards in the league, and so I can't wait to play with (Rose) too." Aside from a large advertising campaign by adidas, Rose has stayed out of the public eye by design. He hasn't formally spoken to the media since early October, and Thibodeau wants him to continue to focus just on his rehab. Rose's schedule has been kept private, and only in recent days has he been spotted in the Berto Center at the end of practices. "He's doing fine, but we're not going to get into daily updates," Thibodeau said. "It's going to be the same. He's focused on his rehab, he's got a long way to go and we have to concentrate on our next opponent and our improvement."
Thibs: Rose 'not anywhere close to playing'
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is doing all non-contact drills in practice, but coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose is "not anywhere close to playing" as he rehabs from a torn ACL in his left knee.
"He's right where he's always been," Thibodeau said after Sunday's practice. "Each week he'll do a little bit more, he's doing more basketball stuff but still he's not anywhere close to playing. He's got a long way to go for that. He's doing all the non-contact stuff in practice, none of the contact stuff, but he's doing well overall."
Rose, who tore his ACL on April 28 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers, has been running, cutting and shooting with his teammates in recent weeks, but his teammates and coaches know it's going to be a while before he returns to game action.
"It's too early," Bulls guard Richard Hamilton said when asked about seeing flashes of Rose's old ability coming back in practice. "Derrick is an unbelievable talent. To see him do stuff that ... (as) a guy coming back that injury is incredible. He's able to move up and down on the floor and things like that, but no contact. Our job is to just hold the fort down and hopefully he'll get healthy soon."
Rose, who had surgery in May, was expected to be out between 8-12 months.
In other injury related news, guard Kirk Hinrich was given the day off to rest several nagging injuries.
"He's got a few different things where he's nicked up," Thibodeau said. "But with some rest hopefully he'll be fine (Monday)."
As for Hamilton, he says he feels fine after playing for the first time in almost a month on Saturday night. Hamilton missed the past month because of a torn plantar fascia in his left foot.
"I told coach don't worry about my endurance part," Hamilton said. "I've been able to control that and do all the right things my whole career, of always staying in shape. I still feel to this day that I'm probably the most conditioned athlete in the NBA at my age. It's just one thing that I pride myself on is really taking care of my body."
http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bull...e-moving-along Carlos Boozer, Bulls beat up Heat on glass, post road win
MIAMI -- Even when seated, the Chicago Bulls outrebounded the Miami Heat. Following one missed shot, the ball rolled between forward Carlos Boozer's legs as he fell on his backside, yet he still managed to scoop it up and feed a teammate for two more second-chance points for Chicago. Dominating on the glass and the hardwood, the Bulls became only the third visiting team to win in Miami this season, beating the Heat 96-89 on Friday night.
Chicago outrebounded Miami 48-28. The Bulls had 19 offensive rebounds to four for the Heat. "Everybody in both locker rooms understands what the overwhelming key to the game was," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They were throwing it up there and playing volleyball against us." The Eastern Conference-leading Heat fell to 15-3 at home. Their other home defeats came against the Knicks and Warriors. "It always feels good to beat the Heat," said center Joakim Noah, who had 12 rebounds. "And we get a night out in the city, so we're hyped right now. We haven't been playing great basketball and this is probably our biggest win of the year against the defending champs. It feels good." The first meeting between the teams this season was a bruiser, and the Bulls repeatedly outfought and outfoxed Miami on the boards. The Heat, who are last in the NBA in rebounds, had won four games this season when outrebounded by 15 or more. But this time the disparity beat them. "It's just the will of going to do it," LeBron James said. "It's a reoccurrence. You give a team like this extra possessions, they're going to capitalize." James scored 30 points, extending his streak of scoring at least 20 points to 31 consecutive games this season, and 52 games in a row overall when including last year's playoff run. He has scored at least 25 in eight consecutive games. But he had just six rebounds, which led the Heat. Boozer had 12 rebounds for Chicago, and Taj Gibson added nine in 17 minutes. The Bulls' final offensive rebound helped seal the win. Jimmy Butler grabbed it and fed Boozer for a layup with 46 seconds left to put them up 93-86. Chicago had 20 second-chance points to seven for Miami.
"It's killing us, plain and simple," said Heat center Chris Bosh, who had one offensive rebound in 38 minutes. "Is it scheme? Is it mental? We'd better figure it out." Boozer scored 27 points after totaling a season-high 31 on Wednesday at Orlando. Noah, back after missing one game with flu-like symptoms, had 13 points. They set the tone with their physical play. "I don't know if that small ball is going to work against us," Noah said. "Not with guys like Carlos Boozer in the game." While the Heat were often on their heels, they kept coming back. A jarring foul by Kirk Hinrich near the sideline staggered James and he collapsed on the Bulls bench, then was helped to his feet by coach Tom Thibodeau. Seconds later, James sank a 3. Noah drew a flagrant foul when he tackled James around the neck with one arm to stop a drive early in the fourth quarter. The violation led to a four-point possession for the Heat, with James sinking four consecutive free throws. The next time Miami had the ball, James drove for a dunk that cut Chicago's lead to 75-72. But the Heat got no closer. "We understand how important rebounding is," Thibodeau said, "and it showed tonight." Chicago won with more than mere muscle. The Bulls' 5-foot-9 Nate Robinson made a leaping interception of a James pass, then smartly bounced the ball off Miami's Shane Battier to avoid traveling. The ball dribbled out of bounds, allowing Chicago to keep possession. Robinson's 3-pointer with 6 1/2 minutes left gave the Bulls their biggest lead, 83-73. The Bulls pounded the boards from the start and scored the final 10 points of the first quarter for a 26-22 lead. Butler's buzzer-beater to end the first half put them up 49-48. Marco Belinelli sank a 3-pointer to put Chicago up 75-66 after three quarters. The Heat had won their past two games, both in overtime, but the Bulls wouldn't let them get to OT. Game notes
Regarding All-Star voting, James said with a chuckle: "It looks like I'm going to be a starter. Surprising." ... The Bulls are 9-8 home and 9-5 on the road. ... Chicago improved to 8-1 on the road against the Eastern Conference.
http://espn.go.com/chicago/nba/story...ers-agent-says Thibodeau: Derrick Rose 'moving along'
MIAMI -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose spent Friday morning participating in his team's shootaround on the road, the second time he's done that in less than a week.
Rose, who was also with the Bulls in Orlando, spent time shooting on the floor in Miami before the media's allotted time had come to an end. He still hasn't been cleared for contact, but Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau says Rose is doing more and more each day.
Thibodeau was asked before Friday night's game what it means to have Rose traveling with the team again.
"It means he's moving along," Thibodeau said. "And then this is the next step, so he's doing more and more in terms of practicing with the team. But he still has to focus on his rehab. The team has to focus on improvement and our opponent, so it's just the next step in his progression."
Thibodeau said the Bulls' style won't be different when Rose returns.
"We haven't changed the way we're going to play," Thibodeau said. "For us, it's going to be our defense, our rebounding, taking care of the ball, playing inside-out and [sharing] the ball. Your players can change, whether it's through injury, trade, free agency, whatever it might be. Whatever your players' strengths are you want to play to those strengths and cover up your weaknesses. But overall, philosophically, we don't want to change, we want to play the same way from the start of the season to the end of the season."
Rose may not be playing Friday night, but his presence is still being felt in Miami. Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade said they had not spoken to Rose since his injury, but both hoped he would be back and healthy soon.
Agent: Daequan Cook to Bulls
Free-agent shooting specialist Daequan Cook will sign with the Chicago Bulls after clearing waivers Friday, according to his agent.
Agent Mike Conley Sr. of BDA Sports told ESPN.com that Cook has agreed to join the Bulls after going unclaimed through the NBA's waiver process this week. Despite a number of teams that could use an extra shooter -- such as Minnesota and the Los Angeles Lakers -- Cook went unclaimed after being waived by Houston because any interested team would have had to have sufficient salary-cap space or a big-enough cap exception to absorb Cook's $3.1 million salary. Cook won the NBA 3-point shootout in 2009 while playing for the Miami Heat. He cleared waivers at 5 p.m. ET Friday after being released Wednesday by the Rockets to make room for Houston's signing of James Anderson. The Rockets, according to sources close to the situation, tried to find a new home for Cook via trade before letting him go but couldn't manufacture a taker willing to absorb the final year of Cook's deal. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about the possibility of Cook's arrival before Friday's game and did not want to show his hand regarding the potential move. "When it happens, I'll have thoughts," Thibodeau said.
Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks - Recap - January 11, 2013 - ESPN
NBA -- Without Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls continue to cruise on the road - ESPN Chicago Luol Deng scores 33 as Bulls move to 3-0 vs. Knicks
NEW YORK -- Joakim Noah loved shutting up the chatter almost as much as shutting down the Knicks. He heard how Carmelo Anthony would come out firing after his suspension, how the Knicks would pay the Bulls back for a tense, testy meeting last month. Turned out to be the same no contest it was last time.
Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points in Chicago's third victory over New York this season, a 108-101 win Friday that sent the Knicks to their season-high third straight loss. "I think it was a big game. A lot of people watching and everybody was saying the Knicks were going to get revenge for what happened last time, nah, nah, nah," Noah said, unable to contain his postgame smile. "And we came back, held it down again." Noah couldn't contain his excitement while playing in front of family and friends, even breaking out his gun salute that he vowed to shelve after the shootings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, apologetically saying he just got too hyped up. Topping the 29 points he scored here last month, Deng shot 13 of 18 from the field and also led the defensive effort that contained Anthony in the decisive first half of his return from a one-game suspension. Carlos Boozer added 17 points for the Bulls, whose offense won't be at full strength until Derrick Rose is back from knee surgery, yet they still shot 57 percent. Anthony ended up with 39 points for the Knicks, who were roughed up again a night after losing in Indiana. He shot 14 of 32 but said his struggles had nothing to do with Deng and that he simply missed shots he normally makes. Without starting point guard Raymond Felton and key big men Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace, the Knicks lack the depth or sharpness on either end they had during their fast start to the season.
"We definitely don't want to lose. We've got to bounce back, take it one day at a time, one game at a time," Anthony said. "Sunday is our next game, New Orleans, and that's a game that we have to go get. It's a must-win." Rose is practicing and nearing his return after tearing up his knee in the opener of last season's playoffs. The Bulls have managed to stay among the top teams in the East without him, and three times have outclassed a Knicks team that has been in or near the conference lead all season. "We've showed it this year, when we really focus and lock in, whoever we play we've been able to play with them, all the top teams, play them close whether we win or lose," Deng said. "We know that when we show up, and you know, stick to the game plan, we can really play with anyone in this league." Richard Hamilton had 14 points as Chicago won for the fourth time in five games. J.R. Smith shot 4 of 17 for his 13 points as the Knicks lost for the fifth time in seven games. Tyson Chandler grabbed 18 rebounds. The Bulls held the Knicks to then-season lows of 85 points and 32 percent shooting in an eight-point victory in the first meeting, a game Anthony missed because of a finger injury. He played the second one but was in the locker room before it ended, getting thrown out of a game that featured nine technical fouls and four ejections in a game the Bulls were dominating until the Knicks make it look respectable after all the fireworks were finished. This one went the same way with Chicago building a 25-point lead before a Knicks flurry at the end made it look close on the scoreboard.
Anthony sat out Thursday's 81-76 loss in Indiana for his postgame confrontation with Kevin Garnett after a loss to Boston here Monday, and Knicks coach Mike Woodson hoped the NBA's second-leading scorer would come out strong. Instead, Anthony missed 10 of his 14 shots in the first half before nearly ending up with another 40-point game to add to the pair he had last week. Boozer had his streak of double-doubles snapped at six, but Chicago had more than enough to improve to 9-1 against East teams on the road and 16-5 overall against the conference. The Bulls scored the first five points and just kept pouring it on from there. They hit 11-of-19 shots in the first quarter, limited Anthony to 1-of-8 shooting and led by as many as 15 before taking a 29-18 advantage to the second. Having already taken the fans out of the game, the Bulls then turned them on the Knicks. Deng had the last five points of a 17-6 run to open the second that gave Chicago a 46-24 lead, the boos growing with each basket. The lead peaked at 25 when Deng picked up a turnover and dribbled all the way for a layup, and the Bulls took a 57-36 bulge to the locker room. Chicago outshot New York 57.5 percent to 29.8 percent in the first half. Consecutive 3-pointers by Steve Novak and Anthony brought the Knicks within 103-96 with 1:07 remaining, but Marco Belinelli hit five free throws from there to close it out. The Knicks announced before the game that Camby, who had been starting, would miss two to four weeks after reinjuring his left foot. Woodson started Kurt Thomas in his forward spot and also benched Ronnie Brewer, who had started all but one of the first 35 games, and gave James White his third start of the season. With Wallace still out with his foot injury and Amar'e Stoudemire on a minutes restriction as he plays his way back into shape following knee surgery, the Knicks lack the big bodies to face a physical team such as the Bulls. "Whenever somebody goes down, somebody has to step up," Chandler said. "It's been unfortunate for us because it's kind of been a revolving door, in and out, guys getting hurt and banged up. But that's not an excuse. Somebody has step up and we have to fill the spot as a team." Jason Kidd missed all six shots in a dreadful, no-point, no-assists performance, just the second in the regular season of his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Bulls becoming road warriors
NEW YORK -- It is said that in basketball, defense travels. The manifestation of that axiom has kept the Chicago Bulls afloat for the past two and a half months as Derrick Rose slowly strengthens his knee. It happened again Friday when the Bulls scored another quality road victory against the battered New York Knicks, 108-101. Against significant odds, the Bulls are tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the league's best road record at 10-5 and now are 8-1 on the road against teams from the East. Without the difference-maker they came to rely on so heavily in close games over the past several seasons, those are surprising numbers -- even to the Bulls themselves. Especially when considering that the Bulls are a pedestrian 10-9 at home, closer to the .500 team many suspected they'd be until Rose got somewhat back involved. Instead, they're 20-14 overall and surging, now just a half-game behind the Atlanta Hawks for fourth in the conference. "Yeah, it's weird, man," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "There's something about the road; we come together and we're focused."
Maybe it's not weird. Maybe this is what should have been expected. Over the past three seasons -- the Tom Thibodeau era -- no team has more road wins than the Bulls. They are on pace to become the first team to win more than 60 percent of their road games in three straight seasons since the defensive juggernaut Boston Celtics did it from 2007 to '10. That Celtics defense traveled, and so does this Bulls D, and it shows up over and over again. Even without Rose and with a completely retrofitted bench from last season, the Bulls' rugged style continues to catch home teams off guard. It has for years now. Last week it was the Miami Heat, who went in with the league's second-best offense and a sterling 15-2 home record. The Heat ended up with their worst offensive night of the season at home, and the Bulls headed to their plane with a smile again. The Knicks, still clinging to the East's second-best record, now have been handled by Chicago twice in the past month at home. In the three weeks in between those games at the Garden, the Bulls have gone from six and a half games behind New York to only two. When the third quarter was over Friday, the Bulls had a 22-point lead and were holding the Knicks to 33 percent shooting. A furious but nearly hopeless Knicks fourth-quarter rally made the stats look less lopsided, but it was just window dressing. The Bulls' way had done it again, and there was another happy visitors locker room. "It's been huge," Thibodeau said. "We have a pretty good mindset, we understand what it takes to win. We know it's our defense and our rebounding and taking care of the ball. When you do that, you're in position to win." Meanwhile, the Knicks are going in the opposite direction, both in the standings and on the defensive end. Before the game, the team announced Marcus Camby would be out up to a month with a strained left plantar fascia, discovered in an MRI taken Friday. The Knicks are not talking about a timetable on the return of Rasheed Wallace, who also has a foot injury. And Amar'e Stoudemire's surgically repaired knee has been acting up to the point that team doctors have implemented a 20-minute maximum per game. It's safe to say coach Mike Woodson didn't think he'd be starting Kurt Thomas and James White and playing Pablo Prigioni 31 minutes in mid-January, as he was forced to do. The Knicks, who have dropped eight of 13 games to undercut their fantastic start, now are talking in hopeful terms about when they will get players back.
The reality is, with literally the oldest team in NBA history, it seems unreasonable to believe the Knicks will ever be as healthy as they were at the start of the season when they played so well. That was the danger with how the team was constructed in the offseason. Regardless of who has been playing, their defense has been in a free fall for around six weeks and sunk to a new low Friday. The Bulls, who rank 23rd in offense, sliced up the Knicks' interior to the tune of 57 percent shooting. "I don't think we've had a full deck against this team," Woodson grumbled when asked about his team's 0-3 record against the Bulls this season. "We were a step slow to start the game and then we couldn't make shots." The Bulls, it should be noted, haven't had their MVP for any of those three games. As for the missed shots part, the Bulls' defense seemed to have a lot to do with that as well.
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 97, Hawks 58 - Chicago Bulls Blog - ESPN Chicago
Bulls respond to Thibodeau's anger - Chicago Bulls Blog - ESPN Chicago Rapid Reaction: Bulls 97, Hawks 58
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls cruised to a 97-58 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Carlos Boozer continued his solid play, scoring 20 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Joakim Noah added nine points and 16 rebounds while Luol Deng chipped in with 18 points as the Bulls destroyed the Hawks on both ends of the floor.
What it means: This was exactly what the doctor ordered for the Bulls. After getting blown out by the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, Tom Thibodeau's team completely dominated the Hawks -- who didn't look like they had any interest in this game. The Bulls' defense was solid but the Hawks couldn't hit a shot throughout most of the game. What has to make Thibodeau feel better is that the Bulls' effort at home was much better than it had been recently. They knew what they had to do to win this game and they did it.
Hits: The Bulls' defense held the Hawks to 29.3 percent shooting from the field.
Misses: The Hawks scored just five points in the second quarter.
Stat of the night: The Bulls set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a game by giving up just 58.
What's next: The Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Bulls respond to Thibodeau's anger
CHICAGO -- The entire tenor of the Chicago Bulls' 97-58 thrashing of the Atlanta Hawks was set long before the opening tip Monday night.
It was set Monday morning at the Berto Center when coach Tom Thibodeau absolutely tore into his team for its lackadaisical play at the United Center this season. Thibodeau was furious that his team was just 10-10 on the season at home and he let them hear his displeasure as they got ready for another game they were favored to win.
"As soon as he called us (out) in the walk-through and his face, his tension, how he was just looking everybody in the eye just raging," Taj Gibson said. "He was raging this morning. He basically said it was his job to really focus and get us better. And he said that he felt that he's been slipping because he understands that we need to play harder, we need to work harder, because every game in this league is tough to win. He really dug into guys. He looked at everybody straight eye to eye and guys understood that. Nobody was joking around in here today. Everybody was serious faced and everybody knew what we needed to do today."
Joakim Noah put it another way.
"It's not fun to be screamed at at 9 o'clock in the morning," Noah said. "A lot of F-bombs. A lot of F-bombs."
What exactly was he yelling about?
"That we were 10-10 at home," Noah said.
"A lot of F-bombs this morning, right?" he said to veteran two-guard Rip Hamilton.
Hamilton chuckled as he got dressed.
"All day," Hamilton said.
The Bulls players may not have been pleased by the way Thibodeau delivered his message, but it was clear that the point got through. They set a franchise record by holding the Hawks to just 58 points and they did it by playing with the type of intensity that Thibodeau has been searching for. They finally played with the type of consistent fire that had set them apart the last two seasons.
"Thibs said it in film this morning," Gibson said. "He said that we're so phenomenal when we go away from home on the road, when we're at home it's like we're a different team. When we're at home guys just tend to forget our defensive plays and how we want to run things. Tonight guys just got back to basics. He really dug into guys ... the main thing he's been telling everybody is just do your job. Don't worry about the next man, just do your job and we'll be fine. Everybody just did their job tonight and we got a win."
For his part, Thibodeau thought the difference in this game was simple.
"Well, we played defense," he said. "We have to be well balanced with shot selection and floor balance and effort to get back. Two things that kill team spirit more than anything else are shot selection and one-on-one play. Also, the lack of effort getting back. The two things that help build team spirit are when we are sharing the ball and playing together.
"When we do that there is a willingness to get back and help your teammate. I thought we played tonight with a lot more mental and physical toughness. For us to be successful playing shorthanded is we have to have intensity all the time. You can't relax, never exhale. We have to fight, we have to do it day after day and strive for improvement."
That's the way Thibodeau will coach until he leaves the Bulls. That's just the way he is, for better or worse, and his players understand that.
"It was crazy how he was yelling at us with so much passion," Gibson said. "And understanding what it takes to be the best. He said the East is so crazy, you can be high one moment and lose the next couple of games. And we understand that we need to stay on a high pace because we really need to do better because we don't have Derrick [Rose] right now. We don't have our superstar that helps us out in the fourth quarter, especially when we're down a lot of points late. We have to push and understand that we need to help each other and get better."
In order to get better the Bulls know that they must continue to play at a high level and that's why they feel like the next few games are even more important than usual. If this performance can serve as a turning point, it could shape the rest of their season. If the Bulls fall flat on Wednesday night in Toronto, Noah knows that Thibodeau will continue to tear into his team whenever he sees fit.
"I think it's our mindset," Noah said of the major difference. "I think our mindset was good tonight. Everybody was on edge. Everybody was focused at the start. To me, what's going to be interesting the rest of the way is just to see how we deal with playing at home when things aren't going our way. When things aren't going our way how do we react to not hitting shots? We have to play together, when we play together I feel like we're very tough to beat."
Nate Robinson of Chicago Bulls had considered trying out for Seattle Seahawks - ESPN Chicago
Nate Robinson pondered NFL tryout
MILWAUKEE -- Chicago Bulls point guard Nate Robinson said Wednesday he had a plan if he didn't sign with an NBA team last summer, and he wasn't going to let his 5-foot-9 frame get in the way.
"If I didn't (make a basketball team) I was going to go play football," Robinson said. "So it really didn't matter to me ... I was going to try out if I didn't get a job in basketball." Robinson played one year at cornerback for the University of Washington and intercepted a pass in a 2002 game against Washington State. The Seattle native had his eye on one NFL team in particular. "I was trying to go try out for the Seahawks during the (2011 NBA) lockout," Robinson said. "If no team wanted me to play basketball, I was going to go play football." As The Seattle Times reported in 2011, Robinson exchanged a few tweets with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who had recruited Robinson to play at USC when Carroll was the coach there. But Robinson never took Carroll up on his offer to go out to practice. "He may be a little distracted with basketball, I don't know," The Times quoted Carroll as saying at the time. "If he is, he probably won't be able to do it. But if he can get focused, there's always a chance." According to the official rosters, if Robinson did join the Seahawks, he wouldn't have been their shortest player; Leon Washington is listed at 5-8. In the end, Robinson chose to stick with basketball, getting taken in the first round of the 2005 draft by Phoenix. Robinson -- scored 24 points Wednesday to lead Chicago past the Milwaukee Bucks -- has talked about the fact that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Robinson when they were with the Boston Celtics, recruited him from the beginning of the free-agency period. "Coach Thibs called me and was like, 'We'd love to have you here, have a meeting, sit down, chat,' and I took it as a sign from God," Robinson said. "So I was like, 'Yeah, (I'll play here).' He said he wanted me, he has big plans, and now I'm here." Robinson has become an important part of Thibodeau's bench, averaging 11.5 points, 3.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds a game. The lifelong Michael Jordan fan said he had a couple of other NBA teams show interest, but he has enjoyed his time playing in Chicago. "I was like, 'Man, I would love to play for the Bulls,' " he said. "On top of that with [Derrick] Rose, Joakim (Noah), we got so many great guys here and I was like, 'Why not?' How can you turn something like this down?" Robinson is still supporting the Seahawks and keeping an eye on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. "I watched him in college," Robinson said. "I watched what he was doing, he did good in the Pro Bowl, a lot of guys from the Seahawks did good in the Pro Bowl, so it just shows (Seattle area code) 206 is in the building."
Teammates support Rose's right to decide - Chicago Bulls Blog - ESPN Chicago
Bulls Rumors: Chicago Must Make a Deal at Trade Deadline | Bleacher Report Teammates support Rose's right to decide
HOUSTON -- Chicago Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah made it very clear Friday where he and his teammates stand on whether or not Derrick Rose should play this season.
The emotional leader of the Bulls said that he didn't want to put any pressure on Rose and only wanted the former MVP to come back if he was “100 percent.” He wasn't taken aback Wednesday night when Rose stated he “won't mind” sitting out the season if he doesn't really feel he is physically and mentally ready to play.
"It hasn't changed the whole time," Noah said. "It's always been the same thing. I don't understand why you guys are making a big deal out of it. It's always been that. He's always said that if I'm not 100 percent I'm not coming back and we know that for him to come back he needs to be 100 percent, there's no question about it. We don't want him to come back if he's not 100 percent. He needs to be healthy; there's obviously a bigger picture than just him coming back, it's about coming back and being able to play and be healthy."
All-Star forward and Bulls teammate Luol Deng echoed those sentiments.
"People are making the decision (based) on how we're playing and I keep saying it shouldn't be like that," Deng said. "The decision should be ‘How does Derrick feel?' If we were having a bad season and we were losing everyone would say Derrick should rest and think about the long run. But it almost feels like a little bit of selfishness and a little bit of greed in the fact that we're doing well so you want to add a little sugar into it and win it all. But at the same time we got to understand that, like Jo said, it's the long run, it's the bigger picture. It's not about 30 or 40 games left."
Deng understands that while it may be tough for Rose to re-adjust to the league, that shouldn't matter nearly as much as if Rose is ready to come back this season. Rose has been traveling with the Bulls since the first of the year.
"It will always be a challenge," Deng said. "But as hard as he's working I don't doubt that he's going to be, I believe he's going to be better than he was before. I think that this is a little bump on the road that's going to make him better and every competitor, every great player that goes through injury, they always push themselves to come back better and I think he will."
So how does Rose look in practice to his teammates?
"I see him, he looks OK, he looks fine," Noah said. "But it's not on me to say, it's not on any coaches to say, it's not on the media to say, it's on him. And I respect his decision either way because I know how bad he wants to come out there, but he has to be smart."
Bulls Rumors: Chicago Must Make a Deal at Trade Deadline
The Chicago Bulls may stand pat as the NBA trade deadline approaches, but that would be a huge mistake for the organization. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls might decide to remain idle through the Feb. 21 date:
In all likelihood, the Bulls will be very quiet come trade deadline, knowing they could be landing one of the premiere players in the league maybe as soon as Feb. 26, when the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town and Derrick Rose can write the final chapter of “The Return.’’Chicago has done a great job without Rose this season, posting a 30-22 record, which has put it in the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Cowley's speculative return date for Rose is extremely rosy, especially after reports have surfaced that Rose may not return at all this season, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
"I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."So, clearly Rose's return is nowhere near a certainty and that makes it all the more vital that the Bulls get a deal done.
Rumors have surfaced of late that the team was potentially seeking a deal for Toronto Raptors center Andrea Bargnani, with the intention of sending Carlos Boozer to Toronto, per Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
While that move would make sense from a financial standpoint—with the Bulls unloading Boozer's contract—the team would take a huge hit in the defense and rebounding departments, as Bargnani would be a downgrade in both areas.
Another rumor that has been swirling around in the past few days is the Bulls' possible interest in Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick, per Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld:
The Bulls have had a great season on the defensive end, but their biggest problem remains scoring. For the season, Chicago is No. 27 in the NBA in points per game (93.1), so an obvious upgrade is needed there. Alex Kennedy ✔ @AlexKennedyNBA
Source says the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls are among the teams pursuing Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick.
Rose would definitely give this team a huge boost on the offensive end of the floor, but again, he may not return at all this season and that would leave the Bulls flat without a much-needed scoring punch.
Redick would be a nice addition to the Bulls' ailing offensive game.
The Duke product is in the midst of his best season in the NBA. Redick is averaging 15.3 points per game, but has also made an all-around impact in Orlando with 4.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds per contest.
If the Bulls could land Redick, he would be a great fit to come off the bench. The 28-year-old is a threat from anywhere on the floor and is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc (nearly 46 percent from the field overall).
By comparison, the Bulls as a team are shooting 34 percent from long range and nearly 44 percent from the field, both good enough for No. 24 in the NBA.
However, if the Magic guard is not in the cards for Chicago, it would be wise to explore other options to help bolster its roster, as waiting for Rose is a risky proposition at best.
Even if Rose is unable to come back this season, the Bulls can't simply allow this season to pass in what will be a mostly wasted year. With a nice addition on offense, there's no question this team could compete in the NBA playoffs because of the sensational defense it plays.
Whatever move they can make, the Bulls need to pull the trigger in order to give themselves a better chance at success come playoff time—with or without Rose.
Huge game tonight: Heat @ Bulls Hopefully we can stop Miami's 27-game win streak. Gonna be really really tough. And I have a feeling that this is gonna be win #28.
Done and done.
Originally Posted by little bear
I'm trying//to let go//of maybe//but maybe's just so//very interesting//Oh, what a thing.
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