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Jimmy Butler

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry were today named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in October/November.

Butler led Chicago and ranked ninth in the NBA scoring (21.9 ppg) as the Bulls posted an 11-6 mark, good for first place in the Central Division. He topped the 20-point mark 11 times, including two 30-point outings, raising his scoring average more than eight points from last season, when he averaged 13.1 points. Butler shot .498 from the field while posting seven games with double-figure free throw attempts to rank fourth in the NBA in free throw attempts per game (8.8). Butler also led the NBA in minutes (39.3 mpg).

stephen curry

Curry guided the Warriors to a 14-2 record to start the season, ranking fifth in the NBA in scoring (23.8 ppg) and assists (7.8 apg), seventh in steals (1.94 spg), third in free throw percentage (.923) and second in three-point field goals made (51). He was one of two players in the NBA to shoot at least 49 percent from the field (.496), 40 percent from three-point range (.418) and 90 percent (.923) from the free throw line. Curry posted four 30-point games and one 40-point game. He also dished out at least five assists in all 16 games.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Houston’s James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Miami’s Chris Bosh, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, and Washington’s John Wall.

Here’s ESPN Chicago reporting on the Bulls, who are currently in Brooklyn, New York playing the Nets. Chi-town remains without the services of forward Taj Gibson.

Taj Gibson recovering from ankle sprain

Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson remains unsure when he will return to the floor as he continues to recover from a sprained left ankle suffered against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 21.

“He felt pretty good [Saturday],” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before Sunday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. “There’s no timetable, but we’ll see where he is [Monday], but he’s feeling a lot better.”

Gibson has had trouble with the same ankle several times over the past year and has been open about how he needs to be cautious this time with his rehab.

Jimmy Butler confident that his future is with Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have a good thing going. Good team chemistry, and potential for big things assuming key players stay healthy. A big part of that is shooting guard Jimmy Butler, who didn’t shoot well last season (13.1 ppg on 39.7% FG) but otherwise is a very good all-around player, especially as a defender. He’s a key part of the team. Will he be around in the future? Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting:

Jimmy Butler confident that his future is with Bulls

Jimmy Butler not only is “betting on himself.’’ He’s wagering that a new $24 billion television deal will keep him in Chicago.

The Bulls guard and his agent, Happy Walters, walked away from a take-it-or-leave-it offer from the Bulls on Friday. Even with the deadline having passed and Butler officially becoming a restricted free agent in July, the former first-round pick was confident that the sides would reach a deal down the road.

“People say I’m chasing money when that’s not it — yeah, get your mic closer — that’s not it, because I’m going to be in Chicago,’’ Butler said Saturday. “I’m not worried about it. I say that with a smile on my face because I know that for a fact. We’ll resume [negotiations] in July.’’

Chicago Bulls exercise contract option on Tony Snell

Bulls exercise contract option on Tony Snell

The Chicago Bulls have exercised their third-year contract option for the 2015-16 season for guard Tony Snell.

This move means Snell will be under contract with Chicago for the 2015-16 season.

Snell (6-7, 200), appeared in 77 games (12 starts) during his rookie campaign and posted averages of 4.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg in 16.0 mpg. He also shot .384 from the floor, .320 from behind the arc and .756 from the line. This past summer at the 2014 NBA Summer League, Snell was named to the Samsung All-NBA Summer League First Team. In five summer league games, he posted averages of 20.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 2.8 apg in 30.2 mpg. He also shot .466 from the floor, .500 from three-point range and .833 from the free-throw line. Snell was selected by the Bulls in the first round (20th overall) in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Jimmy Butler thumb injury is a sprain

Jimmy Butler

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler injured his left thumb in Monday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Subsequent examinations and an MRI confirmed that Butler has a sprain of thumb ligaments.

Butler will not practice this week and will not play in the Bulls’ final preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He will be re-evaluated after that.

The Chicago Bulls are a very good team but for them to be great, point guard Derrick Rose needs to be his former superstar self again. Without D-Rose at his explosive and effective best, the team simply lacks the offensive firepower to rise to a championship level.

We’re only 1.5 weeks into preseason, so there’s no need to panic, but here’s ESPN Chicago with quotes from Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau:

Derrick Rose continues to take incremental steps forward in his return from a torn medial meniscus in his right knee, but Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau would like to see his star point guard play better.

“The thing is, in order for him to get his timing he’s got to play and he’s got to work,” Thibodeau said after Monday’s shootaround. “Right now, his timing’s not there. So it’s a big adjustment for everyone because everyone has to get used to what he does on the floor. And the only way you can do that is by being out there. So we’ll see.”

Rose played more minutes during Saturday’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks, as did Joakim Noah. After playing 14 minutes in each of the first two contests, Rose played 22 minutes, while Noah played 24 minutes after missing Tuesday’s game as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery.

joakim noah

Washington Wizards players DeJuan Blair, Nene, Daniel Orton and Xavier Silas were suspended one game for leaving the bench area during an altercation between Chicago Bulls’ center Joakim Noah and Washington Wizards’ forward Paul Pierce.

Additionally, Noah has been fined $15,000 for initiating an altercation with Pierce by pushing him in the chest and Pierce has been fined $15,000 for hitting Noah in the forehead with his left index finger, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

paul pierce

The incident occurred with 8:57 remaining in the first quarter of the Wizards’ 85-81 win over the Bulls on Monday, October 6, at United Center.

The suspensions will be served during the first regular season game for which each player is eligible and physically able to play.

Photo: Derrick Rose, stretching

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is back in action, and will hopefully, with time, play like the superstar D-Rose of the past. Here he is, getting loose:

bulls training camp

I haven’t heard that Ben Hansbrough is considered an NBA-level talent, but he’ll have a chance to prove people wrong now that the Chicago Bulls have added him, along with Kim English and Solomon Jones, to their 2014-15 training camp.

More info on Bulls camp additions here:

http://www.insidehoops.com/bulls-sign-kim-english-092614.shtml

The Chicago Bulls finished last season with a 48-34 record. Enjoy these video highlights showcasing many of their best plays from 2013-14:

Chicago Bulls re-sign Nazr Mohammed

Chicago Bulls re-sign Nazr Mohammed

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has re-signed center Nazr Mohammed (pronounced “NAH-zee”).

Last season with the Bulls, Mohammed saw action in 80 games (one start) and averaged 1.6 ppg and 2.2 rpg in 7.0 mpg. He also appeared in two of Chicago’s five playoff contests.

A 16-year veteran of the NBA, Mohammed has also played with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2010-12), the Charlotte Bobcats (2007-10), the Detroit Pistons (2006-08), the San Antonio Spurs (2004-06), the New York Knicks (2003-05), the Atlanta Hawks (2000-04) and the Philadelphia 76ers (1998-01). In 977 career games, he has posted averages of 5.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 0.65 bpg in 16.1 mpg. He owns career shooting averages of .487 from the field and .640 from the line.

Chicago Bulls sign E`Twaun Moore

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed guard E’Twaun Moore (EE-twan).

Moore (6-4, 191), comes to the Bulls after spending the last two seasons with the Orlando Magic. Drafted out of Purdue University in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft (55th overall) by the Boston Celtics, Moore spent one season with the Celtics (2011-12).

Last season with the Magic, Moore appeared in 79 games (three starts) and averaged 6.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg and 1.4 apg in 19.1 mpg. He shot .428 from the field, .354 from downtown and .765 from the line.

A native of East Chicago, Ind., Moore has played in 192 regular season games (24 starts) and posted averages of 6.2 ppg, 1.8 apg, 1.8 rpg, 18.3 mpg, .407 field goal shooting, .350 three-point shooting and .791 from the line.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Team USA and Bulls guard Derrick Rose:

Derrick Rose feeling fine as World Cup action continues

Rose has seemed more at ease since the squad left the United States for Europe. He’s facing all the questions about his knees from nosy reporters head-on, even after Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN.com last week that he sensed “a part of [Rose] that’s like, ‘Quit asking me how I feel, I’m good.’”

“I’m just trying to put that behind me,” Rose said of any trepidation he’s feeling as he ramps up his comeback from the two devastating injuries that limited him to 10 games over the past two seasons with the Bulls.

“I know the questions are going to come and they’re going to be there the whole year. So I can’t get tired of it. I’m feeling good right now.

“Just trying to get in better shape, get in better condition, so that when I do need to score the ball, then it’ll be there.”

Before the tournament started, Rose likened the prospect of five games in the first six days of the World Cup to an “AAU-type schedule.”

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Team USA:

derrick rose

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose was a last-minute scratch Wednesday night from Team USA’s exhibition game against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden.

Rose was scheduled to play Wednesday despite sitting out practices Monday and Tuesday to rest his sore knees after making his return to a game for the first time in eight months Saturday night in an exhibition victory over Brazil in Chicago.

One source familiar with Team USA’s plans told ESPN.com that Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski decided to hold Rose out of the Dominican Republic game to make more minutes available for players vying for one of the squad’s last few roster spots as final cuts approach.

Rose participated in shootaround Wednesday morning and, according to one source present, moved “well” throughout the session after sitting out the last two practices.

Enjoy these video highlights of Team USA’s recent training sessions in Chicago from August 14-16 as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup tournament:

Fort Wayne Mad Ants holding open tryouts

Dream of playing in the NBA? Realize that dream won’t come true? How about another dream that still probably won’t come true but is at least slightly more realistic?

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants announced today that they will hold open tryouts on September 14th in Chicago, Illinois for the 2014-15 NBA Development League season. The open tryout in Chicago will be the second of several tryouts held by the Mad Ants across the country leading up to the 2014-15 season.

The Chicago tryout will take place on Sunday, September 14th from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the Quest Multisport Complex located at 2641 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612. Check-in begins at 1:00 p.m. and the tryout will begin at 2:00 p.m.

The Mad Ants local player tryouts offer athletes an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ coaching staff. Players will compete to earn an invitation to the team’s training camp, which will begin in early November.

Players who are interested in trying out for the Mad Ants in Chicago should submit the official registration and release forms, in addition to a $150 non-refundable fee to the Mad Ants office. Late registration is $200 for all forms received after Thursday, September 11th. Payments must be made by money order or cashier’s check. Application forms are available on the Mad Ants’ website at www.fortwaynehoops.com.

Derrick Rose says he has faith, not fear

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who is currently in training camp with Team USA as they prepare for the FIBA World Cup tournament, which begins August 30:

Derrick Rose says he does not fear additional injury

After all, two season-ending knee surgeries for Rose since the 2012 postseason, as well as being on the court when Paul George went down with a horrific leg injury in Vegas, would be a spooky reminder for most players.

“No, I have no fears. I have faith,’’ Rose said defiantly, when asked about his own basketball mortality. “I know that I’m going to be fine. I know that I busted my ass the entire two summers. You can say two seasons to get back to where I am right now. And just try and keep it moving, stay positive every day, do everything consistent like I’ve been doing.’’

What he’s been doing has been an eye-opener for the Bulls, as well as Team USA, as the 2011 MVP continued to look like the guy who carried a franchise before his knees betrayed him.

“Every time I step on the floor it’s something to prove,’’ Rose said. “I have my own little goals in my head, I have my own little things that motivate me in my head that I keep to myself. But every time I step on the floor I try to produce.’’

Joakim Noah should OK for training camp

Here’s ESPN Chicago reporting good news for the Bulls:

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah says he will be “ready” for training camp as he continues rehabbing from arthroscopic left knee surgery.

“I feel pretty good,” Noah told ESPNChicago.com on Sunday during a promotional event for Adidas. “Obviously I have a ways to go, but I’m excited. When I see what our team looks like, I think that Gar [Forman] and Pax [John Paxon] put together a very solid team and I’m really excited about next year.”

Noah was hobbled throughout the postseason after a season in which he earned the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The knee injury came at the end of a long season in which he was also voted to the first team All-NBA squad at center. Noah spent some time Sunday being part of a few laid back 3-on-3 games set up by the sneaker company as part of the launch of its “boost” campaign.

Derrick Rose ready for USA Basketball

Remember Bulls guard Derrick Rose? He was awesome for a while, and won league MVP at a young age. And then has mostly been injured. But is set to return, on the international stage this offseason. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Derrick Rose ready for USA Basketball

Everyone associated with Derrick Rose’s second straight serious knee rehabilitation has said the process has gone smoothly.

Now, it’s finally time to publicly see the results.

Rose on Monday will be one of 19 players at USA Basketball’s five-day minicamp in Las Vegas. The week begins the process that will include a three-day August stint in Chicago and culminate with a 12-man roster traveling to Spain for the FIBA Basketball World Cup from late August to mid-September.

Rose hasn’t answered questions about his basketball performance since scoring 19 points in 33 minutes during a Bulls’ loss at Denver last Nov. 21.

Video: Carlos Boozer Bulls highlights

Enjoy these video highlights of good Carlos Boozer moments with the Bulls. Chicago recently waived Boozer via amnesty clause, and the Lakers snatched him up for the upcomnig season.

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