Archive for the ‘ Chicago Bulls Blog ’ Category

I know you’re all sitting out there thinking about how cool Gregg Popovich and Tom Thibodeau are. It’s a pretty standard topic to sit pondering about. But which of the two is cooler? Here is the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on Spurs guard Marco Belinelli as he discusses Popovich (his current coach) and Bulls coach Thibodeau (his former coach):

Marco Belinelli says Popovich is cooler than Thibodeau

Both are driven, defensive-oriented winners. All that appears to separate the two are Popovich’s four championships, and he’s three games away from a fifth after the Spurs beat the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

But Spurs reserve Marco Belinelli, who played under Thibodeau with the Bulls last season, offered up a different perspective. Apparently, their jewelry collection isn’t all that sets them apart.

Popovich might be the more likely of the two to grab a beer and shoot the breeze.

“They are different a little bit,” Belinelli said. “Thibodeau is a great coach, but maybe Pop is more like a cool guy. He wants to speak with you, have a conversation, speak about everything, not just basketball.”

Not that chitchatting with your players leads to victories.

Belinelli found a comfort zone in Popovich’s system and has improved his offensive efficiency from a season ago.

Here’s the Chicago Tribune reporting on a tragedy in NYC:

Taj Gibson mourns loss of 6-year-old nephew

New York police have arrested a man wanted in connection with the weekend stabbings of two children, one fatally, in a Brooklyn apartment elevator, officials said on Wednesday.

Daniel St. Hubert, 27, was arrested on Wednesday night in the borough of Queens. Hubert was wanted for the killing of 6-year-old Prince Joshua Avitto and the stabbing assault of 7-year-old Mikayla Capers, who were out buying ice cream on Sunday evening when they were attacked, officials said.

Avitto is the cousin of Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson.

Gibson posted a photo of his cousin to Instagram saying: “They killed my lil super man. #rippj only two more weeks until your 7 birthday. Tears forever…this can’t be life #foreversuperman #babycuzz”

Joakim Noah undergoes knee surgery

Joakim Noah undergoes knee surgery

The Chicago Bulls announced today that center Joakim Noah successfully underwent minor arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee. The procedure was performed at Rush Oak Park Hospital by Chicago Bulls head team physician Dr. Brian Cole.

He is expected to rehab his left knee during the offseason for the next eight to 12 weeks.

The Bulls were recently eliminated by the Washington Wizards in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs.

Noah this regular season averaged 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, and made the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

Watch video highlights of the top Joakim Noah plays from the 2013-14 Bulls season:

Here’s some NBA video footage of John Wall and the Wizards, who on Tuesday eliminated the Bulls in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs:

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times with an update on Bulls small forward Mike Dunleavy:

Entering Game 4 on Sunday, the odds were that Mike Dunleavy wouldn’t be able to replicate his 35-point performance from Game 3.

Then again, the odds were even worse that he would have a six-point clunker, a major reason the Bulls find themselves down 3-1 in the series after losing 98-89.

Dunleavy’s performance was partly because of a bruised left thumb he suffered when he took a charge Sunday. After the game, he had the hand in a cup of ice, but he said it wouldn’t affect him. He should be ready for Game 5 on Tuesday at the United Center.

“It’s my left [non-shooting] hand, and it’s not going to make a difference for me,” Dunleavy said.

Even with the team’s “X-factor” suspended, the Washington Wizards had a No. 42 sitting next to the bench. The 57-year-old with graying hair couldn’t box out or grab a rebound, but owner Ted Leonsis waved his red towel and egged on a cheering crowd that chanted “Free Nene!”

The Wizards did just fine without the suspended Brazilian forward. They scored the first 14 points and beat the Chicago Bulls 98-89 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series.

“I thought it was pretty hilarious that Ted had Nene’s jersey on,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “It kind of threw me off for a minute, but then I looked and seen it was Ted.”

Nene or not, the Wizards did what they’ve done all series: Take a quick lead and force the Bulls to use up energy trying to catch up. It was 15-8 in Game 3, 29-12 in Game 2, 19-13 in Game 1. Washington, seeking to win a playoff series for only the third time since the 1970s, can finish off the Bulls on the road in Game 5 on Tuesday night…

Trevor Ariza, getting some of the early looks that might have gone to Nene, scored a career playoff-high 30 points, making 6 of 10 3-pointers. Beal had 18 points, and John Wall added 15 points and 10 assists for the Wizards, who forced 16 turnovers and committed only six.

– Associated Press

Washington Wizards forward-center Nene has been suspended one game without pay for head-butting and grabbing guard-forward Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls around the neck with both hands and attempting to throw him down, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, in which Nene received two technical fouls and was ejected from the game, occurred with 8:28 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 100-97 loss to the visiting Chicago Bulls last night at Verizon Center. Nene will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Wizards host Chicago.

To view video of the play, click on this link.

Tuesday in Chicago, the Washington Wizards beat the Bulls 101-99 in overtime to take a 2-0 series lead. Wizards guard Bradley Beal shot 9-of-20 for 26 points, 7 rebounds and two steals in the win. John Wall is the star guard in the Wizards backcourt, but Beal is on the rise. Here are some video highlights:

Here’s the Washington Post reporting on the Wizards, who have played two NBA playoff games against the Bulls, both in Chicago, and won both. Nice position to be in:

The Washington Wizards had to wait six years to get back to the postseason. But they only needed two games to really get introduced to playoff basketball, with more physical play, short tempers and extreme rallies. In the intense cauldron of United Center — a place that has devoured more seasoned units — the Wizards refused to relent after watching a 17-point lead turn into a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, and didn’t crumble when they were betrayed by missed free throws and calls that went against them.

The Wizards have been through several ups and downs during the regular season, and they staged a game against the Chicago Bulls that matched those emotional oscillations. Relying upon the scoring of its youngest player, Bradley Beal, and the guile of Nene, Washington took a two-games-to-none lead in this best of seven series with a 101-99 overtime victory in which it outscrapped and outwilled the Bulls.

“I wanted our guys to be greedy,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said. “Nothing is guaranteed. We’ve got two wins, you’ve got to get to four. We have to continue to understand how we won these games and the way we went about it.”

Beal scored a game-high 26 points and Nene scored 17, with six coming in overtime, as the Wizards accomplished their mission of returning to Washington for Friday’s Game 3 with two wins. Grasping to a two-point lead in the closing seconds, Nene fouled out while contesting Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich on a driving layup, sending the former Wizard to the free throw line with 2.4 seconds remaining.

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, the centerpiece of a defense which held opponents to a league-low 91.8 ppg, is the recipient of the 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Noah becomes the first Bulls player since Michael Jordan in 1987-88 to earn the honor.

Noah received 555 of a possible 1,125 points, including 100 first-place votes, from a panel of 125 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Indiana’s Roy Hibbert (166 points, eight first-place votes) and the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (121 points, eight first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.

Noah, who appeared in 80 of Chicago’s 82 games, ranked sixth in the NBA in rebounding (11.3 rpg), 12th in blocks (1.51 bpg) and added 1.24 steals. He was one of just three players (Detroit’s Andre Drummond and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis) to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. Behind Noah, the Bulls held opponents to a .430 field goal percentage, second-stingiest in the league.

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on the Wizards, who are set to face the Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs:

It’s a nice badge to carry into the playoffs: The team no one wants to play.

It even has a tinge of intimidation to it, that is, if the Bulls were actually facing a team that was susceptible to intimidation.

But they aren’t.

The Washington Wizards have little to lose, especially when all they’ve been hearing is they’re destined for elimination by next week.

“Why would they pick us?’’ Wizards center Marcin Gortat told the Washington Post on Friday when asked about all the predictions from the so-called experts favoring the Bulls. “First of all, Chicago is an experienced team. They have a lot of good players every year. The pressure is on them. I don’t understand why we should be mad. This is a good team, and we’ve just got to beat them. We’ve got to focus on our team.’’

Bulls sign Greg Smith, waive Tornike Shengelia

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has requested waivers on Tornike Shengelia (TOR-Neek Shen-ge-liya), and signed forward Greg Smith for the remainder of the season

Smith (6-10, 250), has played two-plus seasons in the NBA for the Houston Rockets where he appeared in 89 regular-season games (10 starts). During that time, he has posted career averages of 5.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 0.53 bpg in 14.4 mpg, while shooting .623 from the field and .615 from the free throw line. This season, Smith played in 11 games for the Rockets and averaged 3.5 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 9.1 mpg.

Shengelia (6-9, 220), was acquired from Brooklyn in exchange for guard Marquis Teague on January 21. He appeared in nine games for the Bulls and averaged 0.4 ppg and 0.2 rpg in 1.9 mpg. In his NBA career, Shengelia has appeared in 45 games and averaged 1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg and 0.4 apg in 5.5 mpg, while shooting .451 from the field.

Chicago’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

mike james

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed guard Mike James and forward Lou Amundson (Ah-mund-son) for the remainder of the season. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contracts were not announced.

James (6-2, 188), an 11-year NBA veteran, appeared in 11 games with Chicago earlier this year and averaged 1.0 ppg, 1.5 apg and 0.6 rpg in 7.0 mpg. For his career, James has appeared 595 regular season games (286 starts) and averaged 9.9 ppg, 3.5 apg and 2.2 rpg in 24.1 mpg, while shooting .417 from the field, .379 from deep and .802 from the free throw line. James has also played in 33 playoff games and averaged 4.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 1.2 apg in 11.9 mpg.

lou amundson

Amundson (6-9, 225), a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 345 regular season games (seven starts). During that time, he has posted averages of 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 0.72 bpg in 12.7 mpg, while shooting .491 from the field and .436 from the free throw line. Amundson has also played in 29 playoff games and averaged 2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 0.41 bpg in 10.3 mpg.

A native of Ventura, Calif., Amundson most recently played for the New Orleans Pelicans. While with the Pelicans earlier this season, he saw action in 18 games and averaged 2.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 0.61 bpg in 10.2 mpg. For his career, he has also played with Philadelphia (twice), Utah, Phoenix, Golden State, Indiana, and Chicago during the 2012-13 season.

James will wear No. 8 and Amundson will wear No. 17.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15 players.

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent guard/forward Ronnie Brewer for the remainder of the season.

Brewer (6-7, 235) is currently in his eighth year in the NBA. After being drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 14th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Brewer spent three-plus seasons in Utah. In addition to the Jazz, Brewer has also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. Earlier this season, he appeared in 23 games (three starts) with the Rockets, and averaged 0.3 ppg and 0.6 rpg in 6.9 mpg.

In seven-plus seasons in the NBA, he has played in 501 regular season games (304 starts) and averaged 7.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, and 1.24 spg in 23.0 mpg. The 29-year old Brewer has also made six trips (47 games; 17 starts) to the NBA playoffs, where he has averaged 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 1.2 apg in 18.2 mpg.

Brewer will wear No. 11.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 13 players.

Chicago Bulls waive Erik Murphy

Chicago Bulls waive Erik Murphy

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has requested waivers on Erik Murphy.

Murphy (6-10, 230) appeared in 24 games with Chicago, and averaged 0.3 ppg in 2.6 mpg. He was selected by Chicago in the second round (49th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft.

Chicago’s roster now stands at just 12 players, for the moment at least.

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on the Bulls:

Pick an excuse: lack of depth, bad calls, missed shots, poor rebounding, flopping. The list went on and on for the Bulls on Friday night.

The Bulls are still a feel-good story, but not every story has a happy ending. Certainly not in Indiana.

Thanks to a 19-0 run in the third quarter, the Pacers pulled away from the Bulls in a 91-79 laugher.

And, as coach Tom Thibodeau pointed out, losing the rebounding battle 51-36 is never a good thing. And reserve big man Taj Gibson fouling out because the Pacers have “floppers’’ doesn’t help. But depth seemed to be the difference. It was a big reason why Indiana (51-18) outscored the Bulls 31-19 in the third quarter to put the game on ice.

“You can use that as an excuse if you want,’’ Thibodeau said when asked about the Bulls’ lack of depth being exposed. “I choose not to.”

On Thursday, the Chicago Bulls beat the Houston Rockets 111-87. Bulls starting small forward Mike Dunleavy shot 8-of-15, with 4-of-6 three-pointers, for 21 points and seven rebounds in the win. Here are some Dunleavy video highlights:

Here’s ESPN Chicago with an update on injured Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. There’s still no reason to expect to see him playing an NBA game until next season:

Derrick Rose still not close to practicing with Bulls

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau maintains that rehabbing point guard Derrick Rose is “nowhere near ready” to practice, but Rose is starting to do a little more on the court as he recovers from a torn meniscus in his right knee.

“He’s basically about the same,” Thibodeau said. “He’s doing a little bit more, a little bit more running now. But he’s still nowhere near ready to practice. But he’s doing well. His spirit’s strong, body feels good, so just keep concentrating on the rehab, be a great teammate, and that’s what he’s doing.”

Rose is starting to jump more while taking shots, at least in the brief snippet of practice the media has been able to watch.

Everybody knows that LeBron James is an NBA great. But it’s always fun hearing top basketball minds describe LeBron in their own particular words. Here’s ESPN Chicago quoting Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau:

Tom Thibodeau has been around professional basketball for well more than two decades. He has a passion for the game and the intricacies that separate the good players from the great ones. He studies compulsively to try to make sure his Chicago Bulls team always has an advantage when it steps onto the floor. That’s why his praise of Miami Heat superstar LeBron James is so telling. When asked Saturday to compare James to another player he’s watched or coached against in years past, Thibodeau didn’t hesitate.

“Nobody,” Thibodeau said.

“Because you’re combining the speed, the power, the skills, the passing, the vision. I can’t recall anyone that I’ve coached against that’s like that. There’s nothing that he doesn’t do. He’s great with the ball, great without the ball, can post, can drive, can shoot, can really pass. If you overcommit to him he’s going to make you really pay. And he keeps getting better every year. So he’s an all-time great.”

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