Bulls

Bulls Draft: Shooting guard breakdown

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Bulls Draft: Shooting guard breakdown

Off-season acquisition Rip Hamilton did not bring stability the Bulls had hoped for, as the 13-year veteran appeared in just 28 games and averaged 11.6 points, the lowest mark since his rookie season in Washington.

His productivity picked up toward the end of the year, and his injury-plagued season can be somewhat linked to the lockout-shortened season. But at 34 years old, Hamilton cant be counted on as an everyday starter.

Kyle Korver enjoyed one of the best shooting seasons of his career. The 6-foot-7 wing connected on more than 43 percent of his 3-pointers, the second-best mark of his career, behind only the blistering 53.6 percent he shot from beyond the arc in 2009-10.

Jimmy Butler and Ronnie Brewer, both natural small forwards, also saw time at shooting guard when the Bulls used a bigger lineup. C.J. Watson played alongside Derrick Rose at times, as well.

Bulls history

Since 2000, the Bulls have made 29 draft selections. They have spent five of those selections on shooting guards: 2000: A.J. Guyton (Indiana); 2002: Roger Mason (Virginia); 2004: Ben Gordon (Connecticut); 2007: JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State); 2008: Sonny Weems (Arkansas)
What the Bulls need in a shooting guard

As the most inconsistent position in Chicago last year, the Bulls need a scorer. Luol Dengs ability to play on the perimeter took some pressure off Rose, but the Bulls could use another shooter to open up the offense. With the contract statuses of Korver and Brewer in the air (which well discuss next week), depth at the position would be a warm welcome to a position that needs improvement.

Top 11 2011 Draft prospects
1. Bradley Beal, Florida Comparisons to a young Ray Allen may be a bit much, but the 6-foot-3 Beal has the makings of a premier shooter and will be off the board within the first four picks.

2. Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut The lanky wing averaged 17.7 points per game in his sophomore season, but will need to put on some more muscle before he reaches his full potential in the NBA.
3. Terrence Ross, Washington At 6-foot-6, Ross brings a great skill set to the table as a slasher, above-average rebounder and underrated passer. He will need to improve on his shooting, as he shot just 37 percent from beyond the arc last year.

4. Austin Rivers, Duke Playing primarily point guard last year for the Blue Devils, Rivers oozes with potential at 19 years old.

5. Doron Lamb, Kentucky The Wildcats sharpshooter last year, Lamb shot better than 46 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 13.7 points per game.

6. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt No one in college basketball made more 3-pointers (129) than the SECs two-time scoring champion.

7. Evan Fournier, France One of the top international prospects, Fournier has an impressive mid-range game and can get to the basket. At just 19 years old, hell need to add strength at the next level.

8. Will Barton, Memphis Aggrey Sams choice for the Bulls in his most recent mock draft, Barton would bring versatility and length give him a chance to crack the rotation right away for a Bulls team that will likely have several new faces.

9. Orlando Johnson, UC-Santa Barbara Johnson has excellent length and averaged 19.7 points per game last year for the Guachos.

10. Jared Cunningham, Oregon State At 6-foot-5, Cunningham possesses great athleticism and court vision, but needs improvement on his outside shot.

11. William Buford, Ohio State A four-year starter for the Buckeyes, Buford struggled from the outside his senior season but has great size and is a solid defender.

NOTE: Dion Waiters was included in the point guard rankings.

Analysis

The Bulls reported desire to move into the Lottery could certainly be to go after a shooting guard. Beal will be gone but every other name above may be available toward the back-end of the top-14 picks. This years class is full of capable scorers, and if the Bulls stay their current position (No. 29) Doron Lamb, Jenkins, Fournier and Barton will all be in the mix. Most of the prospects will need some seasoning early, but could help the Bulls scoring woes at the position at some point next season.

Of the five positions, its most logical that the Bulls would go after a shooting guard with their first pick, but if their cap room dictates they can keep Korver and Brewer, the best player available will be chosen. Still, Korver (31 years old) and Hamilton (34) arent getting any younger, so Gar Forman and John Paxson will need to address the position sooner than later.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors

Is there any better way to break in your new Black Friday television than Bulls-Warriors tonight? We think not. Coverage starts at 9 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live, and the game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports app

Here are three things to keep your eye on: 

1. Not the score. Let's be honest: the Bulls probably won't sneak out a win at the Oracle. In fact, ESPN's matchup predictor only gives Fred Hoiberg's young squad a 2.9 percent chance to come up victorious. UIC has three times better odds against juggernaut Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Sunday, in case you needed some context.  

With the talent gap in mind, though, it will be important for the Bulls to come out with high energy. The Warriors will likely take the contest lightly in the first half, so starting off strong reflects well on the coaching staff and starters. Stay within 10 points by the half, and that's considered a massive triumph. 

2. Lauri Markkanen vs. Draymond Green? Assuming the Dubs start out with Green on Markkanen, this will be rookie's biggest test of the season. Green is an elite defender, capable of wrecking gameplans from the tip. He's physical, quick and athletic. 

Markkanen is coming off two duds on the West Coast trip, but his aggressiveness hasn't wavered. It'll be important for him to continue to attack even with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year hounding him. 

3. Steph, KD and Klay doin' work. The Bulls offense hasn't exactly been a thing of beauty through the first 16 games. Their offensive rating is a brutal 94.4, ranked last in the NBA. Golden State, on the other hand, sits at the top with a rating of 113.1. 

Take some time to admire the skills of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson because when it comes to working cohesively on offense, they've set the gold standard. 

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

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USA TODAY

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

Families gather and people talk about things they are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but what are Chicago sports fans happy for now?

Raised expectations on the North Side

Got to be thankful that a “disappointing” season is winning the division and losing in the NLCS. The expectations have skyrocketed, and that’s thanks to a ridiculous nucleus of bats and a steady front office. Not many clubs can say that. Also, though, it’s important to be appreciative of the Wrigley bar stretch. They may charge $8 for a Miller Lite, but it’s always a damn good party.

Javy tags, too. Don't forget Javy tags.

Rebuild sparking hope in White Sox fans

Where to begin? Obviously, be thankful for the plethora of young talent that will soon take over the South Side. Be thankful for Avi Time (while you still can). Be thankful that taking your friends or family to a game won’t cause you to take out a second mortgage. Be thankful for the 2020 World Series and, of course, 2020 MVP Eloy Jimenez. But most importantly, be thankful that Rick Hahn’s phone stays buzzing.

Eddie O back in the booth for the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are having a rough start to the season, but at least Eddie Olczyk is back in the booth. The longtime Blackhawks broadcaster returned to the booth on Oct. 18 after missing time while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer.

With some of the key names from the Blackhawks’ title runs either leaving or being unable to play this season (in the case of Marian Hossa), Blackhawks fans are probably thankful to see a familiar face and hear a familiar voice during games.

Lauri Markkanen leading the Bulls rebuild

OK, there’s not much to be thankful for about the current Bulls team. At 3-13, the Bulls are tied for the fewest wins in the NBA (maybe in the long-term that’s something to be thankful for as well). However, Zach LaVine’s pending debut after his eventual return from injury should help create some excitement.

The thing Bulls fans really should be thankful for this year is the play of rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 20-year-old leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game) while shooting at a high percentage (34.2 percent on threes and 50.6 percent on twos). It’s only the beginning of the Bulls’ rebuild, but Markkanen is a good start.

Mitchapalooza

If a few things broke the Bears’ way, Chicagoans could have been grateful that the team was finally out of the cellar. Instead, we’ll settle for the fact that there seems to be some building blocks already in place. Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks seem to fit that category. Also, some may be thankful that this is likely John Fox’s last season at the helm.

Fire ending a playoff drought

After finishing dead last in MLS in 2015 and 2016, the Fire were one of the most improved teams in the league in 2017. After posting the third best record in the league, the Fire made a first playoff appearance since 2012.

The playoff run didn’t last long with the Fire losing a play-in game at home, but the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger and the league’s leading goal-scorer, Nemanja Nikolic, helped fill the stadium with six sellouts and gave Fire fans something to cheer for.