Bulls

Ask Aggrey: Asik, Rip hot topics

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Ask Aggrey: Asik, Rip hot topics

Having just arrived in my current home after leaving one of my former residences, it occurred to me that one of the reasons I love both cities Philadelphia and Chicago is that both are extremely passionate places.

One thing Ill give Chicago the edge in is consistency, as the Bulls were among the NBAs best in attendance even in the post-Jordan era.

Philadelphia, on the other hand, while equally passionate about the game of basketball, shows its disenchantment with the Sixers when the team isnt doing well, which made it good to see a raucous crowd in the Wells Fargo (not Wachovia, as it was during my college days) Center last night.

I was reminded, however, of how over-the-top the city can be on my way to the airport this morning, when my cab driver, a nice fellow who was chatting with me about his journey from Lebanon to Philly, got into it with a cyclist. After getting flipped off by the cyclist, he sped up, almost ran him off the street, cut him off, jumped out of the cab and proceeded to threaten the poor guy with bodily harm.

Just another day in the City of Brotherly Love, but since thats neither here nor there, Ill show my appreciation for the Windy City by answering another round of your questions.

What do you attribute the regression of Omer's play to this year? Do you think he still has "starter" potential in the NBA? -- Benjamin

Benjamin, I believe Omer was more adversely affected by the lockout than perhaps any other player on the Bulls. After suffering a fractured left tibia against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, he had very little time to rehab the injury before playing for Turkey in last summers FIBA EuroBasket event.

While he appeared to make some progress on the offensive end in that tournament, he also played heavy minutes and didnt get much rest until it was over, causing him to delay the conditioning process for the upcoming season. Ive heard that if the lockout ended up causing a cancellation of the regular season, he had no interest in playing professionally overseas.

That said, I believe Omer still has a chance to be a starter in the league, though not ahead of Joakim Noah. Omer is regarded as one of the NBAs premier defensive centers already and as the saying goes, you cant teach size. If he was playing for Miami, for example, would he not be an upgrade from Joel Anthony?

Omer certainly has weaknesses, but as a second-year pro, I believe he has plenty of time to correct some of his deficiencies. In fact, now that Luol Deng has ascended to All-Star status, I believe Omer and C.J. Watson are the most underappreciated Bulls.

Who (or what position) do you think the Bulls will target in this summer's draft? I know it's early but I really love everything related to the draft. -- Anthony

Anthony, the draft is always tricky for teams like the Bulls, who are deep, relatively young, yet still experienced. Like every other team in the league, theyre constantly evaluating talent, but when the draft comes around, they understand they might not have access to who they could be targeting, simply because of their low position.

Another thing to keep in mind is only certain players make sense for the system and personnel that they have. I remember last spring, when a lot of fans were clamoring for MarShon Brooks, whos having a solid debut campaign in New Jersey. Brooks is an excellent scorer, but unlike Jimmy Butler, hes not exactly a stellar defender, which wouldnt have gone over too well with Thibs.

Also, not to say Brooks is better than Jimmy or will be better in the long run, but where, exactly, would the Bulls find room for him with Rip now healthy? While Thibs did play Omer as a rookie, his hand was forced by Carlos Boozers early-season injury, then Joakim getting hurt.

But to answer your question, I cant say the Bulls have locked in on any one player, in particular its still somewhat early and with college conference tournament season here, scouts and executives all over the league are watching for breakout players though I can see them focusing on adding a defensive-minded big man, with the possibility that Omer or Taj Gibson leaves in the future.

Of course, another shooter couldnt hurt as long as Derrick is in town and theres always a chance they use a pick as an asset to include in a trade. I could give you some names now, but Im positive that list will be different in a month, so check back in with me in April and I can give you a clearer picture then.

Why don't the Bulls just sit Rip Hamilton for the next month or so to make sure he is healthy by the time the playoffs come? -- Tyler

Tyler, Rip is aware of the widely-held opinion out there that the Bulls should be even more cautious with him, to guarantee his health when the postseason arrives. Hes not sensitive about it, but doesnt agree with the notion. I told him that there are worse things for people to say about a player and it only reflects his reputation as a winner, but his argument is that the regular season is also important, as its always better when a team is rolling heading into the playoffs.

The organization is respectful of Rips significant experience 13 years in the league, multiple conference finals with Detroit, two Finals appearances and a championship as well as his knowledge of his own body, especially with his reputation as one of the leagues best-conditioned players, so it mostly defers to his judgment.

Personally, I think its the best course of action and since hes been back in the lineup, its clear that his mere presence has really opened things up.
Which team scares you the most for an opening round series in the playoffs? I'm personally very afraid of playing a much-improved Pacers team. -- Kiersten

Kiersten, Indiana indeed is a team to be reckoned with, as is Philadelphia, the Bulls opponent in the first half of the back-to-back, but neither is likely to be a first-round foe. In fact, both the Pacers and Sixers are in line to host an opening-round series of their own, meaning that either could face the Bulls (with the other likely looking at Miami) in the second round.

As far as scary first-round teams, Id have to go with New York. A lot could happen between now and the end of the season, but assuming the Knicks dont make another big push and none of the teams slightly ahead of them take a second-half nosedive, both the Bulls and Heat are probably crossing their fingers that they face the aging Celtics in the first round instead.

New Yorks athleticism and offensive firepower are formidable, and now that they have a legitimate point guard whether you think Linsanity is overblown or not, the kid can play; Baron Davis willingness to contribute in a backup role also doesnt hurt to distribute to Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, shooters like J.R. Smith and Steve Novak and defensive-minded role players such as Tyson Chandler, Jared Jeffries and rookie Iman Shumpert, a Chicago native, even surviving a series Mike DAntonis run-and-gun bunch could take a lot out of a team.

How did you get to become the Bulls beat writer? What did your road there consist of? -- Marcus

Marcus, becoming the Bulls beat writer here at CSN Chicago took a lot of hard work, a little luck and of course, payoffs. You wont get anywhere in the world without bribing someone.

Seriously though, I went to Temple University in Philadelphia, where I majored in journalism. After graduation, I was hired as a copy editor at a small paper in the city, where I interned as an undergrad. The paper also gave a handful of story assignments in my free time, though to my extreme frustration, I wasnt given very many basketball stories to write.

I ended up leaving to become a copy editor at a slightly bigger suburban paper, where I went through a similar experience before meeting a staffer at SLAM, the basketball magazine, through a former colleague at the first paper. I e-mailed this guy, now a close friend, regularly first politely, then increasingly insistent that I deserved a shot and months later, I was given my first assignment for the magazine, ironically on erstwhile Bull JamesOn Curry, who was a high school player at the time.

Over the next few years, I wrote for a variety of local publications, but consistently for SLAM, specializing mostly on prep ballplayers, many of whom are in the NBA today, although I also wrote about pros, college players and even stars in the womens game. Ive been blessed to write about some relatively high-profile athletes, as well as some sleepers at the time who became stars, but the most valuable part of the experience was developing contacts at different levels of the game and having the opportunity to see talent develop from the grassroots level; for example, I wasnt even living in Chicago, but I saw Derrick Rose play and lose, ironically for Simeon in person, so I had a reference point going way back, beyond what I saw on television and heard from others.

Anyway, I continued to write for SLAM (and still do, time permitting) and was freelancing in Chicago (mostly focusing on high school hoops, which I truly enjoy) when a friend of a friend told me about the opening at CSN. I expressed my interest and the rest is history, so youre stuck with me for now.

Keep the questions -- whether theyre about the Bulls, the rest of the NBA, other levels of basketball or life in general -- coming. Youll get a much better explanation, though not as instant, than you would via Twitter with only 140 characters. You can submit a question by commenting on this article below or by clicking here.

NBC Sports Chicago announces Bulls expanded season-long multi-platform coverage details

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NBC Sports Chicago announces Bulls expanded season-long multi-platform coverage details

NBC Sports Chicago’s 46-Game Bulls Regular Season Game Schedule gets underway with the 2017-18 SEASON OPENER at the Eastern Conference rival Toronto Raptors this Thursday, October 19!

Live streaming coverage of EVERY Regular Season Bulls telecast on NBC Sports Chicago – including all Pre/Post-Game Shows –

to be made available to authenticated subscribers on NBCSportsChicago.com and via the NBC Sports app!

SEASON OPENER coverage on October 19 to feature morning practice updates on Facebook Live, “SportsTalk Live,” “Bulls Pre/Postgame Live,”

a new Bulls season preview PODCAST, plus - expanded social media coverage via every NBC Sports Chicago portal all day/night!

NEW THIS SEASON: NBC Sports Chicago to carry “Bulls Pre/Postgame Live” before/after EVERY GAME (including all games airing on WGN and ESPN)!

NEW THIS SEASON: Bulls Legend/Four-Time NBA Champion HORACE GRANT to join NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls Coverage Team!

NBCSportsChicago.com to feature in-depth reporting from Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill; Live Coverage of Every Postgame Press Conference,

“BullsTalk Podcasts,” Expanded Game Highlights, plus 24/7 Twitter updates from NBC Sports Chicago’s crew of Bulls experts and much more!

“Bulls Season Preview” special airs TONIGHT at 9:30 PM CT!

Chicago, IL (October 17, 2017)NBC Sports Chicago, the multi-platform home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Bulls, is once again ready to deliver another thrill-packed season of NBA excitement with 46 live regular season Bulls games, which includes live streaming to authenticated subscribers via NBCSportsChicago.com and the NBC Sports app.  NBC Sports Chicago is also announcing the addition of Bulls legend/four-time NBA Champion HORACE GRANT to its Bulls coverage team, plus – for the first time ever – LIVE pre/postgame coverage for EVERY Bulls telecast (including games airing on WGN and ESPN), and much more!

The 2017-18 Chicago Bulls regular season on NBC Sports Chicago gets underway with the SEASON OPENER at the Eastern Conference rival Toronto Raptors on Thursday, October 19 with expanded, day-long multi-platform coverage; note the following details (all non-game programming also available to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers 24/7 at NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive):

  • (MORNING) Breakfast with the Bulls – NBC Sports Chicago will get the day started with an early morning Bulls practice report from the Air Canada Centre.  Hosted by NBCSportsChicago.com’s Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill, Breakfast with the Bulls will be streamed “exclusively” on Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago). Interviews with Bulls players/coaches can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago’s Facebook page later in the morning.
  • (THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON/EVENING)In addition to Facebook (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) and Twitter (@NBCSChicago & @NBCSBulls), NBC Sports Chicago’s social media outlets will provide fans with a multitude of Opening Night “Sights & Sounds” moments from ‘NBCSChicago’ via Instagram and Instagram Stories. Plus, fans can look forward to a brand new “Season Preview” Bulls Talk PODCAST (NBCSportsChicago.com/podcasts) hosted by the network’s team of Bulls experts.
  • 5:00 PM – “5 at 5” on Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) – Fans can look forward to a special Bulls Opening Night preview on NBC Sports Chicago’s popular “5 at 5” segment on Facebook Live featuring Bulls Pre/Postgame Live host Mark Schanowski, studio analysts/former Bulls standouts Kendall Gill and Will Perdue, along with Bulls digital reporter/producer Mark Strotman discussing the Top 5 hottest Bulls/NBA topics heading into the season opener in Toronto.
  • 5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado Special Bulls Opening Night pre-game edition featuring discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan and a panel of Bulls/NBA experts.
  • 6:00 PM – Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light – Opening Night coverage gets underway with Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light featuring host Mark Schanowski, along with analysts Kendall Gill and Will Perdue.  In addition to up-to-the-minute pre-game reports from NBCSportsChicago.com’s Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill from Air Canada Centre, this half-hour show will feature a complete player match-up breakdown, interviews with Bulls players and coaches, along with a look around the league at additional games taking place during the NBA’s opening week of action.
  • 6:30 PM – 2017/18 NBA SEASON OPENER – Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors – Featuring the always-entertaining announcing tandem – entering their 10th season together – of Neil Funk and Stacey King.  ALSO – NBC Sports Chicago will carry Metro PCS Bulls Halftime Live on a special Facebook Live segment (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) featuring Schanowski, Gill, and Perdue, which will urge fans to send along their comments and questions to the studio team.
  • 9:00 PM – Sprint Bulls Postgame Live (time approx.) – Hosted by Schanowski, Gill, and Perdue, Sprint Bulls Postgame Live will provide fans with a thorough game recap/highlights/analysis, plus live post-game press conferences and player interviews, along with preview of the Bulls home opener on Saturday vs. San Antonio.
  • 9:30 PM – In the Loop presented by GMC (time approx.)  Expanded “Opening Night” recap, along with the latest hot topics, highlights, and can’t miss videos from the day in sports.
  • 12:30 AM – Bulls at Toronto (game replay)

In addition to its Season Opener coverage, NBC Sports Chicago has announced it will begin providing its viewers with surrounding Bulls Pre/Postgame Live coverage for EVERY game (home and road) on the Bulls schedule, which includes local broadcast Bulls telecasts airing on WGN-TV, along with exclusive national games airing on ESPN.  These additional airings of Bulls Pre/Postgame Live will feature primary host Mark Schanowski and primary analyst Kendall Gill, along with Will Perdue for a number of select non-NBC Sports Chicago Bulls game telecasts.  NOTE: Due to live game programming airing on the main NBC Sports Chicago channel location on occasion, a number of Bulls Pre/Postgame Live editions will air on the network’s alternate channel, NBC Sports Chicago+.

ALSO – beginning this season, NBC Sports Chicago welcomes its newest studio analyst as Bulls legend/four-time NBA Champion HORACE GRANT joins the Bulls Pre/Postgame Live crew for a number of select games on the network’s Bulls season schedule.  Grant, known for his trademark on-court goggles, spent 17 standout seasons in the NBA as one of the league’s dominant power forwards and helped guide the Bulls with his fellow teammates Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen to three consecutive NBA titles (1991, 1992, 1993). 

Throughout the season, EVERY Bulls game telecast airing on NBC Sports Chicago, including surrounding Bulls Pre/Postgame Live coverage, will be accessible live via NBCSportsChicago.com and the NBC Sports app to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  For a full list of carriers and more information about NBC Sports Chicago’s live streaming service of Bulls games, viewers are urged to visit the following link: nbcsportschicago.com/live-faq

In addition, airing TONIGHT at 9:30 PM CT on NBC Sports Chicago, Bulls fans can look forward to a special sneak preview of the 2017-18 NBA season with the Bulls Season Preview presented by Coors Light special.  Hosted by Schanowski, along with analysts Gill, Perdue, and Goodwill, this half-hour special, filled with player/coaches interviews and detailed season preview analysis, will provide viewers with a comprehensive look at this year’s Bulls roster and all the off-season trades & acquisitions that will have fans ready to go for the Opening Night tip-off.  The Bulls Season Preview special is also scheduled to re-air tonight at 10:30 PM.

In addition to its live stream of every NBC Sports Chicago Bulls game telecast, NBCSportsChicago.com will also provide fans with even more exclusive Bulls content throughout the season including the following:

  • NBCSportsChicago.com will stream EVERY Bulls home postgame press conference LIVE providing insider access to head coach Fred Hoiberg.
  • Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill returns for his third full season on the beat. Follow him on Twitter @vgoodwill for the latest team/player news and inside access 24/7. Bulls digital reporter/producer Mark Strotman (@markstrot) will also provide Bulls and NBA reports/features on the beat with Goodwill. Follow @NBCSBulls on Twitter for full team coverage, giveaways, fan photos and game day news throughout the 2017-18 NBA campaign.
  • Video highlights from every Bulls game, including in-game highlights at halftime.  Pre-game interviews from team practices will also be provided, as well as extensive post-game reaction from the locker room and analysis from the “Sprint Bulls Postgame Live” team. Fans can also check out the network’s fast-paced “Bulls in 60 presented by Sprint,” a comprehensive highlight package on NBCSportsChicago.com and across the network’s social media channels.
  • Weekly analytical features chronicling the Bulls and league-wide data of interest including the “Honda Road Ahead” and “NBA Power Rankings,” presented by WOW!
  • “Bulls Talk PODCAST” – Featuring Bulls Pre/Postgame Live host Mark Schanowski, analyst Kendall Gill, “Insider” Vincent Goodwill, digital reporter/producer Mark Strotman, and an array of special guests, NBC Sports Chicago’s “Bulls Talk” podcast features in-depth Bulls discussion on the hottest topics and breaking news throughout the season. Fans can download all of NBC Sports Chicago’s podcasts at NBCSportsChicago.com/podcasts and simply subscribe to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.
  • Push Alerts: NBC Sports Chicago will deliver Bulls push notifications for breaking team and player news, “Insider” reports, plus game reminder alerts via NBC Sports Chicago’s SportsTalk app for iOS and Android devices.
  • BullsTalk (NBCSportsChicago.com/Bulls) - NBCSportsChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Bulls news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and social media aggregation. BullsTalk contains interactive content with continually updated insights from the network’s talent, which includes the #BullsTalk podcast.
  • Fans can also follow and connect with NBC Sports Chicago’s extensive Bulls coverage on Facebook (including numerous “Facebook Live” segments with NBC Sports Chicago talent), Instagram and Snapchat at ‘NBCSChicago’

 

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

NBCSportsChicago.com/NBC Sports app

2017 - 2018 Chicago Bulls Schedule

REGULAR SEASON

  1. Thu, Oct 19          @ Toronto                                6:30 pm         SEASON OPENER!
  2. Tue, Oct. 24         @ Cleveland                             6:00 pm
  3. Wed, Nov. 1         @ Miami                                  6:30 pm
  4. Sat, Nov. 4           vs. New Orleans                       7:00 pm        
  5. Fri, Nov. 10          vs. Indiana                               7:00 pm        
  6. Sat, Nov. 11         @ San Antonio                         7:30 pm
  7. Wed, Nov. 15       @ Oklahoma City                     7:00 pm
  8. Sun, Nov. 19        @ Phoenix                               7:00 pm
  9. Wed, Nov. 22       @ Utah                                    8:00 pm         NBCSCH+
  10. Fri, Nov. 24          @ Golden State                        9:30 pm
  11. Fri, Dec. 1            vs. Sacramento                        7:00 pm
  12. Wed, Dec. 6         @ Indiana                                6:00 pm        
  13. Fri, Dec. 8            @ Charlotte                              6:00 pm
  14. Fri, Dec. 15          @ Milwaukee                            7:00 pm
  15. Mon, Dec. 18        vs. Philadelphia                         7:00 pm
  16. Wed, Dec. 20       vs. Orlando                              7:00 pm
  17. Sat, Dec. 23         @ Boston                                 6:30 pm
  18. Tue, Dec. 26        @ Milwaukee                            7:00 pm        
  19. Wed, Dec. 27       vs. New York                            7:00 pm
  20. Sun, Dec. 31        @ Washington                          2:30 pm
  21. Wed, Jan. 3          vs. Toronto                               7:00 pm
  22. Fri, Jan. 5             @ Dallas                                  7:30 pm         NBCSCH+
  23. Mon, Jan. 8          vs. Houston                              7:00 pm        
  24. Wed, Jan. 10        @ New York                             6:30 pm
  25. Mon, Jan. 15        vs. Miami                                 2:30 pm        
  26. Mon, Jan. 22        @ New Orleans                        7:00 pm
  27. Fri, Jan. 26           vs. Los Angeles Lakers             7:00 pm
  28. Sun, Jan. 28         vs. Milwaukee                           2:30 pm        
  29. Wed, Jan. 31        @ Portland                               9:00 pm
  30. Sat, Feb. 3           @ Los Angeles Clippers            2:30 pm
  31. Wed, Feb. 14       vs. Toronto                               7:00 pm
  32. Thu, Feb. 22         vs. Philadelphia                         7:00 pm
  33. Tue, Feb. 27         @ Charlotte                              6:00 pm
  34. Mon, Mar. 5         vs. Boston                                7:00 pm
  35. Wed, Mar. 7         vs. Memphis                             7:00 pm
  36. Tue, Mar. 13        vs. Los Angeles Clippers           7:00 pm
  37. Sat, Mar. 17         vs. Cleveland                            7:00 pm        
  38. Wed, Mar. 21       vs. Denver                                7:00 pm
  39. Fri, Mar. 23          vs. Milwaukee                           7:00 pm
  40. Sat, Mar. 24         @ Detroit                                 6:00 pm        
  41. Fri, Mar. 30          @ Orlando                               6:00 pm
  42. Sun, Apr. 1           vs. Washington                         2:30 pm
  43. Tue, Apr. 3           vs. Charlotte                             7:00 pm
  44. Sat, Apr. 7            vs. Brooklyn                             7:00 pm
  45. Mon, Apr. 9          @ Brooklyn                              6:30 pm
  46. Wed, Apr. 11        vs. Detroit                                7:00 pm

23 Home, 23 Road regular season games

Total: 46 games

All Times Central Time

Schedule Subject to Change

20 crazy (or are they...?) predictions for the NBA season

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USA TODAY

20 crazy (or are they...?) predictions for the NBA season

1. The Golden State Warriors will be better than ever this season and will repeat as NBA champions...but will have big time bumps on the road in the Western Conference.

2. Kevin Durant will be better and win his second Most Valuable Player award, even though Steph Curry is still the arbiter for Golden State’s culture.

3. LeBron James will add to his resume as being one of the top five players ever, if not higher, but won’t catch Michael Jordan for total MVPs (five)...

4. ...and Cleveland had better enjoy him this year, because come July, he’s headed out of Ohio.

5. Speaking of headed out of town, a coach will be fired after a year of leaguewide stability, for an underachieving team in the underachieving Eastern Conference...

6. ...In other words, Fred Hoiberg is safe!

7. The Eastern Conference tank-a-thon will be both ugly and necessary for a couple teams in desperate need of lottery luck, including the Bulls.

8. One of the tank-a-thon teams won’t have the stomach for the losing and will make a panic move, especially when incoming college stars Michael Porter Jr or Marvin Bagley show the slightest signs of struggling.

9. Lonzo Ball will look like a point guard in the mold of Jason Kidd, a guy everyone will flock to play with...and not even LaVar Ball can screw that up.

10. But he’ll try because he won’t shut up...and we’ll never stop listening.

10. Dennis Smith Jr. will be the best incoming rookie, but Ben Simmons will win Rookie of the Year in Philadelphia.

11. Kyrie Irving will formally enter the conversation as one of the league’s best point guards, in part because Brad Stevens will help him become a better facilitator...

12. Irving is (bear with me Chicago’s own Isiah Thomas) the greatest scorer in terms of skill set from the point guard spot in the history of the league

13. For different reasons, Russell Westbrook and James Harden will struggle with their new “helpful” teammates…But will be hell on earth in a seven-game series.

14. Remember this name: Caris Levert from the Brooklyn Nets.

15. Giannis Antetokounmpo was on my top-five MVP ballot last season…he’ll be higher this time around.

16. Jabari Parker will be traded from the Bucks this year, perhaps before he returns from injury…

17. Big names will be on the trading block from the center spot: DeMarcus Cousins, Hassan Whiteside and Andre Drummond.

18. Drummond, though, will have a bounceback year in Detroit and improve from the free-throw line.

19. This year will prove the Bulls didn’t get enough in trading Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves (or TimberBulls/TimberTibs)...

20. But Zach LaVine will show he’s more than deserving of a max contract when he returns from injury.