Bulls

Bulls nonchalant about Sixers' bulletin-board material

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Bulls nonchalant about Sixers' bulletin-board material

INDIANAPOLISDerrick Rose got quiet and his eyes narrowed, as they tend to do when hes asked a question by the media that truly piques his interest.

No, he responded, even quieter than usual. There have been teams that have said they want to play us before, so I dont got nothing to say about it.

Philadelphia second-year swingman Evan Turners comments about dodging a bullet if his 76ers face the Bulls instead of the Heat--forward Thaddeus Young made comments to the same effect after Philadelphia clinched a playoff berth, when asked who his team would rather play--a team theyve struggled with, in the first round didnt elicit much of a reaction out of Rose.

But as with any perceived slight, be sure that it will go into his expansive memory bank for future referenceas in this weekend, if the Sixers remain in the eighth seedespecially when considering the source, Turner, a Chicago native and Roses former high-school rival with whom he exchanged words when their teams matched up years ago.

It was less personal for Roses teammates, but their answers were also telling. Former Sixer Kyle Korver paused, then chuckled before discussing Turners inflammatory quote.

Well, all right, he said. Im not going to get into a war of words with Evan Turner.

Come play us, he continued. Our goals to win a championship. We dont care who we playfirst round, second round, third roundwe want to go through everybody. Thats our mindset. We dont want to go around anybody. Weve got the one seed and were ready for whoevers eighth.

Joakim Noah and All-Star Luol Deng were a bit more diplomatic.

Im not the type to talk back and forth. If we see them, we see them. If we see New York, we see New York., Deng told CSNChicago.com. Were not trying to pick and choose who we want. I guess theyre picking us. Were not picking anyone.

Added Noah: Why doesnt it bother me? At the end of the day, youve got to go out there and play the game, so were only worried about us right now and well worry about Evan Turner when we need to worry about Evan Turner.

Not that the Bulls need any motivation, but if the Sixers are indeed their opening-round opponent, it might add a little fuel to the fire. Even if they deny it.

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

On the second (turkey) leg of a back-to-back, the Bulls didn't bring much energy in a 110-80 loss to the Utah Jazz. 

Instead of diving into the nitty-gritty of the uninspiring effort, though, we decided to just serve you up a Thanksgiving meal of highlights. Here are the top blocks from Wednesday's game: 

5. Derrick Favors is no Rudy Gobert -- that we know -- but imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

4. Are Bobby Portis chase down blocks the new LeBron James chase down blocks? Let's not get carried away... yet. We'll chalk it up to just a real nice hustle play by Bobby. 

3 and 2. Speaking of hustle plays... Jonas Jerebko isn't exactly known as a dominant defender. He sure made it hard for the Bulls on what should of been an easy fast-break bucket in the third quarter, though. First, he silenced Kris Dunn's reverse. Then, he met Lauri Markkanen at the rim and sent the rookie packing. The Baby Bulls 2.0 can blame it on fatigue, but they just handed Jerebko a highlight tape for years to come.   

1. In fairness, Jerian Grant had to get up a shot as the quarter was coming to a close. It is as vicious as it looks, though.  

Just as we all predicted, two rookies stole the show in L.A.

Just as we all predicted, two rookies stole the show in L.A.

There's not often hype surrounding a game between two of the NBA's worst teams, but Tuesday's Bulls-Lakers matchup was intriguing to many because it offered a chance to see a pair of top rookies compete. 

Oh, but you didn't think we meant Lonzo Ball and Lauri Markkanen, did you?

Nah, it was two different, less-touted first-year players that ended up stealing the spotlight at the Staples Center. 

Kyle Kuzma and Antonio Blakeney may not be household names, but they sure played like they were in the Bulls' 103-94 loss. 

Kuzma, the Lakers rook drafted 27th overall, has been a spark for Luke Walton's squad all season long. Boasting a terrific scoring arsenal, the Utah product carried the load for the Lakers' offense in the first half, dropping 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting. He finished the game as L.A.'s leading scorer with 22 in 40 minutes. But if you still need a more in-depth scouting report on Kuzma, just let Lonzo break it down:  

More importantly for Bulls fans, though, was the play of their undrafted guard who's signed to a two-way deal. 

Blakeney, the unofficial Summer League MVP, came off the bench on Tuesday and immediately left his mark on the game. The 21-year-old out of LSU posted 15 in the first half, finishing through contact as well as connecting on outside jumpers. 

Blakeney's shooting isn't reliable quite yet, but his energy has clearly influenced Hoiberg's rotation. The guard went from playing one NBA minute in the Bulls' first 11 games to playing 75 in the last four. Given that his two-way deal allows him to only spend 45 days with the team, it'll be fascinating to see how creative Gar Forman and John Paxson will get with his contract if this type of production continues. 

In a season that's obviously going to have its share of rough moments, an offseason flyer hitting is a huge plus for the rebuild. 

As for the recognized rookies, Lonzo's shooting woes persisted and Markkanen had maybe his worst offensive performance of his young Bulls career. Combined, they finished 7-for-30 with 21 points. Not ideal.