Bulls

Bulls run wild, annihilate Warriors from tip

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Bulls run wild, annihilate Warriors from tip

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
Updated 11:50 PM
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

If they hadnt seen Derrick Roses ever-present Fast Dont Lie adidas commercials before, the Golden State Warriors likely have a paraphrase of the slogan ricocheting inside their heads after being trounced, 120-90, at the hands of the Bulls at the United Center Thursday evening.

Roses 22-point, 13-assist effort and Luol Dengs 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists paced a balanced Chicago effort all five starters were in double figures to help run away from their fast-paced guests by giving them a dose of their own medicine, coupled with a helping of tough defense in making the game a laugher.
Matador

Luol Dengs 26-point, 11-rebound, five-assist, two-block effort was sensational, but Derrick Rose was the engine that made the Bulls go on this evening, just like he is on most nights. Rose pushed the tempo offensively, was aggressive scoring the ball and was also a factor on the defensive end.

Im just trying to be aggressive. I see when Im aggressive it opens things up early and we won the game, and thats what its all about winning, said Rose, who poured in 22 points and dished out 13 assists. Every night, Im trying to be aggressive.

Were a hard team to guard when we get out in transition and we get fast breaks. Get the ball to Derrick and run, thats all youve got to do, added Keith Bogans, Roses partner in the starting backcourt. Hes either going to finish or hes going to find you. Its easy offense when were playing in transition.

Moment of Truth

The tired Warriors they played four games in five nights were out of the game by the end of the first quarter, especially after a sequence in which Bogans recorded back-to-back thefts. After the first, he made an outlet pass to Rose already with a full head of steam who winded through traffic for slicing left-handed layup in transition.

After the second steal, Bogans and Rose executed a picture-perfect fast-break sequence the pair passed back and forth like a high school basketball teams practice drill; the ball didnt hit the floor resulting in a powerful two-handed tomahawk slam by Rose and a subsequent Golden State timeout with two minutes remaining in the opening period.

A little over a minute later, the Bulls put the icing on the cake with a beautiful Noah bounce pass to a cutting Rose backdoor, ending in a remarkably similar dunk to his previous transition finish. Chicago took a 34-20 lead into the second quarter.

Head-to-Head

In a battle between USA Basketball teammates, Rose clearly outclassed his summer pal Stephen Curry, last seasons Rookie of the Year runner-up. Roses aggressiveness, physicality and his teammates help defense seemed to bother Curry, who shot 4-for-11 in the first half.

Its just trying to be aggressive on defense. Coach always tells me out of anyone on our team, Im the one that always needs to help and it showed tonight, Rose explained. Me helping led to Steph being open, but we contested his shots. Me stopping the penetration and kicking out, forcing Steph into a bad shot or contesting his shot, Im the guy thats usually going to help everybody on the floor.

Offensively, Rose benefited from a porous Golden State defense (to his credit, Ellis did finish with five steals) that played him differently than other Bulls opponents had in recent games.

Tonight, they werent trying to blitz the pick-and-roll and I was hitting my shots, and hitting people when they were wide open.
X-Factor

Often criticized for his usually-modest offensive output, Bogans not only scored 14 points (including a pair of three-pointers), he swiped a season-high six steals, while doing a more-than-adequate job on the always-dangerous Monta Ellis.

I just wanted to make everything tough for him. Hes a great player, great scorer and I was just trying not to let him get it going early, said Bogans. Kurt Thomas, Joakim Noah, they were all on me in the training room this morning. Kurt probably said, Dont let it be a 50 point night. I definitely didnt want that to happen, but my teammates did a good job of being in the right spots and helping me contain him.

I just take what they give me on defense. I played the passing lanes tonight, got a few deflections. My defense turned into offense just by getting deflections and steals, and getting out on the break.

I thought Keith Bogans did a good job on Monta, just making it tough for him every shot, chimed in Luol Deng. Hes a great player and the rest of us followed.

Subtly Strategic

To begin the second quarter, Thibodeau left his starting backcourt of Rose and Bogans in the game as well as Deng, who has been playing with the second unit to start the quarter to go with early subs Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik. The coach would quickly sub in Taj Gibson (14 points, seven rebounds) for Asik, as the Warriors took out backup center Dan Gadzuric in favor of a smaller lineup, but he denied leaving in Rose (Bogans would be replaced by backup point guard C.J. Watson) was a move designed to create more offense from a bench that has sometimes struggled to do so this season.

Well, I was viewing it more defensively. With the matchups with Ellis and Curry, I wanted to stay with Derrick and C.J. They played together just so we could match up better defensively, said Thibodeau. Weve talked about doing it more and a lot depends upon your matchups. We want to settle on our rotation, so guys know when theyre going in. Their rotation changed some tonight with injured Golden State power forward David Lee being out, too. We werent quite sure if they would play smaller, longer and then what that would mean for us in terms of how we matched up defensively.
Thorn in the Side

Although Bogans did a solid job on Ellis, the Golden State scorer still ended up with 24 points (three below his average of 27.1 points per game, good for second in the league entering the contest) on 10-for-20 shooting. An underrated passer, Ellis also dished out five assists on the night, but he and his teammates were obviously exhausted after a tough game in New York the previous evening.

Chicago temporarily solved their season-long foul issues on both ends committing only seven fouls and shooting 21-for-23 from the charity stripe. Not much to complain about overall, although both Thibodeau and Rose griped about turnovers (the Bulls turned the ball over 12 times) late in the game.

What the Future Holds

With the annual circus trip coming up next week, it would be easy for the Bulls to look past their next opponent lowly Washington especially after the high of the blowout victory over Golden State. However, the Bulls are already focused on Saturdays contest against the visiting Wizards, in the last home game Chicago plays until December.

Were going to try to come out and play the same. We cant look past them, said Rose. Theyre a young team with a lot of good young players. Weve just got to take care of that problem first on the way to the road.

Even though Washington has been struggling, No. 1 draft pick John Wall seems to be hitting his stride, with a triple-double in Wednesdays Wizards win, as well as threatening a rookie assist record previously held by the legendary Oscar Robertson.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.coms Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Bulls' Bobby Portis publicly apologizes to Nikola Mirotic: 'I'm wrong for what I did'

Bulls' Bobby Portis publicly apologizes to Nikola Mirotic: 'I'm wrong for what I did'

Bobby Portis publicly issued an apology to Nikola Mirotic for the punch that broke two bones in Mirotic’s face and caused a concussion earlier this week.

Portis was suspended eight games by the NBA while Mirotic will be out 4-6 weeks after he goes through concussion protocol, following an incident in Tuesday’s practice where the tensions boiled over between the two power forwards.

“I'm wrong for what I did. I want to publicly apologize to Niko,” said Portis outside the Bulls locker room at the United Center, hours before the home opener against the San Antonio Spurs. “I feel like I let my fans, the Bulls organization, and most importantly my teammates down. This is not who Bobby Portis is.”

Sticking to clear talking points, repeatedly saying “we were competing” as a way to describe the incident, it was a more toned down version of Portis. Portis is usually colorful and engaging when talking to the media.

Saturday, he was muted, almost robotic in a sense. And he didn’t want to go into the incident in detail, one that many sources have said was instigated by Mirotic as the two were going back and forth physically during several possessions.

The play before, things intensified, causing assistant coach Randy Brown to step in and break things up. The next time downcourt, Mirotic apparently charged at Portis and Portis responded with one punch that sent Mirotic to the floor.

Gently choosing his words, Portis said, “We were competing and kinda went back and forth and things happened.”

When asked if he was shoved, Portis reiterated the two were competing although numerous accounts say Mirotic did push him leading up to the direct incident.

“Yes I was surprised by my own action,” Portis said. “That's not who I was, as I first stated. I'm a competitor at the end of the day but I never meant to hurt my teammate.”

Portis and Mirotic have not yet spoken, although Portis said he’s called and texted Mirotic with no response. It hasn’t been determined whether Mirotic will take legal action on Portis.

“Not concerned with that at this point,” Portis said. “At this point I’m just trying to publicly apologize to Niko and my teammates, and that I’m real sincere about the situation.”

Portis will be allowed to practice during his suspension, having returned Friday and Portis believes things can be mended with he and his teammate.

“Going forward I want to make sure that me and Niko are cool and we can be teammates again,” Portis said. “I'm pretty sure we can. We just have to repair this relationship.”

Justin Holiday said the issue will have to be addressed head on as opposed to being swept under the rug or letting the element of time naturally heal things. Whether that conversation is initiated by teammates or the coaching staff or front office, as long as both are wearing a Bulls uniform, it will be necessary.

“It hasn’t been arranged, but I’m pretty sure we’ll have to talk it out,” Portis said. “And I’m pretty sure it will be a gentle conversation. I’m pretty sure we can get past this.”

Bobby Portis apologizes to teammates as Bulls continue to deal with all-around complicated situation

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AP

Bobby Portis apologizes to teammates as Bulls continue to deal with all-around complicated situation

The mending hasn’t yet begun for the Bulls, but perhaps a good sign in moving forward from the Bobby Portis punch that delivered a concussion and broken facial bones to Nikola Mirotic is that it isn’t being ignored.

Fred Hoiberg is being tight-lipped about where matters stand, but he did at least say Portis returned to practice and apologized to the team Friday afternoon. Hoiberg wouldn’t reveal the contents of Portis’ apology and Portis didn’t address the media, but it’s clear things aren’t business-as-usual at the Advocate Center.

“Bobby was back at practice. It was good to have him back in here,” Hoiberg said. “Obviously, everybody’s looking forward to having Niko back in here, as well, hopefully soon.”

When asked about Portis’ spirit, Hoiberg deflected and preferred to talk about what adjustments the team will have to make in the immediate future, especially with rookie Lauri Markkanen having to go against Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge in the home opener Saturday night.

“That’s the biggest thing we have to do as far as preparing until we get our guys back, is throwing different lineups out there and hopefully getting better with our execution,” Hoiberg said.

Justin Holiday admitted that things aren’t normal, saying the actual games to start the season won’t serve as a welcome distraction because this isn’t something that can just be treated trivially.

He wouldn’t venture into getting into his teammates’ head, saying “Bobby came into today like Bobby. We’re not quite sure what he’s thinking mentally. We can’t assume that.”

But one thing that can’t be assumed is a sweeping under or pretending.

“I mean I don’t necessarily think this is a situation for us to get past,” Holiday said. “I think it’s a situation that obviously (needs) to be brought to the forefront. It’s a situation that needs to be taken care of for those two to be able to come together and be brothers again. I don’t think we’re trying to get past it.”

Holiday has been a leader during this early time, so his words and definitive tone were noticeable.

“They say sometimes you need time to heal,” Holiday said. “Again, we have to think about both situations in this. One guy is trying to get back healthy. And again, I don’t know. I wish I did. I wish we could just fix this the right way, but that’s not the case.”

It’s complicated all around, with no real precedent.

For Hoiberg, his handling has two faces. Since Portis is able to practice but has to sit out seven more games on a team-mandated suspension, he has to walk the line of incorporating Portis in daily drills and activities but also has to prepare a team that wasn’t prepared for two power forwards being out for an extended period.

That was on display Thursday as Quincy Pondexter likely played that position for the first time in his career, and it’s highly unlikely Paul Zipser practiced there at all with the depth the Bulls had until now.

“We have to get our guys ready to play positions that they haven’t played,” Hoiberg said. “We’re getting them in here early. We’re getting a group in to work on our execution. Quincy not only hasn’t played in two and a half years but I don’t know if he has ever played the 4.

“You just have to do the best with what you have.”