David Blatt's blunder should've cost Cavs in Game 4 vs. Bulls


David Blatt's blunder should've cost Cavs in Game 4 vs. Bulls

The mistakes and luck handed to Cavaliers coach David Blatt could have serious repercussions to the Bulls, should they not come back to win this series.

Before LeBron James’ game-winner at the buzzer, the Cavaliers should have been hit with a technical foul — something the league will obviously review and release a report on Monday afternoon.

After Derrick Rose tied the game with a driving layup to tie the game at 84 with 9.4 seconds left, Blatt tried desperately to get a timeout called when the Cavaliers burned all their timeouts on the previous possessions, while trying to get the ball inbounds.

Cavaliers assistant coach Tyronn Lue went on the floor to grab Blatt before the officials saw Blatt signaling for the timeout, which by rule should be a technical foul on the Cavaliers and transferred possession to the Bulls.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

“I almost blew it. Good thing they caught it, my guys,” Blatt said.

After James’ drive was thwarted at the rim, the officials had to check the replay to see how much time was left before the ball was to be inbounded, giving the Cavaliers time to convene for a timeout they didn’t have.

He started to draw up a play for someone other than James to catch and shoot, before James announced he was taking the shot.

[COLUMN: LeBron all alone again but it could be enough]

“I was supposed to take the ball out,” James said. “I told coach there was no way I’m taking the ball out unless I can shoot it over the backboard and it can go in.”

Still, had at least one official been on the baseline after Rose’s game-tying drive, the game’s fortunes would’ve drastically turned — giving the Bulls a foul shot, the ball, and a front-row seat at a possible 3-1 lead.

But they’ll be left to wonder, “what if” until they’re able to step on the floor Tuesday in Cleveland, and there’s no way to truly assess the damage until then.

In other words, Tyronn Lue, you're the real MVP.

Another wild twist in the Derrick Rose saga


Another wild twist in the Derrick Rose saga

We may have seen the last of Derrick Rose on a basketball court. 

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin and Adrian Wojnarowski, the point guard, who's currently recovering from ankle injury, is away from the Cavaliers organization and contemplating his future in basketball: 

The news may come as a shock considering Rose is still only 29 years old, but the Chicago native has experienced triumphant highs and depressing lows like few others in league history. Undoubtedly, that's taken a toll. 

From youngest MVP in league history to injury-prone backup, the former No. 1 pick of the Bulls has seen it all in his nine-year career. And just last season in New York, his passion for the game was called into question after missing a game without informing coaches, players or staff to attend to a family issue. 

He decided to team up with LeBron James in Cleveland last offseason -- a move that nobody could have predicted five years ago -- on a veteran's minimum contract, and averaged 14.3 points before, you guessed it, being forced to sit with injury. 

Fred Hoiberg, who coached Rose for one season in Chicago, weighed in before Friday's Bulls-Warriors game: 

If Rose ultimately decides to step away for good, eerie parallels can be drawn to Doug Collins' NBA stint. Collins didn't have quite the upside Rose had, but he was a three-time All-Star before foot and knee injuries cut his career short at, yes, also 29. 

It's another sad twist in the Derrick Rose Story. He may be the greatest 'What if' in NBA history. 

Three Things to Watch: Bulls dance with Warriors


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. Warriors defense. Even though Draymond Green and Kevin Durant will sit tonight, the Warriors defense has more than enough to challenge the prized rookie. The Dubs' team defense is among the best in the NBA, thanks to their physicality, attention to detail and speed. 

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 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 and Klay Thompson because when it comes to working cohesively on offense, they've set the gold standard.