Bulls

Dorm Daze: Noah impossible as Florida freshman

Dorm Daze: Noah impossible as Florida freshman

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
7:10 PM
By Aggrey SamCSNChicago.com

Chicago will have an unexpected advantage in tonights game against visiting Golden State, as Warriors power forward David Lee will sit out the contest after a freak arm injury suffered in the teams road win in New York (Lees former team) Wednesday night.

I wish I could play this one tonight, but I took a tooth to the arm last night. Coach DAntoni had his guys bite me, Lee quipped before the game. The strange thing about it, it wasnt a very hard collision. It just hit Knicks forward Wilson Chandler square and shattered his tooth in about four different pieces. Not a dirty play, he just came in and tried to knock the ball away when I got the rebound, right when I was pulling it down and he made square contact. Wilsons a good friend of mine. I gave him a Sorry about your tooth, sorry about your arm exchange when he got back. I think he had surgery last night to replace his tooth because he was in worse shape than I was.

They found a little portion of it Chandlers tooth in the arm last night and they had to remove that. This morning, I woke up to unbearable pain. I ended up in Chicago with the team doctor for the Bulls and then ended up in the ER this morning, getting an IV of antibiotics, he continued. Hopefully Ill be able to play on Saturday in Milwaukee, but I dont have much movement in the arm for tonight.

After being on the plane and having it swell up a little bit, and then going to sleep and having it stiffen up, by the time I woke up this morning, it was pretty much immobile. Its gotten much better today. Got a little movement, getting my golf swing back. They cant stitch it up because if there was any sort of infection, it would seal off the infection and wed have a much bigger problem on our hands. At this point, its just gauze pads and wrapped up.

Lee was acquired by Golden State in the offseason through a sign-and-trade scenario with New York. Before signing with the Warriors, however, Leean All-Star last season with the Knickswas also courted by the Bulls.

I came here for a visit one of the first days of free agency. I dont want to put words in their mouths, but I think they were one of the teams that was really after me and it came down to me vs. Carlos Boozer. Then, when New Jersey made an offer to Boozer, they made another offer and decided to go with Carlos. I think hes going to be great for them when he gets back healthy, said Lee, who scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the victory over his former team Wednesday, during which his years of service in the Big Apple was acknowledged by the Madison Square Garden crowd. There is a little extra motivation, not from an anger standpoint or anything like that, but just NBA players are very prideful. Id like to think Im one of the better power forwards in the league and a guy right now thats helping his team win games, thats most important. It wouldnt be any deal where Im coming in, trying to have 40 points or anything. It would have been extra special to just help my team get a win.

Lee doesnt hold any ill will toward the Bullsdespite his diplomacy, it might be a different story with the Knicks, especially after DAntoni fanned the flames a bit with semi-disparaging comments about his former players athleticismespecially since the University of Florida product will always have a soft spot for college teammate Joakim Noah.

The first time I saw him Joakim on campus; he was a freshman and I was a senior. Coach Billy Donovan told me we had a buddy system and I had to make sure he got to class on timewhich, first of all, was absolutely impossible, recalled Lee. I said, Meet me at this designated point. Ill walk you to your first class; you have no idea where the building is. He said, Okay. Cool, B. Cool.

I see the guy on campus walking. He has on shortsdown below his waistno shirt on and a boombox playing music while hes walking. Hes like, Yo, Im ready for class, he joked. Im like, Jo, come on, man. Hes like, What? He looked at me like I was absolutely crazy. That was my first getting him to class experience.

Hes a very free-spirited guy, but I think what makes him so specialtheres very few guysits a skill in the NBA, playing hard night in and night out, providing that constant effort. Hes got a great skill set, but what makes him so special is that intensity he brings every single night, added Lee, who indicated one of the reasons he considered the Bulls was the presence of Noah, a true center, which would allow him to play his natural position of power forward. He was a great teammate for a year at Florida and I know everybody here loves him to death, and for good reason. He really leaves all out on the court and thats very important.

Its a big difference high school and college; probably even a bigger difference between college and the NBA. He was a guy that kind of had to grow into his body and find his skill set. It wasnt until his sophomore and junior year where he started handling the ball a lot and what hes so good at is making passes to other guys. He was always very active, a good rebounder," he went on to say. "He got a lot better at finishing around the basket, him and Atlanta Hawks center and fellow Florida product Al Horford, and adding some skills to the athleticism."

"If he had my vote, Jo's got a chance to be an Eastern Conference All-Star this year. I know the season's very young, so we'll see how that pans out...I wish him the best, except when he plays us for two games."

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 Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson react to a breakout game from Kris Dunn against the Hornets Friday night. They’ll discuss his development and how it impacts rookie Lauri Markkanen. Plus just how long will both the Wolves and Bulls be judged on the Jimmy Butler trade? Is Dwight Howard a hall of famer? And a new era in Philly with Simmons and Embiid. That and more on this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast.

Observations from Bulls-Hornets: Kris Dunn, a sigh of relief and hack-a-who?

Observations from Bulls-Hornets: Kris Dunn, a sigh of relief and hack-a-who?

Kris Dunn did it: You can’t play that position without an edge, without some form of “basketball killer” in you. Kris Dunn showed at the very least, he has that in his DNA in his best game as a Bull with a career-high 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Leave it to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg to point out a forgotten stat: one turnover in 26 minutes.

“That’s the biggest thing I’m proud of,” Dunn said. “Everyone knows I’ve had a lot of careless turnovers in the season. It’s one thing I’ll take credit for.”

Dunn scored 13 with six assists in the fourth quarter alone as the Bulls outscored the Hornets 40-28 for the comeback victory. More than anything, it was his competitive spirit and aggressiveness that stood out. Kemba Walker stood across the way and gave Dunn—and the Bulls—every bit of 47 points.

“He tested my conditioning, for sure,” Dunn admitted. “He’s a great player. He’s been in the league for so long. It was good to go out there and compete with him.”

It could’ve went a different way had Walker not been bothered by Lauri Markkanen’s challenge at the rim, blowing a layup that would’ve given the Hornets the lead back with seconds remaining but he missed it and the narrative changed at least for a night.

And when teams are talking about learning experiences, it’s good to have them in a win every now and again. Markkanen’s challenge at the rim followed by his closing free throws right after, along with a quietly effective 16 points and seven rebounds, proved huge on this night.

Dunn finally having a confidence booster was imperative.

Dunn scored but it wasn’t an easy 20 or a smooth 20. It was an attacking 20, a necessary 20. He did hit some elbow jumpers, especially in the fourth as the defense laid off him.

But his biggest basket was a slithering drive to the rim for a layup with 2:24 left, because he attacked and was under control.

“That’s huge growth for Kris,” Hoiberg said. “He made the right play darn near every time he had the ball in his hands. Rose up with confidence, knocked down huge shots. Defensively got them going, got steals.”

What a relief: Nobody wanted to say it, but it bore out on the floor, the sheer desperation the Bulls played with.

Coming in with a five-game losing streak and headed out west to for four games in the next week, they were staring in the face of a possible double-digit losing streak to end November.

Confidence was sparse after three bad losses, and it’s a dangerous time for a team that will struggle to win games all season.

The United Center crowd got into it, particularly late when the Bulls began climbing back into contention to start the fourth quarter. The fans wanted this win too, even with the eyes being on a larger prize coming in mid-2018.

The relief was written all over Hoiberg’s usually-stress ridden face and he even cracked a couple jokes that weren’t aimed in his direction, as self-deprecation is normally his escape of choice.

“It is important but I asked the guys: is it hard to play with that type of effort? When you play with that type of energy and effort and swagger, it’s fun,” Hoiberg said. “When you play low energy and hang your head, it’s a drag. It’s hard to play at this level with that mentality.”

Starting change: Justin Holiday returned after his quick leave with his wife delivering a baby girl recently and his game-high 27 points showed he missed the Bulls as much as they missed his shooting, hitting four triples and going 10 for 15 from the field.

“Guys were serious about getting their jobs done,” Holiday said. “It was a lot of energy, a lot of energy, competitiveness. That’s how we have to play every night for our team to do well.”

Denzel Valentine, although he didn’t want to say it, wants to be a starter. Hoiberg chose Quincy Pondexter over him recently and then made the change Friday to insert Valentine for more scoring.

Valentine scored 18 with six assists and five rebounds in 32 minutes of run—and with those two starting as scoring options, the Bulls surpassed that seven-point first-quarter mark really early and scored 26 overall.

He hit a big triple in the fourth with 2:49 left to give the Bulls a 110-109 lead on a set play the Bulls actually executed between Valentine, Dunn as a setup man and Robin Lopez as a screen to pop Valentine open.

If he continues to hit 3-pointers at a 40 percent clip, especially with the way the Bulls have struggled to start games, he’ll have the right to feel he belongs in the first five.

“It’s definitely more confidence,” Valentine said. “You feel you’re an NBA starter, you get to go in and feel it out for a second and bring some energy to start the game.”

He didn’t mince words about starting, with a little honesty saying, “I think it’s huge being a starter.”

When asked if he felt validated by his performance and the result being a high-scoring win, it was just as telling.

“I think I deserve…I think I deserved a starting role,” Valentine said. “At the same time it’s different combinations, different people that need to be on the floor at certain times, so if he feels like I don’t need to start, I won’t start. But I feel very comfortable starting as well.”

Hack-a-Dwight: It could be Hack-a-Dwight, hack-a-Drummond, hack-a-Wilt or Shaq or Charles Shackleford.

The Bulls went to it and Howard went two of four from the line but it took a little rhythm from the Hornets and probably slowed Kemba Walker down just enough before he got cooking in the last 90 seconds and almost pulled a win out of his keister.

But…

I hate it. Get it out of the game completely.