Bulls

Word on the Street: NBA lockout ending soon?

Word on the Street: NBA lockout ending soon?

Tuesday, Sep. 6, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Will NBA owners, players agree soon?

It is said that both sides are are finally are starting to reason, but are still a ways away. NBA expert, Chris Sheridan says different. Sheridan says the players are asking for under 15 billion and the owners are offering 12 so they are closer to making a deal. However, that is still three billion dollars difference. David Stern, Bill Hunter and most NBA labor negotiators think both sides are nowhere close. (ProBasketballTalk)

Hold on Forte contract talk

Matt Forte's contract talk is put on hold until the end of the season. He was being offered 13-14 million. Forte is taking a risk because he's not guaranteed more money if he gets to free agency. It is also possible that the Bears could keep him next year. (ProFootballTalk)

Kelly looks to control emotions

No wonder coach Brian Kelly was so upset. That loss on Saturday dropped Notre Dame out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll. LSU is now No. 2 behind Oklahoma. Kelly has admitted that the loss to South Florida has been one of the most frustrating of his career. (ChicagoTribune)

LaHair or Pena?

Carlos Pena has turned down a trade with the Yankees. It seems as though Pena wants to resign with the Cubs. However, the question is do the Cubs want Pena back for 10 million next season or will Bryan Lahair (Pacific Coast League MVP) get a shot for just 350,000? The Cubs are reportedly heavily considering Pena. (HardballTalk)

Levy the Novelist

Former coach Marv Levy is releasing his first novel later this month, "Between The Lies." He has expressed his passion for football through his novel. Levy said the great thing about coaching and writing is waiting to see if the outcome is acceptable. The novel is about two teams, Los Angeles Leopards and Portland Pioneers meeting up in the Super Bowl. Although these are events from real life experiences the book is fiction.

Pera's soon to recover

Although Dan Persa is not putting a timetable on his recover he says he it is not far. He is helping out from the sidelines as an unofficial quarterbacks coach. Persa also said since Kain Colter did such a great job that it takes pressure off of him.

Zach LaVine's conditioning at '70 percent' but still on schedule

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USA TODAY

Zach LaVine's conditioning at '70 percent' but still on schedule

Everybody saw the play, that awkward instance where Zach LaVine looked ready for his second dunk of the season but was fouled from behind by Atlanta’s Taurean Prince.

It looked as if LaVine was ready for liftoff but one of his jets misfired, sparking at least the thought of his recovery from his ACL injury being a bit off—but he laughed at the thought.

“I don’t know why everybody keeps talking about it,” LaVine said Sunday at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center, where the Bulls held practice. “The dude stepped on the back of my foot, so I couldn’t get off the ground. Everybody’s wondering if I’m okay, yeah. I just missed a fouled layup.”

The adrenaline from his first two games have worn off a bit, and he missed his first four shots from the field Saturday before hitting a couple in the start of the third quarter in the Bulls’ 113-97 win over the Hawks.

He looked winded a few times during his stint and admitted his conditioning isn’t where it should be—as expected given he’s missed 11 months of real basketball. He said his conditioning is at about “70 percent”, and you can certainly see it in his jump shot not being as fluid as it was last season in Minnesota.

“It was feeling good in practice but in games it’s seventy,” LaVine said. “Playing defense, getting back, running the break, just getting used to it.”

Add to it, the Bulls cover the most halfcourt ground of any team in the NBA with their set offense and Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has long said he’s not slowing down his offense while LaVine is in.

The shooting guard will have to catch up to the pace, and it’ll probably be better for him in the long run.

“I think it’s just ‘okay’ and rightfully so,” said Hoiberg about LaVine’s conditioning. “It’s impossible to simulate game action in practices when you’re doing individual workouts. Every time he plays that conditioning will ramp up. As he plays, it’ll get better and better. And he’s such a good and natural athlete, it’ll come back quickly.”

Hoiberg isn’t concerned about the variances in LaVine’s performances. He came out the gate with such force and adrenaline in his debut against Detroit and two days later against Miami, but it’s tailed off against Golden State and then Atlanta.

“I think Zach’s doing great,” Hoiberg said. “You look around the league where players have come back from significant injuries, he’s gonna be up and down. His first two games he’s been unbelievable. A couple games he hasn’t shot the ball great. He played unselfish basketball last night.”

LaVine’s minutes has been extended to 24 from 20, and he’ll still practice in the off-days as the Bulls want to keep his rehab on schedule as opposed to having him play heavy minutes initially.

He’ll be re-evaluated after Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia and could see his minutes rise before the Bulls host the Lakers Friday at the United Center.

“I should just get used to it,” LaVine said. “Just getting used to the swing of things. It takes a second for your body to get adjusted to it.”

Three Things to Watch: Bulls visit Pelicans

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls visit Pelicans

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Bulls take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Pregame Live.

1. Anthony Davis

The five-time All-Star just continues to improve. While he's not averaging career-highs in any major category, no one's going to scoff at his 26.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.1 blocks in 36 minutes per game. He's shooting nearly 56 percent from the field and is on pace for a career-best in 3-pointers made, which is a pretty impressive statistic. Lauri Markkanen will have his hands full, and it may be in the Bulls' best interest to get Nikola Mirotic some early minutes to try and get physical with Davis. There's no real way to slow him down.

2. DeMarcus Cousins

And if the Bulls should so happen to get lucky and slow down Davis, there's another All-Star starter waiting alongside him. Boogie Cousins has been every bit as good as Davis this season, averaging 25.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 36 minutes. He's certainly not as efficient as Davis (47 percent from the field, 5.0 turnovers) but is deadly inside. He's shooting a career-best 52.8 percent on 2-pointers this season, and his 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks make him a serviceable defender (although the Bulls could certainly stretch their offense to make him work more).

3. Rajon Rondo

Rondo hasn't been great in his first season with the Pellies, but perhaps he's turning things around. Beginning with his absurd 25-assist game just after Christmas, Rondo is averaging 7.4 points, 8.2 assists and 1.0 steal per game. He's allowed Jrue Holiday to play more off the ball, and while his defense is nothing to write home about he's logging solid minutes for a Pelicans team woefully short in the backcourt.