Bulls

Build Your Chicago-born NBA Starting Lineup

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AP

Build Your Chicago-born NBA Starting Lineup

Can you make the ultimate Chicago-born NBA team?

We're giving you 12 points to put together a five-man unit. And remember: We're only counting what these players did once they got to the NBA. 

Good luck.

5 POINTS

Derrick Rose, Simeon: The youngest MVP in NBA history averaged 21.0 points and 6.8 assists through the first four years of his career before crippling knee injuries haulted a Hall of Fame career.

Anthony Davis, Prospectives: The five-time All-Star keeps getting better. He's been named First Team All-NBA the last two seasons, averaging 28.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in that span. It's a matter of when, not if, he wins MVP.

Isiah Thomas, St. Joseph: A 12-time All-Star, a two-time NBA champion and a thorn in Michael Jordan's side, Thomas was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 after averaging 19.2 points and 9.3 assists in 13 seasons.

Dwyane Wade, Richards: Flash will go down as one of the game's all-time great shooting guards. In 12 straight All-Star seasons he averaged 24.2 points, 5.9 assists and 1.7 steals, won three titles and won gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

4 POINTS

Mark Aguirre, Westinghouse: A scoring machine with the Mavericks who averaged 24.6 points and was named to three All-Star teams in eight seasons. He then went on to win two titles with the Bad Boy Pistons.

Hersey Hawkins, Westinghouse: The sharpshooting guard averaged 14.7 points over 13 NBA seasons and ranks in the top-60 all-time in 3-point field goal percentage (39.4%).

Tim Hardaway, Carver: The five-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA guard averaged 17.7 points, 8.2 assists and 1.6 steals in 13 NBA seasons.

Terry Cummings, Carver: In his first 10 NBA seasons Cummings averaged 21.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and was named to a pair of All-Star Games, twice with the Bucks.

3 POINTS

Juwan Howard, Vocational: He played a 19-year career, but in the first 10 years he averaged 17.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists and was named to an All-Star Game in his second year.

Antoine Walker, Mt. Carmel: Walker was a 20-point per game scorer in eight seasons with the Celtics and then was a key cog off the bench in helping Dwyane Wade and the Heat to a title in 2006.

Kendall Gill, Rich Central: Our very own averaged 13.4 points over a 15-year NBA career and led the NBA in steals (2.7) in 1999 with the Nets.

Doc Rivers, Proviso East: In eight seasons with the Hawks, Rivers averaged 13.0 points and 6.8 assists and was named an All-Star in 1988.

2 POINTS

Jabari Parker, Simeon: Two torn ACLs have slowed his progression, but Parker has averaged 15.3 points on 49.0 perent shooting in four NBA seasons and will now suit up for his hometown team.

Tony Allen, Crane: Don't let his paltry offensive numbers fool you; Allen was three times named First Team All-NBA Defense, and three other times named Second Team All-NBA Defense.

Nick Anderson, Simeon: The sharpshooter of the Magic in the 90s, Anderson averaged 2.1 3-pointers per game on 37.7% shooting from 1995 to 1999.

Corey Maggette, Fenwick: The scoring machine averaged 16.0 points on 45 percent shooting over a 14-year NBA career.

1 POINT

Patrick Beverley, Marshall: The pesky defender has proven to be a solid off-ball shooter as well, connecting on 37.6% of his 3-point attempts in six NBA seasons. 

Eddy Curry, Thornwood: Curry led the NBA in field goal percentage in 2003 and averaged 12.9 points in 11 NBA seasons. He won a ring with the Heat in 2012 despite not playing a single postseason game (and just 14 regular season games).

Nazr Mohammed, Kenwood: The NBA journeyman played for eight different teams, averaging 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds. His infamous shove of LeBron James in the 2013 Playoffs will go down in Bulls lore.

Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young: He averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds as a rookie but has since fallen out of favor, bouncing around to three different teams in the span of a year.

Why the Bulls should take Charles Bassey with the No. 38 pick

Why the Bulls should take Charles Bassey with the No. 38 pick

This is the first entry in our "8 for 38" series, where will be looking at eight different under-the-radar NBA prospects that the Bulls could snag with their No. 38 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Charles Bassey/ 6’11’’/ 275 lbs./ Freshman/ Western Kentucky  

Bassey is a a well-regarded five-star recruit from Nigeria, who played his college ball at Western Kentucky University. He is a physical force on the court but definitely is a raw prospect at this stage of his development.

Bassey came into the season as an assumed first round talent, however, his stock has dropped after his impressive freshman season still revealed holes in his game that will definitely be exploited at the NBA level. All that being said, he was quite the prospect at WKU.

Strengths:

In his lone season at WKU, Bassey averaged 14.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game on 62.7 percent shooting from the field. His impressive double double average was built on his insane dominance inside the paint.

He shot an astounding 77.4 percent on shots at the rim and that number is even higher on non-post up shots around the basket. Bassey has a rudimentary hook shot that he can hit over his left shoulder but his postgame isn’t the hub of his offense. He generates most of his points by finishing on pick-and-rolls and using his faceup game.

Bassey’s physicality leads to him setting hard screens, and when he doesn’t set a hard screen, he slips to the basket quickly where he takes advantage with his soft touch when looking to score. It is tough for help defenders to knock Bassey off his path when he is rolling to the rim, as his immense lower body strength allows him to displace smaller players.

When Bassey faces up from 15-feet and in, he uses the aforementioned soft touch to convert on 40.8 percent of his 2-PT jump shots per Hoop-Math.com. On top of that, he generally has the speed to blow by most big men.

Bassey’s biggest strength from day one in the NBA will be his motor. He clearly gets fired up for big matchups, as he showcased when he dominated Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, who ended up winning the 2019 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given by the Basketball Hall of Fame to the country’s best center. In their late December matchup, Bassey helped hold Happ to a very inefficient 20 points on 23 shots.

In that same game Bassey finished with 19 points (7/8 FG, 5/5 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 4 blocks. He has arguably had better games, but the all-around versatility showcased in the stat line above is outstanding.

Bassey has flashed the ability to make nice passes before:

Since Bassey’s NBA offense will be centered around pick-and-roll plays, further developing his decision making on the short-roll will be a boon to whatever team drafts him.

On defense, Bassey already shows the ability to be an asset in the right system. When he is allowed to play in a traditional defensive system that has the center dropping back in pick-and-roll coverage, he swallows up shots with his 7-foot-3 wingspan.

Weaknesses:

The gigantic weakness Bassey showcased this season was an inability to function as a switch defender. He was great when it comes to protecting the rim--he averaged 2.4 blocks per game-- but he was consistently beat off the dribble by guards.

Of course it is rare to find any center--let alone a young one--that has the legitimate ability to function at a high-level when it comes to switching on to smaller, faster players. But that is precisely what makes Bassey the exact type of center you can find easily.

This is why a player of his talent level can slip into the second round.

Another big issue for Bassey is hands, or more specifically, the inability to hold on to passes when diving to the rim. As mentioned above, pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop basketball is how Bassey will carve out a niche in the league. But he occasionally struggled to hold on to the ball on throws that many would not even consider to be “tough passes”.

In the above strengths section it is mentioned how Bassey has some untapped potential as a passer, but he will never cash in on that potential if simply possessing the ball is a difficulty for him. He isn’t as explosive as usual if there are multiple defenders crowding him and raking at the ball, which happens often.

Over 1,067 minutes Basey amassed 24 assists as compared to a whopping 97 turnovers.

Long term outlook:

I believe Bassey will have a long NBA career due to his finishing in the paint and ability to block shots.

Bassey ran roughshod over his mostly Conference USA opposition on the season.

His 62.7 percent shooting from the field and 3.0 blocks per 40 minutes were a few of the many things that showed that Bassey is at least ready for the physicality of the NBA.

But to become much more than a solid journeyman center, Bassey will have to hone his perimeter jump shot to the point that he can become a solid 3-point threat. He shot 45 percent on a very limited 20 attempts from 3-point range and converted on 76.9 percent of his free throws, an enticing set of numbers that show the type of player he could be in the future.

Whether or not Robin Lopez stays, the Bulls will be short on center depth next season.  After Wendell Carter Jr. went down for the remainder of the 2018-19 season, we saw the Bulls play ultra-small lineups that got beat up on the glass often as Jim Boylen was still reluctant to play Felicio more than 15 minutes per game.

Adding a high-upside prospect like Bassey helps Boylen and co. avoid over-using lineups with Lauri Markkanen at center, which helps keep Markkanen fresh and theoretically improves the overall team defense. 

From one GOAT to another: "Greatest comeback I've ever seen"

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NBC Sports Chicago

From one GOAT to another: "Greatest comeback I've ever seen"

 

Michael Jordan is no stranger to amazing comebacks.

The man widely agreed upon to be the greatest player of all time, won six NBA Championships, with three of them coming after a full season sabbatical in which he played minor league baseball with the White Sox affiliate. And of course, MJ had his even later comeback with the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003, in which the year 40-year old Jordan averaged 21.2 PPG over two seasons to close out his career.

That is why Jordan’s effusive praise of Tiger Woods’ 2019 Masters victory should not be taken lightly in the greater context of sports history.

In an article written by The Athletic’s David Aldridge, Jordan talks about how he holds Woods’ 2019 Masters win in extremely high regard, calling it “the greatest comeback I've ever seen."

Jordan, a famously avid golfer himself and a friend of Woods, stated, “I’ve been a fan for I don’t know how long.....I never thought he’d get back physically.....He didn’t think he’d get back physically.”

Major success had escaped Woods--who only had one victory in 2018--due to a litany of back injuries and subsequent surgeries.

With Woods having a major victory under his belt for the 2019 season, he certainly has momentum rolling in his favor. That momentum could carry Woods to another major run of PGA Tour success, and MJ agreed that Woods’ belief in himself was perhaps the biggest factor in his 2019 Masters win.

“No one expected him to be back the way he is now. He's probably the only person who believed he could get back.”