Bulls

With ankle improving, Rose has 'amnesia' from Heat game

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With ankle improving, Rose has 'amnesia' from Heat game

DEERFIELD, Ill. - Two days after his career-low two-point outing in the Bulls thrilling overtime win over the Heat, in which he shot a nightmarish 1-for-13 from the field, Derrick Rose claimed he had amnesia.

"It was just one of those games, said the reigning league MVP following the Bulls Saturday-afternoon practice at the Berto Center, after which the team left for Detroit in advance of Sundays game against the Pistons. I forgot about that game and its on to the next one.

We have a good team. Only thing I can take from it, continued Rose. Of course I didnt play up to the ability I can play at and we still found a way to win the game. Weve got a deep team.

Rose, who watched film of Thursdays win with Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau after practice said he was Just seeing how they were defensively and how open people were on the weak side. Her wore a thick wrap around his right ankle and though he was a full participant in Saturdays session, he admitted that the injury severely hampered him against Miami.

When your ankles hurting, you cant move. You know how a sore ankle is. Bone is tender, cant get around like that or you tend to walk around, he acknowledged. When I was out there, it was definitely sore. An ankle injurys definitely going to be sore. If you play basketball, you would know that. But right now, its getting better and hopefully Ill be able to make some shots tomorrow.

Added Thibodeau, the perceived frontrunner for the leagues top-coaching honors for the second straight season: Rose is doing great. He came in yesterday, got a lot of work in yesterday. Hes feeling really good.

After two supbar performances since returning from a strained right groin that kept him out of 12 consecutive contests - he scored 29 points, but shot only 8-for-26 from the field in an Easter Sunday overtime loss at New York before sitting out Tuesdays home win over the Knicks with the ankle sprain, then returning for Thursdays victory - Rose was optimistic about his chances of bouncing back strong in the near future.

Its getting better every day and improving. Im just trying to work on my health, stay positive, like I always say, and keep my spirits up, he said. Shooting, running, shooting off the dribble, things like that to keep my rhythm up. Just try to get back quicker, just playing one-on-one, stuff like that.

Roses conditioning is all right. During the game, it didnt bother me. I think Ive been running enough. Beginning of the season, even when I was out with the groin injury, I took probably a week or something off. Then, I was running a little bit, working on my cardio in the pool and I think Im all right, he continued. Its possible that Rose plays more minutes in the Bulls final seven games of the season, yeah. I would love to. Its really up to Thibs, to see how much hes going to play me.

2018-19 NBA Power Rankings: Opening Week edition

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USA TODAY

2018-19 NBA Power Rankings: Opening Week edition

The theme of the 2018-19 NBA season will be: “old faces in new places”. Like a season-long game of the NBA on TNT crew’s “Who he play for?” game, this year will be about fans trying to get used to the idea of LeBron James in purple (I won’t call it ‘Forum Blue’)-and-gold, DeMarcus Cousins being on a championship-contending franchise and Kawhi Leonard being the new face of Toronto.

The Warriors are still the easy favorite to make it four NBA championships in five years, but they will be tested perhaps more than any year before in a loaded Western Conference, where even the lowliest of teams (here’s to you Phoenix and Memphis!) made solid offseason moves geared towards winning games.

Over in the now-LeBron-less East, there is hope amongst at least four-to-five teams that they could actually have a shot to win the conference. The Pacers still have budding superstar Victor Oladipo, the Sixers still have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and the Raptors and Bucks made head coaching changes that could lead to deep playoff runs. But with the rest of the Eastern conference being stuck between lottery contention and middle of the pack, expect the half-experienced, half-youthful Celtics to takeover as East juggernaut.

But whether or not your favorite franchise is aiming for a high draft pick or a postseason berth, there is tons to be excited in a 2018-19 NBA season that will surely be an intriguing one. Check out Week 1 of our NBA Power Rankings right here.

Deadline passes as Bulls, Bobby Portis fail to reach agreement on contract extension

Deadline passes as Bulls, Bobby Portis fail to reach agreement on contract extension

The Bulls and Bobby Portis were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension by today’s deadline, which will make the power forward a restricted free agent next offseason.

According to The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, Portis’ agent Mark Bartelstein and Gar Forman had “lengthy face-to-face negotiations” on Monday prior to the deadline. The two sides weren’t able to come to an agreement.

The negotiations – and lack of a deal – come after a summer and training camp in which Portis continued to show progression. After beginning the preseason coming off the bench Portis quickly played his way into the starting lineup alongside rookie Wendell Carter Jr. Portis finished five preseason games averaging 17.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in just 22.4 minutes.

Portis, the 22nd pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, has seen his role increase each of his three seasons. He made a jump last season in Year 3, averaging 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 22.5 minutes. He was one of three players, including DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Love, to average 21 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 3-pointers per 36 minutes.

Though the Bulls certainly had the room to sign Portis to an extension, there were obvious reasons on both sides to wait on a deal. For starters, the Bulls will still be able to match any deal Portis receives in free agency next July, much like what happened with Zach LaVine and the Sacramento Kings. The Bulls maintain their abundance of cap space for the 2019 offseason, when they’ll be able to offer a max contract to the top-tier free agents, and they get to see if Portis makes another jump.

For Portis, it’s a case of him betting on himself. If the Bulls came in with a number he wasn’t satisfied with – to help keep their max cap space – he now finds himself on a contract year playing for his next contract. Still only 23 years old, Portis should cash in in July.

Two players from Portis’ draft class were able to cash in. Pacers center Myles Turner signed a reported four-year, $80 million extension and Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. agreed to a four-year, $45 million deal. Portis likely would have fallen somewhere in between those two deals had an agreement occurred.

The Bulls are hardly in an easy situation with Portis. Though they value the versatile power forward, Lauri Markkanen is entrenched at the position for the foreseeable future and the team just spent last year’s No. 7 overall pick on center Wendell Carter Jr. Portis realistically is stuck behind both those players, though he certainly has starting level NBA talent.