Bulls

Bulls: Jerian Grant tweets basketball 'means way more to me than just a paycheck'

Bulls: Jerian Grant tweets basketball 'means way more to me than just a paycheck'

Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler sounded off on some of the younger Bulls players following their 119-114 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

The two stars, who combined for 73 points in the stunning loss, questioned whether the other players in the locker room cared enough or worked hard enough to give the Bulls (23-24) a chance to win each night.

Among the quotes was Wade, who said that "this can't be acceptable if you want to do something besides have an NBA jersey on and make some money. And that's all we're doing around here."

Well, apparenetly it didn't take long for that to not sit well with one of those younger players.

Point guard Jerian Grant sent out these tweets about an hour after Wade and Butler spoke to the media.

Grant, of course, does not mention Wade or Butler by name, but that the word "paycheck" was used in the second tweet is a clear indicator of what the point guard is referencing.

It should be noted that neither Wade nor Butler called out any player by name while speaking with the media. They did question shot selection, but Grant was not on the floor when the Bulls collapsed on both ends of the floor.

Grant, who made his second straight start, scored five points and handed out three assists in 19 minutes before Hoiberg opted to go without a point guard for much of the second half.

"As individuals, guys got to look at themselves in the mirror and see, do you really care enough? Are you putting everything into this for your teammates and for yourself?" Wade said. "I would say no, but guys have to look themselves in the mirror and see if they're doing it."

The Bulls don't practice on Friday, so we'll need to wait until Saturday to see what's next in the soap opera that has become the Chicago Bulls.

Wade also tweeted, but in a much more subtle form.

Wendell Carter Jr. making a name for himself as top defender in 2018 class

Wendell Carter Jr. making a name for himself as top defender in 2018 class

Wendell Carter Jr. has been one of the few bright spots in a tough stretch for the Bulls. 

Speculation around the time of the 2018 NBA Draft was that Mohammed Bamba, Jaren Jackson Jr. or even DeAndre Ayton could end up being better defenders than Carter due to their athleticism. And while time will tell if this is true, so far in 2018-19, Carter has shown that he is ahead of his peers in terms of breaking down what is happening in front of him and assessing what his responsibility is. One of the main thing holding back the Bulls on defense is ball-watching.

To be effective against an opponent that swings the ball around on offense—generating good shots from the strong and weakside—your defense needs to have all five players on the floor with their head on a swivel, keeping an eye on the ball and their man. Carter has done a lot of leading by example in this specific area. 

Carter's defensive numbers have been head-and-shoulders above his fellow rookie big men and with Hoiberg trusting him with 25+ minutes a night, the gap between he and his peers is likely to grow.

Heading into Wednesday's game, opponent's attacked him frequently within 6 feet of the basket. When Carter defends shot within 6 feet of the basket he makes opponent's shoot 9.3 percent worse, the best mark on the Bulls if you consider sample size. 

As of now, Carter is still on pace to be the only teenager in NBA history to average at least 2 blocks per game. And if he keeps this up, his case for Rookie of the Year will only get stronger.

And with all of the injuries and struggles of this young team, Carter's impressive defensive IQ continues to bring hope.

The Bulls upcoming back-to-back will see them take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard respectively. 

These matchups will likely show just how far away the Bulls are from being a competitive team. But with Chicago’s perimeter defense lacking sufficient wing defenders, these two games will also showcase Carter’s ability to be the last line of defense, on a team that could use a first one.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jimmy Butler makes debut for Philly

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jimmy Butler makes debut for Philly

Patrick Finley and Anthony Herron join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00 - Mark Schanowski drops by to talk about Zach LaVine’s minutes load, Lauri Markkanen’s rehab and Jimmy Butler’s debut for Philly. Plus, they discuss if Draymond Green might have just pushed Kevin Durant out the door in Golden State when this season is over?

13:00 - The guys dissect Mitch Trubisky’s NFC Offensive Player of the Week award and Cody Parkey travelling to Soldier Field to practice kicking.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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