Bulls

Bulls notes: Hamilton's minutes remain limited

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Bulls notes: Hamilton's minutes remain limited

BOSTON Rip Hamilton scored 13 of his 15 points in the third quarter of the Bulls Wednesday-night overtime win in Toronto. However, despite having the hot hand, the veteran shooting guard, who also finished with five assists on the evening, didnt return to the game, even as the Raptors made a run to send the contest into an extra session and backup Marco Belinelli struggled, missing clutch free throws and shots from the field late.

I thought Rip was terrific, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau explained. Rip made a lot of good plays for us. He knocked some shots down, but his playmaking was terrific.

I did, he continued, when asked if he considered reinsertng Hamilton, before explaining the rationale behind ruling against it. Because Im watching his minutes.

Hamilton, who played 18 minutes in the contest, acknowledged that fact afterwards, adding: But I know it coming into the game.

Noah: Rose will add new dimension to Bulls

Asked about the Bulls excellent ball movement as of late and how it could be affected by the eventual return of Derrick Rose unlike any player on the Bulls current roster, with the exception of backup point guard Nate Robinson, the former league MVP is known for his ability to create off the dribble Joakim Noah had an insightful response.

I think that Derrick deserves to hold the ball a little bit more, but I think hes going to add a whole different dimension to what we already have, the center, whos picked up some of the ballhandling duties during the point guards absence. Hes somebody who demands a lot of attention, so when he comes, its going to free up a lot of things for us.

Celtics Garnett, Rondo named All-Star starters

Friday night, the Bulls will take on the Celtics, who feature two players who were announced as 2013 NBA All-Star Game starters Thursday evening, point guard Rajon Rondo and future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.

The latter is debatable, due to not only stiff competition among big men in the Eastern Conference though the leagues new frontcourt designation muddles things a bit but also the seventh-place Celtics record.

Still, while the likes of New Yorks Tyson Chandler and the Bulls Joakim Noah could stake claim to being the top center in the East, Garnett, who finished his high-school career at Farragut Career Academy on the West Side of Chicago, still has a major impact on the game defensively and while he isnt Bostons top offensive option, his mere presence makes him an important facilitator for the Celtics.

In the case of Rondo, he clearly benefits from the absence of Rose on the ballot, as the Bulls point guard, when healthy, can be penciled in as an All-Star starter before the season even starts.

Still, with counterparts like Brooklyns Deron Williams having an uneven campaign and emerging second-year star Kyrie Irving of Cleveland on a woeful Cavaliers team not to mention floor generals such as Milwaukees Brandon Jennings and Philadelphias Jrue Holiday playing in near-anonymity Rondo is head and shoulders above other players at his position in the East this season.

Knicks' Shumpert makes season debut

Oak Park, Ill., native Iman Shumpert, a second-year guard for New York, started for the Knicks' in the team's Thursday-afternoon win over the Pistons in London.

The athletic, defensive-minded Shumpert played 15 minutes and scored eight points in the game, his first since tearing his ACL last April 28, the same day Rose suffered his injury.

Shumpert reportedly had surgery to repair his torn knee ligament 10 days before Rose, who was advised to wait until the swelling subsided.

Michael Porter Jr.: 'I'm the perfect fit for today's NBA game'

Michael Porter Jr.: 'I'm the perfect fit for today's NBA game'

Michael Porter Jr. grabbed some attention when he remarked that he was "perfect fit for today's NBA game" during an appearance on The Will Cain Show.

The interview went a long way towards showing off the uber-confident nature of Porter, who has consistently talked about being the best player in his class throughout the draft process. Porter also remarked that he was "an immediate impact guy," and that he "doesn't want it to take long to be one of the best players in the NBA."

His hubris has been intruiging considering the mystery surrounding the prospect.

During the interview Porter added that he would be open to doing more workouts for NBA front offices ahead of Thursday's NBA Draft. The only workout he has completed so far was his pro day workout in Chicago, and multiple reports have cited that Porter did look good shooting, though he was in an isolated setting with no defenders.

The one thing Porter has not done much throughout the process is talk about his weaknesses, which is somewhat concerning seeing as he has much to improve on. The general consensus is that a healthy Porter can get buckets at will. But if he can improve his ball-handling, rebounding and passing skills, he will be much more than a go-to scorer. Tightening his ball-handling skills is likely the key, as the ability to grab the rebound and push in transition would be a huge boon for Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg's offense.

The biggest question when it comes to Porter on the Bulls is can he fit with Lauri Markkanen? Despite receiving many favorable Kevin Durant and Paul George comparisons leading up to the draft, there is a rising sentiment that his best position in the NBA may be the power forward spot. It is not yet known if he has the foot speed to stay in front of quicker wings in today's NBA. But at six-feet-ten-inches, it is easy to imagine him having a huge advantage against slower power forwards rather than wings. While Markkanen is not currently built to be a full-time center, playing him at the five with Porter at the four would present Hoiberg with a potentially devastating closing lineup.

Versatility is the name of the game in today's league, and Michael Porter Jr. may be the key to unlocking the full potential of Hoiberg's pace-and-space attack. 

Paul Zipser says he is unlikely to return to Bulls

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USA TODAY

Paul Zipser says he is unlikely to return to Bulls

Just two years after being drafted in the second round, Paul Zipser told German media that he doesn’t see the Bulls wanting him next season.

The Bulls have until mid-July to pick up Zipser's option.

"I would not be surprised if they no longer want me.” Zipser said in German and translated via Google Translate

“Actually, I'm pretty sure I will not play in Chicago soon.”

Last month, Zipser had surgery on his fractured left foot, in his native country of Germany, which grew speculation the Bulls wouldn’t pick up his player option for next season. Zipser said the surgery "went perfectly."

Zipser showed some flashes of potential in his rookie season, averaging 5.5 per game and 2.8 rebounds in 44 games. But this past season, he played more games, but injuries derailed him from improving his overall production. He finished with four points and 2.4 rebounds in 54 games, including 12 starts.

Zipser explained that things changed from his first year to his second year.

“They were very varied," Zipser said. "The first year was just going very well. I fought my way into the team from the beginning and showed how I can help the team. The Bulls just needed someone like me. That's why it worked so well. We benefited from each other - that's why we were successful.”

“That was very different. It was not right from the beginning, and I was already struggling with my injury. It was not quite clear what it is. If you have pain in your foot, you automatically go down a bit with intensity. You just do not want to hurt yourself and be completely out. It was then difficult for me to keep my head in the sport - I did not manage that well. Nevertheless, the injury should not be an excuse.”

Nothing is official yet, but it sounds like Zipser might not dress up in a Bulls uniform next year.