Bulls

Bulls run wild, annihilate Warriors from tip

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Bulls run wild, annihilate Warriors from tip

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
Updated 11:50 PM
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

If they hadnt seen Derrick Roses ever-present Fast Dont Lie adidas commercials before, the Golden State Warriors likely have a paraphrase of the slogan ricocheting inside their heads after being trounced, 120-90, at the hands of the Bulls at the United Center Thursday evening.

Roses 22-point, 13-assist effort and Luol Dengs 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists paced a balanced Chicago effort all five starters were in double figures to help run away from their fast-paced guests by giving them a dose of their own medicine, coupled with a helping of tough defense in making the game a laugher.
Matador

Luol Dengs 26-point, 11-rebound, five-assist, two-block effort was sensational, but Derrick Rose was the engine that made the Bulls go on this evening, just like he is on most nights. Rose pushed the tempo offensively, was aggressive scoring the ball and was also a factor on the defensive end.

Im just trying to be aggressive. I see when Im aggressive it opens things up early and we won the game, and thats what its all about winning, said Rose, who poured in 22 points and dished out 13 assists. Every night, Im trying to be aggressive.

Were a hard team to guard when we get out in transition and we get fast breaks. Get the ball to Derrick and run, thats all youve got to do, added Keith Bogans, Roses partner in the starting backcourt. Hes either going to finish or hes going to find you. Its easy offense when were playing in transition.

Moment of Truth

The tired Warriors they played four games in five nights were out of the game by the end of the first quarter, especially after a sequence in which Bogans recorded back-to-back thefts. After the first, he made an outlet pass to Rose already with a full head of steam who winded through traffic for slicing left-handed layup in transition.

After the second steal, Bogans and Rose executed a picture-perfect fast-break sequence the pair passed back and forth like a high school basketball teams practice drill; the ball didnt hit the floor resulting in a powerful two-handed tomahawk slam by Rose and a subsequent Golden State timeout with two minutes remaining in the opening period.

A little over a minute later, the Bulls put the icing on the cake with a beautiful Noah bounce pass to a cutting Rose backdoor, ending in a remarkably similar dunk to his previous transition finish. Chicago took a 34-20 lead into the second quarter.

Head-to-Head

In a battle between USA Basketball teammates, Rose clearly outclassed his summer pal Stephen Curry, last seasons Rookie of the Year runner-up. Roses aggressiveness, physicality and his teammates help defense seemed to bother Curry, who shot 4-for-11 in the first half.

Its just trying to be aggressive on defense. Coach always tells me out of anyone on our team, Im the one that always needs to help and it showed tonight, Rose explained. Me helping led to Steph being open, but we contested his shots. Me stopping the penetration and kicking out, forcing Steph into a bad shot or contesting his shot, Im the guy thats usually going to help everybody on the floor.

Offensively, Rose benefited from a porous Golden State defense (to his credit, Ellis did finish with five steals) that played him differently than other Bulls opponents had in recent games.

Tonight, they werent trying to blitz the pick-and-roll and I was hitting my shots, and hitting people when they were wide open.
X-Factor

Often criticized for his usually-modest offensive output, Bogans not only scored 14 points (including a pair of three-pointers), he swiped a season-high six steals, while doing a more-than-adequate job on the always-dangerous Monta Ellis.

I just wanted to make everything tough for him. Hes a great player, great scorer and I was just trying not to let him get it going early, said Bogans. Kurt Thomas, Joakim Noah, they were all on me in the training room this morning. Kurt probably said, Dont let it be a 50 point night. I definitely didnt want that to happen, but my teammates did a good job of being in the right spots and helping me contain him.

I just take what they give me on defense. I played the passing lanes tonight, got a few deflections. My defense turned into offense just by getting deflections and steals, and getting out on the break.

I thought Keith Bogans did a good job on Monta, just making it tough for him every shot, chimed in Luol Deng. Hes a great player and the rest of us followed.

Subtly Strategic

To begin the second quarter, Thibodeau left his starting backcourt of Rose and Bogans in the game as well as Deng, who has been playing with the second unit to start the quarter to go with early subs Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik. The coach would quickly sub in Taj Gibson (14 points, seven rebounds) for Asik, as the Warriors took out backup center Dan Gadzuric in favor of a smaller lineup, but he denied leaving in Rose (Bogans would be replaced by backup point guard C.J. Watson) was a move designed to create more offense from a bench that has sometimes struggled to do so this season.

Well, I was viewing it more defensively. With the matchups with Ellis and Curry, I wanted to stay with Derrick and C.J. They played together just so we could match up better defensively, said Thibodeau. Weve talked about doing it more and a lot depends upon your matchups. We want to settle on our rotation, so guys know when theyre going in. Their rotation changed some tonight with injured Golden State power forward David Lee being out, too. We werent quite sure if they would play smaller, longer and then what that would mean for us in terms of how we matched up defensively.
Thorn in the Side

Although Bogans did a solid job on Ellis, the Golden State scorer still ended up with 24 points (three below his average of 27.1 points per game, good for second in the league entering the contest) on 10-for-20 shooting. An underrated passer, Ellis also dished out five assists on the night, but he and his teammates were obviously exhausted after a tough game in New York the previous evening.

Chicago temporarily solved their season-long foul issues on both ends committing only seven fouls and shooting 21-for-23 from the charity stripe. Not much to complain about overall, although both Thibodeau and Rose griped about turnovers (the Bulls turned the ball over 12 times) late in the game.

What the Future Holds

With the annual circus trip coming up next week, it would be easy for the Bulls to look past their next opponent lowly Washington especially after the high of the blowout victory over Golden State. However, the Bulls are already focused on Saturdays contest against the visiting Wizards, in the last home game Chicago plays until December.

Were going to try to come out and play the same. We cant look past them, said Rose. Theyre a young team with a lot of good young players. Weve just got to take care of that problem first on the way to the road.

Even though Washington has been struggling, No. 1 draft pick John Wall seems to be hitting his stride, with a triple-double in Wednesdays Wizards win, as well as threatening a rookie assist record previously held by the legendary Oscar Robertson.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.coms Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

2019 NBA Mock Draft: Post-Combine edition

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USA TODAY

2019 NBA Mock Draft: Post-Combine edition

We've now got a wild NBA Draft Lottery and an underwhelming NBA Draft Combine in the books. Now it's on to individual meetings and workouts before draft night approaches on June 20.

With point guards Darius Garland and Coby White reportedly receiving promises, the Bulls may have their pick of wing options at No. 7.

Check out Mark Strotman's latest mock draft right here.

Every move the Bulls make should be geared toward the summer of 2021

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AP

Every move the Bulls make should be geared toward the summer of 2021

The rebuilding Bulls continue to search for windows to contend, and one slammed in their face last Tuesday when they failed to move up in the NBA Draft Lottery and a chance to draft Duke’s Zion Williamson. Lost in the chaos of that evening – three teams moved up, pushing the Bulls back to No. 7 – was the reality that every effort and decision the front office and coaching staff makes should be geared toward looking for that next window.

And that next opportunity to begin building a contender in the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference will open back up in the summer of 2021.

VP John Paxson said all the right things in the wake of the team dealing for Otto Porter Jr. in February, that the two-way wing would fill a need, bring veteran leadership to a terribly inexperienced locker room and give the Bulls a talented player for the next two-plus seasons. The Bulls did their free agent bidding four months early, knowing that the Kyries, the Durants and the Leonards of the world weren’t going to join a team that eventually won 22 games a year after going 27-55.

But Porter also lined up perfectly with that all-important timeline. He’ll make more than $55 million the next two seasons, which is fine considering the Bulls weren’t going to be players in free agency until then. The Bulls will get to see what it’s like to play with a talented perimeter small forward, and core pieces in Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen can only get better with him in the lineup.

He’ll also be a free agent in July 2021. That’s the same time Cristiano Felicio’s four-year, $32 million deal runs out – yes, it’s tough to see the Bulls being able to move his contract at any point before then. Our own Kevin Anderson, renowned Bulls capologist, crunched some numbers on what the Bulls’ salary cap could look like on July 1, 2021.

A few things to point out before getting to the chart. The NBA hasn’t projected a salary cap for 2021 so we factored in an increase of $4 million, putting the estimated cap at $120 million. The Bulls will draft seventh in 2019, and for this hypothetical scenario included draft picks in 2020 (15th) and 2021 (20th) to their cap. Don’t get bogged down in the numbers or the slots the Bulls are picking. They’re just fillers. Including cap hits, the Bulls could have $63 million heading into free agency in 2021.

We’ll let you Google the names of unrestricted free agents in 2021 – and, yes, they’re pretty big names – but the point here is that the Bulls will have a much more enticing offer for prospective free agents when that summer rolls around. The current state of the roster doesn’t scream “come join us!” But by the time the Bulls sit down at the table of a tier one free agent in 2021, they’ll have:

- a 23-year-old Lauri Markkanen entering his fifth NBA season
- a 25-year-old Zach LaVine entering his eighth NBA season
- a 22-year-old Wendell Carter entering his fourth NBA season
- Lottery picks from 2019, 2020 and potentially 2021

They’ll have guys like Chandler Hutchison and perhaps a few holdovers from the current roster, but the above is the core that could entice a max player to, at the very least, consider Chicago.

The key for the Bulls over the next two seasons is to protect as much cap space as possible and add veterans that can help this young core grow. Three- and four-year deals should be off the table unless the Bulls are positive that player can be part of the next wave. Stopgaps are nice on paper and fill short-term needs, but the Bulls need to be looking long-term in every move they make. If a free agent deal signed the next two offseasons is going to spill into 2022 or later, it had better be a significant piece. That seems unlikely to happen, meaning the Bulls should target one- and two-year deals. Again, it's not what you want to hear but it's what needs to happen.

In terms of veterans, think Brooklyn signing Ed Davis, Philadelphia signing Amir Johnson and Atlanta signing Vince Carter (and the Kings doing so the previous year). None of those acquisitions produced much as far as on-court numbers were concerned, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any young talent on those teams who aren’t happy to have had them in the locker room.

It’s not a direct comparison, but the Bulls could follow the Brooklyn Nets’ model to get there. Brooklyn unearthed talent in players like Caris LeVert (20th overall), Jarrett Allen (22nd overall), Spencer Dinwiddie (G-League) and Joe Harris (two years, $16 million). That Nets team also took on the salaries of DeMarre Carroll and Kenneth Faried at a time when they weren’t contending to acquire draft assets that turned into significant pieces; the Nets took Rodions Kurucs with the second round pick included in the Faried deal, and they’ll have the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft thanks to the Faried deal.

The Nets also found their All-Star in D’Angelo Russell after acquiring him from the Lakers. Again, it’s not a perfect comparison, but LaVine could be the Russell of the Nets’ rebuild. Brooklyn went from 20 wins to 28 wins to 42 wins in large part because of his play. Russell could be on the way out if the Nets want to be in play for a max player – think Irving or Durant – this offseason, but if he yielded them a winning team that free agents are now interested in when they wouldn’t have been two years ago, that trade was a success for Brooklyn (they could also unload Allen Crabbe’s $18.5 million salary to be in play for two max players, and past assets to attach to that potential trade make it possible).

The Bulls should be looking for similar plays. They need to improve in the short-term but can do so in a way that leads to 2021. It’s not what fans want to hear after 27- and 22-win seasons, but short-term solutions make you a 41-win Pistons team without much real hope to actually contend.

The Bulls have identified three core players in Markkanen, LaVine and Carter, in addition to the draft picks they’ll have over the next three classes before free agency begins in 2021. Every move from them until now should be with that in mind, when the window opens next.