Bulls

Bulls take another shot at a player with upside

Bulls take another shot at a player with upside

The Bulls continue to add young players to the team's backcourt.

After signing Antonio Blakeney to a two-way contract as a result of his strong play with the Bulls summer league team, the Bulls have added former Lakers guard David Nwaba.

Nwaba was waived by the Lakers two days ago, but the Bulls have swooped in to add the 24-year-old guard.

Nwaba's didn't take a traditional path to the NBA. The Los Angeles native intially headed to Division II Hawaii Pacific, but redshirted and then transferred to Santa Monica College. After a standout year in JuCo ball, Nwaba wound up at Cal Poly, where he averaged double figure scoring for three years.

He went undrafted after that, but found a spot in the D-League. The Lakers gave him a 10-day contract in February and he stuck for the rest of the season. Nwaba averaged six points per game in just under 20 minutes per game. He played 20 games with the Lakers.

In his report on the move, The Vertical's Shams Charania said the Lakers waived him to free salary space in order to sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Nwaba is known as an athletic guard who is a good defender. He has upside and the Bulls may be in a position to give him a chance to play while the team moves to rebuilding mode this year.

Bulls observations: Rodman, Wennington and role guys key Game 4 win over Knicks

Bulls observations: Rodman, Wennington and role guys key Game 4 win over Knicks

We got Dennis Rodman inhaling rebounds, 'Winnington' time and an electric Garden atmosphere in Game 4 of Bulls-Knicks. But most importantly, the Bulls seized a 3-1 series lead. Observations:

A night for the unsung heroes

Michael Jordan got in foul trouble early, picking up two personals in the opening minutes and a third before the first half was over. He was the only Bulls starter not to play every minute of the first quarter. To give you an idea of how rare Jordan battling foul trouble is… 

 

So, yeah, he didn’t foul out of this one. Even in a game that wasn’t his strongest, he led the Bulls with 27 points (though on a paltry 7-for-23 shooting), and tacked on eight rebounds and eight assists in 40 minutes.

But the role players were the story for the Bulls. Ron Harper had a postseason-high 18 points. Randy Brown chipped in a timely eight, Jud Buechler provided a first-half spark with six in the opening two quarters, and the bench, as a whole, shot 64.7 percent from the field — well above the team-wide mark of 40.7 percent. 

Then, it was ‘Winnington’ time in the fourth. Bill scored four points in the final minute-and-a-half — both field goals on setups from Dennis Rodman. The second, a stoic 10-footer from the right baseline, put the Bulls in front for good. 

On a night for unsung heroes, it was awesome to watch Wennington, Rodman and John Salley (let’s not forget Spider’s defense on Ewing on the Knicks’ second-to-last possession) stymie the Knicks’ momentum and pull the Bulls in front. Jordan scored two points in the fourth quarter — on a pair of free throws with 11.2 seconds remaining — and it didn’t matter. The Bulls prevailed 94-91, their slimmest margin of victory in the '96 playoffs.

Dennis Rodman eats rebounds for breakfast, lunch and dinner

To anyone with eyes, the physicality of this series compared to the modern game (and even their first round series against the Heat) stands out prominently. On the glass, the Bulls thrived on that intensity.

Rodman led the way again in this one with 19 rebounds (10 offensive) in a team-high 41 minutes. As mentioned, he slung two late assists to help seal the game. And his 19th rebound, a contested snare off a Ewing floater, gave the Bulls the opportunity to clinch the game with free throws and a final defensive possession. 

On the series, The Worm averaged 15.6 boards per game. He’s awesome.

The Garden was electric

From the jump, the rare energy in Madison Square Garden was apparent, even through the television screen. That swelled as the Knicks got off to a fast start, leading 28-24 after the first quarter and outshooting the Bulls by a wide margin in the first half (at one point, they were 16-for-25 to the Bulls’ 18-for-40).

The organist really set the tone — Sir Duke on loop beats the Power Clap any day.

 

When the Bulls sputtered through offensive possessions midway through the fourth, the crowd’s crescendo was palpable (the Knicks defended their absolute butts off for a long stretch). A John Starks and-one fastbreak layup to cut their deficit to 86-83 elicited a bonafide roar. Consecutive tough buckets by Patrick Ewing to cap a six-minute, 13-0 run that put the Knicks up three late in the fourth quarter incited pure delirium.

It made the Bulls pulling out the tooth-and-nail victory all the more gratifying, especially when a Starks 3 that would have tied it was waved off for traveling with 1.3 seconds left. But, man, if the Knicks ever get good again, it would be so much fun, and that crowd is evidence. You could say the same for the Bulls. I digress.

Game 5 on Monday on NBC Sports Chicago.

Every other night through April 15, NBC Sports Chicago is airing the entirety of the Bulls' 1996 NBA championship run. Find the full schedule here.

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Bulls send out a message thanking healthcare professionals amid the coronavirus pandmeic

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Bulls send out a message thanking healthcare professionals amid the coronavirus pandmeic

On Friday morning the Bulls organization sent out a message thanking healthcare professionals and workers who are (mandatorily) working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

In the message posted on Friday morning, various current and former members of the Bulls organization — including (but not limited to) Horace Grant, Zach LaVine, Thaddeus Young, Stacey King, Bill Wennington and Bulls COO and President Michael Reinsdorf — thanked all those workers, including all those in the healthcare and food industry, for the hard work they have put in amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Bulls and White Sox (both owned by Jerry Reinsdorf) recently donated $200,000 to Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund.