Bulls

Derrick Rose shrugs off technical foul, hard fall in Bulls win

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Derrick Rose shrugs off technical foul, hard fall in Bulls win

Derrick Rose walked with a slight limp through the Bulls’ locker room to meet with media, after a night that could be best described as “peculiar.”

He hit the floor early in the game while taking a charge on James Harden and appeared to bruise his tailbone in the process. At times it seemed to bother him, as he went to the locker room late in the first quarter but played through it, although the Bulls wanted to sit him late until Jimmy Butler fouled out with under three minutes remaining.

“He tightened up in his tailbone,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He battled his way through the end. We were hoping to rest him but when Jimmy fouled out they started making a run. We put him back in there and everyone responded.”

But nobody bothered him more than fellow Chicagoan Patrick Beverley, a man who makes a living of getting underneath opponents’ skin. He picked Rose’s pocket for a layup in the second quarter, and the two were playfully jawing at each other shortly thereafter.

Apparently the officials didn’t get the notice that competitive banter is OK in this league, so they were hit with double technical fouls, much to everyone’s chagrin.

[RELATED: Butler's return a successful one in Bulls' victory over Rockets]

Rose actually laughed at it while it was being announced, considering the two are good friends and talk frequently, and Beverley even stays at Rose’s house during the summers when they work out.

“The league is not, I guess, used to that,” Rose said. “It wasn’t like we were cursing or yelling at each other or anything. Pat, he lived in my house a little bit in the summer. It’s nothing like that. We’ve been playing against each other since Marshall (high school, where Beverley attended). The rivalry goes back to high school, it’s just fun while we’re out there.”

It’s not usual to see Rose engage in any kind of trash talk, as he communicates to his teammates and sometimes to the officials when he gets knocked around without the reward of a whistle, so perhaps the refs wanted to keep the nationally-televised game above board and under control, not knowing the background.

“It’s funny,” Rose said. “It wasn’t like we were cursing at one another or saying foul stuff to one another. It’s basketball, I think, the league isn’t used to that.”

While that part about the league not being used to that nowadays, one thing Rose isn’t used to is having both Butler and Mike Dunleavy alongside him on the wings, as Saturday marked the first time those three played together this season.

Dunleavy was able to cut to the basket and spot up, while Butler’s return from a left knee strain presented another option as a shot creator and maker on the perimeter. Rose’s numbers was a mixed bag in the not-so-new but new setup, scoring 17 with nine assists on six of 10 shooting in 29 minutes with six turnovers against a super-aggressive Rockets defense—spearheaded by a pitbull at point guard named Beverley.

“They pressured the ball great,” said Rose, as the Bulls had 26 turnovers overall, leading to 25 Rockets’ points. “We gotta make simple plays. We tried to hit a home run with every one of our plays but the simple plays, getting out of the double team and go from there.”

[SHOP: Gear up for the stretch run, Bulls fans!]

And as everyone in Chicago held their breath when Rose took his awkward fall, as it would seem appropriate to get two big pieces back only to lose the piece the franchise is used to being without, Rose was undaunted about the thought of missing Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks due to the fall.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m sure. I’m fine.”

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.