The Bulls had the day off Tuesday before traveling to Phoenix, where they'll begin a four-game, 10-day road trip. But Derrick Rose stopped in to say hello to an old coach first.
With No. 2 Univeristy of Kentucky basketball holding a morning shootaround before their game against No. 5 Duke tonight at the United Center in the Champions Classic, Rose came by with his son, P.J., and met with head coach John Calipari, who coached Rose at Memphis.
Rose spent one season with the Memphis Tigers in 2007-08, averaging 14.9 points, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals. The Tigers advanced to the Final Four and national title game, where Mario Chalmers' famous buzzer-beater to force overtime helped the Kansas Jayhawks top Rose's Tigers.
Of course Memphis was forced to vacate all 38 victories from that season because it was ruled that Rose was playing while academically ineligible. Still, Coach Cal and Rose have stayed close throughout the years.
Kevin Anderson is joined by SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell to talk Zach LaVine and the Bulls preseason.
0:55 - On Zach LaVine’s preseason and if he is the true star on this Bulls team
3:00 - What should we expect from LaVine this season?
4:45 - LaVine’s true ceiling is…
7:00 - Can LaVine be a top-3 scorer in the NBA?
9:15 - Concerns over Lauri Markkanen
12:40 - On the LaVine and Lauri 2-man game
15:50 - Ricky explains why he’s optimistic on the Bulls
17:25 - On Bulls depth and White vs. Dunn in rotation
21:15 - Expectations for Bulls win total this season
24:00 - Are Raptors likely to make the postseason?
Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:
Bulls Talk Podcast
Zach LaVine is fed up with being underestimated and he’s going to do something about it. The Bulls guard has been having a strong pre-season so far but is looking to improve his skills as a two-way player.
“I’m just tired of people talking shit about my defense,” LaVine said. “I’ve always been a good on-ball defender. But there’s no reason I can be this good offensively and not be that on the defensive end.”
“I’m taking more pride in it,” he continued. “I’m pretty sure it’ll show. I’ll make sure of that.”
If you think LaVine sounds confident, he has good reason to be. Last season LaVine was one of only ten players to average at least 23 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, making him stand out as an elite player in the company of MVPs and All-Stars. LaVine’s personal triumphs, however, were overshadowed by the Bulls abysmal 22-60 record last season.
So far, this preseason LaVine has been looking better on defense, averaging 1.3 steals per game through three preseason games. Any improvements on defense will greatly help LaVine’s All-Star case.
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