Bulls

NBA Power Rankings: Bledsoe keeping LAC afloat

983093.png

NBA Power Rankings: Bledsoe keeping LAC afloat

By Tony Andracki & Mark Strotman

Each Monday throughout the regular season, Mark Strotman and Tony Andracki will rank all 30 NBA teams. Below are Week 11 Power Rankings. Think we're way off? Agree with our picks? Hit us up on Twitter at@BullsTalkCSNwith comments or criticisms.
Past rankings:PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7 Week 8 Week 10

Tony
MarkComments1
Tony: Durant plays like he's a cheat code.
Mark: An NBA-best 18-3 against the Western conference.
2
Tony: Bledsoe starring in CP3's absence.
Mark: How many teams would use Eric Bledose as a starter?
3
Tony: Same old, same old. Can Popp stir up some controversy again?
Mark: Ginobili missing two weeks will hurt quest for top spot in the West.
4
Tony: Trade Rudy Gay? Why would they do that? Legit title shot this year.
Mark: LeBron is still my MVP pick, but they need to figure out road woes.
5
Tony: David Lee is playing like a Warrior. Get it?
Mark: LeBron is still my MVP pick, but they need to figure out road woes.
6
Tony: Wow, never thought I'd move Heat out of Top 5, but they've lost 4 of 6.
Mark: Nuggets have won 8 of 10, are 14-2 at home. Rising fast.7
Tony: Gotta find a way to beat CHI.
Mark: Don't expect Carmelo to take any cereal endorsements in the near future.8
Tony: Lawson, Iggy leading well-balanced unit.
Mark: How long can this thing (No. 5 in the West) last?
9
Tony: Hottest team in the league right now.
Mark: An Eastern Conference-best 8-2 over their last 10 games.
10
Tony: Awesome at home, not so much on the road.
Mark: Danny Granger nearing a return, which could mean trouble for fellow Central Division foes.
11
Tony: Man, they need to shore up their play at the UC.
Mark: Tough to get a read on this team, especially after this week's roller coaster.
12
Tony: Ugly, ugly, ugly loss in Chi. Should be knocked out of Top 15 for that.
Mark: Quietly have won six in a row and are back in the playoff mix.
13
Tony: Asik has slowed down a bit. Growing weary with starter's minutes?
Mark: 58 points. In a game. Erm. Moving on.
14
Tony: Sullinger is looking like Boston's savior right now.
Mark: How good was Wes Matthews in the final minute against the Heat? Real good.
15
Tony: Man, can they fill up the stat sheet. Well, the starters can, at least.
Mark: The NBA's highest scoring team continues to move right along.
16
Tony: If only they played the Bulls every game...
Mark: Solid win over Miami last night as they fight for the last playoff seed.
17
Tony: They need Mighty Mo back.
Mark: John Henson is going to be a player in the NBA.
18
Tony: Injuries just sinking this season for 'Wolves.
Mark: Still haven't given up hope, but wow, what a disappointment.
19
Tony: It's getting pretty late. Do they have time to turn things around?
Mark: Good news for Andrew Bynum! All-Star center could be back at the All-Starb break.
20
Tony: Is this their true form or just a bad slump?
Mark: The wheels are coming off without Kevin Love, and Rubio still isn't near 100 percent.
21
Tony: Have quietly won 7 of 10.
Mark: A big fan of the Lowry-Calderon point guard duo. Will the latter be dealt?
22
Tony: Mark Cuban's gonna do somethin' crazy in second half.
Mark: They've won 7 of their last 10, including W's over Miami and Atlanta.
23
Tony: Lowry and Calderon co-existing experiment going just OK.
Mark: Dirk's return hasn't meant much to Dallas, which still sits 5.0 games back of final playoff spot.
24
Tony: Cousins has been another player altogether since suspension.
Mark: Isaiah Thomas back in the starting lineup and playing well.
25
Tony: Hey! They picked up a win on the road!
Mark: Worst record in the West, but defense has played well all year.
26
Tony: Gordon, Vasquez playing well alongside each other.
Mark: Glen Davis back in the rotation will help, but they've dropped nine of 10.
27
Tony: Have lost 9 of 10 and 5 straight.
Mark: 2-8 in their last 10, but a home win against the Bulls was nice.
28
Tony: Man, they won 3 in a row?? Completely different team with Wall back.
Mark: The Wizards have won two straight since John Wall returned. Baby steps.
29
Tony: Get the nod over CHA because they're only on 3-gm losing streak.
Mark: Nice to see Dion Waiters break out of a funk with a career-high 33 points on Monday.
30
Tony: Things have gotten downright ugly in Charlotte yet again.
Mark: Very little (if any) improvement from this team, despite "increase in wins".

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

zipser618.jpg
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.