Bulls

Rose downplays prospect of being All-Star starter

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Rose downplays prospect of being All-Star starter

Friday, Jan. 14, 2011
12:25 PM

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

INDIANAPOLIS, IND.Putting the Bulls current road woes on hold for a moment, the continued ascension of Derrick Rose into one of the faces of the league has been most recently manifested by him vaulting past rival point guard Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics to second place among Eastern Conference guards in All-Star balloting. But as anybody whos ever spent time around the third-year point guard could predict, he downplayed the news.

Some people hit me up, talking about it. Other than that, I dont know numbers or anything, Rose said before Fridays shootaround at Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Bulls will take on the Indiana Pacers a few hours later. Its great, knowing that you have an organization thats behind you, pushing for me to start. I wasnt going to do anything. I think its really up to the fans and Im thankful I have that many votes.

Just put me on the team. Ill be happy like that, he continued, repeating his frequently-uttered position on his All-Star status. Last year, I didnt start, but I had a great time.

Rose was an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve a year agobecoming the first Bulls player to make the team since Michael Jordan in 1998but doesnt see a major difference in potentially starting.

It probably wouldnt change his experience. Probably more media stuff laughs, but other than that, I think just being on the team is a blessing, said Rose, who had 1,225,575 votes to Rondos 1,171,311 when the most recent returns were announced Thursday. I wouldnt want to be near him Jordan right now because he did so much for the Bulls.

I dont look at stuff like that, like the first Bulls All-Star since Jordan, the first starter, he added. Im just happy that they nominated for me to be on that team.

While Rose, reflective of his humble nature, didnt get overly excited about the chance to possibly start in the game, his teammates expressed pride in the recognition shown to the close-knits squads star.

Im happy for him. He deserves it. He deserves to start in that game, a beaming Carlos Boozer told CSNChicago.com. I think hes been the best guard or one of the top guards in the leaguenot just the Eastern Conferenceall season, so its much deserved. He should start in that game.

Chimed in Luol Deng, whos witnessed Roses progress as a professional firsthand: I think he deserves it. Hes been unbelievable so far this year and just seeing him since his rookie year until now, the way hes been able to improve his game every year shows a lot about him as a worker and his work ethic.

Even Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, a man who isnt focused on much that doesnt have to do with the day-to-day dealings of his team, acknowledged Roses worthiness.

So far, hes having that type of season and again, theres not much control he has on that, other than to continue to play the way hes playing, said Thibodeau. The fans make that decision, but hes playing at a very high level and I think hes earned it.

Despite his emerging national profile, Rose, remains grounded and selfless, deflecting attention to his teammates.

You have a couple guys on this team thats been playing well, like Lu, Booz, Joakim, he observed. At least they should be recognized for it, but well see.

To further support Rose, the organization will distribute placards to fans attending Saturdays highly anticipated home game against the Miami Heat at the United Center, as well as placing a red rose on the seat of courtside spectators. Paper balloting at NBA arenas ends Monday, but online and text-message voting for the All-Star Gameheld Feb. 20 at the Staples Center in Los Angelescontinues until Jan. 23, with the games starters announced Jan. 27.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's 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.

Why the Bulls should take Dedric Lawson with the No. 38 pick

Why the Bulls should take Dedric Lawson with the No. 38 pick

Lawson is a player who has the production and pedigree of a high-value draft pick. But his weaknesses have scared off some who struggle to see what his role would be in an NBA rotation. Time and time again we have seen prospects who dominated the NCAA game, but didn’t have the ability to stick in the league. This is what precisely what has made some overlook Lawson’s stellar numbers over 101 career games.

Strengths:

Lawson is a very effective scorer and when you look at the per 100 possessions numbers, his statistics pop off the page. Over three seasons playing NCAA basketball, Lawson scored 30.8 points per 100 possessions.

He scored his baskets on a variety nice shots from the low post and midrange area, with the ability to stretch his jump shot out to 3-point range should he more repetitions.

Lawson’s go to move at this stage of his development is a jump hook over his left shoulder. But he can finish well from the post with either hand, just preferring to finish with his right. In 2018-19 he converted his FGAs at the rim at a 65.4 percent rate (per Hoop Math), leading to the best offensive rating of his career (117.4 points per 100 possessions).

He keeps defenses off balance by attacking with his faceup game from the mid-post area, where he succeeded in hitting a solid 40.8 percent of his “short midrange FGA” per The Stepien’s shot chart data. The Stepien’s data also had Lawson hitting an impressive 39.1 percent of his 3-point shots that are from NBA 3-point range.

His jump shot form is fine, but he will need to work on quickening up his release at the next level. Fortunately, film from as recent as the NBA Combine suggest that he is making strides when it comes to becoming a legit NBA stretch-4.

The great thing about Lawson’s game--specifically when you are projecting him on to the Bulls--is that while he did maintain a high usage rate and high FGA per game numbers throughout his career, his amazing activity as an offensive rebounder makes him a threat even when plays aren’t run for him.

Lawson snatched down 307 offensive rebounds over his three years in college, translating to 3.0 offensive rebounds per game for his career. Just as important as snagging those boards is converting them into quick baskets and Lawson does just that. He converts rebound putback FGAs at an absurdly efficient rate of 81.8 percent per Hoop-Math.com. Boylen likes his bigs to exude toughness and hit the glass, and while Lawson may not have the strength of some NBA 4s, but he is always willing to mix it up in the paint going for contested rebounds.

He brings that same tough mentality when he is attacking the basket, whether it be off the dribble, in the post or in transition, where his length makes him devastating. Lawson shot 65.4 percent on FGAs at the rim and was the driving force behind a Kansas Jayhawks offense that scored 113.9 points per 100 possessions, good for 27th in the nation (via Ken Pom).

Despite lacking a clear-cut position in the NBA, Lawson figures to be a solid defender with the potential to develop into a great defender. It will just take the right coach to get him to play high-intensity defense on a consistent basis.

With a 7-foot-2-inch wingspan, the second longest hands at the NBA Combine and a near 9-foot standing reach, Lawson has all the tools needed to be a very mobile rim protector. He averaged 1.6 blocks per game for his career and should be able to bring that shot-blocking prowess with him to the league.

In lineups with Lauri Markkanen, Lawson could focus on the tougher matchup, theoretically freeing up more energy for Markkanen to use on offense. In lineups with Wendell Carter or Otto Porter as the other big on the floor, Lawson would be able to get his scoring going while likely helping Boylen form some of his best defensive lineups.

Weaknesses:

Lawson has the potential to be a player who can fit into a variety of offensive systems, but his reluctance to pass from the post could be his undoing. He has been the No. 1 offensive option throughout his career, and the 2018-19 season represented his highest usage rate for a single season at 29.1 percent. But despite 2018-19 being his highest usage rate season, it also represented his worse in terms of total assists.

In only one of his three seasons did he finish with more assists than turnovers and in watching game tape, it appears he will struggle mightily when it comes to making high-level reads in the NBA. It doesn’t take long sifting through games to see Lawson take a heavily contested shot against a throng of opponents. The Big 12 conference provided Lawson with much more competition than he received when playing at Memphis at the start of his career, and he occasionally forced shots while trying to prove he belonged.

He was still an effective scorer despite all this, posting a 57.8 true shooting percentage despite going into “chucker mode” at certain points during games, but being a one-trick pony won’t cut it in the NBA. His impressive finishing in traffic will be much tougher when dealing with NBA length. If his inside scoring game takes a step back, it will put even more pressure on Lawson to develop into a big that can confidently knock down a decently high-volume of 3-pointers.

He doesn’t have top-end speed or burst off the floor, and will likely struggle every night with his matchup until he learns the nuances of NBA defense.

Long-term outlook:

Ultimately, Lawson has a great chance to be the best second round pick in a particularly shallow draft. Rather than being a slight, this means that he is likely to outplay his draft position by a decent amount.

As long as the team drafting him understands the limitations of his game, Dedric Lawson is poised to be a steal in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Special guest Sarah Kustok

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Special guest Sarah Kustok

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill are joined by Nets broadcaster and Chicago native Sarah Kustok

1:30        How Sarah manages a very busy schedule working multiple roles

3:00        On the next step for the Brooklyn Nets

5:30        Sarah on being a pioneer in broadcasting and why she didn’t feel too much pressure

7:30        On the MVP race

8:45        Kendall explains his disdain for Harden not getting travel calls

11:00     Potential for the Bulls next season

13:55     Kendall, again, wants Derrick Rose back with the Bulls

15:00     On lottery night, reaction in Chicago and New York

16:20     Mark’s lottery reform and anti-tanking idea

18:00     Sarah’s summer plans

20:15     Sarah on when she returns to the United Center and Chicago

22:00     Kendall on his analyst work for DAZN boxing

23:30     Sarah on being a role-model to young female broadcasters

25:20     On Nets in free agency this summer

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Bulls Talk Podcast

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