Bulls

Rose out, Deng in against Heat

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Rose out, Deng in against Heat

MIAMIFor all of his talk about every game being just as important as another, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau sure is particular about all things Heat-related, at least when he feels he has to set the record straight. When given a ballpark number of times his team has faced Miami since his tenure in Chicago began, Thibodeau interjected, Eleven, just for the record, of course.

Well, for his squads 12th clash with its chief rival, Thibodeau will have half of his All-Star duo back in the lineup. After missing two consecutive games due to a rib injury suffered in Sundays overtime win at Detroit, Luol Deng will suit up against the Heat, though reigning league MVP Derrick Rose will miss his third straight game with a sore right foot, his 26th absence of the season.

Lus a go, Thibodeau stated tersely, prior to Thursday evenings showdown at American Airlines Arena. Derricks out.

Rose is feeling a lot better today, but hes still not quite there. Just going to be patient and when hes ready to go, hell go, he continued. I spoke with Deng this morning, he was cleared and said he was feeling a lot better, so thats a good thing.

Thibodeau acknowledged that the Bulls keeping their turnovers down against the high-octane Heatwho will be without their own All-Star, Chris Bosh, whom Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said will miss the contest due to minor bumps and bruisesThursday, as well as the other four core principles he stresses: Unselfish play, inside-out offense, rebounding and strong defense.

Its critical on the road, Thibodeau explained. Youre on the road and theyre a great home team. Theyre a great team period and those are things you have to do on the road to win, so hopefully we can get that done.

Its a great game for us. Theyre a great team, so we can measure ourselves to see exactly where we are and then we want to continue on with what we started a long time ago, which is to improve each and every day, continued the coach. Theyre all very close. Theyre very similar. Theyre all hard-fought, usually comes down to the end. One or two plays is the difference, so you have to be able to persevere, fight through things. There will be times when things are going your way, times where theyre not. You have to stay the course and keep battling. Find a way to win.

John Beilein reassigned to a different role within Cleveland Cavaliers organization

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USA TODAY

John Beilein reassigned to a different role within Cleveland Cavaliers organization

Coaching in the NBA is hard, even if you are one of the best college basketball coaches in the nation. It is something that basketball fans—especially those in Chicago—are reminded of time and time again, and John Beilein is the latest in the line of NCAA-to-NBA head coaches to make a failed transition. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Beilein were parting ways after he resigned as head coach of the team. Charania later added that for the time being, Cleveland will be reassigning Beilein to an alternate role within the franchise. 

Beilein's NBA coaching career lasted 54 games, 216 games less than current Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg, who lasted 270 games with the Bulls after leaving the Iowa State program in 2015. Beilen's struggles were similar to Hoiberg in the fact that they both struggled to transfer their college coaching styles to the NBA, where they would be dealing with grown men rather than young college students. During Hoiberg's tenure with the Bulls, Jimmy Butler infamously called him out, stating that the Bulls needed to be "coached a lot harder at times," and that incident looks a lot like the dispute between Cavs center Tristan Thompson and Beilein, which boiled over during a game this season. 

There was also an incident this season in which Beilein mistakenly referred to his Cavaliers players as "thugs" in a film session, reportedly leading to the team intentionally playing songs with the word "thug" in it, further exacerbating an already difficult situation.

The big takeaway here is that there is a lot more than the X's and O's that goes into NBA coaching, and with player movement at an all-time high, college coaches are finding NBA roles more challenging than ever.

Beilein was one of the hottest coaching names in the business in 2019, coming off yet another successful season at the helm of the Michigan Wolverines, who were coming off of an Elite 8 appearance after making the National Title game the year before. Now Beilein is back out of NBA coaching, and the Bulls' rivals in Cleveland are now even more firmly entrenched in the rebuilding phase than they were before with relatively young (40 years old) J.B. Bickerstaff taking over. 

Beilein has three years and $12 million left on his Cavaliers contract, and sources have told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski previously that the Cavaliers and Beilein have agreed on a deal to pay him a portion of his 2019-20 salary. It has not yet publicly been stated what Beilein's new title within the Cavaliers organization will be. 

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NBA Mock Draft 4.0: Top of the 2020 NBA Draft still a mystery

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USA TODAY

NBA Mock Draft 4.0: Top of the 2020 NBA Draft still a mystery

One thing we know for sure about the 2020 NBA Draft: no team executives will be losing sleep on the eve of the lottery hoping to land the first or second pick like a year ago when the top prizes where generational power forward Zion Williamson and point guard extraordinaire Ja Morant.

Matter of fact, teams might prefer not to land one of the top three picks so they can pay less guaranteed money to a player who may not have a huge impact,

As we get closer to the start of conference tournaments around the country, no player has really distinguished himself as the clear cut No. 1 choice. Georgia’s Anthony Edwards gets credit for being available to play all season, but his poor shooting percentages from the field and the 3-point line for a bad college team hardly scream top overall pick.

Injuries and eligibility questions have kept a few of the top prospects off the court, so NBA executives will put more emphasis than ever on the information they gather during the draft combine and individual workouts.

Here’s a snapshot at where things stand in late February with our fourth mock draft.