Bulls

Watson steady in Rose's absence

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Watson steady in Rose's absence

CLEVELANDJust the insinuation that John Lucas III was somehow playing above his head when both Derrick Rose and C.J. Watson were out of the lineup riled up Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Hes no more pleased with the implication that Watsons consistently excellent play in Roses now three-game absence is somehow surprising.

What you cant overlook is what C.J. is doing. C.J. is making us play with a pace and hes doing a great job of running the team. Then, John comes in and its the same thing, high energy, said Thibodeau after the Bulls Friday night laugher over the Cavaliers, when reporters tried to give shooting guard Rip Hamilton his share of the credit for the teams improved offensive flow. We felt C.J. had a great year for us last year, we really did, and he was the one guy who was certainly deserving of more minutes.

Every time that he had gotten extended minutes last year, he played at a very high level, and he played at a high level with the short minutes, he continued. He shot 39 percent from three, ran the team great, he and Derrick showed that they could play together. C.J. is a terrific player and hes a high-character guy. He does a great job with the second unit, hes the leader of the second unit and hes shown that he can lead the first unit. Hes a high-quality player and as I mentioned before the game, regardless of whos out, we feel we have more than enough to win with.

Thibodeau wasnt denying Hamilton his props his Rip is Rip postgame comment, akin to Derrick is Derrick or Lu is Lu, is perhaps his highest praise but he wanted to make sure the soft-spoken Watson was properly feted by the media. Because the normal backup point guard whos looked better than many starters when Rose has been out wont talk himself up.

Its a lot more comfortable this season. Thibs lets me call plays and he just lets me go out there and command the team, and play, really. So, I just go out there and have fun, said Watson, who responded with a little bit, when asked if Thibodeau gives him more freedom on the floor this season. I guess he trusts me a little more.

Whether or not Watson, who scored an efficient 15 points and dropped off seven assists in a head-to-head matchup with touted Cavaliers rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, wants to toot his own horn, his teammates are willing to do it for him.

Youve got to give C.J. a lot of credit. Hes coming off a sprained elbow that popped out of place. Hes been sitting for three weeks, got thrust into the starting lineup and hes been playing phenomenal, said Carlos Boozer, a major beneficiary of Watsons playmaking Friday.

Youve got to give him a lot of credit of stepping in and taking that challenge. Hes doing a great job of scoring the ball for us, hes doing a great job of playing D, hes doing a great job of getting everybody involved.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Kendall Gill on boxing broadcasting, debate over the East’s top team

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Kendall Gill on boxing broadcasting, debate over the East’s top team

On this edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson discuss Kendall’s broadcast career in boxing and the latest NBA news.

0:45 - Kendall on calling the Pacquiao fight

2:10 - On seeing Pacquiao up close and a new appreciation for his skill

4:05 - KG on his crossover in his 50+ basketball league and tagging Vincent Goodwill

6:18 - Reaction to Carlos Boozer getting cut his from his Big 3 team

8:40 - Kendall on Thad Young getting Team USA invite and why he’d decline it

12:18 - On Wendell Carter Jr passing on throwing out the first pitch at the White Sox game Monday night

13:50 - On Kyle Korver signing with the Bucks

15:20 - Debating who’s the favorite in the East: Bucks or Sixers?

19:30 - On Ricky O’Donnell and his quote on Arci and White

21:30 - Challenge of Boylen keeping his players happy with the rotation

22:30 - On Bulls bringing Shaq Harrison back and having 5 point guards

25:45 - Why stretching Felicio is unlikely at this point in the offseason

26:44 - On Tim Duncan becoming an assistant coach with the Spurs

30:20 - No Justin Holiday return to the Bulls

31:00 - On the Lakers signing Giannis’ younger brother

Listen to the entire podcast here or the embedded player below.

Bulls Talk Podcast

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Bulls forward Thaddeus Young invited to USA Basketball training camp for 2019 FIBA World Cup

Bulls forward Thaddeus Young invited to USA Basketball training camp for 2019 FIBA World Cup

Thaddeus Young could don one more different jersey before he hits the court with the Bulls for the first time.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Young has been invited to participate in USA Basketball's training camp roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Team USA has seen several star NBA players withdraw their name for consideration from the team in recent days, including Wizards guard Bradley Beal and 76ers forward Tobias Harris. Thus, there is at least a small chance that Young makes the final roster, which would be the fourth-straight World Cup in which a Bull plays for Team USA

Derrick Rose donned the stars and stripes in both 2010 and 2014, following Kirk Hinrich in 2006 and Jay Williams in 2002. Perhaps Bulls guard Zach LaVine will be the next player to receive an invite?

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.