Blackhawks

Starting Five: Bulls at Mavericks

Starting Five: Bulls at Mavericks

Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
1:25 p.m.
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

1. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau discussed Carlos Boozers progress with the assembled media prior to the teams shootaround, taking a more cautious viewpoint, but detailing what his injured star has been doing in Chicagos practices.

Well, Bulls team trainer Fred Tedeschi, he keeps me informed to where Boozer is, in terms of the things he can do. So, all the things that he can do -- hes going through some dummy offense, hes going through some defensive close-out drills, things like that -- and the next step, hell be cleared to practice where he can take some contact," Thibodeau said. "Were probably looking at another week or so, so when that happens well move forward from there, but we cant think about him playing until he can start going through some practices.

We will know better about when Boozer will play in games once he starts practicing. Hes still two steps away.

2. Thibodeau talked about the strengths of the Bulls opponent Friday, the Mavericks -- a team Chicago faced twice in the preseason -- as well as what his team needs to do to be successful.

Taj Gibson will start off on him Dallas superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki," he said. "A great player like that, youre not going to guard with one player. You have to rely on your team defense. The Mavs have so many different weapons because of their quickness in the backcourt, the shooting ability of Nowitzki and of course, their size. Any time youre putting two defenders on the ball, youre vulnerable to the second shot, so they can hurt you with the second shot ... theyre bringing Jason Terry and Shawn Marion off the bench, youve got two guys that can come in and get 20 points on you off the bench.

We have to make sure were back defensively. Our floor balance, we have control over that, and you have to be careful -- they play more zone than anybody else -- so if youre settling for jump shots against them and theyre long jump shots, if you dont have floor balance, now youre vulnerable to giving them easy scoring opportunities in transition. We have to make sure that whether theyre in zone or man, we still want to remain the same and be inside-out. That balls got to get into the paint.

3. Bulls point guard Derrick Rose talked about Boozers potential impact on the team and how it could help him personally before Wednesdays loss to the Spurs in San Antonio.

Playing with him Boozer, theyll have to double-team him, explained Rose. Ill be on the weak side. If the swing pass comes to me, Ill have a live dribble -- usually when I come down, Im already dribbling; I dont usually play with a live dribble -- but when he comes back, Ill have a live dribble and Im going to be able to spot up and shoot.

4. Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle spoke incredibly favorably about the Bulls after Dallas shootaround at the American Airlines Center.

To me, they have the highest motor of any team in the league," Carlisle said. "Their energy level stays up -- both offensively and defensively -- and so that makes them extremely difficult to guard and it also makes them hard to score against because they just have a persistence about their game. We have to be extremely aggressive, yet we have to have the right amount of poise, as well.

Were going to have to be disciplined, were going to have to understand how these guys approach the game and were going to have to be able to play our game at a high level against an opponent thats really going to have to have a persistent physical presence on both ends the entire night.

Carlisle talked specifically about the task Dallas has in defending Rose.

Great player," Carlisle said. "Right now, hes one of the best players in the game. Statistically, their team has got a winning record because of him, in large part. Hes just continuing to make large strides. Now hes shooting the three really well and making mid-range jump shots. Hes one of the more difficult guys on the planet to guard, he remarked, dismissively joking, Im not going to tell you, when asked how he planned to strategize against Rose.

Look, hes an MVP candidate. Thats how good he is and how important he is to his team. A guy like that is going to get a lot of attention from the opponent. Youve got to have a lot of different scenarios to try to deal with him. Youve got to have a lot of different people ready. Its a great challenge for us.

Added Mavericks guard Jason Terry: Hes looking to score more. Hes looking to be the leader of that team and hes doing a great job. As he goes, they go. If he has a big game, theyre going to win, nine times out of 10.

Carlisle, whos familiar with Boozer from past Utah-Dallas Western Conference battles, also talked about the looming return of Carlos Boozer to the Bulls lineup.

Boozer, hes an All-Star caliber player and he fits, very well, with what theyre doing," Carlisle told CSNChicago.com on Friday. "When he comes back, theyll be able to bring Gibson off the bench, start Boozer and itll just strengthen their rotation that much more. I dont know what the timetable is, but theyre going to go from being a good team to a really good team in a hurry when he gets back.

Chimed in Terry: Boozers going to give them a post presence, another scoring optionhes an All-Star, so he commands a lot of respect from the opposing team.
5. Dont forget to follow me on Twitter at @CSNBullsInsider.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Joel Quenneville returns to the United Center

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Joel Quenneville returns to the United Center

David Haugh, Charlie Roumeliotis, and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - Joel Quenneville returns to the United Center. The guys look back at his 3 Cups in Chicago and discuss his place among the greatest Chicago coaches of all-time.

9:00 - The Blackhawks have won 5 straight and are 3 points out of a wild card spot. Are the playoffs in their future?

12:00 - Patrick Kane has reached 1,000 points. Will he end up at the Blackhawks all-time leading scorer? Could he end up being the greatest Blackhawk ever?

18:00 - Jonathan Toews joins Kap to talk about Joel Quenneville's return, Kane's 1,000th point and the team's winning streak?

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

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Marcell Ozuna signing with Braves rules out potential suitor for Kris Bryant

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USA TODAY

Marcell Ozuna signing with Braves rules out potential suitor for Kris Bryant

When former Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson signed with the Twins last week, one thought was Atlanta could pivot and try to acquire Kris Bryant to fill the void in their lineup.

That possibility looks less likely now, as the Braves announced Tuesday they’ve signed former Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna to a one-year, $18 million deal.

The Braves didn’t have a dire need for a third baseman — 22-year-old Austin Riley, a former top prospect, is waiting in the wings — so much as they needed a bat to replace Donaldson. Bryant would have checked both those boxes, but the path to acquiring him is more difficult.

Bryant has been fixated in trade rumors this winter, but any extensive negotiations won’t occur until his service time grievance case is resolved. NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan reported last week Bryant trade rumors this winter have been “greatly exaggerated” because the lingering grievance.

The Braves have been named a potential Bryant suitor as they hold the top prospects the Cubs would seek in return for Bryant. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman threw cold water on that notion recently.

There’s also the possibility the Cubs don’t move at all Bryant this offseason.

"No, we're not in a position where we *have* to do anything,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said Friday at Cubs Convention. “I think you want to always avoid being put in a corner where you have to make a deal and your back's against the wall and you're gonna take any deal that's out there.

“We’re not at all in that position but looking at the longer time horizon of the next two years, I think you would be wise at some point to do something that looks out a little bit more for the long-term and a little bit less for the short-term, but that doesn't have to happen now. We're not in a position where we have to move anybody."

Ozuna joining the Braves means the Cardinals lost one of their most productive bats from the 2019 division championship club. Like the Cubs, St. Louis' offseason has been marked by low-key moves, outside of the Cardinals acquiring pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore from the Rays, a deal which sent Cardinals slugger Jose Martinez to Tampa Bay.

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