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Bulls will run without Rose for now


Bulls will run without Rose for now

The NBA title hopes for Chicago went out the window this past season whenstar guard Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL in the opening game of the playoffs against Philadelphia. Rose, the MVP of the league in 2011, was the catalyst for the Bulls and without him playing the Bulls had no chance, as the Sixers won the series in 6 games.

Rose averaged 22 points and 8 assists a gameduringthe regular season and he likely will miss a chunk of the upcoming season because of rehab to his knee.

Inpreparationfor life without Rose -- at least for half of the year -- the Bulls loaded at the position this summer. They selected point guard Marquis Teague out of Kentucky with their first-round draft selection. Teagueaveraged10 points and 5 assists in helping the Wildcats win the NCAA Championship.

Chicago also added veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich this summer. Hinrich used to play in Chicago and is a reliable back-court player. Hinrich averaged a career low 6 points and 3 assists last season as a backup in Atlanta. The Bulls weren't done, bringing Nate Robinson on board. The short but extremely athletic Robinson comes over from Golden State where he put up 11pointsand 4 assists last season.

Another key reason to sign Hinrich andRobinson is because Chicago lost veteran guards John Lucas III and C.J. Watson to free agency. Both Watson and Lucas provided quality minutes during the regular season when Rose missed time as well then due to injury. Lucas signed on with Toronto while Watson went to Utah.

The Bulls also cut ties with shooting guard Kyle Korver and swing man Ronnie Brewer who were both key contributors off the bench. Korver was dealt to Atlanta for cash and trade exceptions, while Brewer signed with New York.

Chicago hopes guard Richard Hamilton can bounce back from a sub-par, injury plagued-season in which the veteran scorer only averaged 12 points a game. A career 18-point- a-game scorer, Hamilton was expected to do more for the Bulls but he had a frustrating 2011-12 campaign.

Up front, Chicago gets center Joakim Noah and power forward Carlos Boozer back for another season. Boozer averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds while Noah scored 10 points a game and hauled down 11 rebounds per game. Taj Gibson, a key member off the bench, also returns for the Bulls.

Chicago's front court is set but the back court without Rose is the big question mark when the 2012-13 season starts. If the Bulls can hold down the fort until Rose returns, watch out for a deep run in the playoffs.

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

After a night in which Otto Porter Jr. only took nine total shots, just two of them in the second half, many questions from Wizards reporters in the postgame locker room centered on how the team can get him more involved. This came on the heels of a seven-shot, zero-three outing for Porter against the Heat on Thursday and a preseason in which getting him more attempts was a persistent storyline.

It sounds like some are tired of talking about it. Point guard John Wall, who is part of the equation as the team's main distributor and highest usage player, put it in relatively strong terms.

"This will be the last time I talk about Otto Porter getting threes," Wall said. 

Wall went on to explain how it's a combination of defenses taking away the three-point line for Porter and the flow of the game creating better shots for others. It's a common explanation Wall has given on the matter in recent weeks, and it's understandable.

Head coach Scott Brooks has admitted his own role in Porter not getting enough shots, how more plays could be called for the small forward. But after the loss to Toronto, one in which Porter played just south of 25 minutes, he was a bit more blunt in his assessment.

Brooks believes Porter can be doing a lot more to help himself.

"Gotta get yourself open," Brooks said. 

When asked about Porter playing fewer minutes than usual, Brooks went on about the need for guys to play hard. That warranted a follow-up, as it seemed Brooks was questioning Porter's hustle.

Brooks explained what he meant by that in detail.

"You've got to move. You've got to set yourself up. You've got to run the floor. We got a fast point guard. I don’t know if you guys know that but he’s fast and if our wings aren’t running, what good is it when you’re going to have a one-man break? What makes teams play with pace is guys running." 

"I love Otto. You guys know that. But he has to play faster. He has to. Physically, he’s not going to jump over anybody and dunk over everybody, but he has to get himself into position. He’s a big-time player for us. He’s a glue guy. He makes winning basketball plays. He gets in plays but he has to do that consistently for us. He can’t do it for a half. He has to do it for the entire game. The guy can do it. I’ve seen it. He didn’t do it tonight but he’s going to bounce back. He didn’t do it the first two games but he’s going to bounce back and do it. And we need it.”

Porter, 25, was the Wizards' most efficient player last season, but averaged only 11.5 shots per game. With one of the best three-point shots in the NBA, the numbers suggest he should have a larger role.

The Wizards insist they are trying to get him more involved. In their eyes, it's time for Porter to do his part.

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Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Saturday night produced a link between some of the best players in recent Wizards/Bullets franchise history.

With a fourth-quarter three, Bradley Beal surpassed Gilbert Arenas on the franchise list for career triples

Beal, an All-Star last season, has already established himself as one of the best to play for Washington in decades. Afterwards, he paid homage to the man whose record he broke.

"I was always a fan of Gil. He was Agent Zero," Beal told NBC Sports Washington. 

"I loved everything about him; his confidence, his swagger on the floor. Granted, everyone talks about his off-the-court stuff, but what he did on the court is just untouchable. It's untouchable. He's a legend, for sure. Part of me wishes I could have played with him and just learned from him in a lot of ways. That's an accomplishment for me. I'm happy I was able to surpass it because he is a legend, in my opinion anyway."

Arenas' tenure with the Wizards was epic for its highs and lows. At his peak, he was arguably the most dangerous scorer in the NBA. But his downfall both on the court and off has left him as a notorious figure in the game's recent history.

John Wall, who has assisted on many of Beal's three-pointers, played with Arenas back in the 2010-11 season as a rookie. He is happy for his current teammate, who now has a distinct place in the team's history books.

"He's probably the best shooter I've ever played with in my eyes, so it's great to see him accomplish that," Wall said. "He's going to keep setting the bar higher and higher."

Beal passed Arenas in just the second game of his seventh NBA season. He's only 25 years old, so odds are he will keep adding to his franchise record for many years to come.