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.

Buckeyes going back to College Football Playoff, will face Clemson in Fiesta Bowl

Buckeyes going back to College Football Playoff, will face Clemson in Fiesta Bowl

The College Football Playoff field is set, and for the second time in three years, the Ohio State Buckeyes will compete for a national championship.

The selection committee revealed the four-team field for this season's Playoff, with Ohio State coming at No. 3. The Buckeyes will battle No. 2 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. The other Playoff semifinal pits No. 1 Alabama against No. 4 Washington in the Peach Bowl.

While Ohio State has been considered one of the best teams in the country throughout the season, the Buckeyes' inclusion in the Playoff field is not without controversy, as they are the first team to play in the Playoff without winning their conference championship. But Ohio State had a sterling resume with three wins over top-10 teams: Michigan, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. The Buckeyes' lone loss came against a top-10 Penn State team.

The 2014 national champion, Ohio State returns to the Playoff after missing out last season. Big Ten champion Michigan State represented the conference last year, getting crushed by Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. Two years ago, the Buckeyes beat the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl and then beat the Oregon Ducks in the national championship game.

Big Ten champion Penn State, which won the conference title game Saturday night with an instant-classic comeback victory over Wisconsin, ended up fifth and was left off the bracket. So too was sixth-ranked Michigan, which didn't compete for a conference championship but was ranked fifth in the final set of rankings prior to Sunday's bracket reveal. The Nittany Lions and Wolverines combined for five wins over top-10 teams this season.

There was plenty of conversation that red-hot Penn State could surge into the Playoff, just like Ohio State did two years ago. The Lions are riding a nine-game winning streak, defeated Ohio State earlier in the season and claimed the championship in what has been the hands-down best conference in college football this season. And boy did they impress Saturday night in their most recent showing, erasing a three-touchdown deficit to come back and beat Wisconsin.

Michigan, too, had a mighty compelling case to make. The Wolverines, owners of one of the best defenses in the country all season long, beat three top-10 teams during the regular season and took the No. 2 team in the country to double overtime just last weekend.

But in the end, we did not get the first Playoff field to feature two teams from the same conference. Penn State and Michigan will learn their bowl fates — likely going to New Year's Six bowl games — later Sunday.

Big Ten poll update: Penn State jumps Michigan in last pre-Playoff AP poll

Big Ten poll update: Penn State jumps Michigan in last pre-Playoff AP poll

The College Football Playoff selection committee will reveal the four-team Playoff field shortly, but in the AP poll, Big Ten champion Penn State did vault ahead of Michigan.

The Nittany Lions, fresh off their instant-classic comeback win in Saturday night's Big Ten title game, jumped up three spots, from No. 8 to No. 5, passing the Wolverines, who dropped from No. 5 to No. 6 with no game to play this weekend.

Who knows if that will be the thinking of the committee or if Penn State's performance Saturday was impressive enough to get it above Washington or Clemson and into the final four.

In the AP poll Sunday, Ohio State checked in at No. 2 behind No. 1 Alabama. The Buckeyes didn't play Saturday either, but those top two spots figure to be how the top two spots of the Playoff field will look. Clemson and Washington stayed the Nos. 3 and 4 teams in the poll, which seems to be a likely possibility in the Playoff, as well.

Wisconsin, defeated by Penn State on Saturday night, dropped just two spots from No. 6 to No. 8, jumped by Penn State and Oklahoma, which was victorious in its regular-season finale against Oklahoma State, claiming the Big 12 championship in the process.

Iowa moved up one spot from No. 22 to No. 21, while Nebraska dropped a spot from No. 23 to No. 24. Neither team played this weekend.