Word on the Street: Rose feeling pressure from MJ?

Word on the Street: Rose feeling pressure from MJ?

Monday, March 14, 2011CSNChicago.com

Rose feeling pressured by Jordan's praise?

After announcing to the press that his pick for MVP was Derrick Rose, and telling thousands of fans at a packed United Center that more championships were on the way for Chicago, Michael Jordan may have put more stress on his old team than he had originally intended.

"That's a lot of pressure," Rose said. "A lot of pressure, I don't know why he did it. We're still trying to become a 48-minute team and that's the only thing we're worried about right now." (Pro Basketball Talk)

Does Milbury think Blackhawks can repeat?

When the Blackhawks visited the Capitals on Sunday, Pierre Lebrun asked Mike Milbury if he thought the Hawks could win the Stanley Cup two years in a row. Milbury said there is indeed hope for the team, but that it would be a difficult feat to accomplish.

"They've really turned it up a notch in the last couple of months," Milbury said. I think Toews has got 'em going in the right direction. But they've got a lot of guys to get through before they get to the finals. It'll be a tough road for them."

He also called Patrick Kane a "lovable imp," saying "he's the guy that puts tacks on seats and gum under the desks." (Pro Hockey Talk)

DePaul Women's Basketball earns No. 3 seed

The records keep coming in for the DePaul Women's Basketball team. The Blue Demons earned a program-best No. 3 seed in the 2011 NCAA Championship. This marks the ninth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance for DePaul. The Blue Demons have been invited to 16 tournaments with its first appearance coming in 1990.

The Blue Demons play 14th seeded Navy on Saturday, Mar. 19th at Penn State. (DePaulBlueDemons.com)

Should the Blackhawks regret losing Niemi?

Well, Puck Daddy seems to be heading in that direction. Last year, the Blackhawks walked away from an arbitration decision that ended up making Antti Niemi a free agent. He was quickly picked up by the San Jose Sharks for a 1-year deal, then received a a 4-year contract extension.

Meanwhile, rookie Core Crawford has appeared in 39 games this season, taking over the starting gig from Marty Turco much in the same way Niemi burie Cristobal Huet on the depth chart last season. Crawford is a likely finalist for the Calder trophy as a rookie netminder.

But the thing that nets the most press about this dispute? That would be Niemi's 3-0-0 record with a 1.96 GAA in three starts against the Blackhawks. (Puck Daddy)

Calvin Johnson catch will not lead to rule change

Remember that Calvin Johnson catch that wasn't a catch with 24 seconds remaining in the Week 1 meeting between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears at Soldier Field? Despite the fact that many assumed the league would rework the rule, a change will not be made in the NFL.

"That play will still be incomplete," New York Giants owner John Mara, a member of the competition committee said.

The reason behind remaining with the status quo is the belief that a change would leave too much interpretation for the officials. (National Football Post)

Michael Carter-Williams learns on the fly, thrives in Bulls debut

Michael Carter-Williams learns on the fly, thrives in Bulls debut

Ten days ago Michael Carter-Williams was the starting point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Circumstances can change quickly in the NBA, as the 2013 Rookie of the Year found out when he was traded two weeks ago for the second time in his four-year NBA career. But Carter-Williams also realized just as quickly the value in carving out a role, and he made a great first impression on his coaches and teammates Thursday night in the Bulls’ 105-99 win over the Celtics.

The 6-foot-6 guard played a crucial role in the second half in slowing down a potent Celtics offense, and he provided an offensive jolt midway through the fourth quarter that helped push the Bulls to their first win of the season.

His numbers in 17 minutes won’t jump off the score sheet – he tallied five points, six rebounds and three assists – but his impact on the game was felt on both ends, and in his three stints he cemented himself as a key part of the Bulls’ rotation moving forward.

Carter-Williamas was thrown into unfamiliar territory late in the second quarter. Isaiah Canaan was the first guard off the bench for Fred Hoiberg, but after he missed all three of his 3-point attempts and the Celtics reeled off a 14-4 run to pull within three, 43-40, Hoiberg deployed Carter-Williams alongside starting point guard Rajon Rondo.

In the 10 days since Carter-Williams had joined the Bulls, his time in practice had been spent learning the point guard position. But with Rajon Rondo playing well in the first half, Hoiberg kept his starter in and substituted in Carter-Williams, a natural point guard, into a three-guard lineup with Rondo and Jimmy Butler.

Having Rondo next to him, Carter-Williams said, helped him ease into the Bulls’ offensive sets that wound up making a difference in the fourth quarter.

“He definitely helps me out a lot,” he said of Rondo. “He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever talked to about basketball, he knows everybody’s position, he’s a great point guard and I’m glad I get to learn from someone like him.”

Carter-Williams’ impact was felt immediately. The Celtics missed their next four shots, with their only points coming off free throws after Nikola Mirotic fouled Jae Crowder on a 3-point attempt. The Bulls pushed their second-quarter lead back to nine by the end of the half as Carter-Williams defended both Avery Bradley and Gerald Green.

That same substitution pattern followed late in the third quarter after the Celtics used a 14-5 run to pull within a possession of the Bulls. The Celtics took their first and only lead of the night on an Isaiah Thomas 3-pointer, but with Carter-Williams again playing next to Rondo the Bulls reeled off seven straight points to push the lead back to six, 75-69.

Carter-Williams opened the fourth quarter on the floor without Rondo, though Wade initiated most of the offense. Playing off the ball, Carter-Williams continued to press defensively while waiting for his opportunity to contribute on the other end.

And when he got his chance, he made the most of it. After missing his first four attempts, Carter-Williams was left alone on the left wing for a 3-pointer that he connected on. Butler then stole an Avery Bradley pass in transition and found Carter-Williams, whose floater in the lane pushed the Bulls’ lead back 12, 93-81, with less than 8 minutes to play.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

When Thomas reeled off five quick points to pull the Celtics within five Hoiberg pulled Carter-Williams for Wade, who assisted on two consecutive Taj Gibson baskets before connecting on a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left to seal the Bulls’ home opener victory.

It was as successful a debut as a reserve point guard could have, with Carter-Williams logging the only positive rating (+3) among the five players who came off the bench for the Bulls. A 30-point first quarter allowed Hoiberg to play Carter-Williams alongside Rondo in the second and third quarters, and the results were evident, even with Carter-Williams playing a “new” position.

“I think it was tough for me because when I was first in there I was with Rondo, and so when he’s in there he runs the 1 and I play the 2,” he said after the game. “So a lot of times in practice I was learning the 1, and it’s pretty hard to learn everybody’s position in one week. So I was just looking for anybody to tell me where to go, what to do, and just try to make the best of it.”

Despite the unfamiliar spot on the floor, Carter-Williams did make the best of it. In nine minutes alongside Rondo, the Bulls’ defensive rating (points per 100 possessions allowed) was 99.1, an improvement from the 103.6 rating the team logged on the night. Carter-Williams’ individual defensive rating was 95.1, the second best number among guards behind Wade (89.8).

The numbers weren’t as solid on the offensive end, with Rondo and Carter-Williams together managing just 93.5 points per 100 possessions. But the Bulls’ surprisingly hot night from beyond the arc – 11-for-25 – allowed Hoiberg to focus more on the defensive end, where the Bulls wound up holding the Celtics to 99 points a night after they tallied 122 against the Nets.

And Carter-Williams still came up with two key passes late in the third quarter as the Celtics threatened. First he found Mirotic open for an 18-foot jumper on the left baseline. Then he grabbed a missed Wade layup and kicked it back out to Mirotic, who buried a 3-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter to push the Bulls’ lead to six heading into the fourth quarter.

“I love Michael’s game. He had a couple times where he had no idea what he was doing when I called the play, but that’s going to happen. He’s only been around the team a few days. But he played with a lot of poise,” Hoiberg said. “I like how he can get into the paint. He can get downhill. That’s something that every team wants.”

It’s an important year for Carter-Williams. In addition to him learning a new system on the fly, he’s in a contract year and said it’s a personal goal of his to cement himself as the backup behind Rondo.

With Jerian Grant inactive and Canaan sitting the final three quarters, Thursday night may have done just that. And whatever his playing time looks like going forward, or who he’s playing with, Carter-Williams is hoping to make the same impact he did Thursday night.

“I think I can really lead us no matter who’s on the court,” he said. “Whatever Fred thinks is best he’s going to do, and of course it’s a personal goal of mine to just be on the floor as much as I can.

“I was able to find my rhythm a little bit (in the second half) and just try to help the team. Defensively, whether it’s rebounding, getting steals; offensively, scoring or making the right pass or the right play.”

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