Hawks still in the dark on Shaw's fate

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Hawks still in the dark on Shaw's fate

As the lengthy wait to find out Andrew Shaws status for tonights game continues, Phoenix goaltender Mike Smiths status is suddenly up in the air.

Smith is a game-time decision, according to Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, as the Blackhawks wait and see if they will or will not have Shaw in the lineup when they host Phoenix in Game 3 tonight.

Shaw had his hearing with the NHL on Monday afternoon, but the league still hasnt released anything official regarding a ruling. Both Shaw and Smith skated with their respective teams this morning, and in Smiths case, it appeared that meant he was good to go for tonight. But Tippett said he and Martin Hanzal are game-time decisions.

Most of the questions for Tippett revolved around Smith, who was not available for comment this morning due to extreme circumstances, according to Phoenix media relations. Smith also didnt practice on Monday in Scottsdale, but Tippett wouldnt say why he didnt.

Its just our prerogative, Tippett said. Whether its an injury or a rest day, we dont have to tell everyone why a player practices or doesnt.

As for his thoughts on the hit, Tippetts havent changed from what he said after the game.

Its a blatant hit to the head, there was no intent to miss the goalie, he said. Ive gone through a lot of these meeting with the NHL, and its the exact same hit theyre trying to take out of the game.

Still, he wasnt concerned about the ruling on Shaw.

The leagues dealing with that, he said. We know theres probably some long, hard thought to it. Were worried about getting our players up and going.

The Coyotes soon said they would take no more questions regarding Smith and Shaw, and the press conference ended shortly after.

Quenneville said the Blackhawks will make the necessary changes if Shaw is ruled out. He didnt know why the decision was still pending.

Theyre evaluating all the factors being considered right now and Im not part of all those factors, he said. Im not sure of all the scenarios. Every case is different.

Shaw said hes just waiting for the news. So are the rest of the Blackhawks, and some wonder why its taken this long.

There should be some kind of protocol, a deadline, said Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers. A guys got to prepare for a game and shouldnt have to worry about that. The decision should have been made last night. Let him have the time to get ready for the game.

If Shaw is out, the Blackhawks will miss what hes provided.

You lose a lot of energy (without him), Mayers said. Im sure the other team has to be aware where he is; hes not afraid to go to those tough areas. Hes been chipping in, in a lot of areas for us.

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After loss to Mavs, Wade says Bulls 'keep putting (their) hand on the hot stove every day'

After loss to Mavs, Wade says Bulls 'keep putting (their) hand on the hot stove every day'

Dwyane Wade sounded every bit like a frustrated 35-year old father when talking about the repeated ills and so-called growing pains of his Bulls, as they surrendered yet another game against a sub-.500 team.

Sometimes it's the New York Knicks whom the Bulls are offering temporary refuge. Or maybe the Minnesota Timberwolves as they are all-too-generous to roll out the welcome mat for returning figures to Chicago.

Tuesday it was the Dallas Mavericks, the second-worst team in the Western Conference, who stormed into the United Center and escaped with a 99-98 win, courtesy of Wesley Matthews' triple with 11.7 seconds left followed by him locking down Jimmy Butler on the ensuing possession.

Wade was forced to take a contested 21-footer that went awry, but the Bulls' ills went far beyond the last two possessions, when the Mavericks exploited their strategy yet again.

"Either you learn the lesson or figure out," Wade said. "Keep putting your hand on the hot stove every day.

"We just gotta figure out not to put our hands on that stove. And understand when we come in the kitchen, that stove is hot, don't touch it. As I continue to say, this is a very young team and they have to play in these games and have to go through these moments. The one thing you want, whether it's this year or next year, is to not make the same mistakes."

The Bulls are apparently insistent on touching the stove and keep burning themselves, the most recent time with the confusion or the bad strategy in defending the Mavericks' final offensive possession.

Deron Williams found himself with Nikola Mirotic defending him off a switch from Jimmy Butler. Not the quickest afoot, Mirotic gave Williams an easy path to the basket and Wade was the backside help, not wanting to leave Matthews on the wing for a triple.

But with the bench commanding Wade to help, Williams easily found Matthews for an open 3 as Wade had no help for his man. With the Bulls up two, one could see how Wade didn't want to leave Matthews.

"I'll have to go back and watch, but it looks like Deron got downcourt, Wade went over to help and we didn’t rotate accordingly," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We obviously need to do a better job of staying in front of the other end."

Mirotic was supposed to be brought back slowly in his return from strep throat, but he played the entire fourth quarter and 22 minutes overall, having lost eight pounds with his illness that had him miss four games.

[SHOP BULLS: Get your Bulls gear right here]

Their issues were game-long and have been seasonlong as the Mavericks were supposed to absorb a shellacking from a Bulls team that felt a 25-point beatdown in Texas last month.

Instead, they would've been happy with settling for an escape when Butler rose up over his college teammate Matthews for a 20-foot wing jumper with 22.8 seconds left.

Butler nearly added a triple-double and clutch moment to his growing resume with 24 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds but was dogged by Matthews all night, the defender who wouldn't give him airspace, went chest-to-chest and even earned a technical foul when he felt Butler exaggerated some contact in the third quarter.

"He took away my space, wouldn't let me get to my spot," Butler said of Matthews. "Good for him. I should've did something different."

Wade missed 13 of his 21 shots, scoring 17 with five rebounds on his 35th birthday

With scoring at a premium, Robin Lopez had a season-high 21 points being guarded by Dirk Nowitzki — and they were necessary considering the Bulls were without Taj Gibson (ankle injury) and Doug McDermott couldn't repeat his 30-point showing from Sunday in Memphis.

Rick Carlisle has long been regarded as one of the top strategic coaches, and though he doesn't have the usual personnel from the Mavericks' salad days, he had enough tricks up his sleeve to throw the Bulls off.

Six Mavericks scored in double figures, led by Harrison Barnes' 20 points and Seth Curry's 18, as Barnes, Matthews and Curry combined for eight triples — spreading the Bulls out and picking them apart defensively.

The Mavericks started Nowitzki at center, going to an almost all-small lineup. And though Lopez scored 14 points in the first half, trying to feed him seemed to take the Bulls out of it in the second half.

The energy was tardy to the party, as they shot just 41 percent in the first half but woke up a little in the third quarter — continuing their all-too familiar trend of half-hearted efforts against lesser teams.

And it looks like the ever-optimistic Wade is dishing out some realism, probably something that comes with the perspective of turning 35.

"You can't keep getting stressed out or frustrated. We've been going through this all year. We'll get back in in the morning.

"Once you realize who you are, you're better off. I sleep better at night. Once we want to be a better team and start winning games, we will. I'm not mad, I'm not frustrated, I'm not stressed. Just taking the hits."