Bulls Draft: Shooting guard breakdown


Bulls Draft: Shooting guard breakdown

Off-season acquisition Rip Hamilton did not bring stability the Bulls had hoped for, as the 13-year veteran appeared in just 28 games and averaged 11.6 points, the lowest mark since his rookie season in Washington.

His productivity picked up toward the end of the year, and his injury-plagued season can be somewhat linked to the lockout-shortened season. But at 34 years old, Hamilton cant be counted on as an everyday starter.

Kyle Korver enjoyed one of the best shooting seasons of his career. The 6-foot-7 wing connected on more than 43 percent of his 3-pointers, the second-best mark of his career, behind only the blistering 53.6 percent he shot from beyond the arc in 2009-10.

Jimmy Butler and Ronnie Brewer, both natural small forwards, also saw time at shooting guard when the Bulls used a bigger lineup. C.J. Watson played alongside Derrick Rose at times, as well.

Bulls history

Since 2000, the Bulls have made 29 draft selections. They have spent five of those selections on shooting guards: 2000: A.J. Guyton (Indiana); 2002: Roger Mason (Virginia); 2004: Ben Gordon (Connecticut); 2007: JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State); 2008: Sonny Weems (Arkansas)
What the Bulls need in a shooting guard

As the most inconsistent position in Chicago last year, the Bulls need a scorer. Luol Dengs ability to play on the perimeter took some pressure off Rose, but the Bulls could use another shooter to open up the offense. With the contract statuses of Korver and Brewer in the air (which well discuss next week), depth at the position would be a warm welcome to a position that needs improvement.

Top 11 2011 Draft prospects
1. Bradley Beal, Florida Comparisons to a young Ray Allen may be a bit much, but the 6-foot-3 Beal has the makings of a premier shooter and will be off the board within the first four picks.

2. Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut The lanky wing averaged 17.7 points per game in his sophomore season, but will need to put on some more muscle before he reaches his full potential in the NBA.
3. Terrence Ross, Washington At 6-foot-6, Ross brings a great skill set to the table as a slasher, above-average rebounder and underrated passer. He will need to improve on his shooting, as he shot just 37 percent from beyond the arc last year.

4. Austin Rivers, Duke Playing primarily point guard last year for the Blue Devils, Rivers oozes with potential at 19 years old.

5. Doron Lamb, Kentucky The Wildcats sharpshooter last year, Lamb shot better than 46 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 13.7 points per game.

6. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt No one in college basketball made more 3-pointers (129) than the SECs two-time scoring champion.

7. Evan Fournier, France One of the top international prospects, Fournier has an impressive mid-range game and can get to the basket. At just 19 years old, hell need to add strength at the next level.

8. Will Barton, Memphis Aggrey Sams choice for the Bulls in his most recent mock draft, Barton would bring versatility and length give him a chance to crack the rotation right away for a Bulls team that will likely have several new faces.

9. Orlando Johnson, UC-Santa Barbara Johnson has excellent length and averaged 19.7 points per game last year for the Guachos.

10. Jared Cunningham, Oregon State At 6-foot-5, Cunningham possesses great athleticism and court vision, but needs improvement on his outside shot.

11. William Buford, Ohio State A four-year starter for the Buckeyes, Buford struggled from the outside his senior season but has great size and is a solid defender.

NOTE: Dion Waiters was included in the point guard rankings.


The Bulls reported desire to move into the Lottery could certainly be to go after a shooting guard. Beal will be gone but every other name above may be available toward the back-end of the top-14 picks. This years class is full of capable scorers, and if the Bulls stay their current position (No. 29) Doron Lamb, Jenkins, Fournier and Barton will all be in the mix. Most of the prospects will need some seasoning early, but could help the Bulls scoring woes at the position at some point next season.

Of the five positions, its most logical that the Bulls would go after a shooting guard with their first pick, but if their cap room dictates they can keep Korver and Brewer, the best player available will be chosen. Still, Korver (31 years old) and Hamilton (34) arent getting any younger, so Gar Forman and John Paxson will need to address the position sooner than later.

Blackhawks still trying to solve penalty kill issues

Blackhawks still trying to solve penalty kill issues

When considering the Blackhawks’ penalty kill, you can look at their 3-3-1 record in two ways: their record is mediocre because of it, or they’re still getting points despite it.

No matter how you look at it, however, the penalty kill’s malaise has to stop.

In seven games this season, the Blackhawks’ penalty kill has allowed 14 goals on 26 opportunities. Through their first seven games last season the Blackhawks were shorthanded 18 times, allowing three goals.

Looking at seasons overall, the Blackhawks allowed 46 power-play goals over 82 games last season. The kill allowed a scant 35 goals during the 2014-15 season and 46 goals in 2013-14.

Yes, the Blackhawks know it’s a big problem and they’ve talked about it and worked on it. So far, they just haven’t seen the results on it. Some have come off faceoffs. Some have come from long distance. Some have come off rebounds. It doesn’t seem to matter what they do: goals get scored. The Blackhawks will keep going back to the drawing board until they restore that penalty kill to its normal success rate.

“We talk a lot about the way we’re forcing it up ice, how we’re forcing it in the neutral zone, forcing entries, how we’re moving together as units, the personnel changes,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’ve tried a number of different looks on the back end, as pairs up front. We’re trying to find something that clicks. we haven’t gotten that confidence yet where we’re comfortable with just about any pairs right now. hopefully we can get that stabilized.

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“We know the importance of that influencing the outcome of games and sometimes it can win a game for us. But it’s been a real negative so far,” Quenneville added. “We got through three in a row there. hopefully that’s the start of something positive.”

The Blackhawks killed off the final three penalties they took against the Calgary Flames on Monday night. It was a shot of confidence for a group that needed it, and now they have to repeat that more often.

“We just kept our feet moving. We were working. Our shifts were 20 to 30 seconds tops,” Jonathan Toews said. “When you go that short you have the energy to outwork the power play and make up for being down one man. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the key right there, and I think our systems fall into place when we’re all moving and we’re all skating the right way.”

Artem Anisimov said those three successful kills were “intense.”

“We were skating. We didn’t give so much time to set up in our zone,” Ansimov said. “It was like, always clear. We cleared the puck 200 feet and it was successful.”

The Blackhawks have been talking “baby steps” regarding their penalty kill the past few games. Killing three in a row off on Monday night could be one, but it means nothing if they allow another one in their next game. The penalty kill is broken. The Blackhawks will keep trying to fix it.

Still no Heyward as Cubs set World Series Game 2 lineup

Still no Heyward as Cubs set World Series Game 2 lineup

CLEVRLAND - As the Cubs try to rebound from a Game 1 loss, Jason Heyward is still on the bench.

The Cubs released their lineup for Game 2 of the World Series and Jorge Soler is in right field after Chris Coghlan started Game 1.

Soler is hitting eighth and bumps Addison Russell to ninth against Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer.

Joe Maddon also changed things up behind the plate with Willson Contreras catching Jake Arrieta instead of veteran Miguel Montero, who typically works with Arrieta.

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Maddon admitted Tuesday he may roll with Contreras in an effort to slow down the Indians run game in what has now become close to a must-win game for the Cubs.

Maddon also said he was going to insert Heyward for defense later on in Game 1 if the Cubs got a lead, but then threw Albert Almora Jr. in right field after pinch-hitting for Coghlan.

Here is the complete lineup behind Arrieta:

1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Kyle Schwarber - DH
6. Javy Baez - 2B
7. Willson Contreras - C
8. Jorge Soler - RF
9. Addison Russell - SS

The lineup looks a lot different with Schwarber back in it. He was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in Game 1.

The Cubs couldn't score against Corey Kluber and the Indians bullpen in Game 1 and Maddon will once again place a premium on offense early on in Game 2.

Soler is 0-for-8 this postseason with a pair of walks. Heyward is 2-for-28 with eight strikouts in 10 postseason contests.

Here is the way the Indians will line up for Game 2:

1. Carlos Santana - DH
2. Jason Kipnis - 2B
3. Francisco Lindor - SS
4. Mike Napoli - 1B
5. Jose Ramirez - 3B
6. Lonnie Chisenhall - RF
7. Coco Crisp - LF
8. Tyler Naquin - CF
9. Roberto Perez - C
Trevor Bauer - P

Bauer only threw 21 pitches his last time out in the American League Championship Series, failing to even get out of the first inning after his stitches popped on his pinky finger of his pitching hand, which he hurt in a drone accident.

Bauer has a 5.06 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 5.1 postseason innings this year.