Deng continues to evolve as a clutch performer

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Deng continues to evolve as a clutch performer

TORONTOLuol Deng isnt Derrick Rose, and he isnt trying to be.

But with the injured superstar sidelined, the Bulls other returning All-Star has been a more-than-competent fill-in for the team in late-game situations. Take Wednesday nights 107-105 overtime road win over the Raptors.

Sure, it shouldnt have got to that pointnot with an 18-point third-quarter lead, another example of the Bulls season-long inconsistencybut Deng ensured they wouldnt blow it, knocking down a pull-up jumper with 3.3 seconds left in the extra session. Afterwards, while the team was relieved, there was a feeling that it was expected.

I thought Lu made a great read, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. Thats Lus strength right there. Big shot.

Not just the last shot. He had that big three when they were right on our heels and that was a huge shot right there. The guys who have been around and have seen him play a lot, you know thats what he does, whatever you need. You need great defense, he does that. You need a rebound in traffic, he does that. Move well without the ball, run the floor, he continued. To me, thats who he is. Thats what makes him such a good player.

Joakim Noah added: Oh, we have a lot of confidence in Louie. He told meeven before he hit the shothe said, Lets go home. Im going to hit this shot. Lets go home, so yeah, his swag is crazy.

I think all of us probably have more opportunities than we usually do offensively with Derrick being out. Right now, its all about holding the fort down, but I think Luol, hes playing his game and I think that hes somebody whos great because everything he does is within the system and when we play within the system and we play together, I feel like were very tough to beat. Lu can score 30 within the system, just with his cutting and the way he shoots the ball. He can score in so many different ways.

Deng took it in stride, attributing the game-winner to his maturation and development.

I felt comfortable the whole game. I just thought it was a good play, he explained. He was just patient to try and get a good shot.

I think its just maturing and being in the league for a while now, I know what I can do and what I cant do. When it comes to last minutes in the game, Im not as nervous or worried about what Im going to do as I used to be. Theres a few things that I do well and Im going to stick to that. At the end of the game, just stick to my game. I never get out of character, close game or not a close game, just play the same way, he went on to say. With the team that we have now, theres certain guys that weve been together for so long and we just know, Coach calls a play, we all feel comfortable with what were running out there. Before the overtime, we called a play for Marco and we were all comfortable with thatin the overtime, we switched the play and everyone was fine with it.

Thats the kind of relationship and kind of confidence we have in each other.

Deng, who scored 19 points, in addition to seven assists and six rebounds, pulled his hamstring in the opening period, though he quickly returned to the contest.

I tweaked it early in the first quarter. I was going to come out, I came out early, he said. The plan was to come back, but I just felt like I could play through it. Coach kept asking me, the training staff kept asking me how I felt, but hopefully it wont be too bad tomorrow. But just one of those nagging injuries. I just hope its not serious.

New tone set in Bulls training camp marked by role adjustments

New tone set in Bulls training camp marked by role adjustments

With eight new players and likely three new starters for the Bulls, an adjustment period of roles has started to take place in the opening days of camp.

Shot creators turn into shot makers.

Full-time ball handlers revert back to being part-time dominators.

First-time leaders are supplemented by experienced leaders who bring an instant credibility and speak with a bluntness that wasn’t as present last year—even from the coach.

A new tone of sorts was set when Dwyane Wade didn’t give the stock “nobody cares what happened last year” spiel after being asked if he wondered about what went wrong on the floor and off with the Bulls.

“You ask the guys that were here last year, how rotten it was,” Wade said. “You want to hear from their perspective, whatever it was last year from the standpoint of losing. You don't do that. I come from a different place and a different culture. Things are done differently different places. So I sat down and listened to guys.

“But the thing is, some of the things they talked about I know are not going to take place. Not while I'm here, not while (Rajon) Rondo's here, not while Jimmy (Butler) continues to grow as a leader.”

It adds light to some of the thoughts that Butler expressed after Tuesday’s first practice, and what anyone with a set of eyes could see last season when the Bulls looked like a fractured group that didn’t enjoy playing with each other anymore.

There wasn’t outright disdain, but some of the damaged relationships were never repaired as the season went on. Putting that into an alphabet soup with losing, bad habits and injuries and it spelled out “something’s gotta give.”

“You definitely gotta like each other. If you don’t, and you can say this doesn’t happen, but I feel like if you don’t like a guy you’re not going to pass him the ball,” said Butler, who had some rocky moments last season as a leader. “I think there’s a lot of liking on this team. Like I said, everybody wants everybody to be successful. Do we like each other too much? I hope so.”

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Refreshing honesty is a change at the Advocate Center, with Wade and Rondo being the adults in the room. The two have the latitude from Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg to stop practice to get on guys, and they did so Tuesday.

“You just want to cut down all the chatter; it’s early,” Rondo said. “Only a couple of guys should be talking in practice. As far as disrupting when they do stop practice, coach has the voice then assistant coach has the voice and then the other players.”

It’s not a surprise given Hoiberg won’t be one change his ways overnight, and having a player-run team are often the most successful, assuming everyone is on the same page.

It sort of speaks to Bulls vice president John Paxson’s statement on media day about the Bulls’ rebuilding their culture from the ground level.

“You talk about last year, but at the same time, last year doesn't matter,” Wade said. “We have a different core, and I think our culture is fairly different. We have guys now, Rondo's won a championship, I've won championships, we demand respect on the court. But we've got a lot of young guys as well, so they'll listen.”

Wade and Rondo have both said the Bulls are Butler’s team, but it doesn’t mean they’ll be wallflowers if they see things they don’t like. Wade has been a vocal leader in some form for the last decade and Rondo has rarely, if ever, held his tongue.

Rondo, along with being a primary facilitator for Butler to make scoring easier, imparted some wisdom to help Butler in his ever-evolving role as a leader.

“Not doing it with my mouth but with my actions, being consistent; I told Jimmy a leader can’t pick and choose when he wants to lead,” Rondo said. “He has to come out every day, every practice; we’re having two a days. If you are down, need something to get your head right, you have to bring it every day, every day.”

Hoiberg said there has to be a mutual respect amongst the team, which can lead to chemistry and camaraderie.

“It takes a lot of those moments when we all make mistakes and the coach is on us, that's when we come together,” Wade said. “In the locker room, when we're in there talking about anything, talking about whatever. it takes a lot of being on the road, traveling together. You're on a road trip, you go out dinner together. It's going to take a lot of moments to get the chemistry that we need.”

CSN announces its 2016-17 Bulls season coverage details

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CSN announces its 2016-17 Bulls season coverage details

Pre-Season Action begins Oct. 3, First Regular Season game on Oct. 29, Plus – Live Pre/Post-Game Shows all season long and comprehensive nightly coverage on ‘SportsNet Central,’ Highlight 2016-17 Schedule Live streaming coverage of EVERY Pre-Season and Regular Season Bulls telecast – including all Pre/Post-Game Shows – to be made available to authenticated subscribers on CSNChicago.com and via the NBC Sports app

CSNChicago.com to feature 24/7 reporting from Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill; website to also feature live video of Post-Game Press Conferences

“Bulls Pulse” Social Media Center, Daily Player/Coaches Interviews, Game Highlights, plus In-Game Twitter updates from CSN talent and much more!

Chicago, IL (September 28, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Bulls, is once again ready to deliver another thrill-packed season of NBA excitement with 42 live regular season Bulls games (21 home, 21 away), including in-depth pre-game and post-game shows, and the most thorough 24/7 online Bulls coverage to date on CSNChicago.com!

In addition -- EVERY pre-season and regular season Bulls telecast on Comcast SportsNet, including surrounding Bulls Pre/Postgame Live coverage, will once again be streamed live on CSNChicago.com and will be made available via the NBC Sports app on tablets and smart phones.  The live stream of CSN’s Bulls telecasts is presented by Xfinity.  Authenticated Comcast SportsNet Chicago subscribers can watch live Bulls action from anywhere in the United States.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  For a full list of carriers and more information about CSN Chicago’s live streaming service of Bulls games, viewers are urged to visit the following link: http://www.csnchicago.com/live-faq .  

The 2016-17 Chicago Bulls regular season on Comcast SportsNet/CSNChicago.com/NBC Sports app gets underway on Saturday, October 29, as three-time NBA Champion/12-time NBA All-Star/Chicago native Dwyane Wade & NBA Champion/four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo join two-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler, along with Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott, Bobby Portis, Tony Snell, newcomer Robin Lopez, and rookie Denzel Valentine among others, as the Bulls host the Central Division rival Indiana Pacers at 7:00 PM CT, featuring the always-entertaining announcing tandem of Neil Funk and Stacey King (NOTE: Coverage gets underway with an expanded, one-hour edition of Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light at 6:00 PM LIVE from the United Center with hosts Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Will Perdue).  Kia Bulls Postgame Live immediately follows the game featuring Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg’s post-game press conference, along with live locker room player interviews and complete post-game analysis.  Plus – CSNChicago.com Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill will make regular on-air appearances throughout the season on Bulls Pre/Postgame Live and during home game telecasts.

In addition to the 42 regular season games, Comcast SportsNet/CSNChicago.com/NBC Sports app will also televise six Bulls pre-season games starting on Monday, October 3 at 7:00 PM, when the Bulls face the Milwaukee Bucks live at the United Center.  Additional pre-season match-ups will air on Oct. 6 at Indiana, Oct. 14 vs. Cleveland, Oct. 15 at Milwaukee, Oct. 17 vs. Charlotte, and Oct. 20 vs. Atlanta (in Omaha, NB). 

Highlights from this season’s Bulls regular season schedule on Comcast SportsNet/CSNChicago.com/NBC Sports app features 27 big games against Eastern Conference foes, ten of which are against Central Division opponents.  Among the key highlights on this season’s Bulls telecast schedule features a huge United Center battle against LeBron James and the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers (Dec. 2), a return home for former Bulls C/F Pau Gasol as the San Antonio Spurs invade the UC (Dec. 8), a home match-up against Dwyane Wade’s former club, the Miami Heat (Jan. 27), a road battle against back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry & the 73-9 regular season/Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors (Jan. 8), a road match-up against former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and his Minnesota Timberwolves (Feb. 12), along with a late season visit to Madison Square Garden when the Bulls take on former team All-Stars Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and the New York Knicks (Apr. 4). (NOTE: Comcast SportsNet/CSNChicago.com/NBC Sports app’s complete 2016-17 pre-season and regular season Bulls schedule appears at the end of this release).

For the ninth-straight season, veteran Bulls play-by-play announcer Neil Funk will be teamed up with former Bulls standout center Stacey King, who will handle color analysis all season long.  SportsNet Central’s Bulls beat reporter Chuck Garfien will also be the primary courtside reporter for Bulls home game telecasts this season. 

Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light (featuring hosts Mark Schanowski, former NBA/Bulls/Fighting Illini standout Kendall Gill, and four-time NBA champion center, including three titles with the Bulls, Will Perdue) is a half-hour pre-game show featuring a breakdown of the evening’s match-up, interviews with coaches and players and a look at the other games around the NBA.  Bulls Pregame Live will air prior to every Bulls game this season with additional weeknight Bulls pre-game discussion airing on SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado.  Featuring host David Kaplan, SportsTalk Live will also be the place to hear from numerous Bulls/NBA experts all season long.

Immediately following every game this season, viewers can look forward to the most comprehensive post-game wrap-up show on Kia Bulls Postgame Live.  Kia Bulls Postgame Live (hosted by Schanowski/Gill/Perdue) will also feature live coverage of Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg’s post-game press conference and live locker room interviews with Bulls players.  Following the majority of evening Kia Bulls Postgame Live airings, viewers can catch GMC SportsNet Central at 10:00 & 10:30 PM and SportsNet Central presented by CLR at 12 Midnight with the most complete recap of the day’s top local and national sports news. 

One pre-season and one regular season Bulls game is currently scheduled to be telecast on Comcast SportsNet Plus (see attached schedule).  Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN+) telecasts are provided to Comcast SportsNet affiliates and distributed to viewers when two live events are scheduled simultaneously.  CSN+ is available in high-definition on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area/South Bend, IN & on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 285 in the Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets, along with being made available in DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, RCN, and WOW! homes among others; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for complete channel location details). Comcast Cable and RCN subscribers can also watch all CSN+ games in standard definition on CLTV. 

In addition to its live stream of every Bulls pre-season/regular season/playoff telecast, Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 24/7 Bulls coverage all season long, including the following highlights: 

  • Live stream of Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg's post-game press conferences following EVERY home game telecast.
  • Video highlights from every Bulls game, including in-game highlights at halftime.  Pre-game interviews from team practices will also be provided, as well as extensive post-game reaction from the locker room and analysis from the “Kia Bulls Postgame Live” team.
  • “Bulls Pulse,” a one-stop social media and behind-the-scenes destination that reveals the latest real time trending topics, player buzz and expert insight from Twitter and Instagram.  Plus, “Bulls Pulse” aggregates all Bulls player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #BullsTalk.
  • “Bulls In-Game Live,” – featuring STATS Inc.’s enhanced Game Zone real-time tracking system – is a second screen platform for PCs, tablets and mobile devices that combine state-of-the-art infographics, data visualization of real-time statistics and game info with rich social interactivity tied to CSN Chicago’s live game broadcasts.
  • Push Alerts: CSN Chicago will deliver Bulls push notifications for breaking team and player news, “Insider” reports, plus game reminder alerts via CSN Chicago’s SportsTalk app for iOS and Android devices.
  • BullsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Bulls news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. BullsTalk contains interactive content with continually updated insights from the network’s talent, which includes the new #BullsTalk podcast.
  • CSNChicago.com Bulls “Insider” Vincent Goodwill enters his second full season on the Bulls beat. Follow him on Twitter @vgoodwill for the latest team/player news and inside access 24/7.  Bulls digital reporter and producer Mark Strotman (@markstrot) will also provide Bulls and NBA reports/features on the beat with Goodwill. 
  • @CSNBulls on Twitter provides 24/7 full team coverage, giveaways, fan photos and game day news straight from the United Center and across the country.
  • Expanded coverage from Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, Will Perdue and Chuck Garfien, CSN Chicago’s Bulls reporting team will provide pre-game and post-game coverage throughout the playoffs, along with digital content contribution and videos for CSNChicago.com throughout the season.  Follow them on Twitter @MarkSchanowski, @KendallG13, @Will_Perdue32, and @ChuckGarfien.
  • Bulls coverage on CSNChicago.com/Bulls is presented by Toyota.

COMCAST SPORTSNET CHICAGO

CSNChicago.com/NBC Sports app

 

2016 - 2017 Chicago Bulls Schedule

 

Pre-season:

  1. Mon, Oct 3           vs Milwaukee                            7:00 pm  
  2. Thu, Oct 6            @ Indiana                                7:00 pm
  3. Fri, Oct 14            vs Cleveland                             7:00pm         CSN+
  4. Sat, Oct 15           @ Milwaukee                            7:30 pm
  5. Mon, Oct 17         vs Charlotte                              7:00 pm
  6. Thu, Oct 20          @ Atlanta (Omaha)                   7:00 pm

Regular Season:

  1. Sat, Oct 29           vs Indiana                                7:00 pm
  2. Mon, Oct 31         @ Brooklyn                              6:30 pm
  3. Sat, Nov 5            @ Indiana                                6:00 pm
  4. Wed, Nov 9          @ Atlanta                                 6:30 pm        
  5. Thu, Nov 17         @ Utah                                    9:30 pm        
  6. Sun, Nov 20         @ Los Angeles Lakers              8:30 pm
  7. Tue, Nov 22         @ Denver                                 8:00 pm
  8. Wed, Nov 30        vs Los Angeles Lakers              7:00 pm
  9. Fri, Dec 2             vs Cleveland                             7:00 pm        
  10. Mon, Dec 5          vs Portland                               7:00 pm
  11. Tue, Dec 6           @ Detroit                                 6:30 pm
  12. Thu, Dec 8           vs San Antonio                         8:30 pm        
  13. Fri, Dec 16           vs Milwaukee                            7:00 pm
  14. Mon, Dec 19         vs Detroit                                 7:00 pm
  15. Wed, Dec 21        vs Washington                          7:00 pm
  16. Mon, Dec 26         vs Indiana                                7:00 pm
  17. Wed, Dec 28        vs Brooklyn                              7:00 pm
  18. Fri, Dec 30           @ Indiana                                3:00 pm
  19. Mon, Jan 2           vs Charlotte                              7:00 pm
  20. Mon, Jan 9           vs Oklahoma City                     7:00 pm
  21. Tue, Jan 10          @ Washington                          6:00 pm
  22. Sat, Jan 14           vs New Orleans                        4:00 pm
  23. Tue, Jan 17          vs Dallas                                  7:00 pm         CSN+
  24. Wed, Jan 25         vs Atlanta                                 7:00 pm
  25. Fri, Jan 27            vs Miami                                  7:00 pm        
  26. Sun, Jan 29          vs Philadelphia                          6:00 pm
  27. Fri, Feb 3             @ Houston                               7:00 pm
  28. Wed, Feb 8          @ Golden State                        9:30 pm        
  29. Sun, Feb 12         @ Minnesota                            2:30 pm
  30. Tue, Feb 14          vs Toronto                                7:00 pm
  31. Tue, Feb 28          vs Denver                                 7:00 pm
  32. Mon, Mar 6          @ Detroit                                 6:30 pm
  33. Wed, Mar 8          @ Orlando                               6:00 pm
  34. Mon, Mar 13         @ Charlotte                              6:00 pm
  35. Wed, Mar 15        vs Memphis                              7:00 pm
  36. Fri, Mar 17           @ Washington                          6:00 pm
  37. Tue, Mar 21         @ Toronto                                6:00 pm        
  38. Sun, Mar 26         @ Milwaukee                            2:30 pm
  39. Sun, Apr 2            @ New Orleans                        5:00 pm
  40. Tue, Apr 4            @ New York                             7:00 pm        
  41. Thu, April 6           @ Philadelphia                          6:00 pm
  42. Mon, April 10        vs Orlando                               7:00 pm                                             

6 pre-season, 42 regular season (21 Home, 21 Road regular season)

Total 48 Games

 

All Times Central Time/Schedule Subject to Change