Hamilton has experience coming back from 3-1

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Hamilton has experience coming back from 3-1

DEERFIELD, ILL. As daunting as the Bulls 3-1 deficit to the 76ers is, one player on the team, while not unconcerned, knows its not impossible to come back and win the series. Thats because, as a member of the Pistons, Rip Hamilton faced the same odds back in 2003, when top-seeded Detroit overcame a 3-1 deficit to Orlando to win the first-round series.

I dont want to be in this situation. I hated it when I was in this situation in Detroit, down 3-1 to Orlando, but it is what it is. But it helps. That lets you know that theres still hope at the end of the tunnel, if you just believe and just play your game, he recalled after Mondays practice at the Berto Center. It was win or go home. We felt as though we had to leave everything on the line. When we played Orlando, I remember Tracy McGrady made a comment, saying that It feels good to be going to the second round, so we kind of took that personal. So, right now, its personal. Its not just about business. Its not just about showing up, playing the game of basketball. Its personal. This is it. You can win and continue playing or you can go home, so youve got to make it personal.

The one thing Ive told them already is just believe. We believe, we get one game and the series could change easily. Just as easy as they came out and won three games in a row, we can do the same thing, but it starts with us. If we believe, anything can happen, he continued. Our job right now is to win the next game. Once we do that, then as playoffs go and being in there a long time, theyll go home and look at their home game as their Game 7. Its one of those things that weve got to take one game at a time. If we can get this game, then the series continues.

While Hamilton doesnt think the Bulls are exactly in an enviable position, he believes that with Game 5 at the United Center, it improves the teams chances.

Weve got an opportunity to get a win here at home. Our job right now is to do what we do best and thats play well at home, and hopefully get a win, he explained.
Right now, its live or die. Its win or go home. It makes the game more challenging. It makes it better, I think, because youre not looking to another game. This has to be the game or if you dont, youre going home, so its a situation where weve got to come out and be prepared to play for 48 minutes.

We need the home crowd bad. I think theyre going to come out excited. I think theyre going to come out louder than ever because this is what weve been playing all season for, to play here at home. We feel as though weve got to get this one, the veteran continued. Yes, we do have confidence they can win. Its been a crazy year, from beginning to right now, so we know that. We know that nothings easy. It hasnt been easy for the whole season, with injuries and guys being out, so we know its going to be tough, but it is what it is. Weve just got to come out and be ready to play.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria won't be fazed by rebuild

White Sox manager Rick Renteria won't be fazed by rebuild

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Rick Renteria knew a White Sox rebuild would be a possibility when he took over as manager and he’s not afraid of the challenges it presents.

Same as he told them in October, the new White Sox manager said on Day 3 of the Winter Meetings on Wednesday that he’s OK with whatever direction the team chooses to head. Given the events of the past two days, when the White Sox reigned in four elite prospects in pair of blockbuster deals for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, Renteria has a pretty firm grasp of what’s to come.

Shortly after trading they traded Sale to the Boston Red Sox for four minor leaguers on Tuesday, the White Sox acquired three top pitching prospects from the Washington Nationals for Eaton on Wednesday. Despite what promises to be an inexperienced roster in 2017, Renteria plans to take the same open-minded approach into next season as he always has regardless of the makeup of the roster.

“We're obviously going to miss Chris,” Renteria said several hours before the Eaton deal was completed. “He was an integral part of our organization and our team. My only concern is obviously whatever players, what group of players I have, those are the ones I have to manage. So at this point, we have what we have right now and we'll see how it continues.”

When he hired him on Oct. 3, general manager Rick Hahn said he did so in part because the Renteria could handle a veteran roster equally as well as a youthful one. Hahn mentioned Tuesday that the entire major league coaching staff has been restructured with player development in mind, including the additions of third-base coach Nick Capra and bullpen coach Curt Hasler.

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Regardless of whether or not the team planned to compete next season, Renteria expected to at least work with some younger players. It’s the way of the world, promoting prospects to the majors with the idea it’s the final step in their development, Renteria said. Renteria didn’t sound as if he’s worried if he was inundated with prospects.

“There was talks of the possibility, but there was nothing set in stone at the time obviously,” Renteria said. “Younger players are filtering in a lot sooner than they used to in the past. You still have to continue to teach at the Major League level, and that's one thing that's evident throughout.”

Renteria said the key to players young or old is communication. Either way his approach would mostly be the same.

“Every human being is the sum total of all their experiences, so you've got to get to know people first, see what it is that motivates them, what kind of clicks with them to get them to act out on certain things that you might have them perform on a more consistent basis,” Renteria said. “I think that baseball has its own language. It's something that is indescribable at times. But working with the younger guys, I relish it. I look forward to it.

"But I also look forward to working with older veteran players, too. It's the same. My approach doesn't change a lot, other than you give people with experience their place.”

White Sox deal Adam Eaton to Nationals for Lucas Giolito, two others

White Sox deal Adam Eaton to Nationals for Lucas Giolito, two others

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The White Sox completed another blockbuster deal at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday night, sending Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals.

One day after they traded Chris Sale to Boston for four minor leaguers, including two elite prospects, the White Sox traded their outstanding leadoff man for three more top prospects, including pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Washington’s 2016 first-rounder Dane Dunning is also in the deal.

The Nationals’ top minor leaguer and MLB.com’s third-rated prospect in the game, Giolito was one of the main players included in a reported package for Sale only two days earlier. A first-round draft pick in 2012, the 22-year-old right-hander features an outstanding fastball-curveball combination.

Lopez is the No. 38 overall prospect in baseball and Dunning was selected with the 29 th pick in the June draft.

Giolito is the second top-5 prospect the White Sox have added in two days along with infielder Yoan Moncada, the 2016 minor league player of the year, who came over from Boston in the Sale trade. The White Sox also acquired right-hander Michael Kopech, the 30th overall prospect, in the Sale deal.