Chicago Bulls

Bulls needle first-place Knicks in wild win

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Bulls needle first-place Knicks in wild win

NEW YORK For those used to the Bulls (15-10) playing ugly often in winning fashion, but nonetheless, in a less than aesthetically-pleasing manner Friday nights 110-106 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Knicks (19-7) at Madison Square Garden was a sight for sore eyes. Propelled by the surprising offensive contributions of Kirk Hinrich, an overall balanced attack and their typically stout defense, the visitors cruised from wire to wire -- though it got hairy in the end, fitting for a game that featured multiple wild scenarios and several technical fouls, not to mention ejections -- to beat a supposed title contender for the second twice in as many tries on the young campaign.

At the outset of the game, the Knicks didnt know what hit them, as their guests jumped out of the gates by playing proficient and aggressive, yet patient, offense as well as their typical lockdown defense. With two triples from Kirk Hinrich (16 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) and a solid start from Carlos Boozer (9 points, 7 rebounds) leading the way, the Bulls started the contest on a 14-2 run, prompting a New York timeout to restore order midway through the opening period.

Along with Hinrich, Luol Deng (29 points, 13 rebounds) and Joakim Noah (15 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) led the offensive effort, and while they were countered by the likes of Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony (29 points, 3 rebounds), point guard Raymond Felton (21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) and sixth man J.R. Smith (26 points, 10 rebounds), the Bulls maintained their comfortable winning margin. However, a Smith buzzer-beating three, which raised the ire of Deng in particular, narrowed the gap to 30-23 in the visitors favor at the end of a quarter.

Smiths scoring ability was a focal point of the Knicks attack early in the second quarter, but the dynamic, all-around play of both Noah and Deng ensured that the Bulls would keep control of the game. However, when that pair exited the contest for rest purposes, New York climbed back into the game, mainly behind the offensive firepower of Anthony and Smith, turning a double-digit deficit into a two-possession affair.

But the Bulls once again clamped down on the defensive end and found their offensive rhythm, with Marco Belinelli (22 points, 7 rebounds) also joining in the festivities and creating a wide margin of separation. At the intermission, the Bulls held a 54-37 advantage over the home team, following an Anthony layup in the waning seconds of the half.

After the break, the Bulls continued their steady dominance, led by Hinrich, who was not only playing efficiently on offense, but contributing a quietly effective all-around night. Even with the visitors lead hovering around 20 points and Hinrichs long-distance jumper at the best its been all season, sobering the mood for the Bulls was Deng, the teams ironman and leagues minutes-per-game leader, having to leave the game after injuring his left shoulder following Knicks veteran Jason Kidd stripping the ball form him.

But the Bulls kept rolling, as Belinellis offense aided their cause and Deng quickly checked back into the game, meaning the visitors didnt miss a beat, even with Noah earning himself his sixth technical foul of the season for arguing with an official. Meanwhile, the Knicks appeared completely discombobulated Smith and Knicks head coach Mike Woodson picked up technicals of their own earlier in the period, to match Anthonys from the first quarter and heading into the final stanza, the Bulls led, 83-61.

New York showed some fight to start the fourth quarter, as their steady diet of Anthony, Smith and little else persisted and their guests started to appear frustrated, as Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau earned a technical foul, as his teams lead dwindled. But the Knicks seemingly derailed their own comeback attempt, as Smith fouled out midway through the period and Anthony was ejected after being hit with his second technical, depriving the hosts of the vast majority of their scoring, followed in short succession by Woodson joining him in the locker room.

A surreal scene, which included fans getting thrown out of the arena, got even wilder when Noah and former Bulls center Tyson Chandler got entangled, resulting in double technical fouls and the ejection of both players. For all of the histrionics happening on the floor, the game was no longer in doubt, as the visitors had a big enough lead that even with the Knicks making a furious effort down the stretch, they couldnt pull off a miracle.

Bank shot: You won't believe how much more money Derrick Rose's former teammates are making compared to him

Bank shot: You won't believe how much more money Derrick Rose's former teammates are making compared to him

At one time, Derrick Rose was cruising towards becoming one of the NBA's highest-paid players.

Not any longer. 

The point guard agreed to terms with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a one-year, $2.1 million deal - otherwise known as the veterans minimum - on Tuesday. That's quite a fall from grace for the 2011 MVP. 

To be fair, the 28-year-old could have pocketed more if he signed with a number of other teams, but he prioritzed winning this offseason. 

Either way, for a guy coming off his best offensive season (18 points per game on 47 percent shooting) since 2012, the low salary is somewhat of a surprise. 

To contextualize the deal, here's a look at former Bulls teammates who will bring home more bacon next season: 

Player | 2017-2018 salary | 2016-2017 points per game | 2016-2017 rebounds per game | 2016-2017 assists per game 

Jimmy Butler | $19.3 million | 23.9 points | 6.2 rebounds | 5.5 assists

Joakim Noah | $17.8 million | 5.0 points | 8.8 rebounds | 2.2 assists

Luol Deng | $17.1 million | 7.6 points | 5.3 rebounds | 1.3 assists

Pau Gasol | $16 million | 12.4 points | 7.8 rebounds | 2.3 assists

Taj Gibson | $14 million | 10.8 points | 6.2 rebounds | 0.9 assists

Omer Asik | $10.6 million | 2.7 points | 5.3 rebounds | 0.5 assists

Tom Thibodeau | $10 million | 24.2 "ice" yells per game

Tony Snell | $9.9 million | 8.5 points | 3.1 rebounds | 1.2 assists

E'Twaun Moore | $8.4 million | 9.6 points | 2.1 rebounds | 2.2 assists

Cristiano Felicio | $7.8 million | 4.8 points | 4.7 rebounds | 0.6 assists

D.J. Augustin | $7.2 million | 7.9 points | 1.5 rebounds | 2.7 asssists

Kyle Korver | $7.8 million |10.1 points | 2.8 rebounds | 1.6 assists

Marco Belinelli | $6.6 million | 10.5 points | 2.4 rebounds | 2.0 assists

Justin Holiday | $4.6 million | 7.7 points | 2.7 rebounds | 1.2 assists

Doug McDermott | $3.3 million | 9.0 points | 2.7 rebounds | 0.9 assists

* We're not sure the exact salary of Brian Scalabrine, but the Big 3 may be paying him more than $2.1 million. * 

 

 

Derrick Rose to sign with Cavaliers

Derrick Rose to sign with Cavaliers

Derrick Rose is headed to Cleveland. 

According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the former Bulls point guard committed to sign with the Cavaliers on Monday, joining a team on the heels of three straight NBA Finals appearances. 

Although the numbers haven't been made official, the contract will likely be a one-year deal worth about $2.1 million. It's a low-risk move for the Cavs, who are signing a point guard with quite a history of injuries. 

Rose, 28, had a bit of a resurgence on the offensive end last year. He posted 18 points per game, which was his highest average since 2011-2012, and he shot 47 percent from the field. While his defense continues to be lackluster, the 2011 MVP gives the Cavs' second unit a scoring boost. 

The signing also raises more Kyrie Irving questions. Irving requested a trade late last week, indicating Rose may be pushed into a more prominent role. 

Rose battled LeBron James in several playoffs. Now, the Chicago kid will try to win alongside The King.