Bulls nonchalant about Sixers' bulletin-board material

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Bulls nonchalant about Sixers' bulletin-board material

INDIANAPOLISDerrick Rose got quiet and his eyes narrowed, as they tend to do when hes asked a question by the media that truly piques his interest.

No, he responded, even quieter than usual. There have been teams that have said they want to play us before, so I dont got nothing to say about it.

Philadelphia second-year swingman Evan Turners comments about dodging a bullet if his 76ers face the Bulls instead of the Heat--forward Thaddeus Young made comments to the same effect after Philadelphia clinched a playoff berth, when asked who his team would rather play--a team theyve struggled with, in the first round didnt elicit much of a reaction out of Rose.

But as with any perceived slight, be sure that it will go into his expansive memory bank for future referenceas in this weekend, if the Sixers remain in the eighth seedespecially when considering the source, Turner, a Chicago native and Roses former high-school rival with whom he exchanged words when their teams matched up years ago.

It was less personal for Roses teammates, but their answers were also telling. Former Sixer Kyle Korver paused, then chuckled before discussing Turners inflammatory quote.

Well, all right, he said. Im not going to get into a war of words with Evan Turner.

Come play us, he continued. Our goals to win a championship. We dont care who we playfirst round, second round, third roundwe want to go through everybody. Thats our mindset. We dont want to go around anybody. Weve got the one seed and were ready for whoevers eighth.

Joakim Noah and All-Star Luol Deng were a bit more diplomatic.

Im not the type to talk back and forth. If we see them, we see them. If we see New York, we see New York., Deng told CSNChicago.com. Were not trying to pick and choose who we want. I guess theyre picking us. Were not picking anyone.

Added Noah: Why doesnt it bother me? At the end of the day, youve got to go out there and play the game, so were only worried about us right now and well worry about Evan Turner when we need to worry about Evan Turner.

Not that the Bulls need any motivation, but if the Sixers are indeed their opening-round opponent, it might add a little fuel to the fire. Even if they deny it.

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls visit Bucks in final regular season meeting on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Can the Bulls get one on the Bucks? The Bulls are 0-3 against the Bucks so far this season and it hasn't been pretty. The Bucks have won the previous three meetings all by double digits and by an average of 19 points. The youth and athleticism of the Bucks has been a tough matchup for the Bulls so far.

2. Containing Giannis. There may be no stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Bulls can at least try to contain him. Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and nearly nine rebounds per game. In three games against the Bulls this year he has averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 7.3 assists per contest. If the Bulls are to stay in the game, they will need to keep him to numbers lower than that.

3. Playoff implications. The Bulls playoff hopes are still alive with nine games remaining, but things are looking a bit bleak. The Bulls are a game and a half out of the eighth playoff spot, but only 3.5 games behind two teams tied for the No. 5 seed, the Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks have won three in a row to improve their position.

4. Mirotic on a roll. Streaky play is nothing new to Nikola Mirotic, but he's on a good run currently. After scoring a season-high 28 points on Wednesday against the Pistons, Mirotic followed that up with 15 points against the 76ers. Since missing three straight games earlier this month, Mirotic has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games and is averaging 15.6 points during that stretch.

5. Beginning of a tough stretch. The Bulls' playoff hopes could be made or broken in the next three games. After taking on the Bucks, which occupy a playoff spot, the Bulls host two more Eastern Conference playoff teams in Cleveland and Atlanta. The Bulls need to string some wins together and this is not an easy stretch to do so against.

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you're ready for action

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- Latest on the Bulls: All of the most recent news and notes

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Former Bulls center Joakim Noah suspended 20 games for violating NBA's anti-drug policy

Former Bulls center Joakim Noah suspended 20 games for violating NBA's anti-drug policy

The NBA announced Saturday that it has suspended former Bulls and current Knicks center Joakim Noah for 20 games without pay for violating the league's anti-drug policy.

He tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement called selective androgen receptor modulator LGD-4033, which is prohibited under the current collective bargaining agreement but would not have been under the new CBA starting next year, according to ESPN's Marc Spears.

It was announced in February that Noah would miss the remainder of the season with a left knee injury. His suspension will carry over into the 2017-18 campaign with only 10 games left this year.

Noah averaged 5.0 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game in 46 games in his first of a four-year, $72 million contract with the Knicks.