Chicago Bulls

Bulls run wild, annihilate Warriors from tip

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Bulls run wild, annihilate Warriors from tip

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
Updated 11:50 PM
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

If they hadnt seen Derrick Roses ever-present Fast Dont Lie adidas commercials before, the Golden State Warriors likely have a paraphrase of the slogan ricocheting inside their heads after being trounced, 120-90, at the hands of the Bulls at the United Center Thursday evening.

Roses 22-point, 13-assist effort and Luol Dengs 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists paced a balanced Chicago effort all five starters were in double figures to help run away from their fast-paced guests by giving them a dose of their own medicine, coupled with a helping of tough defense in making the game a laugher.
Matador

Luol Dengs 26-point, 11-rebound, five-assist, two-block effort was sensational, but Derrick Rose was the engine that made the Bulls go on this evening, just like he is on most nights. Rose pushed the tempo offensively, was aggressive scoring the ball and was also a factor on the defensive end.

Im just trying to be aggressive. I see when Im aggressive it opens things up early and we won the game, and thats what its all about winning, said Rose, who poured in 22 points and dished out 13 assists. Every night, Im trying to be aggressive.

Were a hard team to guard when we get out in transition and we get fast breaks. Get the ball to Derrick and run, thats all youve got to do, added Keith Bogans, Roses partner in the starting backcourt. Hes either going to finish or hes going to find you. Its easy offense when were playing in transition.

Moment of Truth

The tired Warriors they played four games in five nights were out of the game by the end of the first quarter, especially after a sequence in which Bogans recorded back-to-back thefts. After the first, he made an outlet pass to Rose already with a full head of steam who winded through traffic for slicing left-handed layup in transition.

After the second steal, Bogans and Rose executed a picture-perfect fast-break sequence the pair passed back and forth like a high school basketball teams practice drill; the ball didnt hit the floor resulting in a powerful two-handed tomahawk slam by Rose and a subsequent Golden State timeout with two minutes remaining in the opening period.

A little over a minute later, the Bulls put the icing on the cake with a beautiful Noah bounce pass to a cutting Rose backdoor, ending in a remarkably similar dunk to his previous transition finish. Chicago took a 34-20 lead into the second quarter.

Head-to-Head

In a battle between USA Basketball teammates, Rose clearly outclassed his summer pal Stephen Curry, last seasons Rookie of the Year runner-up. Roses aggressiveness, physicality and his teammates help defense seemed to bother Curry, who shot 4-for-11 in the first half.

Its just trying to be aggressive on defense. Coach always tells me out of anyone on our team, Im the one that always needs to help and it showed tonight, Rose explained. Me helping led to Steph being open, but we contested his shots. Me stopping the penetration and kicking out, forcing Steph into a bad shot or contesting his shot, Im the guy thats usually going to help everybody on the floor.

Offensively, Rose benefited from a porous Golden State defense (to his credit, Ellis did finish with five steals) that played him differently than other Bulls opponents had in recent games.

Tonight, they werent trying to blitz the pick-and-roll and I was hitting my shots, and hitting people when they were wide open.
X-Factor

Often criticized for his usually-modest offensive output, Bogans not only scored 14 points (including a pair of three-pointers), he swiped a season-high six steals, while doing a more-than-adequate job on the always-dangerous Monta Ellis.

I just wanted to make everything tough for him. Hes a great player, great scorer and I was just trying not to let him get it going early, said Bogans. Kurt Thomas, Joakim Noah, they were all on me in the training room this morning. Kurt probably said, Dont let it be a 50 point night. I definitely didnt want that to happen, but my teammates did a good job of being in the right spots and helping me contain him.

I just take what they give me on defense. I played the passing lanes tonight, got a few deflections. My defense turned into offense just by getting deflections and steals, and getting out on the break.

I thought Keith Bogans did a good job on Monta, just making it tough for him every shot, chimed in Luol Deng. Hes a great player and the rest of us followed.

Subtly Strategic

To begin the second quarter, Thibodeau left his starting backcourt of Rose and Bogans in the game as well as Deng, who has been playing with the second unit to start the quarter to go with early subs Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik. The coach would quickly sub in Taj Gibson (14 points, seven rebounds) for Asik, as the Warriors took out backup center Dan Gadzuric in favor of a smaller lineup, but he denied leaving in Rose (Bogans would be replaced by backup point guard C.J. Watson) was a move designed to create more offense from a bench that has sometimes struggled to do so this season.

Well, I was viewing it more defensively. With the matchups with Ellis and Curry, I wanted to stay with Derrick and C.J. They played together just so we could match up better defensively, said Thibodeau. Weve talked about doing it more and a lot depends upon your matchups. We want to settle on our rotation, so guys know when theyre going in. Their rotation changed some tonight with injured Golden State power forward David Lee being out, too. We werent quite sure if they would play smaller, longer and then what that would mean for us in terms of how we matched up defensively.
Thorn in the Side

Although Bogans did a solid job on Ellis, the Golden State scorer still ended up with 24 points (three below his average of 27.1 points per game, good for second in the league entering the contest) on 10-for-20 shooting. An underrated passer, Ellis also dished out five assists on the night, but he and his teammates were obviously exhausted after a tough game in New York the previous evening.

Chicago temporarily solved their season-long foul issues on both ends committing only seven fouls and shooting 21-for-23 from the charity stripe. Not much to complain about overall, although both Thibodeau and Rose griped about turnovers (the Bulls turned the ball over 12 times) late in the game.

What the Future Holds

With the annual circus trip coming up next week, it would be easy for the Bulls to look past their next opponent lowly Washington especially after the high of the blowout victory over Golden State. However, the Bulls are already focused on Saturdays contest against the visiting Wizards, in the last home game Chicago plays until December.

Were going to try to come out and play the same. We cant look past them, said Rose. Theyre a young team with a lot of good young players. Weve just got to take care of that problem first on the way to the road.

Even though Washington has been struggling, No. 1 draft pick John Wall seems to be hitting his stride, with a triple-double in Wednesdays Wizards win, as well as threatening a rookie assist record previously held by the legendary Oscar Robertson.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.coms Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

State of the Bulls: Stacked 2018 draft class

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USA TODAY

State of the Bulls: Stacked 2018 draft class

2018 draft class is loaded at the top

Quietly, you can bet Bulls' front office executives John Paxson and Gar Forman had a little celebration after hearing that prep star Marvin Bagley III was going to graduate from high school early and enroll at Duke for the 2017-18 season, making him eligible for the 2018 draft.

Bagley, a 6'11 power forward from Los Angeles, is being compared to longtime NBA star Chris Bosh, right down to his smooth left-handed shooting touch. Bagley averaged 24.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and two blocked shots during his junior season for Sierra Canyon H.S. He's also fared well against NBA competition at the highly-regarded Drew League in L.A. this summer. Bagley’s physical tools are off the charts, and you can count on Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski preparing him well for life in the NBA.

Most NBA scouts and execs expect the No. 1 overall pick to come down to either Bagley or Michael Porter Jr., who will play his one season of college basketball at Missouri. The 6'10 Porter averaged an amazing 34.8 points and 13.8 rebounds last season against Seattle high school competition. He's considered a more dynamic scorer than Bagley with more range on his jump shot. Some scouts believe he could quickly develop into one of the league's elite players with Kevin Durant-type length and shooting ability at the small forward position.

International swingman Luka Doncic is also highly coveted by NBA teams. The 6'8 swingman has excellent shooting range, and is also capable of creating his own shot with outstanding ball-handling ability. Forget the stereotype of European players being mechanical and unable to compete athletically, Doncic is capable of being an 18-20 point scorer in the NBA and should go in the top five next June. He's considered one of the best international prospects in the last decade.

Two 7-footers also will hear their names called early on draft night 2018. University of Arizona freshman DeAndre Ayton averaged 19.8 points and 12 rebounds in high school last season, while Texas freshman center Mohamed Bomba has an incredible 7-foot-9 wingspan. Sure, the NBA has moved away from the traditional low post center, but teams are still looking to acquire agile big men like Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside. Depending on how they fare against top level college competition, Ayton and Bomba could round out the top five.

Other names to watch in the lottery portion of next year's draft include Texas A&M power forward Robert Williams, Michigan State's forward duo of Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr., and the latest one-and-dones from John Calipari's Kentucky program, center Nick Richards and small forward Jarred Vanderbilt.

In case you missed it, ESPN released its preseason win total expectations for the Eastern Conference on Wednesday, and the Bulls were dead last with a projected record of 26-56. Now, I'm not sure a team with veterans Dwyane Wade and Robin Lopez and the three young players acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota will be quite that bad, but if you're going to rebuild, the idea is to get the best draft pick possible, and the Bulls appear to be on course for a top-five selection depending on how the lottery falls.

If the Bulls are able to land an elite talent like Porter Jr., Bagley III or Doncic in the draft, then use their $40-50 million in cap space to land a couple of quality free agents, the rebuild might not be as painful as some fans are fearing.

Last dance for LeBron in Cleveland?

Well-connected NBA writer Chris Sheridan dropped this bomb on Twitter Wednesday, quoting an NBA source, "This will be LeBron's final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair." Don’t forget, Sheridan was the first national writer to report James was going to leave Miami to go back to Cleveland in 2014, so his reports definitely warrant a little extra attention.

Okay, we've already heard countless rumors about James planning to join the Lakers after next season. He's built a mansion in Brentwood, is close with Magic Johnson and will be able to bring another superstar with him to L.A. like Paul George or Russell Westbrook. Plus, the Lakers have a number of talented young players in place like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. and a promising coach in Luke Walton.

Add in the likelihood Kyrie Irving will be traded before training camp opens and LeBron's long-standing poor relationship with Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert, and you have the perfect formula for another James' free agent decision next July. Although, I'm not sure why LeBron would want to go West, where Golden State is positioned to dominate the league for another five seasons, with strong challengers like the Rockets and Spurs still in place. 

But if we've learned anything from watching James over the years, he's clearly a man who wants to align the odds in his favor. So don't rule out anything when it comes to James' free agent decision. If the Cavs make a home run trade for Irving, maybe LeBron decided to plays out his career in his home state. If not, look for him to find a team with the cap space to bring in another top star to run with him.

Back in 2010, the Bulls carved out the cap space to add two max contract stars, but lost out to Pat Riley in Miami. This time around they won't be on James' July travel itinerary.

One thing we know for sure. Where LeBron plays in 2018 will be the number one story throughout the NBA season.

Report: Bulls expected to reach buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade

Report: Bulls expected to reach buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade's homecoming may not last much longer. 

According to Nick Friedell's ESPN report, the Bulls are expected to reach a buyout agreement with the 12-time NBA All-Star "at some point in the next few months." 

The news comes two months after Wade picked up his player option, choosing $24 million over earning less on a more competitive team. 

If Gar Forman and John Paxson indeed decide to buy D-Wade out, the "Three Alphas," which consisted of Wade, Jimmy Butler and Rajon Rondo, would all be out just one season after coming together. 

The buyout may also mean more ping-pong balls in next year's stacked draft