Schanowski: How will Boozer's return affect D-Rose?


Schanowski: How will Boozer's return affect D-Rose?

Monday, Nov. 29, 2010
9:41 PM
By Mark Schanowski

That's the question being pondered by fans and media members around the league. Where do you weigh in? Will Carlos Boozer's presence force Derrick Rose to dramatically reduce his shot attempts per game or will he continue to attack the basket at every opportunity? Will the Bulls struggle for awhile trying to adjust to having a low-post scorer on the court? Please post your comments in the section below.

Personally, I think the Bulls might struggle a bit over the next few weeks trying to work Boozer into their offensive and defensive schemes. Rose has never had a low post scorer on his team to work with, and given his unselfish nature, I would expect he'll go out of his way to make Boozer more comfortable by getting him more touches on the block.

In case you haven't noticed, Rose has moved all the way up to number two in the league scoring race, and has the look of a player who could get 25 to 30 points every game if that's what the coaches want him to do. But he's always said winning is the only thing that matters to him, and if that means fewer shot attempts, I'm sure that won't be a problem.

So far, it's been nothing but praise for the equal opportunity offense introduced by Tom Thibodeau, but if Boozer's return means a less effective Rose, that could be a problem for the Bulls. It's become abundantly clear the Bulls are D-Rose's team, and without him attacking and pushing the tempo, they're much less effective.

Boozer did a good job co-starring with point guard Deron Williams in Utah, and he should thrive in screen and roll situations with Rose. But until those guys actually get into game situations and see what works and what doesn't, we won't know for sure what the Bulls offense will eventually look like.

Let's be clear. Signing Boozer was a great move, and eventually his scoring and rebounding ability should make the Bulls a threat in the Eastern Conference playoffs. But in the short term, the players and coaches will have some adjustments to make, so don't expect instant success once number 5 takes the court.

Let's hope the Bulls finally got the "circus trip" gorilla off their backs after going 4-3 on the annual November tour out west. Rose was spectacular, averaging 30.5 points per game, along with six assists and five rebounds. And, Joakim Noah continued his All-Star level play, consistently putting up double-doubles and making important hustle plays all over the court.

But let's not forget about the rest of the team. Luol Deng played heavy minutes at both forward spots, and did some of his best work late with games on the line. The Bulls also got a huge performance from Taj Gibson in the win at Dallas, and we saw signs of what the bench will eventually contribute with the performances of Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Omer Asik.

Watson did his best D-Rose impersonation in Denver, scoring 33 points, and almost singlehandedly carrying the Bulls to an unlikely win before Carmelo Anthony's buzzer-beater saved the day for the Nuggets. Watson may not be a true point guard, but he can score points in bunches, and might get more chances to play with Rose depending on match-ups.

Korver had his best game in a Bulls' uniform in the double overtime win in Phoenix, and it looks like Thibodeau is feeling more comfortable leaving him in games for longer stretches. Korver provides the 3 point threat that's so important to this offense with Rose attacking the paint, and forcing opposing defenses to collapse.

Thibodeau insisted his guys just focus on the next game, and not worry about the past history of futility on the circus trip. It's an approach that should serve this team well over the highs and lows of a long NBA season.

So, how many games do you think the Bulls will win over their 16 game schedule in the month of December? Should Gar Forman stand pat with the roster, or do the Bulls need another shooter to join Korver? And, how will Boozer's return affect D-Rose?

As always we appreciate your comments and feedback. Hope to see you out at the United Center this month. We'll be doing our pre-game shows live from the U.C. concourse on December 1st, 10th and 28th. Stop by and say hello.

Mark Schanowski hosts our Bulls pre- and postgame studio coverage with 15-year NBA veteran Kendall Gill. You can also watch Mark on SportsNet Central, Sunday through Thursday at 6:30 and 10 p.m.

Bulls: Fred Hoiberg, Dwyane Wade soak themselves in Cubs fever

Bulls: Fred Hoiberg, Dwyane Wade soak themselves in Cubs fever

The party that started Saturday night on the north side of town had vibes that stretched all the way west of downtown, as the Chicago Bulls players and coaches soaked themselves in Cubs fever.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has been a lifelong Cubs fan due to growing up in Iowa and of course, Dwyane Wade came back home at the right time to witness the Cubs winning the pennant for the first time since 1945.

“It’s been fun, it’s been fun to watch. I’ve talked about how together that team is, how much of confidence, how much of a swagger they play with,” Hoiberg said. “It’s just a fun team that looks like it has unbelievable chemistry.”

Playfully, Hoiberg admitted he went streaking in Wrigleyville after the Cubs finished off the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field—although if he actually had been streaking, Hoiberg probably would’ve blended in with the deliriousness that took place well into Saturday night.

Seriously, though, Hoiberg admires the unity and joy the Cubs have played with all season—embracing the expectations without letting themselves get engulfed in them.

“It’s a team that I think you can learn from with what they’re doing and the backing that they have from the city,” Hoiberg said. “Cubs fans, from the time they’re born like myself, they’re just, it’s been awesome to watch and see the celebration after the game.”

Wade agrees, and having been part of three championship teams, knows chemistry when he sees it.

“That team has figured out a way, even during this series when it looked like their back was against the wall they came out swinging. They stuck together,” Wade said. “You have to support each other. No matter who’s on the basketball court for us, who’s on the bench, it’s all about supporting each other and really caring about the other guy. When you start caring about the other person, you don’t want to let that other person down on the court. You become a better team because of that.”

With the World Series starting Tuesday in Cleveland, Wade and good friend LeBron James will likely make a friendly wager, with the two exchanging playful tweets after the Cubs’ clincher.

“It’s been a long, long, long time, and just obviously I felt the buzz when I got back to the city, and everyone thinking that this was the Cubs’ year,” Wade said. “And they’ve been obviously playing amazing, so it’s great. It’s great to be in Chicago at this time with the Cubs being as successful as they are so far, and so it’s good to be here and it’s good to be a sports fan at this time in Chicago, so it’s good.”

Cleveland has gone from a national sports joke to one with an embarrassment of riches in the past six months, while the Cubs are trying to end the longest championship drought in the four major sports.

“Just pride in your city. Cleveland has obviously had droughts in sports and then he went back there to change that drought from the standpoint of basketball, and they accomplished that,” Wade said. “And now Cleveland is trying to do the same, and they got to a World Series, which has been a drought for them.”

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Luckily for the Bulls—or any Chicago sports fan for that matter—Thursday’s season opener doesn’t conflict with a game, but fans won’t be so lucky next Saturday night. The Bulls will play the Indiana Pacers while the Cubs will host Cleveland for Game 4. Wade doesn’t think he’ll have trouble getting into Wrigley Field, but after Scottie Pippen’s unfortunate rendition of “Take me out to the ballgame” Saturday night, Wade wants an opportunity for a reprieve.

“I know Scottie butchered the 7th-inning stretch. I think me and Jimmy (Butler) and (Rajon) Rondo could do a good job together if they ask us to do it,” Wade said. “It’s just cool to be a part of it.”

Hoiberg summed it up succinctly, likely echoing the beliefs of many long-suffering Cubs fans.

“Four more to go,” Hoiberg said. “I like their chances just because of how confident they’re playing.”

Doug McDermott, Kyle Korver return to Creighton for NBA preseason game

Doug McDermott, Kyle Korver return to Creighton for NBA preseason game

Competing in Nebraska may have been foreign for most Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks players, but Doug McDermott and Kyle Korver were right at home. 

The veterans, who both starred at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., returned to their college stomping grounds for NBA preseason action Thursday night. Korver's Hawks got the best of McDermott's Bulls, 97-81, on Creighton's home floor.

Both had illustrious careers for the Blue Jays basketball squad. McDermott, who graduated in 2014, won the Wooden Award his senior season and is the all-time leading scorer. Korver, as you may have guessed, holds the school record for most three-pointers made. Fans at Thursday's game got a flashback from these glory days, as both logged significant minutes and put up offensive numbers. 

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McDermott didn't have his best shooting night, but knocked down two triples and finished with 16 points. Korver also scored 16, splashing in four from beyond the arc. 

Afterwards, McDermott thanked the Omaha faithful via Twitter.

With the loss, the Bulls' preseason ends with a record of 3-4. They open regular season play on Oct. 27 against the Boston Celtics.