Deep Celtics have Thibodeau's, Bulls' attention

938861.png

Deep Celtics have Thibodeau's, Bulls' attention

Tom Thibodeau will almost always wish Celtics coach Doc Rivers well. That's what happens when two people win a championship together.

Just not tonight.

Thibodeau will face his old mentor tonight at the United Center when the Bulls and Celtics meet up on Comcast SportsNet. And while Thibodeau recently spoke with one of his good friends in the business, things changed around game day.

"I think any time that you win a championship with somebody, that ties you together forever," Thibodeau said at this afternoon's shootaround.

The two spoke recently, but Thibodeau said the two don't talk basketball when they're about to play each other.

"He's been a good friend for a long time, so I know how competitive he is and the make-up of that team. So like I said yesterday, we wish him well but not tonight."

Part of that 2008 NBA Champion Celtics team with Rivers and Thibodeau, Ray Allen, won't be involved in tonight's matchup. The NBA's all-time leading 3-point shooter signed with Miami in the offseason, but Thibodeau said the Celtics' two additions -- starter Courtney Lee and sixth man Jason Terry -- as well as returning proven scorers, have made it a seamless transition from Allen.

"They planned extremely well. I think it didn't work out, they wanted to bring Ray back. They covered themselves by going out and getting Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. So they got highly skilled guys," Thibodeau said. "Their shooting component is still very strong. Their bigs, Garnett is as good a shooter as you're going to find for a big. A 17-foot open jump shot for him is a layup. You can't let him get to that, and power forward Brandon Bass is very good mid-range shooter, they've got a lot of weapons on that team."

While Boston's shooting hasn't dipped, their rebounding has. A frontline of Garnett, Bass, rookie Jared Sullinger and Chris Wilcox isn't the biggest in the league, and the lack of a true center has resulted in the Celtics' being out-rebounded by more than four rebounds per game. Opponents also are scoring 13 more points per game in the paint, an area Thibodeau said the Bulls must play better.

"I think we're capable of doing much more, so we can't rely on one or two guys. We have to be a team rebounding-type team, where we do it collectively," he said. "Our smalls have to get in there and battle, and I think that puts you in the open floor. The better you rebound the more you get into the open floor. So we want to try to get as many easy baskets as we can also."

If the Bulls can rebound and get out on the break, it likely will be led by Nate Robinson, not Kirk Hinrich.

Hinrich, who strained his right hip Saturday against the Timberwolves, is listed as doubtful and did not partake in this morning's shoot around.

Regardless of who starts at point guard, Thibodeau knows the Celtics will be ready.

"They play hard, they play unselfishly, they play together, they're well-coached and they execute," he said. "They keep pressure on you at all times, so we have to be ready."

Rose won't make circus road trip

Tom Thibodeau said Monday that Derrick Rose will not accompany the team on their upcoming six-game road trip.

Rose is rehabbing from surgery on a torn ACL, and Thibodeau prefers Rose not travel to different locations in a short period of time.

"We want him focusing in on his rehab right now," he said. "So sometimes jumping around city to city, I want him in one place so that's the big thing for him right now."

If Nationals are playoff preview, what should Cubs do at trade deadline?

If Nationals are playoff preview, what should Cubs do at trade deadline?

WASHINGTON – Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio has perspective after sitting through the darkest days of the rebuild, the sign-and-flip cycles and moments like “Men Playing Against Boys,” the way ex-manager Dale Sveum once sized up the team during a 2012 series against the Washington Nationals.

Bosio trusted future “World’s Greatest Leader” Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer and the rest of a growing front office would deliver talent during the 101-loss season that led to the Kris Bryant No. 2 overall draft pick and the Ryan Dempster/Kyle Hendricks buzzer-beater deal at the trade deadline.   

So while Bosio is a hardened realist who understands the banged-up Cubs haven’t played up to their potential, he also knows these are first-division problems. 

“If Theo and Jed can find a way to make our team better, you can bet they’re going to do it,” Bosio said. “But at the same time, they’re not going to sacrifice our future. They know that the team (here has) a lot of holdovers from the World Series club. There’s a lot of holdovers from the team that went to the National League (Championship Series in 2015). We’ve been through that. And when it comes crunch time, we produce.”

With that in mind, a look at where things stand five weeks out from the July 31 trade deadline as the defending champs begin a potential playoff preview on Monday at Nationals Park:

• If Max Scherzer flirts with another no-hitter or a 20-strikeout game on Tuesday, the questions will start all over again about adding a hitter. Javier Baez even let this slip over the weekend after a win over the Miami Marlins: “Pretty much not having a leadoff guy right now is kind of tough.” But shipping Kyle Schwarber to Triple-A Iowa is not necessarily the start of an offensive overhaul.

“Our focus is going to be on pitching,” Hoyer said. “I would never say never to something like that, because I don’t know what’s going to present itself as we get closer to the deadline. I will say this: When it comes to our offense, I really do see it as these are our guys. We’re as deep with position players as any team in baseball. These guys have performed exceptionally well. Most of these guys have won 200 games over the last two years.

“We believe in them for a reason. We don’t have rings on our fingers without all these guys.”

• With Jake Arrieta and John Lackey on the verge of becoming free agents, the Cubs feel like they should start working on their winter plans this summer and begin remodeling the rotation. The 38-37 record makes you wonder how ultra-aggressive the front office will be to win a bidding war for a frontline starter, but the Cubs are only 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, a first-place team for now that was supposed to be rebuilding this year.   

But the Cleveland Indians got to the 10th inning of a World Series Game 7 with Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin and Ryan Merritt making nine playoff starts combined, because they had Corey Kluber and a dynamic bullpen.

The primary focus will have to be on the rotation, but adding another high-leverage reliever to work in front of lights-out closer Wade Davis would shorten games and help preserve Carl Edwards Jr. (170 pounds) and Koji Uehara (42 years old).   

“At some point, you’re going to assess your own team,” Hoyer said. “Sometimes strengthening a strength can work. You see teams that sometimes have a good offense – and add another good hitter – and all of a sudden we’re going to beat you in a different way.”

• Without making this summer’s blockbuster deal for a closer – the way the Cubs landed Aroldis Chapman – Washington risks wasting Bryce Harper’s second-to-last season before free agency and another year of Scherzer’s $210 million megadeal.

Six different Nationals have saved games for a 45-30 team and the bullpen ranks near the bottom of the majors with a 4.88 ERA. Can’t blame that on Dusty Baker, who has notched more than 1,800 wins as a manager and guided four different franchises to the playoffs.

But it won’t be easy to find a quick fix for the Washington bullpen or Cubs rotation. The American League opened for business on Monday with only three of its 15 teams more than three games under .500, and one being the White Sox, who are (obviously) not seen as a realistic trade partner for the Cubs.

“The American League is incredibly jumbled up,” Hoyer said. “That’s why a lot of deals don’t happen this time of year, because people are still sorting it out. The next five weeks of baseball will determine a lot of that. Some of those teams that are in the race now will fall back.

“There’s a lack of teams right now that have a true sense of sellers. I think there are a lot of teams right now that are close enough that they’re not going to admit it that they’re going to be sellers. That five weeks will determine a lot about who ends up on which side of the fence.”

Dwyane Wade rocks an absolutely ridiculous man purse in Paris

Dwyane Wade rocks an absolutely ridiculous man purse in Paris

From the NBA Draft and a crazy Jimmy Butler trade to...Dwyane Wade's questionable fashion choices?

Just another Bulls offseason.

D-Wade and wife Gabrielle Union are vacationing in Paris and the Bulls guard was photographed with a ridiculous doggie man purse thing:

Here's another shot:

The Black Clark Kent... #ThomBrowne #parisfashionweek #Thrumyeyes

A post shared by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

Now, take my assessments of "questionable" and "ridiculous" with a grain of salt given I know nothing about fashion (I still wear American Eagle shirts I wore in high school), but c'mon now.

The only thing more absurd than the bag is the cost: $2,600 (!!!!!!!).

$2,600? That's 10 Bulls games at the 100 level! That's a quarter of the Bulls' home slate. 

Unreal.

Then again, Butler wore a fanny pack when arriving in Minnesota with his new team:

Here's another shot of Mr. G Buckets' fanny pack:

before we leave london. might as well have @ifeanyi_koggu hit her with the GO route. he did not catch the ball.

A post shared by Jimmy Butler (@jimmybutler) on

Also, here are a couple photos of D-Wade and Butler having a grand ole time while chillin' in Paris:

D.A.M.N haha. My Guy!!! #Morelife

A post shared by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

That @marquette.basketball connection and that Paris vibe!!! @jimmybutler

A post shared by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

This has been your pointless Chicago sports news of the day. Back to regularly scheduled programming.