The Starting Five: Bulls vs. Pistons

The Starting Five: Bulls vs. Pistons

Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010
5:00 PM

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

DETROITBulls television analyst Stacey King will not be in attendance at Sundays game against the Pistons, after the death of his mother, Lois Jean King, Saturday evening. She was 75. Bulls radio analyst Bill Wennington will join play-by-play man Neil Funk in Kings absence, while Chuck Swirsky will handle radio duties alone Sunday. CSNChicago.com expresses its condolences.

1. In the wake of Derrick Roses three free-throw attemptsdespite repeatedly getting hitSaturday against the Knicks, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau discussed the All-Star point guards lack of whistles going to the hole prior to Sundays game. We want him to get to the line more and we dont want him to not drive because hes not getting the calls. We want him to continue to attack and hes got to drive with force, which he does. I think he drives with speed and when he gets hit, he should be getting the calls. The one thing that he doesnt do is he doesnt exaggerate contact and sometimes in this league, thats what you have to do. Thats probably something that he can work on, butI dont want him to change anything that hes doing. I think a big part of who he is and what makes him so special is when hes attacking in transition. When hes coming at you with a head of steam, I want him to get to the rim as quickly as he can and then make his decision at the rim. I think as time goes on, he will get more and more calls, said Thibodeau. Hes got a great way about him. His demeanor is excellent and hes very respectful of the officials. I think at the appropriate time, he has to make his points to the officials, which I think hes getting better at. Sometimes its hard because of his speed, quickness and strength because its happening so quick, sometimes its not being recognized. But I think, in time, hell get calls.

2. Pistons center Ben Wallace talked about Chicago, his former team, before Sundays game. I think they made a lot of good changes. They got a lot of good pieces with the addition of Carlos Boozer, Brewer. Those guys know how to play and theyve been playing in a structured system where they got a lot of discipline, and you can tell it definitely helps that team out. When they get Joakim back, I only think theyre going to get that much better, Wallace told CSNChicago.com.

3. Wallace also discussed former teammate Luol Deng with CSNChicago.com. Lus a true professional. It doesnt matter what you say, what situation you put him in, you know hes going to find a way to make the best out of the situation. He got criticized when I was there, he still catches some criticism right now, but all he does is go out there and play hard and thats all you can ask, said Wallace. Sometimes, people find somebody they can pick on and thats all they do. But hes always been a professional. He just goes out, plays hard, plays his game, plays within himself and makes the most out of his opportunities.

4. Injured Bulls center Joakim Noah was mentored by Wallace upon entering the NBA, and Big Ben expressed pride in his former protgs development. Joakims not one of those guys whos happy to be out there. Hes out there making a difference. You could see the upside as a rookie. He had that drive, he had that hunger and he had that potential. Now, hes developed into a contender in this league. If he continues to play like that, hes going to be an All-Star in this league.

5. Dont forget to follow me on Twitter at @CSNBullsInsider.

Morning Update: Bulls prep for Game 4; Cubs won; Sox lost

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AP

Morning Update: Bulls prep for Game 4; Cubs won; Sox lost

Here are some of Saturday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Five Things to Watch: Bulls battle Celtics in Game 4 today on CSN

Preview: Cubs look to sweep Reds on CSN

White Sox scoreless streak hits 23 innings in loss to Indians

No clear options for Fred Hoiberg at point guard

Two days later, Blackhawks still stunned, 'embarrassed' by quick exit

Cubs offense explodes with three home runs in victory over Reds

Stan Bowman 'completely, completely disappointed' with Blackhawks

White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer: 'Our time is coming soon'

Still in mourning, Isaiah Thomas dictates pace, delivers for Celtics

Jacob May gets 'Harambe' off his back with first career hit

Jacob May gets 'Harambe' off his back with first career hit

Jacob May gets 'Harambe' off his back with first career hit

Jacob May earned his first career hit on Saturday night when he singled up in the middle against Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco, ending an 0-for-26 start to his major league career. That lengthy stretch without a hit put a weight on May's back heavier than a monkey, as the cliché usually goes.

Instead, that weight felt like America's favorite deceased silverback gorilla. 

"It was kind of like having Harambe on my back," May, a Cincinnati native, said. "I was in a chokehold because I couldn't breathe as well. Now that he's gone, hopefully I can have a lot of success and help this team win.

In all seriousness, May felt an extraordinary relief when he reached first base. He said first base coach Daryl Boston looked at him and said, "Finally," when he reached first base, and when he got back to the dugout, he was mobbed by his teammates and hugged by manager Rick Renteria.

Before anyone could congratulate him in the dugout, though, May let out a cathartic scream into his helmet.

"I was just like oh, man, I let loose a little bit," May said. "This locker room, every'one has kind of helped me out and brought me aside, and told me to just relax. It's a tough situation when you are trying to impress instead of going out there and having fun. Just kind of got to release all that tension built up."

May only had the opportunity to hit because left fielder Melky Cabrera injured his left wrist in the top of the seventh inning (X-Rays came back negative and Cabrera said he should be able to play Sunday). May didn't have much time to think about having to pinch hit for Cabrera, who was due to lead off the bottom of the seventh, which Renteria figured worked in his favor.

"When we hit for Melky, I was talking to (bench coach Joe McEwing), I said, 'He's not going to have anytime to think about it. He's going to get into the box and keep it probably as simple as possible,'" Renteria said. "I don't think he even had enough time to put his guard on his shin. He just got a pitch out over the middle of the plate and stayed within himself and just drove it up the middle, which was nice to see. Obviously very excited for him."

When May reached first base, he received a standing ovation from the crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field, too, even with the White Sox well on their way to a 7-0 loss to the Indians. It's a moment May certainly won't forget anytime soon, especially now that he got Harambe off his back.

"I kind of soaked it all in," May said. "It was probably one of the most surreal, best experiences of my life."