Chicago Sun-Times

January 2010 Archives

Bulls return to practice court

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After taking Saturday off, the Bulls returned to the Berto Center on Sunday for the first time since Jan. 16, but Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Brad Miller sat out the practice session.

Noah and Gibson continue to deal with plantar fasciitis, while Miller has a sore knee. All three are expected to play Tuesday when the Bulls play the Los Angeles Clippers at the United Center.

Brown likely to sit again

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Devin Brown will face his old team tonight when the Bulls visit the New Orleans Hornets, but Brown probably will have to wait to get revenge on his former team.

Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro wants to avoid using Brown again because the Bulls haven't had the chance to hold a legitimate practice since the veteran guard was acquired on Monday.

"If I have to, I'll use him," Del Negro said. "But we'll stay with the rotation right now. We haven't had a chance to really practice with our schedule. After tonight's game, we get home for a couple of days and we can get some practice under our belts.

"Obviously, he's familiar with this team. If there's some foul trouble and I need to use him, I will. Otherwise I'll go with how we've been going."

Rose selected for NBA All-Star Game

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It's official: Derrick Rose is an All-Star.

The Bulls point guard was named a reserve to the East team for next month's NBA All-Star Game in the Dallas area. Rose is the first Bull to be selected for the game since 1998.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Rose said. "Last year, it was a great experience being there with my family. Just having the opportunity to be around the All-Stars; I can't lie, it was fun. I appreciated that opportunity because it was so unbelievable."

Said general manager Gar Forman:

We, as an organization, are absolutely thrilled for Derrick. He is truly deserving of being an All-Star, and I couldn't be happier that all of his hard work and dedication have paid off in getting to this point, as a player in only his second season.

"Perhaps more importantly, it speaks volumes about Derrick as a person and the family that he comes from. We know we can count on Derrick to represent the Bulls and the city of Chicago with a great deal of dignity and pride."

Report: Rose an All-Star

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According to a report on Yahoo!.com, Derrick Rose will be among the players selected when the reserves for the NBA All-Star Game are revealed at 6 p.m. tonight on TNT.

If Rose is picked, he will become the first Bull to be an All-Star since the Jordan era ended following the 1998 season -- an important milestone that signals the current rebuilding plan is progressing.

Besides Rose, Yahoo! reports the East roster includes Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats and Joe Johnson and Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks.

The West reserves also will include former Illinois star Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz.

The All-Star Game will be played Sunday, Feb. 14 at Cowboys Stadium in the Dallas area.

Rose, Gibson chosen for Rookie Challenge

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The NBA announced on Wednesday that Derrick Rose will led the Sophomore team and Taj Gibson will play with the rookies in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge.

Of course, Rose will play in the rookie game on the Friday of All-Star Weekend only if he isn't chosen to play in the big boy game, the NBA All-Star Game, on Sunday.

Reserves for the All-Star game will be announced Thursday. Even if Rose isn't among the initial reserves named, he could make it as an injury replacement down the road.

Rose also will defend his title in the Skills Challenge, which is part of the All-Star Saturday lineup.

Brown for Gray a good deal for Bulls

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The Bulls acquiring guard Devin Brown for Aaron Gray was the sort of deal that left most NBA observers scratching their heads. How the heck did the Bulls get a player that really should help them for Gray?

I can't answer that, but my guess is the New Orleans Hornets were desperate for a big man. Any big man.

Gray only played this season when games were lopsided, so the Bulls won't miss him. To be honest, I don't think he's in great shape, so I don't know how much he can help New Orleans.

Brown is a role player, but he provides two things the Bulls need in the backcourt: perimeter shooting and the ability to defend big guards. It gives coach Vinny Del Negro a fourth guard to use in the rotation.

The 6-5 Brown was averaging 9.7 points in 24.8 minutes this season for the Hornets. He was shooting 39.4 percent overall, 36.7 percent from three-point range and 80.2 percent from the free-throw line.

Bulls fans probably remember Brown because he was the guy who hit six three-pointers in the first half when the Hornets visited the United Center on Dec. 26.

Noah still hurting, Rose sick

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Joakim Noah said he will do anything he can to play tonight when the Bulls visit the San Antonio Spurs despite plantar fasciitis of the left foot, but the usually upbeat Bulls center was subdued and didn't sound optimistic about his chances of playing following the morning shootaround.

"It's frustrating because I had it for a while and it just got worse," Noah said. "I'm trying to go, but I'm limited and I can't really go the way I want to. We'll see how it goes.

"If I can play, I'll play. I'm gonna take a pill, take a shot, I'm gonna do whatever I have to do, but I took a shot last game and it didn't help at all. There's no point in trying to go when deep inside you know you're only hurting the team."

Noah isn't the only player trying to get ready for tonight. Derrick Rose is battling flu-like symptoms (apparently unrelated to the stomach virus that hit Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons last week) and Brad Miller has a sore knee.

"We'll see how he feels before the game," coach Vinny Del Negro said of Noah. "Hopefully, we can get him out there. Brad's knee is bothering him a little bit, Derrick's sick, so we're just trying to get over this sickness with the team, heal some plantar fasciitis up and try to get our guys out there.

"But the rest of the guys will be ready. We'll see how Derrick feels and how Jo warms up and Taj [Gibson] and Brad and just go with what we can go with. Our body counts a little low, but we'll see."

Adelman likes what he sees in Bulls

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There have been a variety of opinions about the Bulls this season, most of them negative. But veteran Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman likes what he sees.

"They're a good team," Adelman said of the Bulls. "They were a playoff team last year and I expect them to be a playoff team this year.

"Even though they're under .500, I fully expect them to be over .500 if they stay healthy."

Noah sits out Rockets game with injury

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Just when the Bulls appeared to be back to full strength, they suddenly weren't again.

Center Joakim Noah was a late scratch Saturday night against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center because of plantar fasciitis of the left foot.

The Bulls only discovered Noah was suffering from the ailment - inflammation of the plantar fascia tendon on the bottom of the foot -- following the victory against the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

"I've had it before, but never this bad," he said.

Still, Noah said before the game that he would play. He was included in the starting lineups the teams release about a half hour before tip-off.

Rose's dunk just nasty

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There's a saying around basketball: if you don't jump, you don't get in the poster.

Goran Dragic, whoever he is, foolishly jumped and got himself on the poster of Derrick Rose's best dunk with the Bulls.

Following a Suns miss, the Bulls headed out on the break and Rose went in for the dunk. When Gragic came over to challenge, Rose soared in the air, pulled the ball back behind his head and threw down a two-handed dunk despite being fouled.

Even though the game was on the road, U.S. Airways Center was buzzing.

"I didn't know he was gonna jump at first," Rose said. "I was just gonna go up and dunk it. I guess I pulled it back and put it in."

Seriously, it might be a few days before Dragic can watch ESPN again after getting posterized like that.

"That just bumped somebody out of the top-10 greatest dunks ever," Bulls guard John Salmons said. "Whoever was 10 is out."

Said Joakim Noah: "That was a crazy dunk. He got his first body. That's what we call it."

Salmons to play tonight against Suns

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In case there was any doubt, John Salmons announced he was back and ready to play tonight against the Phoenix Suns by dropping in a halfcourt shot at the end of the Bulls' shootaround this morning.

Salmons, who has been battling the stomach virus since Monday, missed Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, but said he will play tonight against the Phoenix Suns in the U.S. Airways Center.

"I'm feeling pretty good walking around," he said. "I'm just concerned with once I go up and down a couple of times how my energy level will be."

Salmons said he felt sick all day Monday, but played against the Golden State Warriors and scored a team-high 25 points.

"It was pretty bad," he said. "I felt sick before the game and I think playing in the game made it worse. Expending all that energy kind of shut my body down. It was that much worse."

Hinrich struggles with shot in return

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Kirk Hinrich returned to action Wednesday after missing Monday's game with a stomach virus, but he certainly wasn't all the way back.

In the Bulls' 104-97 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Hinrich had nine points in 36½ minutes, going 3-for-14 from the field, including 0-for-7 from three-point range.

"I knew it was gonna be a little bit tough because I probably didn't have the calories and the stuff I needed from just all the vomiting," Hinrich said.

"I don't think it affected me too much. My legs felt wobbly at times and I felt I wasn't as sharp as I needed to be."

Salmons, Miller miss shootaround

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John Salmons arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday night, but is still bothered by a stomach virus and didn't attend the Bulls' shootaround this morning. Whether Salmons is able to go tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers will be determined shortly before game time.

"He still sick, trying to get his energy back, trying to get some food in him," coach Vinny Del Negro said of Salmons. "It's that process of getting your energy back.

"We'll see how he feels at game time. If he's strong enough and he thinks he can go, we'll try and get him some minutes. It'll depend on his energy and how he feels. If he's still having the issues he had [Tuesday] and [Monday], then he won't play."

Miller didn't attend shootaround as well because he wasn't feeling well. His status for tonight is uncertain at this point and it's also unclear whether he's suffering from the same ailment that affected Salmons and Kirk Hinrich.

Ill Salmons not with team

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John Salmons didn't travel with the Bulls to Los Angeles following Monday's game with the Golden State Warriors.

Salmons scored a team-high 25 points in the game, but complained of nausea throughout. He then got sick afterward and was kept behind in Oakland -- the team travelled immediately after the game -- so some preliminary tests could be conducted at a local hospital.

Salmons was expected to join the team in Los Angeles either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Kirk Hinrich, who missed Monday's game, suffered from similar symptoms, so the bug could be running through the team, which is exactly what they don't need early in a seven-game road trip.

"Yeah, it's a concern," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "It seems like it's going through [the team] a little bit. We can't afford anybody to be down. We've had players down before and we didn't fare real well. We need everybody. We need all the troops."

Hinrich out today

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Kirk Hinrich, suffering from flu-like symptoms, is out for today's game with the Golden State Warriors in Oakland.

John Salmons will start at shooting guard in Hinrich's place.

Hinrich game-time decision

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Kirk Hinrich still is suffering from flu-like symptoms. Whether he plays today when the Bulls face the Golden State Warriors won't be determined until after pregame warmups.

If Hinrich plays, he will start. Otherwise, John Salmons will move into the starting lineup.

Hinrich misses practice with flu

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Kirk Hinrich was sent home from practice Sunday morning with flu-like symptoms. He was expected to meet the team at the airport in the afternoon and fly to Oakland, but it's uncertain if he'll be able to play Monday when the Bulls begin a seven-game road trip at Golden State.

"He was pretty sick," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "He showed up and we sent him home."

If Hinrich doesn't play, John Salmons will start at shooting guard.

Gibson should play tonight

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The Bulls will wait until pregame warmups before making a final decision, but all indications are Taj Gibson will play tonight against the Boston Celtics.

"He's feeling a little bit better, so we'll see how he warms up and see how healthy he is," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "If he warms up and he says he feels good, we'll get him out there. If he says it's really sore, I'll have to make that decision."

Gibson, who is battling a case of plantar fasciitis of the left foot, participated in the team's shootaround this morning and said he's good to go.

"I'm OK," he said. "[Trainer] Fred [Tedeschi] told me I could play, to try it out. So far, it's been good. No pain and I've been stretching a lot."

Gibson hopes to play against Boston

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Rookie Taj Gibson didn't practice again Wednesday because of plantar fasciitis of the left foot, but he hopes to play Thursday when the Bulls visit the Boston Celtics.

"The doctors checked it out; it's getting better," Gibson said. "I'm just taking it slow. The last MRI showed I just stretched it. I'm happy I didn't tear it like Danny Granger from Indiana because then you're out at least two months. I'm fortunate to have a slight stretch. So right now, I'm getting a lot of treatment for the next game."

ESPN shoots down own rumor

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You've got to love how ESPN makes news by throwing out rumors and then shooting them down.

A classic example is Tuesday's report that the Houston Rockets, in trying to deal exiled swingman Tracy McGrady, has targeted the Bulls as a possible trading partner and that the Bulls have interest in McGrady.

"A package of [Joakim] Noah, Brad Miller and Jerome James (the latter two expiring contracts) would work financially," the ESPN.com report reads, "but sources say the Bulls have no desire to part with Noah."

Of course, the Bulls have no desire in including Noah (a young center having a breakthrough season) in a deal for McGrady (an aging star coming off major knee surgery). You don't need "sources" to tell you that.

This rumor wasn't worth reporting because there's zero chance it will happen.

Gibson sees doctor because of foot

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Rookie Taj Gibson didn't practice on Tuesday because of a flare up of plantar fasciitis of the left foot. He went to the doctor after practice and his status is uncertain at this point.

"He's feeling a little bit better, but he's going to get some treatment on it," coach Vinny Del Negro said.

"It's been going on most of the season. He just really irritated it the other night in a game. It's not a tear or whatever, but he has some inflammation in there and he has to get some treatment."

Rose sixth in latest All-Star returns

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Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is a distant sixth in the latest results of voting to determine the starters at guard for the Eastern Conference in next month's NBA All-Star Game in Dallas.

Rose had 385,829 votes, more than 500,000 less than the second-place finisher.

Miami's Dwyane Wade is the leading vote getter with more than 1.7 million votes, followed by Allen Iverson (930,713), Vince Carter (745,581), Ray Allen (510,885) and Gilbert Arenas (445,473).

If Iverson is voted a starter, that would be a disgrace -- and more evidence that the league needs some veto power over fan voting.

Where was Pargo?

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During his first stint with the Bulls a few years ago, Jannero Pargo often entered games like Monday night's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder late and provided an offensive spark.

But with the Bulls struggling to score in the third quarter and early in the fourth, coach Vinny Del Negro opted to stay with his three-guard rotation of Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons -- even though they were struggling.

I would have used Pargo to see if he could hit a couple of three-pointers to get something started. That's why he's on the team, right?

Pargo, though, hasn't taken the court since Dec. 26, when he played two minutes against the New Orleans Hornets.

Before Tuesday night's game with the Charlotte Bobcats, I asked Del Negro if he planned to use Pargo.

"I'd like to, it's just that we're going with the nine-man rotation right now," Del Negro said. "It's just to find him any quality minutes. But he's a pro. He practices, he's prepared and he's a great. If I can give him an opportunity, I would love to do that, but I haven't found with the guys that we're playing a rotation that works."

Rose named player of the week

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Bulls guard Derrick Rose was named the Eastern Conference's player of the week on Monday.

Rose led the Bulls in scoring in each game last week, averaging 26.7 points, 5.7 assists and five rebounds.

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant was named Western Conference player of the week, meaning the two players of the week will square off tonight in the United Center.

Caron Butler to Bulls?

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Rumors were circulating Sunday that the Washington Wizards, in an attempt to shake things up, are shopping swingman Caron Butler, with the Bulls and the Miami Heat being the likely trading partners.

From the Bulls, the Wizards reportedly would seek guard Kirk Hinrich to provide some stability. The rumors also had the expiring contracts of Jerome James and Mike James being included, although the contracts of Butler ($9.78 million) and Hinrich ($9.5 million) are close enough to do the deal straight up.

Is this a deal that makes sense for the Bulls? Probably. Although Hinrich can play both guard positions and Butler is more of a small forward, Butler can play shooting guard and split minutes with John Salmons. Jannero Pargo and Mike James could play point guard for the few minutes that Derrick Rose is out of the game.

Butler is a better scorer and the Bulls are in need of offensive production. He's averaging 17.2 points (to Hinrich's 8.6), but is only shooting 30 percent from three-point range (to 36.1 percent for Hinrich).

Another factor is Butler has just one year remaining on his contract following this season, while Hinrich has two years left. That could an important factor moving forward as the Bulls try to re-sign Rose and center Joakim Noah.

Stay tuned. This rumor could happen, although nothing is close right now.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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