Guess Who Won The Bulls Ping Pong Tournament

The Chicago Bulls are currently on their Circus Road Trip so the team was spending Thanksgiving together and they had a friendly competition.

So much fun playing ping pong with my teammates!! It felt good to come out on top of the tournament we’ve put together! #ThanksgivingPingPongChampion He disfrutado mucho jugando al ping ping con mis compañeros!! Y además he ganado el torneo que hemos organizado! #CampeonDePingPongDiaDeAccionDeGracias
Een foto die is geplaatst door Pau (@paugasol) op Nov 11, 2014 at 2:53 PST

Derrick Rose is probably salty because ping pong is one of his hidden talents.

According to HoopsHype, while on tour in China last year for Adidas, Rose had the chance to play in one of China’s favorite pastimes.
Rose then visited Beijing, China where hundreds of fans gathered at the adidas Store to watch 50 lucky fans participate in “Jump with D Rose,” where they had the opportunity to win a pair of D Rose 773 II shoes by jumping to retrieve them off a high shelf. On his second d

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The Invisible Qualities of Mike Dunleavy Mean a Lot to the Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler. These are the Chicago Bulls names you hear over and over again. Maybe the water cooler buzzes on an off day about rookies Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott. You might even discuss super-sub Taj Gibson.

But how often does anyone talk, at all, about starting small forward Mike Dunleavy Jr.? The reliable, invaluable veteran wingman is somehow invisible to Chicago fans, despite his strong record of service with the team since signing on in the summer of 2013. Dunleavy’s missed zero games under coach Tom Thibodeau, and he’s been a consistent floor-stretcher, decision-maker, and solid member of defensive units.

When I googled Dunleavy, no news items initially came up. It took a little deeper digging to see what anybody had to say about him.

Through over 30 minutes of action per game last season in Chicago, MDJ averaged 1.3 turnovers with 38 percent shooting from beyond the arc, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and just two fouls with 11.3 points per game. He’s on track for similar figures, so far, in 2014-15. Dunleavy’s current usage rate is low at 14.9 percent, but every time the Bulls turn to him, something decent seems to happen.

Another way of putting it? Dunleavy is Luol Deng Lite, a discount version of the two-time All-Star who was so essential to what the Bulls did for a decade. Dunleavy had been itching to be the consummate teammate—through twelve seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks, he hadn’t seen a lot of winning.

Prior to coming to Chicago, he’d played for exactly one .500 or better team: the 2006-07 Warriors, from whom he was traded midseason. The Bulls’ winning mold is why he came to Thibodeau’s Bulls on a cheap contract, which pays him just $3.3 million this year. 

“That’s one of the reasons I came here, just to be a part of a group winning a lot of games,” Dunleavy told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t care about the other stuff. … I like to show up, do my job and go home.”

Whether the fans or media notice Dunleavy’s work or not, his coach certainly does. “He plays for the team,” Thibodeau told Johnson. “And he’s just a basketball player. Like sometimes, you just need to move the ball from side to side. He gets that done. It’s not reflected in an assist, but he gets you movement. And he moves extremely well without the ball.”

And while he doesn’t rack up steals, blocks or highlight footage, Dunleavy’s defense is terrific. As Blog a Bull’s Kevin Ferrigan notes, he “has incredibly long arms and at 6’9″ he’s tall for a wing. Just getting a shot over him is more difficult task than it is against other wings. His wingspan also helps him in slowing dribble penetration, which he needs as his lateral quickness isn’t elite.”

Perhaps because Dunleavy failed to meet the expectations of his high draft spot early on—No. 3 overall via the Warriors in 2002—he faded away from the public’s imagination. And perhaps because perceptions of nepotism tainted him for NBA fans (Dunleavy’s father is a former NBA coach), audiences haven’t been eager to give him props. But his work with the Bulls speaks for itself and has been admirable. He’s worth our recognition.

If Dunleavy ever gets injured and misses time for the Bulls—an experience that seems like a rite of passage for his squad these days—these qualities may finally be noticed when they’re absent. But since his play is always there, we seem to take it for granted as he blends seamlessly into the experience of enjoying winning Bulls basketball.

Until then, hardcore fans will continue to enjoy the Mike Dunleavy party in a small, quiet corner.

 

Advanced statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference, Salary info via Sham Sports.

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Aaron Brooks Thriving as Chicago Bulls’ Latest Derrick Rose Insurance

Sometimes, fit is everything.

Aaron Brooks has bounced around the NBA in his eight-year career, a real home always just out of his reach. In Chicago, he may have found one.

Brooks came to the Bulls in late July, after the dust had settled on their failed pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and eventual signing of Pau Gasol. He wasn’t a high-profile signing, or one that anybody thought too much about. He was an offensive reinforcement off the bench that, in an ideal world, Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t have to rely too heavily on because he’d be playing behind a full-strength Derrick Rose.

Instead, the 29-year-old Brooks has been the latest in a long line of scoring point guards whose careers have been resuscitated in the Windy City. In 15 games with the Bulls, he’s shooting 45.8 percent from three-point range and averaging 10.9 points per game off the bench.

In production and role, his nascent Bulls tenure is more in line with his promising career beginnings in Houston than the disappointing last few seasons.

“I don’t know if you’d say it’s the way I’ve always been playing because I had some rough years,” Brooks says. “But it’s been a good few games.”

Brooks has had an up-and-down career. He was a key contributor to the Rockets’ 2009 playoff run and won the league’s Most Improved Player award a year later, averaging 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game and shooting 39.8 percent from three-point range in 2009-10.

Since then, he’s become something of a journeyman. After being traded from Houston to Phoenix in 2011, he played in China during the lockout and signed a two-year deal with the Sacramento Kings in the summer of 2012.

He didn’t last a season in Sacramento, agreeing to a buyout and rejoining the Rockets midseason, only to be traded to the Denver Nuggets the following year. Brooks’ production has dipped since that career year in 2010, which is also the last time he’s played an entire season with a single team.

Coming into free agency after a productive stint with Denver (11.9 points and 5.2 assists in 29 minutes per game), the Bulls weren’t even on his radar, but they’ve proven to be a perfect fit.

“I don’t know where the Bulls came from, honestly,” Brooks says. “During the summer, it wasn‘t really on my mind to go to Chicago, because I didn‘t know it was an option. We were looking at Denver. It seems like I always end up back in Houston.

“But then the Bulls came over and it was like, ‘That’s a perfect situation.’ So it’s a blessing. It’s early, but hopefully it can continue progressing and get better.”

With Rose’s health in limbo, the Bulls have gotten solid production out of a variety of athletic scoring guards for the past three years. In 2012-13, it was Nate Robinson. Last year, it was midseason signee D.J. Augustin, who led the team in scoring after Rose’s injury and January’s trade of Luol Deng.

Now, it’s Brooks’ turn. With Rose in and out of the lineup, Brooks’ role is less defined than those of his predecessors, who were operating without the 2011 league MVP from the beginning. Some nights, he’s a scoring stopgap when Rose plays. When Rose is out, he takes on a larger role, one his coach and teammates say he does very well.

“Aaron’s been great,” Rose says. “His mentality is what we need it to be right now. When we’ve had other guys come to the team, like D.J. and John Lucas, it took them a while to really get that mentality. And right now, he’s got that mentality right away. He can affect the game.”

“D.J. saved us last year,” Thibodeau says. “Aaron’s doing a great job filling in. They’re different, but they’re both excellent players. We were fortunate to have D.J. last year and we’re fortunate to have Aaron this year. They’re different players, but they’re both tough-minded and they can shoot.”

That adjective—tough-minded—is what connects all of Thibodeau’s successful point-guard reclamation projects. When he gets a player that wants to adapt to the role and put in the work, Thibodeau can work magic.

Thibs puts guys in a position to be successful,” says Augustin, now with the Detroit Pistons. “It’s really on the player to come out and do what you need to do, but he puts guys in position. That’s a team that plays hard for all 48 minutes, they run their plays, and they don’t get rattled by anything.”

So far, Brooks is a fan of his new coach’s approach to things.

“We don’t do useless drills,” he says. “It seems like everything is for a purpose. One thing I admire about Thibs is he’s precise and he’s consistent. Whether you like it or not, you have to respect the consistency. I think that’s why he’s a great coach.”

The relationship works two ways. Brooks is giving the Bulls some much-needed scoring off the bench, a steadying force while the rest of the team battles injuries. And in Chicago, Brooks is in an ideal position to re-establish himself as a viable player and earn himself some long-term security.

Robinson came to the Bulls in 2012 on a one-year minimum deal and signed a two-year, $4.1 million contract with the Nuggets a year later. Augustin was picked up off the scrap heap in December of 2013 after being waived by the Toronto Raptors; he parlayed a strong showing in Chicago into a two-year, $6 million deal in Detroit this summer.

Brooks was another minimum-salary flier for the Bulls, and if he keeps up his current performance, he’ll be in for his own longer guaranteed deal, whether in Chicago or elsewhere.

For now, though, he’s just glad to be on a team where he isn’t an afterthought.

“I think it translates to the court,” Brooks said of his newly stable situation. “You know, you’ve got to have confidence that a guy actually wants you here, and it’s not just the GM that wants you there. You can feel it. It just makes you a happier person and it seems like you play better happy.”

So far, Brooks’ happiness is translating into production. And with the Bulls setting their sights on a title run in the spring, it’s not going to happen without him.

 

Sean Highkin covers the Chicago Bulls for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @highkin

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Derrick Rose Leaves Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets Game Due To Hamstring Tightness

According to Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, the Chicago Bulls PR has announced Derrick Rose will not return tonight after leaving the Bulls game vs. the Denver Nuggets due to left hamstring tightness on Tuesday night. Rose was playing in his 2nd game back after missing four consecutive games.
The former MVP has not played 40 or more games since his MVP season in the 2010-2011 season. The Bulls will hope this is a minor injury and Rose will be able to return in the next game vs. the Boston Celtics on Friday afternoon.
The post Derrick Rose Leaves Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets Game Due To Hamstring Tightness appeared first on Basketball Bicker by Joey.

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Lawson has 20 points, Nuggets beat Bulls 114-109 (Yahoo Sports)

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 25: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls pauses during a break in the action against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on November 25, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Bulls 114-109. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER (AP) — The Denver Nuggets have climbed all the way back to .500 after a rough start.


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Nuggets get past Bulls

Ty Lawson scores 20 points to help Denver Nuggets beat Chicago Bulls 114-109

      
 

 

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Rose injured, Nuggets top Bulls

Ty Lawson scores 20 points to help Denver Nuggets beat Chicago Bulls 114-109

      
 

 

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Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets 11/25/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Chicago Bulls looked to build a bit of momentum on Tuesday night when they took on the Denver Nuggets. The Bulls had snapped a two-game skid their last time out, but they faced a tough test from a Nuggets squad that had won four straight and five of its last six.

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Joakim Noah Injury: Updates on Bulls Star’s Knee, Eye and Return

Chicago Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah will miss Tuesday’s game against the Denver Nuggets with a variety of ailments. 

ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell reported on the unfortunate news:

Noah is known for his tenacity and competitive fire, but he often plays banged-up due to his physical, relentless style of play. That contributed to Noah’s need for offseason knee surgery, limiting his minutes to start the 2014-15 campaign.

The Bulls need Noah healthy if their current nucleus is ever meant to make a legitimate championship push.

Past NBA MVP point guard Derrick Rose has struggled to stay on the floor throughout his career. Should Noah eventually succumb to health issues too, Chicago will be hard-pressed to compete for a Larry O’Brien Trophy.

While Noah recovers, coach Tom Thibodeau will be shuffling around the frontcourt rotation. Pau Gasol should eat up the majority of minutes at the center position in his absence. 

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Butler, Gasol lead Bulls over Jazz 97-95 (Yahoo Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 24: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball against the Utah Jazz during the game at EnergySolutions Arena on November 24, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Injuries have made it tough for Chicago to realize its full potential this season. The Bulls can dominate any team for a quarter or a half, and let that team back into the game before the final horn.


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