Noah fined 15k for abusing refs, Bulls top Suns

Noah fined 15k for abusing refs, Bulls top Suns

Joakim Noah got off fairly lightly after his tirade against the officials on Monday earning a 15k fine with no suspension. The fact that the refs were SO bad they deserved to have someone scream drop the F-bomb on them all individually may have helped. His apology after the game likely didn't hurt either.

Bulls top Suns, again

How embarrassing for Phoenix. They want to be a good team in the West, but they lost both their games to the Bulls. If you told me the Bulls would be 2-2 on this road trip right now, I'd buy that. I'd probably guess the two wins would have come at the hands of Sacramento and New Orleans rather than San Antonio and Phoenix though.

The Bulls can clearly lose to anyone on any given night thought. They're prone to nights where their offense doesn't even remotely show up like their 28% shooting night against the Kings. Their offense can be horrific regardless of how bad the opposing defense is on a bad night which can cause them to lay a few eggs.

However, they have their quality nights like last night against the Suns as well. Nights where their defense played well enough and the shots were dropping. D.J. Augustin knocked down three threes in the fourth, Butler and Noah kept things rolling in the middle of the period, and Carlos Boozer even gets back in everyone's good graces with a big fourth quarter bucket (See below if you hadn't read about that whole deal yet).

The Suns never threatened after that as the Bulls knocked down their free throws and Phoenix couldn't hit any of the end of game desperation shots to pressure Chicago.

And now for some older news.... My apologies but Chicago Now's blog entering section was down during my normal posting time, so I didn't get a chance to share my thoughts on these epic topics...

DeMarcus Cousins is Brendan Haywood tough

You know how I know he's a punk? Because he starts a rivalry up with Mike Dunleavy of all people. It's not as bad as Kevin Garnett picking fights with a bunch of six foot guards, but it's kind of on that level.

It reminds me of Brendan Haywood getting up in Kirk Hinrich's face before running for his mommy when Antonio Davis (still smaller than he was) backed Kirk up, proceeded to chase down the running away Haywood then body slammed him into the ground, right before Eddy Curry decided to punch him in the balls while he was down [seriously, this preseason game was one of the most interesting basketball games I've ever attended, Bulls also came back from like 20 down].

Anyway, Cousins calls out Dunleavy in the press for being scared of him. First, it doesn't appear that Dunleavy is scared of him. Second, that makes Dunleavy a tougher dude then me, because I'd be scared to death of Cousins not only because of his size but because he strikes me as one of those totally unstable angry dudes.

The pair got into it again in the Kings game where they both looked like they might be trying to hurt each other on various plays where they were undercutting each other and fouling each other. Odd rivalry, especially given you wouldn't think the two would more or less ever be matched up against each other.

Boozer asks why not play me in the fourth?

Boozer may have been complaining about a lack of playing time in the fourth quarter, but Bulls fans have been complaining about Boozer's playing time in the first three quarters.

Now, if Carlos wasn't a long-time veteran, you might think he just gave an honest answer to a question that a reporter asked him, but Aggrey Sam and Boozer have a good long relationship. Boozer wasn't tricked into the question and went on at length about the answer. He clearly wanted to make a point.

Tom Thibodeau sputtered around for awhile saying we need both Taj and Carlos. They're both starting caliber players, and Taj has to sacrifice not starting while Boozer may have to sacrifice not playing in the fourth at times.

However, much like Carlos, Thibodeau also wanted to make a point. He could have stopped after saying that, but went on to add that the thing about Taj is he's willing to sacrifice and doesn't whine like a little bitch. (I may have paraphrased some). More or less telling Carlos to shove it which seemed appropriate, and that he has to go with whomever is playing the best, and well, that's Taj.

Playoff and pick update

The Bulls presently sit in sixth place in the Eastern conference and would match up against the Toronto Raptors of things ended today. Right now, the 3-6 teams in the East are all separated by a few games, and probably don't have much preference in terms of whom they'd play in the playoffs as long as they stay in the 3-6 slots.

The 7-8 teams (Brooklyn and Charlotte) are two and three games back from Chicago presently. That's not a huge cushion given we're not at the all-star break, but it's a decent amount of separation right now. Charlotte's been holding steady at this pace most of the season while the other teams in the playoffs all started off considerably worse and are surging.

it wouldn't shock me to see the Knicks make a run to knock Charlotte out of first, and at the moment, if such a thing happened, the Bobcats would pick 11th which is just perfect for Chicago.

I'd also like to see a Brooklyn/Miami first round matchup. KG and Pierce know and hate the Heat, so while Brooklyn likely gets slaughtered, it'd at least have some emotion to it which is more than you could say about any Heat first round matchup outside of Chicago. Of course, I'd rather play them in the second round or not at all.

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    The best thing about that Haywood "fight" is that you can find it by searching for "Brendan Haywood gets punched in balls." I mean, hey, why mince words?

  • I thought the Phoenix announcer (Eddie Johnson) made a good comment about Augustine that should also apply to Boozer in 4th quarter situations. He basically said that DJ was a liability on defense but his offensive contributions in the 4th quarter compensated for this and that is why he should be on the court.

    Everybody knows Boozer is a defensive liability and that is why Taj is on the court in the 4th quarter. My feeling is that if Boozer could take over a game like Augustine can in the 4th quarter then that would be a reason he should be on the court, not Taj. Sadly, however, in the past when Boozer was on the court in the 4th he rarely took over a game which made him a liability and Thibs made the right decision to play Taj.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    The Bulls haven't really been better with Boozer offensively though. He's not the type to take over games.

  • Cousins feuding with Dunleavy is laughable! F-ing Mike Dunleavy, of all people!

    Boozer should be ashamed for not playing in the 4th given his contract. But, like hgarbell said, he rarely seems to assert himself in the 4th offensively. And, we all know he sucks ass on D.

    Regarding the draft, unless the Bulls think they can somehow clear space and get Anthony, I am hoping the Charlotte pick falls to us around 11-12. It would be great to pick 11th and around 18th.

    ESPN has Bulls taking Montrezl Harrell and James Young at 15 and 17. I'm a UK grad and watch most of their games and not all that high on Young... his shooting hasn't been great and he's not that much more athletic than a guy like Nik Stauskis. Stauskis has size and steps up in big games. May be one of the best shooters to come out of college in a while. Just as good as Duke's Hood, or anyone else in this draft IMO.

    Young plays it cool, while there is nothing cool about Stauskis - he just busts his ass and he's overachieved and gotten better in his two years at Michigan.

    (Calipari has been begging his young team to forget about acting cool and start tight and showing more heart...)

    Harrell on Louisville is intriguing. Bottom line, there are lot's of good options around this point in the draft. But, I want a wing shooter with size like Stauskis if possible to pair with Rose, Butler, Noah - some of whom are great shooters. Adding Mirotic and Stauskis to the fold next year could really improve floor spacing. Hopefully Snell can improve and Dunleavy would be around, too.

    So, a wing shooter and a bench PF or C would be nice with our (hopefully) two picks.

  • In reply to Granby:

    That is... start to fight and showing more heart! (not tight!)

  • Anyone in professional sports who has to have a grudge or cheap shot exchange with Mike Dunleavy, of all people,(aka non imposing skinny white dude) such as DeMarcus Cousins is probably worthy of the title punk. It's a shame because Cousins obviously has a lot of talent offensively. Imagine if he wasn't such a knucklehead what kind of effect he could have on winning?

    Doug's update/mention of the Charlotte pick status makes a tantalizing current listing of not one but two Bulls draft picks at 15 and 17 on on DraftExpress). This draft may not be super star loaded like 2003, but with an unusually high number of stat credentialed and scout acclaimed college players it will be likely a unique harvest of good starters and rotation guys.

    Looking at past drafts, teams are lucky to hit upon one good player in a draft let alone two. It's very rare for that to happen. However, with two picks the Bulls double their chances of hitting on one of those players.

    As of today two guys who might be available are Kyle Anderson UCLA and C.J. Wilcox Washington Huskies. Wilcox may be debatable though I like him a lot, but Anderson playing at NBA talent hot bed UCLA(Westbrook, Love, Jrue Holiday) I think will be a very, very good starting wing as in difference maker in the NBA. Whoever drafts Kyle Anderson is going to get barring injuries a difference maker for years to come.

  • Okay, I'm opening this can of worms...Here's Rose pre-game last night
    Shooting off left foot, so it looks like still not putting much force on right knee.

    But, I think Rose returns for the end of this season. If he returns I'm setting the Over/Under line at Mar. 25.

    Bulls play Indiana Mar. 24, and I wouldn't want to see him get mixed up in that. Bulls play Trailblazers at home Mar. 28, with 11 games remaining in the season against mostly middling or elite tank teams. Good time to return and get some rust off.

    Of course, that would mean he would play in the playoffs, and I'm not sure how I feel about that risk-wise. But 8 more weeks of rehab (for an injury that many athletes return from in 6 weeks TOTAL) seems like it should be possible. But maybe he just sits it out and gets the rust off on USA Basketball.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    who knows... all I will say is that after last year there is a good chance he's out for the year.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    I wouldn't be shocked if Rose came back but I also wouldn't count on it.

    I think Rose should simply play when he's healthy enough. He took 18 months from the ACL and still tore his meniscus early on. Staying out longer isn't necessarily helpful.

    He should stay out until he's recovered. No more, no less.

  • Nik Stauskas as a Lithuanian native parents Euro one step removed aka not American born white dude failures Luke Babbitt and Adam Morrison is an intriguing prospect. The question is does he have just below exceptional lateral quickness defensively or down right sub par to awful. The YouTube posted 40 threes and 70 threes nearly without miss provoking a shooting challenge from no other then Stephen Curry is somewhat amazing really for a college player.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    He should not be awful defensively. Probably average due to his size.

    Offensively, he is finding his own shot, playing more point guard and getting to the line 6x/game and is elite at the line.

    So, this is not a high upside pick, but a guy who could be a solid starter for years. And, a great fit. Surrounding Butler, Rose and Noah with Stauskis and Mirotic makes sense. Great offense/defense balance and floor spacing. I think resigning Augustine and with Dunleavy and Snell in the mix, the Bulls are looking good at PG, SG and SF. This assumes amnestying Boozer and using the other draft pick to go with size.

    Rose/Mirotic could run pick and roll with at least one other elite shooter on the floor at all times. Sometimes two. (assuming Mirotic, Dunleavy and Stauskis are elite shooters)

  • In reply to Granby:

    Probably also looking good at PF with Gibson/Mirotic combo. Just need a PF or C to give Noah a rest. Outside of Mello, that's about as good as it gets - and it's really good if Rose can be healthy and 85% of what he was pre-injury.

  • with the likelyhood that we won't get Melo and probably strike out again in free agency with future space needed to sign Butler. They should look to get a Lance Stephenson type combo guard, a tall guard that can truly handle the ball and create and because of his size play next to Rose. Forget the raw players with potential, the Bulls suck at them, go for a player with 2 years college experience and a scoring/shooting more marquis teagues please!!! If they have to package both picks to move up, they should go for it. I just don't see Augustine back next year anyway and Kirk maybe signs for the vet min with the third slot going to the draft pick.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I agree that the Bulls should try to package both picks to move up in the draft -- however, that is providing the scouts i.d. a player they really love who will go higher. If not, then they may do just as well to hold their picks.

    I also agree that Lance Stephenson looks like he could turn into another Harden-type player, which could make him a steal. Lance, Mirotic, and a great draft could put the team back in contention for the title.

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