Bulls Defeat Timberwolves, Win Summer League Crown

Bulls Defeat Timberwolves, Win Summer League Crown
Denzel Valentine shoots the ball against the Celtics during a 2016 summer league game in Las Vegas on July 9, 2016. (David Dow / NBAE/Getty Images)

How do you conclude a dramatic offseason that involved headlining trades and free agent signings? By planning the parade for banner seven, that's how.

Ok, that may be an overzealous postgame exaggeration, but the Bulls just won the Las Vegas Summer League! Let’s savor these moments and act irrationally until the real stuff starts in a few months time.

Buoyed by two unbelievable jump shots by first-round pick Denzel Valentine, the Chicago Bulls remained undefeated en route to the Summer League title, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime.

Down 77-74 after an incredible go-ahead three-pointer by Wolves guard Tyus Jones, Valentine would deliver his own huge three, tying the game on a fantastic out-of-bounds play call.

With scores locked at 82 a piece, the game would be decided by one final basket. Fresh off an amazing three-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation, Valentine again delivered a dagger, hitting a tough fall-away mid-range jumper to ice the game.

Valentine's timely brilliance won the game for the Bulls, though he was well supported by Bobby Portis and Jerian Grant. After being named to the All-NBA Summer League First Team, Portis concluded an impressive stretch of games with another dominant outing, scoring 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Grant, too, was impressive, collecting 24 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and the championship game MVP award.

For the Bulls, winning the Summer League title caps a dramatic offseason which saw headline trades and free agent signings change the complexion of the franchise. While we bask in this momentary glory, we now wait until the real stuff begins, hoping this victory is timely omen of more success to follow.

 

 

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  • The ending of regulation and OT was incredible, hope anyone reading this had a chance to see it. Grant, who had been disappointing most of the summer, stepped up toward the end of the game. Valentine makes two HUGE shots to send game to OT and the game winner. Portis showed speed enegy and skill in leading the team throughout the summer league. Yeah it's only summer but still think it's better to win than lose.

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    We are the Champions...........We are the Champions........of the wooooorld !!!

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Did you get permission to use that? :-)

  • Hopefully this means these players have real potential.

    However, we have seen Bulls players light up the summer league before without it transferring to the regular season. We will see.

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    When and where is the parade?

  • Newsflash: Bobby Portis is a better basketball player than Nikola Mirotic. If Portis can continue to shoot threes with some consistency Mirotic can take his pump fakes back to the Spanish League.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Portis might be, but you can't really base a statement like that off of Summer League.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    The statement is based on the fact that Mirotic blows.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    I know many are down on Mirotic right now given his disappointing sophomore season but there's no fact at all to suggest that Mirotic blows.

    I'll assume it's all emotional talk said in jest. While flawed, Mirotic has a lot of value as a player, perhaps even more so than ever before.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Fair enough. But can you see Mirotic dominating Summer League opponents like Portis did?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    The player Portis projects to be may be better than Nikola Mirotic.

    The player Portis currently is isn't better than Nikola Mirotic.

    I get the fan base is down on Mirotic because of the hype that followed him, but some of the negativity towards him seems unfair imo.

  • In reply to Mark Karantzoulis:

    Many people are down on Niko after a disappointing sophomore season, but he still shot 39% from behind the arc.

    Even though he's a natural PF, he can still play some SF and even C against certain lineups. And if he can be a consistent 40% on 3's, he'll always have a role in the league.

  • Great post and I would agree with all comments. Observations from yesterday and overall Summer League (of course, this is only summer league): It appears Grant is a pretty decent defender at PG. His length really bothers most PGs, and I remember the last NY vs. Bulls game, Grant had better numbers than Rose. Valentine appears to not be afraid of the moment and may become a solid role player for the Bulls next year. His ball movements are really impressive for a rookie. I am also very positive on Felicio with his mobility and size. He can really move well for his 270 pounds and I think he has a chance to improve substantially this and next season. Hopefully this high marks can be carried over to the coming season, as the Bulls will really need this gang to perform if they want to make the playoffs.

  • Have an idea to run by everyone here. Was thinking about how all the big stars 1. Want to win 2. Play with their other star buddies 3. Play in big markets where they can maximize their "brand" and 4. Play in warm weather and I have the solution: Reduce the NBA to 4 teams and move the other 26 teams to a "minor league" of sorts, where they act as feeder teams to the big 4 teams. The teams would be L.A., NYC, Miami and probably Houston (Texas is 2nd most popular state, Houston is 4th largest city and warm climate). Sorry Bulls fans but players don't like Chicago's cold weather.

    While you might not like the sound of it, consider: 1. 4 competitive teams actually means 2 more competitive teams than there currently are 2. The other 26 teams are already feeder teams 3. Almost every NBA player will get that championship that's so important to him. It's kind of like little leagues where everyone gets a trophy. 4. The other 26 teams simply can't charge what they're currently charging since it will no longer be the sport's top pro league. Truth is, they shouldn't be able to get away with charging it anyways for the feeder teams that they currently are 5. TBS will always have a great matchup on TV. Every televised NBA game will feature teams with legitimate championship aspirations and the game's biggest stars.

    The only downside is the NBA will lose money but from a fans' perspective, does anyone care about that?

    All problems with the NBA solved!

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Why NYC? Its winters are not so warm and New York taxes (like Illinois) are too high. I say Miami, Orlando, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Oakland. They all have mild winters. The first four have no state income taxes and the last two are near the Pacific Ocean (and which NBA player doesn't like California?).

  • In reply to Bulls4Ever:

    Just because it's the largest market. The winters are cold but not Chicago cold. Huge appeal to international players.

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