Bulls Practice Overtime, Drop to Hornets

Bulls Practice Overtime, Drop to Hornets
Bulls guard Dwyane Wade attempts a two pointer during the first half. (Alyssa Pointer / Chicago Tribune)

There will be games this year in which the Bulls will have to play beyond the mandated 48 minutes. They got their first overtime rehearsal Monday against the Charlotte Hornets.  It didn't work out in the end as they lost 108-104. That brought their three-game winning streak to an end and dropped their preseason record to 3-3.

With the exception of Nikola Mirotic, who left in the third quarter with a lower back strain, each Bull who saw action played between 13 and 37 minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie was left on the bench and new Bull Michael Carter-Williams wasn't available. And with five extra minutes available, that meant more time for certain bench players to pad their resumes for the year.

Four of the five starters scored in double figures, led by Jimmy Butler's 15. Taj Gibson, in the middle of an impressive exhibition schedule, scored 12 while Dwyane Wade and Robin Lopez each had 11. Rajon Rondo distributed 10 assists, but shot just 1-for-7, struggling even while driving to the basket.

Off the bench, Doug McDermott was the top dog with 14 on offense and defensively, he hustled and made plays, which allowed him to play more minutes than anyone. Twelve points each came from Isaiah Canaan and Jerian Grant, who hit the 3-pointer that sent the game to overtime. Cristiano Felicio was also strong, pulling down 12 rebounds.

Almost everybody had a fair shot to showcase what he might bring to the table. Even if the projected starters rested for most of the second half (and don't act like you weren't expecting that), we know what they're likely to bring. Those on the bench are fighting for spots in the rotation and instances in which they might be called upon.

Paul Zipser, for instance, could be an option for defense in the paint, as evidenced by a pair of blocks, including one late in regulation. Bobby Portis should see the floor when the Bulls need a two-way player to give the better players rest. The list goes on, but it's all purely subjective. Fred Hoiberg might see something we're not and after all, there's a reason he's the head coach and none of us are.

With only one preseason game left though, time is running out for the players to make their own impressions. They should all be in serious playing mode by now, even if nothing has counted yet. If two weeks of playing against other teams hasn't gotten the rust out of them, they're in trouble. But if they each have a clear sense of where they stand and what they can bring, that will make for an easier transition into the regular season.

The Bulls wrap up the preseason in Omaha against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. Some may speculate McDermott and Kyle Korver might get into a shooting contest. They might as well with many Creighton faithful in attendance. Since the game means nothing, there's nothing wrong with a little friendly one-on-one before the games really begin.

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    We still haven't seen much of Denzel Valentine, and MCW. The Bulls have completely transformed from Thibs era to Hoiberg's in one year.

    Still scratching my head on how the Bulls got the 2013-14 ROY for Tony Snell. Remarkable! The Cavs had to trade their 2014-15 Num #1 draft pick who became ROY for Kevin Love. I'd say the Bulls did good.

    Bulls starting 5:
    MCW, Wade, Butler, Taj, Lopez
    2nd unit:
    Rondo, Valentine, McDermott, Portis, Felicio
    3rd string:
    Niko, Canaan, Dinwiddie, Grant, Zipser

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    There is no way Rondo doesn't start. Will they really carry 5 PGs? It will be interesting to see if FO and coaches have given up on Niko. Seems like the Bulls have some trade bait.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    I don't know about the coaches, but I have given up on Mirotic. His play has been dreadful. I just love when he randomly chucks up a shot from 5 feet behind the 3-point line. With Snell gone he has becomes the Bulls newest pinata.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    And rightfully so, so far.

  • I remember how MCW torched Derrick Rose the first time they played each other. I thought "wow this kid is going to be some kind of player". The 76ers ruined this kid and then traded him to the Bucks. I know he is not a good shooter, hopefully, he can correct his mechanics. But he has some excellent skills and could be our point guard for years to come. I think Fred will make him into an all star player. What a great trade Gar Pax pulled off.

    Meanwhile, back at the corral, we have too many bulls running around. Please trade Nicola Mirotic and Jerian Grant to some other team for a 1st round pick in 2017. Both of these guys cannot shoot. This trade will thin the herd and give MCD, Portis, MCW and Valentine more playing time to develop further. Go Bulls

  • In reply to Jim Bob:

    Oh, I like this....,but to a lousy team which is a higher #1.

  • At first I thought Carter-Williams was part of a bigger trade, but after reading all the reviews about him, I now think that he's a keeper. Something happened after he won the ROY which destroyed his effectiveness--maybe his ego exploded with a couple of million dollars to spend cause money changes people especially young impressionable men with Instant wealth and media attention.
    Maybe a Dwane Wade do over conversation about money, power, and how to handle success is all this kid needs. The team somehow needs to guide this young man in the right direction in order for him to handle success and not allow him to stray away from being a responsible adult who systematically handles success--a psychological adjustment. Even Tony Snell could have possibly needed to learn, something more than just a contract worth millions.
    Maybe Hoiberg can help this kid find himself, very few Rookies of the Year have failed to have success in the NBA. This may be a exceptionally great trade for the Chicago Bulls-- But they still need a center and Okafor at s still available!

  • Okafor for Niko?? Now theres a defensive duo!

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