For two days Carlos Boozer has taken part in full practices with the Chicago Bulls, his first two this season. When asked Tuesday if his high-priced star forward would be ready to go on Wednesday night against Orlando, coach Tom Thibodeau gave the Chicago Tribune as close to a yes as you are going to get from a coach in his situation.
“I can’t foresee any problems at this point,” Thibodeau said.
Boozer himself was a little more cautious.
“I may or may not play tomorrow,” Boozer said. “If not, this weekend for sure.”
Smart money says he’ll pay, although nothing will be official until he is announced. Boozer will wear padding over his formerly broken fifth metacarpal, which he described as still “sore.”
Boozer’s arrival all makes the Bulls more dangerous — they are 9-6 and atop the Central division without their star forward and best inside scorer. They have been playing solid defense (ninth best in the league defensive efficiency entering Tuesday night) to help carry them, something Thibodeau has brought with him. Boozer will not help much on the defensive end, but his will bring a spark to an offense that has been too heavily reliant on Derrick Rose to do everything.
Put simply, a good Bulls team is about to get a lot better.
So much attention is paid to Lonzo Ball‘s father, jumper and passes. Those are the major storylines for the Lakers rookie.
But he has such a diverse skill set, and this is absolutely part of it. Ball is a savvy off-ball cutter in the halfcourt with the athleticism to get above the rim and finish alley-oops.
But finish them over 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, who was tracking the play (though slightly late)? That’s an eye-opener, even in the Kings’ 113-102 win.
When Marc Gasol‘s 3/4-court attempt went through the net, it seemed to barely matter the ball left his hands just after the first-quarter buzzer. After all, the Grizzlies led the Mavericks by 15, anyway.
Turns out, Memphis really needed that basket.
Toronto has been the second best team in the East this young season. Not that anyone is really convinced they will be called that by the time we get to the playoffs (or even the All-Star break, or even Christmas), but for the first 16-18 games of the season their new move-the-ball offense had them at 11-5 and looking solid.
Wednesday night the Knicks dismantled the Raptors.
Especially in the third quarter when the Knicks went on a 28-0 run to blow the doors off the Raptors (video above). The Knicks dominated the third 41-10, when Toronto shot just 1-of-16 from the floor.
New York is gaining confidence with each win this season, they are a fun team to watch that is starting to find an identity (now that a certain three-sided shaped one is not being forced upon them). Kristaps Porzingis is a monster, and while the Knicks overpaid the market for Tim Hardaway Jr. he has lived up to his contract this season. With rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina showing some nice defense and playmaking skills as a rookie (although he is undoubtedly still a work in progress), you can see a path to a strong future unfolding. There are real reasons for hope in New York. Someone just keep James Dolan distracted and away from the basketball operations side of the building.
I’m not sure who benefited from Devin Booker‘s buzzer-beating, overtime-forcing 3-pointer. The Suns still lost to the Bucks, 113-107. The extra five minutes featured more of the same relatively bad basketball we’d seen between Phoenix (bad) and Milwaukee (shorthanded) through 48 minutes.
But darn if this shot wasn’t really cool and clutch.