Did you check out the NBA standings today?
That would be the Chicago Bulls on top of the Eastern Conference. And considering they have a softer schedule than the Celtics from here on out, they may well end the season as the No. 1 seed. For all the Celtics veterans and the Heat’s hype, Chicago looks the best in the East.
And they are sounding confident.
Derrick Rose was interviewed at Sporting News and said the goal is a title.
“We can win a championship,” Rose says. “We are not playing to get into the second round or anything. We are playing for a championship. I can’t imagine having a goal that was anything less than that.”
Can they get that this season?
Coach Tom Thibodeau said the Bulls are the best team in the East on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday morning, as Aggrey Sam reported at CSN Chicago.
When asked (if the Bulls are the best in the East) by Patrick, the show’s host, Thibodeau calmly replied, “I believe we’re there now….
“I don’t know if we’re the best team. Our record says right now we are,” Thibodeau later said. “There’s a lot of work to be done and we’re not complete.”
There is work, these Bulls have not been tested in the fire of the playoffs yet. We don’t know how they will do in the pressure of that situation, we don’t know how their offense will perform under that pressure (although it has improved as the season has gone on).
But the Bulls are contenders. They are in the mix. They may well be the best team in the East.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.