This was never really in doubt, but we’ll make it official:
Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose will play in Game 2 Wednesday night in Chicago.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said everyone participated fully this morning at shootaround and good to go, according to the Associated Press. Boozer is battling turf toe and Rose is playing through a sprained ankle that he aggravated at the end of Game 2.
The Bulls are going to need more out of both to even this series at 1-1. The Bulls defense in Game 1 was the real issue — Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford were hot — and that is the end the Bulls have to tighten up.
But the Bulls margin for error was never that large because their offense was all Rose all the time. If he is slowed by his ankle — and the fact he didn’t draw one free throw in Game 1 says he is — the Bulls have to shut down the Hawks to have any chance.
But the Bulls will have their two big guns ready to go.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.