2010-11 Record: 62-20 (best in the NBA, thanks to relentless effort on defense every night)
Head Coach: Tom Thibodeau (you can thank him for the defense)
Key Departures: Rasual Butler, Kurt Thomas
Key Additions: Richard Hamilton — a big upgrade at the two.
Best case scenario (that does not involve a highly unlikely Dwight Howard trade): The Bulls continue to be the league’s best defensive team and the deepest team in the league, Derrick Rose builds on his MVP award by taking his game to yet another level, and Richard Hamilton helps take some of the scoring load off of Derrick Rose. The team once again gets the team’s best regular-season record, makes some crucial offensive adjustments in the playoffs, and brings the NBA title back to Chicago for the first time since Michael Jordan left.
More likely scenario: The Bulls have another great regular season thanks to their depth and Derrick Rose being incredible, but disappoint in the playoffs by losing an instant classic of a series to either the Heat or the Celtics because of Rose’s difficulty scoring when he can’t get to the basket at will and the Bulls’ lack of a true #2 or #3 option to take some pressure off of Rose. (Until proven otherwise in a key playoff series, Carlos Boozer does not count.)
Prediction: 46-50 wins and a deep playoff run.
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.