Derrick Rose

Thibodeau says Rose has improved range on jumper. If so, watch out.

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When Derrick Rose got injured, long before the silly kerfuffle about his return date, Tim Hardaway was saying Rose could come back with an improved jump shot. Which would make the explosive former MVP even more dangerous.

Apparently Hardaway knows what he is talking about (he did go through the same injury and all).

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau went out to the Los Angeles area to watch Rose workout (before he leaves on another tour of China to sell shoes) and told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune Rose has added some weapons.

Thibodeau traveled west Wednesday to check in on Rose, who is sporting increased range on his jumper and a left-handed floater that he has worked on extensively this offseason….

“What the summer has done is it’s given him more time to build confidence and strength in his leg,” Thibodeau said in Las Vegas in July. “His entire body is a lot stronger.”

A lefty floater and a more deadly jump shot would be nice steps forward for the Bulls. Rose shot 31.2 percent on threes two seasons ago, which is right at his career average. If that number goes up and he can just step back off a pick he is that much harder to cover.

We will see if, once the season starts, Thibodeau tries to keep the minutes in check for Rose (not to mention Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and others). He has been known to ride his starters big minutes and we’ll see if the rash of injuries the Bulls have battled through (related to the minutes or not) impacts his choices. Could Thibodeau sacrifice a couple wins to keep Rose’s minutes down?

Stephen Curry gets fouled, hits crazy rainbow circus shot vs. Jazz (VIDEO)

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is a wizard when it comes to shots you don’t think can ever reach the iron. Each time he does something like this, he surprises you even though you should be used to it by now.

But I’m not. The Utah Jazz aren’t. Heck, maybe even Steph isn’t used to it by now.

As Curry was driving down the left side of the floor on Thursday, Shelvin Mack got out of position and wound up trailing the Warriors star. With Curry rounding the pick, Mack reached and earned a foul.

Thinking quickly, Curry then hoisted up a rainbow of a shot that gently kissed the net on the way down.

Curry would go on to make the free throw for the 3-point play.

Watch Karl-Anthony Towns blow by two defenders, posterize Jonas Valanciunas

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We’re 21 games into Minnesota Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns‘ sophomore season and it already seems cliche to say that he has guard skills

But, like, he does have guard skills.

There was more evidence of that on Thursday night as the Timberwolves matched up with the Toronto Raptors in Canada.

With the ball near the top of the arc and with the Raptors defense collapsing on the Minnesota guards, Towns saw an opportunity to split the defense and run to the rim with the ball.

Toronto C Jonas Valanciunas slid over to meet Towns at the rim, but there wasn’t much anyone could do.

https://streamable.com/sixp

Spurs’ Pau Gasol goofs, heads toward Bulls locker room in return to Chicago (VIDEO)

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Pau Gasol spent two seasons at the United Center with the Chicago Bulls, so it made sense that when he returned as a member of the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, he would know his way around. In fact, Gasol knows the bowels of Chicago’s home arena so well that he wound up walking toward the wrong locker room as a force of habit.

During the NBA on TNT’s coverage of the game, reporter Allie LaForce showed cameras following Gasol after he said hello to some folks in the tunnel.

Unfortunately, Gasol walked about 15 feet before realizing he was heading to the wrong side.

Maybe it was something of an indicator for the night, as the first few quarters of play between the Spurs and the Bulls were extremely sloppy.

Bucks fans chant “SoundCloud rapper” at Blazers star Damian Lillard

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Damian Lillard had the No. 1 hip-hop album on iTunes. Milwaukee Bucks fans still think he needed to get taken down a peg, so on Wednesday during a game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Bucks, fans in Milwaukee had a message for Lillard.

Well, it was more of a cheer:

Via Twitter:

If you can’t quite make out what Bucks fans are saying, it was pretty simple: “Sound-Cloud rap-per!”

Lillard famously began his rapping career as an NBA player by releasing songs on SoundCloud — a mostly-free online audio hosting site — but he’s now graduated to a big release with professional production and guest spots by industry legends like Lil’ Wayne, Juvenile, and Jamie Foxx. His debut full-length album came out in October and is called “The Letter O”.

The Blazers superstar also started his own label in November.

Still, the Bucks arena experience is pretty great considering the coordinated t-shirts, the Bandwagon Cam, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.