Dan Feldman

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 30:  Nikola Mirotic #44 of the Chicago Bulls grabs a rebound against the Los Angeles Lakers at the United Center on November 30, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Lakers defeated the Bulls 96-90.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Nikola Mirotic forgets about Bulls’ walkthrough between two DNP-CDs

1 Comment

It’s been a rough year for Nikola Mirotic.

Despite the Bulls’ abundant need for his outside shooting, he lost a competition to Taj Gibson to start at power forward. Mirotic has struggled to shoot off the bench, and he even got a DNP-CD in Chicago’s loss to Milwaukee on Thursday.

And then prior to the re-match against Milwaukee…

Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:

Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic missed the team’s afternoon walkthrough Friday before their game against the Milwaukee Bucks, telling team officials he forgot about the walkthough.

“I came late for our meeting here, I apologized to the teammates and coaches,” Mirotic said.

Being that it was the first “DNP- Coach’s Decision” of Mirotic’s career, and followed by him missing the walkthrough, the question of it being an act of defiance is natural.

“No, I’m not that kind of guy,” Mirotic said after the Bulls’ 95-69 loss to the Bucks, as he was the only healthy Bull who didn’t play. “Even if things are not how I’d like them to be, I’m a professional. It’s not my first year here. Those guys respect me, I respect them, I wouldn’t do anything like that. I just forgot. Just (stuff) happens.”

Hoiberg said it was a fineable offense

If this is an isolated incident, everyone can move on. An otherwise responsible player forgetting about a single walkthrough is not the end of the world.

But the concern is that it’s part of a larger pattern – whether Mirotic’s play is the cause or symptom.

The Bulls need Mirotic in the rotation. Fred Hoiberg benching him in the first place wasn’t in the answer. The subsequent benching might have been a reasonable punishment. But in the long run, Chicago must find a way to maximize Mirotic and his shooting.

Does 76ers coach Brett Brown feel bad for Nerlens Noel? ‘I feel worse for Richaun’ Holmes

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Nerlens Noel #4 of the Philadelphia 76ers plays in the game against the Utah Jazz on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Jazz defeated the 76ers 99-71. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
6 Comments

The 76ers pulled Nerlens Noel from the rotation after he repeatedly complained about his role.

That might be a sign of Noel’s immaturity. It also might be a justifiable response to being stuck on a roster with two other highly drafted centers, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor.

Does Philadelphia coach Brett Brown feel bad about Noel’s predicament?

Brown, via Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

“I feel worse for Richaun,” Brown said

“I think that when I put my human hat on and then you go coach a team … make decisions, show leadership, that stands out to me as much as anything. Nerlens missed everything. Twenty minutes before the game last week (Friday), I learned he was going to play. He hasn’t been a part of us.

“I’ve spoken freely about my fondness for Nerlens Noel,” Brown said. “I’ve been with him since he were here. We will help him. I will coach him and I will help him. What that means, we won’t see on the floor and maybe that’s where I could help him the most. But I don’t believe at this moment that that is best for our team. So that’s what we’re going to do. There is nothing more important than the team.”

Daaaaaamn.

Richaun Holmes – the No. 37 pick last year – gets lost in the shuffle. We barely even mention him when discussing the 76ers’ big-man logjam. But Holmes is having a nice season. Like Noel, Holmes deserves a bigger role. He’s just clearly better endearing himself to his coach.

There 76ers aren’t handling this well. I’m just not sure there is a good way to handle it.

They’ve tried a softer approach with Noel, and it has neither helped on the court nor boosted his trade value to a satisfactory level. I’m not sure publicly ethering him will work either, but I’m at least entertained watching them try.

Report: Players, media to join fans in picking All-Star starters

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  (L-R) Eastern Conference All-Star starters Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls, LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat, Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic, Carmelo Anthony #15 of the New York Knicks and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat are introduced during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
4 Comments

Update: Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

Player and media votes will not be disclosed, and about 75 media members will vote.

From the league office to ownership to current players to former players – there has been relentless objection to fans voting for NBA All-Starters, a method used for more than 40 years.

Somebody finally decided to acquiesce the complainers.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The NBA is introducing significant changes to its All-Star balloting procedures that will give players and members of the basketball media a say alongside fans in voting for All-Star starters, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that fans will continue to account for 50 percent of the vote total for All-Star starters, with players and a panel of media members accounting for 25 percent each.

Players and selected media members will be eligible to complete one full ballot each, sources say, with players indeed able to vote for teammates or themselves if they wish.

Questions:

Why make such drastic changes for selecting participants in an exhibition game? All-NBA should be treated as more important anyway.

What player wouldn’t vote exclusively for his teammates? That’d just open the door for bickering, especially once some players publicizing their all-teammate ballots pressures others to do the same. This opens the door for so much petty bickering in locker rooms.

Which media members will vote? How many of them are uncomfortable playing yet another role in determining players’ financial incentives?

Will voting be transparent? Even if not ballot-by-ballot among players and media, that group’s collective choice?

Terrence Ross unloads beautiful windmill dunk (video)

Leave a comment

After a blip, it appears Raptors wing Terrence Ross is back on track with his fantastic windmill dunks.

Celtics play rock, paper, scissors to determine who takes technical free throw (video)

Leave a comment

Should Jae Crowder (making 86% of his free throws this season, 78% for his career) or Avery Bradley (76%, 78%) have shot a technical free throw for the Celtics last night?

They played rock, paper, scissors to determine.

Crowder’s paper covered Bradley’s rock, but Crowder missed the free throw.

At least Boston held on for a 105-95 win over the Heat.