Dan Feldman

Paul Millsap blocks DeMar DeRozan’s 360 layup (video)

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Paul Millsap doesn’t have time for your highlights, DeMar DeRozan.

Marcelo Huertas hides behind Erik Spoelstra, jumps out to get steal (video)

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I hate when coaches step over the sideline.

Credit Lakers guard Marcelo Huertas for using Erik Spoelstra’s presence on the court to his advantage.

Report: Jimmy Butler, Fred Hoiberg at heart of Bulls’ chemistry issues

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“A lot” of Bulls reportedly don’t believe in Fred Hoiberg.

But that’s not Chicago’s only interpersonal problem.

Jimmy Butler is at the heart of another.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:

Chemistry issues continue to plague the Bulls’ locker room, league sources told The Vertical. Grumblings range from Hoiberg’s inability to hold players accountable – a complaint registered publicly by Butler last December and one that lingers in the locker room today, a source said – to Butler’s shoddy shot selection to the disconnect within the team offensively.

The Bulls’ offensive backslide has been one of the more surprising developments of the season. Hoiberg was supposed to instill a more dynamic, up-tempo offense after Tom Thibodeau’s grind-it-out scheme. But Chicago has fallen from 10th to 27th in points per possession.

The Bulls are playing faster – just not effectively. They’re awful finishing at the rim, and they don’t get to the line. In some ways, this is the productive of trying to play a scheme that requires better athletes when an athletically depleted Derrick Rose and 35-year-old Pau Gasol lead the team in shots per minute.

So why does Butler get the blame?

He’s assuming a bigger role on a team that still has its longtime leaders. That hasn’t always been well-received.

Sure, Butler sometimes forces bad shots, but it’s hardly egregious. The Bulls score slightly better with him on the court.

This strikes me as teammates resenting Butler’s rise to stardom. To be fair, he hasn’t always handled his ascent perfectly. But it seems easier to blame Chicago’s offensive problems on his shot selection if you’re too keen on blaming Butler first then finding a reason.

Still, the Bulls believing this is a real problem makes this a real problem. They haven’t looked happy much on the court as they’ve slipped out of playoff position, and that unhappiness makes it more difficult for them to regain ground. These things snowball.

If Chicago hasn’t solved these problems by this point in the season, it might be too late. It’d be tough for a cohesive team that’s two games out of playoff position this late to reach the postseason.

It’ll apparently be even more difficult for the Bulls.

West Virginia’s Devin Williams declares for NBA draft, reportedly to hire agent

West Virginia's Devin Williams (41) catches a ball during practice for a first-round men's college basketball game against Stephen F. Austin in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 17, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
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Devin Williams and his goggles are turning pro.

West Virginia release:

West Virginia University junior forward Devin Williams announced today that he will make himself available for the 2016 NBA draft.

“This is something I’ve thought about over and over, and I believe that this is the best decision for me and my family,” said Williams. “I can’t say enough about the three years I have had at West Virginia University. At the same time, I’m grateful to be in this position to be able to fulfill a lifelong dream.”

“We support Devin in his decision to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a professional basketball player,” said coach Bob Huggins. “We wish him nothing but the best and appreciate his contributions and the impact that he has had on Mountaineer Basketball.”

Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com:

https://twitter.com/JonRothstein/status/714801122968477696

Williams is unlikely to get drafted. Hopefully, he’ll be pleased earning a market-level salary overseas rather than merely accepting the NCAA’s cartel rate. By the time someone plays three years in college, that’s often the case.

A strong 6-foot-9 power forward, Williams embraces contact to good effect on both ends of the floor. But it will be harder for him to bully bigger and more athletic foes in the NBA. Plus, he neither spaces the floor nor protects the rim effectively. That’s a tough sell for a power forward.

A team might take a chance on Williams as a hustle player in the second round – but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Lamar Odom refusing rehab over drinking, despite Khloe Kardashian’s pleas

Lamar Odom
AP
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Lamar Odom is out of medical facilities and not facing charges after an October drug overdose.

But, apparently, not all is well with the former NBA player.

TMZ:

Lamar Odom’s drinking has reached crisis level for Khloe Kardashian, and we’ve learned she desperately wants him to get help NOW … but Lamar’s digging in his heels.

Sources close to the still married duo tell us Khloe’s doing everything she can to convince him to get treatment for addiction. We’re told LO’s happy to go to physical rehab, but refuses to deal with his drug demons.

I don’t know what would be worse – Odom drinking to the point he’s worrying those around him or someone drumming up this story for publicity. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a scenario where neither of those is the case.