The Chicago Bulls ranked 28th in offensive rating this season, giving them the lowest-ranked offense ever to make the playoffs.
Just three other teams have ranked even 27th and reached the postseason, and two of them are the Bulls of this era – 2004-05 and 2009-10. (The 2011-12 Boston Celtics also did it).
There’s no question which side of the ball Chicago must address this offseason. As successful as the Bulls have been, their offense has been a weakness, and the Washington Wizards showed in the playoffs just how vulnerable that makes Chicago.
Thankfully for the Bulls, they have the tools to upgrade, including the No. 16 and No. 19 picks in next week’s draft.
Chicago is aggressively trying to move its two first-round picks, according to rival executives. The Bulls are believed to be looking for either a veteran scorer or the chance to move up in the draft to select a young wing player with scoring potential.
The Bulls have beenfrequently linked to Carmelo Anthony, who’s a pretty talented scorer. He makes plenty of sense as Chicago’s main target, and those picks could definitely be useful in a sign-and-trade.
Or the Bulls could package the selections in other ways. With Nikola Mirotic’s rights and Jimmy Butler still on his rookie contract, Chicago has the flexibility to splurge on immediate help.
Derrick Rose is returning and Joakim Noah remains in place to fortify the defense, so the Bulls – if they use their flexibility right – could contend for a title as soon as next season. If Chicago can’t move the picks, building a wider young base wouldn’t be so bad, but this is the time to push chips into the center of the table.
Nets GM Sean Marks gets suspended for going into ref’s locker room after Game 4
Emotions are high as the playoffs move into the second week. Things got a little testy between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night as Jared Dudley got in the face of Joel Embiid after the Sixers big man committed a hard foul on Jared Allen.
That caused Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler to respond to Dudley, who overreacted to a good, hard playoff foul by Embiid. The result of the fracas was an ejection for Butler and Dudley, and a flagrant 1 on embiid.
But apparently that’s not the end of the disciplinary process for the NBA.
Nets general manager Sean Marks went into the officials locker room after the game — no doubt to discuss what happened here — which is a big problem in the eyes of the league.
According to a release by the NBA, Marks has been suspended for one game without pay and has been fined $25,000.
Marks will be suspended for Game 5 between these two teams on April 23rd.
The playoffs are high-stakes, but Embiid blocking the crap out of somebody shouldn’t result in someone going crazy like Dudley did.
Philadelphia beat the Nets, 112-108.
Everyone’s hero is dad who pulls son away from Nets/76ers fracas (VIDEO)
You set up a bonding experience with your son or daughter, one you hope will leave an impression on them and create a memory that will last a lifetime… for example, you get courtside seats, just behind the basket, for one of the first NBA playoff games in Brooklyn, ever.
Then everything hits the fan.
Joel Embiid commits a flagrant foul on Jarrett Allen, Jared Dudley rushes in and shoves Embiid to stand up for his teammate, Jimmy Butler runs in to shove Dudley on the same premise, and suddenly there is a wave of large professional athletes about to trample you and your son. So, you grab him, move onto the court, and get out of the way.
There were two fathers with the same thought, one on either side of the fracas that spills into the first row.
Unable to find a new NBA contract for this season, Andrew Bogut went home. The Australia native signed to play for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL, where Bogut ended up being the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, leading the Kings on a deep playoff run.
When that run ended, the Golden State Warriors came calling, asking him to fill a role — a role that got much larger after DeMarcus Cousins tore his quad. Bogut has played well for the Warriors in the postseason, and there is a good chance Cousins will not be back in Golden State (the Warriors can only offer him a small raise off what he made this season, that likely will not be enough, even after the injury), so the Warriors may try to retain Bogut for next season.
“The be all and end all is that I gave my word (to the Kings)… That is basically what it comes down to…
“Someone outside of the Warriors could offer me a deal that would be pretty lucrative and a decent one-year deal, but I’m sold and locked in on coming to the Sydney Kings again to try and better what we did last season.”
Saying you’ll walk away from a lot of money and actually doing it are two different things, but Bogut is a man who stands by his word. He probably returns to Sydney for next season.
When that season ends, however, don’t be shocked to see Bogut back somewhere in the NBA helping a team make a playoff run.
Joel Embiid calls Jared Dudley “a nobody” (but NBA Twitter shows Dudley love)
Jared Dudley has been in the face of the Philadelphia 76ers all series.
He was the guy who said Ben Simmons was “average” in the halfcourt (which echoed every scouting report on Simmons ever), prompting Simmons to respond, “It’s coming from Jared Dudley. C’mon.” The feud between the Sixers and Dudley was brewing.