Trans. Mar 6 7:21 ET (Mar 6 7:21 ET ) One of the topics discussed Thursday morning on 670-AM WSCRs Mully and Hanley Show, on which this writer is a weekly contributor, was the Bulls already utilizing a seven-man rotation in early March, as the team approaches a six-game home stand beginning with Friday nights game against Memphis at the United Center. Since his squad has gotten healthy cross your fingers that All-Star center Joakim Noahs thumb injury is nothing serious Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has essentially used only sixth man Taj Gibson and backup point guard D.J. Augustin, both of whom basically play starters minutes, off the bench, with rookie swingman Tony Snell and veteran center Nazr Mohammed to fill in the gaps. This isnt really anything new for Thibodeau, but before theres a public outcry consisting of the typical refrain that hes overworking his roster, consider that not only are individual minutes down for the Bulls, but the coach has given them more days off from practice this season than in any season in his four-year tenure, including the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign.
After over a decade in the NBA, Nazr Mohammed was finally able to come back home to Chicago when he signed with the Bulls in 2012. In his acceptance speech, Mohammed acknowledged he didn't start his charity, The Nazr Mohammed Foundation, until later in his career.
WASHINGTON -- The Sixers play a much-improved Wizards team Monday afternoon. Washington has won three of its last four with a win over Miami and two over the Bulls, the very two teams that the Sixers lost to by a combined 40 points over their last two games. Tony Wroten, who sprained his right ankle in Saturday's loss at Chicago, is in a walking boot and was unable to suit up for Monday's matinee in D.C. In 36 games, he is averaging 13 points and 3.3 rebounds. There is good news though: The injury may not be as bad as it initially appeared when Wroten went down after Nazr Mohammed stepped on his ankle.
It was everything one has come to expectdefensive-oriented, predicated upon rebounding and with long stretches of sloppy offensive basketballbut the Bulls (14-18) 91-84 win over the Hawks (18-16) Saturday night at the United Center represented the identity the team has forged in recent seasons in all of its workmanlike glory. Without durable power forward Carlos Boozer, who missed his first game of the season with a sore right knee, the Bulls still managed to build a slim cushion in the opening period behind the play of his replacement, Taj Gibson (10 points, 12 rebounds, three blocked shots), and All-Star small forward Luol Deng (17 points, 11 rebounds, three steals). Ex-Bull Kyle Korvers record streak of consecutive games with a made three-pointer was extended 103 straight contests in the early going, but the Bulls dominance on the boardsincluding contributions from veteran backup center Nazr Mohammedand continued unselfishness on offense kept Atlanta at bay. Despite a buzzer-beating layup from Hawks sixth man Lou Williams to end the frame, the Bulls held a 26-18 lead after a quarter of play.
The final contest of 2013 for the Bulls (12-18) ended on a sour note, as a fourth-quarter rally by the resurgent Raptors (14-15) led to an 84-79 defeat Tuesday night at the United Center, closing out what was a challenging calendar year. All-Star small forward Luol Deng (16 points), in his return to the Bulls lineup after missing the last five games with a left Achilles injury, was a relative bright spot in the early going, as was Raptors swingman counterpart DeMar DeRozan (11 points), who played the aggressive brand of basketball thats served Toronto well all season, especially since Rudy Gay was jettisoned to Sacramento via trade. The visitors otherwise enjoyed balanced scoring, particularly from the second unit, and took a slim lead and despite the wing duo of Jimmy Butler (15 points, seven rebounds) and Mike Dunleavy Jr. (13 points) coming alive late in the opening period, the Bulls trailed, 21-16, at the conclusion of the first quarter. An 10-0 run to begin the second period propelled the Bulls ahead of their guests, as the bench quartet of the sharpshooting Dunleavy, usual suspect Taj Gibson (12 points), floor general D.J. Augustin and grizzled veteran Nazr Mohammed led the way.