Trans. Oct 30 8:10 ET (Oct 30 8:10 ET ) For a little while, things seemed so perfect. Madison Square Garden was celebrity-rich in the front and loud as hell in the back. Woody Allen’s newfound ingratiation with the team’s ownership allowed for an even better seat for the famed director of ‘Whatever Works.’ New York Knicks big man Amar’e Stoudemire got the start and was alternately hitting cutters with passes, destroying Chicago on the glass, and finishing in and out of the paint. Samuel Dalembert looked like the sort of post passer New York needed. Unheralded guard Shane Larkin was making life hell for Chicago’s Derrick Rose. New York was leading Chicago by five midway through the first quarter, and Carmelo Anthony hadn’t even gotten started yet! As you well know, you national television viewer you, things eventually fell apart for the Knicks. Just a quarter later, Chicago would be up 15 points. During one stretch of the fourth quarter, the Bulls boasted a 33-point lead. The New York defense faltered, the triangle offense deflated, and the crowd left early. A late New York surge in garbage time allowed for a palatable 24-point loss , but even that didn’t seem like an accurate enough description. Still, whaddya want? Chicago is supposed to contend for a title this season. They’re not just supposed to be something that annoys, or a boot-strapper’s chic pick to somehow make it out of the East. They’re built to win it all. New York, meanwhile, is built to act as a proving ground. Something to help Derek Fisher to get his feet wet with. Something to help Carmelo Anthony acclimate into the sideline triangle offense, and a team bent on luring free agents once 2014-15 ends. An 82-game attempt to introduce Phil Jackson’s particular lingua franca to what has been a hellhole of a franchise for too long, working in front of a fan base that deserves far better. President Phil, the Big Bemusement, spoke briefly with reporters that chased him down before disappearing into a waiting ride following the loss. From Ian Begley at ESPN New York : "Not ready for showtime, were we guys?" the Knicks president said to reporters before getting into the passenger seat of his SUV. […] "I can't say how long it's going to take," he said. Jackson, a 13-time NBA champion, added that he largely expected the Knicks to struggle as badly as they did on Wednesday. "Sure did," he said. Jackson, watching the game alongside right-hand man and former Chicago Bulls deputy architect Clarence Gaines Jr., showed no outward embarrassment or anger as their former team took it to their new employer. It was one game out of 82 in a season that absolutely no one has a handle on, and on top of that extended view the Knicks were playing without lead guard Jose Calderon, while featuring a starting frontcourt (with Stoudemire and Dalembert up front) that had yet to start together in the exhibition season. The man who hired both Jackson and Gaines in Chicago, former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, was finally caught on record discussing his expectations for Phil Jackson, the Executive, as he works under James Dolan, the Boorish Owner. From ESPN : "Phil definitely has the intellect to be a very good general manager, but it's going to depend on what Dolan lets him do," Krause said. "Phil has to scout, too, and I don't know if he can physically do that at his age . When I was the Bulls GM I did more scouting than the scouts did. I didn't have any scouts when I was hired. Phil's also going to have to work it in the draft, and he's going to need some luck there." […] "Phil is one of the best brain-pickers I've ever been around. He picked Tex Winter's brain until Tex was blue in the face; they used to sit around for hours and hours talking about the triangle. Michael wasn't really for the triangle, but Phil convinced him. Michael finally got the idea, 'Holy crap, I can score easier in the triangle than out of it.' Without the triangle, Michael might've been a worn-out 30-year-old who took a ton of shots every game." Jerry joined the rest of the chorus in pointing out that “nobody knows” if Phil can turn this team into champions. Even the best general managers can become stuck in the way of bad timing and bad luck – Krause (who decimated his Bulls to clear cap space in the hopes of sending massive contracts at free agents, only to be cut off by the NBA’s new salary limits and “maximum contracts”) knows this above all. It’s precisely those salary limitations that could help Jackson in his efforts. It’s true that he was able to outbid other teams for Carmelo Anthony’s services last season, the benefit of being able to bid on your own free agents, but because competing teams can offer only a set amount in bidding for another team’s free agent, the lure of New York would seem to be a tipping point with all financial things being equal. That’s the hope, at least. The continuing hope for scads of New York Knick general managers, dating back lo these many years. Still, Chicago forward Pau Gasol took less money to become a Bull last summer, and he thinks it is “ possible ” his brother Marc could do the same this summer in glomming onto all of New York’s available cap space. From Zach Braziller at the New York Post : “We’ll see what happens next year, what he decides. Hopefully he’ll have a strong year and all the options in the world, because he’s one of the top centers, interior players in the league, so any team would be fortunate to have him,” the 34-year-old Spaniard said of his younger brother, before the Bulls demolished the Knicks, 104-80, Wednesday night at the Garden. “It’s a personal decision. I talked to my brother enough about Phil that he knows what he brings to the table. “I don’t know how much he’s involved in the team, really. He’s in an upstairs position, management position. He’s not on the court every day, so it’s something that [his brother will] consider when he gets to that point.” The player option for J.R. Smith (he may opt-out in order to take on a much larger contract, and Jackson may let him) and impending restricted free agency for Iman Shumpert (who struggled on both ends on Wednesday) will have to be dealt with, but the Knicks will have Gasol-sized cap space this summer. And Marc Gasol is Jackson’s picture perfect center for the triangle offense, to say nothing of his defensive gifts. That triangle did not look all that great in Game 1, but that’s usually how these things work. The spacing was good, but the ball stuck to players’ hands as they seemed uneasy about initiating movement and letting loose of their instincts. It’s a work in progress, no matter the talent involved. “Not ready for showtime” is the perfect malapropism for a man in Phil Jackson that spent the 1970s in New York City, and the last 15 years near the waves of Malibu. On Wednesday, these Knicks weren’t even ready for basic cable, but that’s just how it’s going to have to be for a little while. They’ll play LeBron on Thursday. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
The Chicago Bulls welcomed former NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose back from injury Wednesday with a convincing 104-80 win over the New York Knicks. The return of Rose and the addition of Spanish veteran Pau Gasol have branded the Bulls as Eastern Conference contenders in 2014-15, and they looked the part at Madison Square Garden. "I wouldn't say my rust is knocked off, but it's getting there," said Rose, who missed the final 71 games of last season with a torn meniscus after missing all of the previous campaign recovering from a torn knee ligament. Rose -- the 2011 NBA MVP -- scored 13 points with five assists in his long awaited regular-season return and off-season acquisition Gasol putting up 21 points with 11 rebounds.
Derrick Rose had a quiet season debut on Wednesday, scoring 13 points with three rebounds, five assists, two steals and three turnovers in an easy win vs. New York.
The Scoop:Rose averaged 28.5 points in Chicago's final two preseason games and his minutes should spike for Thursday's matchup with the Cavaliers. He was calm and collected after the game, saying, "It's still going to take some time ... I might have some bad games here and there. But that's not going to stop me from trying to be aggressive." Fantasy owners can't ask for more than a healthy Rose adopting an aggressive mindset, and his season debut should be considered an unqualified success.
Derrick Rose spent way too much time sitting and watching the last two seasons. ''It was real fun being on the bench,'' he said, ''being able to laugh, talk basketball to your teammates whenever they come back to the sideline.'' Not to mention check out a team he says can be ''scary.'' Pau Gasol had 21 points and 11 rebounds in his Chicago debut, Rose scored 13 points and the Bulls spoiled Derek Fisher's first game as an NBA coach by beating the New York Knicks 104-80 on Wednesday night. Reserve Taj Gibson finished with 22 points to lead the Bulls, who with a wealth of frontcourt depth didn't even need a big night from Rose.
Pau Gasol had 21 points and 11 rebounds in his Chicago debut, Derrick Rose scored 13 points after missing most of the last two seasons, and the Bulls spoiled Derek Fisher's first game as an NBA coach by beating the New York Knicks 104-80 on Wednesday night. Reserve Taj Gibson finished with 22 points to lead the Bulls, who with a wealth of frontcourt depth didn't even need a big night from Rose. The former MVP took only seven shots and had five assists in 21 minutes in a game Chicago led by as much as 35. Carmelo Anthony had 14 points for the Knicks, who won't have it any easier in the second half of their season-opening, back-to-back.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jose Calderon was scratched from the New York Knicks' lineup because of a strained right calf, leaving Shane Larkin as the starter at point guard against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.
Nobody really expected the Brooklyn Nets to contend for a championship last season, but the team’s goofball mix of aging veterans, All-Star-level players in prime and the addition of a wild card in rookie head coach Jason Kidd at least added some intrigue to things. With the right matchups and a little luck, the Nets could have possibly upended a top-tier team like Miami, Indiana, or Chicago (thought of as top-tier, prior to Derrick Rose’s season-ending injury) in the second round and made things interesting in the East. Instead, the squad worked its way through a wildly inconsistent season, with Kidd nearly fired midway through, Brook Lopez breaking his foot yet again, and Deron Williams limping his way through another diminished year. D-Will only missed 18 games during the season while dealing with ankle woes, but he spent training camp in a walking boot, and contributed his worst box score numbers since his rookie season in 2005-06. It wasn’t pretty, and with Kidd gone to Milwaukee and swingman Paul Pierce off to Washington, few are expecting Brooklyn to make any such noise in the East this year. Provided they even make the playoffs. Expectations for Williams are similarly tempered, and he acknowledged as much in talking with Lenn Robbins at the team’s official website recently : "Everybody's pretty much written me off. People say I'm never gonna be like I once was. I'm on the downhill. And so what pressure do I have?" What ESPN New York’s Mike Mazzeo also found is that Williams’ Nets teammates and Deron himself seem to be a little on edge, in a good way, as they approach a hoped-for bounce-back season: "I'm just playing, man," Williams said Tuesday. "I can actually play. I can actually run, cut, jump, so it's different." Nets power forward Kevin Garnett said he feels like Williams has been playing with "a little edge" to his game. "He has the looks of a man who is out to prove something," Garnett said. Williams is referring to his lack of a training camp and exhibition season prior to his team’s 2013-14 run . Deron’s statistical contributions to the Nets in the years following the deal that sent him to the then-New Jersey Nets in 2011 weren’t actually that far off from his work in Utah, it’s just that outsized expectations may have gotten in the way. Williams was never comparable to Chris Paul, despite the direct line that many (mostly) televised pundits and scribes tried to pass off years ago, and Williams’ five-year and nearly $100 million contract agreement with Brooklyn in 2012 helped ramp things up. Clearly hobbled, Williams did take a step back last year – again, posting his dreariest numbers since a rookie year that saw him out of NBA shape. After finally submitting to ankle surgery last May, perhaps the 30-year old can turn the clock back in a way. Perhaps he can make the final three years and over $63 million owed on his seem less … actually, no. That deal is always going to be onerous. Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King at their absolute peak. The Nets aren’t doing anything this season, but if Williams could turn in a borderline All-Star contribution, the team could stick in the Eastern playoff bracket. Then again : Nets center Brook Lopez will miss Wednesday’s season opener against the Celtics as he continues to recover from a right midfoot sprain he suffered two weeks ago in China. Lopez was listed him as doubtful to play when the team left for Boston Tuesday, but coach Lionel Hollins confirmed the news after the team’s morning shootaround Wednesday. “He’s not playing tonight,” Hollins said. “He still is having some pain when he goes hard.” Brook Lopez is owed over $32.5 million over the next two seasons. Nets! - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
With the Central Division assured of being one of the most competitive in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls have to be thrilled that Derrick Rose is finally healthy again. Over in the Atlantic, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks are hoping a full season under team president Phil Jackson can help them return to the playoffs. The Bulls and Knicks kick off seasons of heightened expectations when they meet at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. Without their star player for most of the season, the Bulls (48-34) still tied for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference and made the playoffs before a first-round loss to Washington.
The Scoop:He played 32 minutes per game in the preseason finale, which is fairly close to his 31.1 minutes per game in his 10 games from 2013-14. Rose ended his preseason on a high note, making 30-of-53 from the field (56.6 percent) in his final three games. He epitomizes a risk/reward fantasy pick.
Oct 28 12:00 ET
News (various sources)
Cavaliers-Bulls Preview (The Associated Press) (1 Day Ago | courtesy: The Associated Press) After struggling in his highly anticipated homecoming, LeBron James will face the team that was the best at containing him last season. More...