How do bulls evaluate their list in the last days before the trading deadline?

CHICAGO – Perhaps the most exciting moment came from the Bulls’ 128-104 victory over the San Antonio Spurs before the game.

Instead of attracting the attention of the players, it was the coaches of the two teams.

Just three days before the trade deadline, Bulls coach Billy Donovan shed light on how Chicago assessed his roster. Moments later, relaxed Spurs manager Gregg Popovich playfully engaged the media before turning philosophical about the state of the game.

The product in the ballpark wasn’t too bad either. The Bulls extended their winning streak to three games and could get back to . 500 for the first time since November 7 with a win in Memphis on Tuesday night.

Here are snippets from my notebook from an eventful night against struggling Tottenham:

1. With everyone wondering what the Bulls will do before Thursday’s deadline, Donovan revealed some relevant insights into how basketball CEO Arturas Karnišovas will assess this whole thing.

2. “I didn’t have that conversation with Arturas where I don’t think he would look at it (and say), ‘Hey, that’s a bunch of games,’” Donovan said. “The improvement I think we’ve had is we’ve played better against (better) teams. Against those teams last year, I mean, we blew through a lot of them. Now some of them were close, but the majority of them we just weren’t in the game. I don’t think Arturas is going to look at, “Okay, we beat Milwaukee, we beat Philly, so it’s all right.” Obviously we have to play more consistently.”

3. Donovan continued, “I don’t think he’s going to shut down eight or 10 games and not look — like, I think Arturas, quite frankly, was looking at it from the All-Star break last year. Where I think we were, I don’t know, maybe we’re tied in the inning.” One or two. And then we look at the break from there…. So I think he’s going to look and rate our team after the All-Star break all the way through.”

4. My account has the Bulls at 34-42 since the All-Star break last season, which is better than I could have imagined without looking up. Given that reality, it’s hard to imagine Karnicovas committing to a third season of this core, especially with the continuing uncertainty surrounding injured regular starting point guard Lonzo Ball. The general belief is that the bulls will remain relatively calm at this week’s deadline. I find that hard to believe.

5. Popovich promptly followed Donovan before the game, and the annual comedy routine between Pope and his longtime friend and Bulls writer Sam Smith followed.

6. When Popovich got serious about basketball, he gave an obvious answer in response to the 3-point shot spread in today’s game. If you’ve heard Popovich about it, you know he’s not a big fan of where the game is going.

7. “I’ll give you my answer which is a bit sarcastic, but it’s honestly how I feel,” Popovich said. “I think we should have 4-point shooting and 5-pointers. So we can make it a complete circus. And then we won’t play basketball anymore. Let’s make it like a carnival for the fans, and they can all scream and shout when someone hits a five-pointer.”

8. Popovich continued, “It’s boring as it is. It’s very boring.”

9. will you change Popovich said, “No.” “With the rules as they are, they can’t be changed because analytically, it’s true. I can tell you how many games – we’re playing with some teams who are obviously more talented. But we’ll have more assists. We’ll shoot more free throws. Get more shots.” Points in the paint.Get more quick break points.And then we might have made seven 3s and they made 14.Game over.That’s the first thing you look at now when you look at the stat sheet.Because the other items are minimized because of the focus on the shot. 3 points on the game.

10. Perhaps the Bulls, after a 6-for-22 shooting night from downtown against Tottenham, will get the memo and finally address one of their most glaring needs.

11. Another one from Popovich on the subject because it was fun. He was asked if the NBA would ever increase the value of another statistic category, like blocks for example, to equal the added value of the 3-point shot. One idea that came up was to remove the 3-point corner line.

12. “I’m not in their meetings. I don’t think they care what I think,” Popovich said. “But I think that would be very cool. Because it’s the easiest thing to do. It will change the rotation. It will change the way people think about playing defense. What to give up and not give up. That would help a lot. Because it’s like this, the guy in the corner ends up opening an excessive number of times. And not because anyone necessarily made a mistake. It’s just that, in terms of rotation, you can’t get there. Especially if you are going to try to get someone out of the game. Somebody’s doing really well and you want to take them out, double team them or whatever, if you want to start a pick and roll game, you can’t do that. This is one of the reasons why everyone converts. Thus, if you have five men who can switch, your team is completely different. And you play from one to five red, and you are in front of everyone, leaving no one open. That’s why I said it’s boring.”

13. Alex Caruso was a game-time finalist but missed his second straight game with a sprained foot. “It has shown some important steps in a very positive direction,” said Donovan. “He got better after the game he was out. And he moved on. So he wasn’t nearly where he was when that happened.” Find Caruso to try Tuesday in Memphis.

14. Farther out in the woods is Bulls forward Javonte Green. He missed his 17th consecutive game due to a knee bruise and was sidelined in 25 of 31 games due to injuries. “He’s not running now,” Donovan said. “He can do static shooting, but they haven’t done anything dynamically with him, whether it’s lateral running or straight running or any of that stuff. But he continues to advance. Obviously, the upcoming All-Star break is going to be another important stretch for him, that week. But he’s getting closer and closer to doing more.”

15. Asked directly if Green was late, Donovan answered no. “From all I’ve heard, at least at this point in time, he’s on schedule,” said Donovan. “I haven’t heard of any relapses or anything like that.” However, Donovan added this: “It was a little while before he came back.”

16. Andre Drummond was the star of the show on Monday. Scored 21 points on 9-for-9 shooting with 15 rebounds, three steals, one block and one assists in 21 minutes off the bench.

17. “He just played inside his lane,” Donovan said. “He was a presence on the pick-and-roll. He was an presence at the edge of the barrier with a shot. And then he’d bounce back defensively. And then offensively, I think he kept it really simple. He was working hard to get to the basket. We found him on a few laps, and he got the attacking glass.” And when he does those things, it really helps our team and changes our team in so many ways.”

18. Drummond seems able to provide a similar effect every night. Maybe not to the extent he did on Monday. But there’s a happy medium between Monday and his moments of insanity with cataclysmic problems accelerating. On those nights, it becomes completely ineffective and therefore unplayable. But when he showed up as he did against the Spurs, the Bulls, with starter Nikola Vucevic (22 points, 12 rebounds, four assists), have a massive center punch that should theoretically allow them to nearly match against them. anyone. Drummond’s key is to maintain Monday’s success for longer periods.

19. “I think that makes it difficult for other teams because they have to adapt every time one of us is on the floor,” Drummond said. “So it makes it really difficult for them to defend. Because with Vooch, he can do both. He can pop and roll. So they have to prepare for that. And for myself, I’m able to open up our guards so they can come down their big ramps, or beat me up.” I’m in the pocket and I can either pass the ball or shoot it. So it makes it difficult for other teams to prepare for us.”

20. Next: In Memphis on Tuesday.

(Photo by Andre Drummond and Jacob Bultel: Paul Petit/Associated Press)


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