The Chicago Bulls have yet to win three straight games overall, but based on their recent history at Detroit, should have a good chance to record a season-high third consecutive road victory.
With 4 1/2 minutes to play in Wednesday night’s matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers — a game the Pacers had led by 18 points just seven minutes earlier, but that Portland had tightened up thanks to a 21-9 run — Pacers center Roy Hibbert fouled Blazers point guard while trying to hedge on a high screen-and-roll. When Lillard stepped to the line, cameras showed that he had suffered a pretty big cut on his right elbow, possibly when Hibbert poked at the ball with his left hand:
The Guidelines for Infection Control in the Official Rules of the National Basketball Association read, in part, as follows:
If a player suffers a laceration or a wound where bleeding occurs or if blood is visible on a player or his uniform, the officials shall suspend the game at the earliest appropriate time and allow a maximum of 30 seconds for treatment. After that time, the head coach shall be informed that he has the option to substitute for the player, call a regular timeout or a 20-second timeout.
The officials didn’t seem to notice, since play wasn’t stopped for Lillard to receive treatment on the cut until nearly three minutes later. Part of the reason why they didn’t notice sooner, though, can be credited to Hibbert, as captured by eagle-eyed YouTube user somekido17 :
Shrewd move pulling those massive shorts up high enough to cover up that blood stain, Roy. Not the most hygienic or fashion-forward, necessarily, but still: Smart. Plus, the quick look around you, the little “hope nobody saw that” face … priceless.
COMMENTARY | There is one adversary which has proven to be formidable against all professional athletes. It is the injury bug, particularly when attacking the knee. On April 28, this unbiased assailant caught Derrick Rose in its cross hairs and ended what many thought would be a promising NBA Playoff run for the Chicago Bulls. However, after surgery to repair his left anterior cruciate ligament just last May, recent reports state that the superstar point guard has already begun sprinting. With the possibility that Rose may return to practice in just a few weeks, there is reason for hope. …
Surviving injuries has been the overarching story of the 2012-13 Chicago Bulls‘ season, but the team may soon get a reprieve, with more news leaking by the day about Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton’s possible return dates.
Though nothing is concrete for either player, positive signs have come out that hope may finally spring in what otherwise has been a mediocre campaign. Nevertheless, it’s not just Rose and Hamilton-related news out there for the Bulls. With the bench and other players struggling to find footing, the media has been working hard to get to the root of the team’s problems this season.
For that reason, here is a look at all the latest news floating around the organization.
Derrick Rose “Just Weeks” Away From Practicing Again?
Though it’s far from a guarantee, there may be an extra Christmas present under the tree this year for Bulls fans. According to the Chicago Sun Times’ Joe Cowley, sources think that Derrick Rose could be just weeks away from returning to the floor with his teammates:
According to an NBA source, while ‘‘The Return’’ to the court for NBA games is still up in the air for Rose, the all-everything point guard could be just weeks away from practicing with the Bulls again after surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament last May.
Obviously, a return to practice doesn’t suddenly mean Rose is ahead of or behind schedule on his rehabilitation. It does, however, mean that a return should be coming at some point this season.
It’s been a popular trope among the hyperbolic community to say that the Bulls superstar should sit out the 2012-13 season and hope that the team tanks enough to get a high lottery pick. Spoiler alert: That’s not happening, folks.
No Concrete Timetable on Richard Hamilton’s Return
After the Bulls reported that Richard Hamilton had a torn plantar fascia in his foot on Sunday, speculation began running rampant about how long it would take the aging guard to return. The team already has massive deficiencies in the backcourt with Rose still out and both Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler best suited for bench roles.
Unfortunately, coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t have much in terms of answers. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune (subscription required), Thibodeau said it would mostly be up to Hamilton’s pain threshold as to when he returns:
He has some soreness, but he’ll be fine. He’s had a number of different injuries, so he understands what he has to go through to get back. It could be a week. It could be two weeks. It could be longer. Once he feels good enough to play, he’ll be back.
Plantar fascia injuries are notoriously tricky, so it’s tough to pinpoint when Hamilton will suit up again. That’s likely why the team has been linked to both Marko Jaric and Maurice Evans in the days since Hamilton’s injury.
With a roster spot available, don’t be shocked if the team brings one of those two guys in on a non-guaranteed contract.
Taj Gibon Feels the Pressure of New Contract
A recent recipient of a shiny new four-year, $39 million contract, the 2012-13 season hasn’t gone as planned for Taj Gibson. He’s averaging just 6.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and shooting 41.7 percent from the field, all of which are career lows.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Gibson admitted that the pressure of the new contract has gotten to him:
Of course I think about that. But then that’s too much … I can’t put too much pressure on myself. I have to just go out there and just do my job. There’s already added pressure wearing a Bulls jersey, but just thinking about all the other stuff that’s going to pull you down, you just have to go out there and just play and have fun.
The Bulls’ bench as a whole is struggling to come together as a cohesive unit, so it’s hard to blame Gibson alone. Nevertheless, with Omer Asik excelling in Houston, it’s not hard to wonder whether the team chose to keep the wrong big man.
Read more Chicago Bulls news on BleacherReport.com
Chicago’s roster consists of several players who possess the ability to bring the United Center to their feet.
Whether it’s a tip-in dunk, an alley-oop or a skillful post move, the Bulls know how to get it done.
Here are the team’s top 10 highlights of the young 2012-13 campaign.
Although still lacking a time frame, the star point guard could be “weeks away” from a return to the NBA hardwood (according to what an NBA source told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times). And the impact of his impending return will stretch well beyond Chicago’s city limits.
Rose is a gift to basketball fans around the globe. He plays the game with one goal in mind: putting his team in the best position to win. No matter the physical toll it takes on his body. Or the mental and emotional fatigue that comes with leading an NBA franchise.
Basketball means the world to Rose. It’s not an avenue to fame or fortunes for the former Memphis star. Those are simply the game’s recognition for his nightly contributions.
It’s rare to find a player with his combination of skill and athleticism. It’s nearly impossible to find a player who combines those talents with the desire to win at all costs.
All statistics used in this article are accurate as of 12/4/2012.
Luol Deng was second in scoring with 22 points. He also grabbed seven rebounds.
The Bulls were in control for a majority of the game, leading the Cavs by 16 after the first quarter. Cleveland was able to cut the lead down to six late in the third quarter, but the Bulls held them off and held a nine-point lead going into the final quarter.
Both teams struggled in the final period, shooting under 40 percent.
Luol Deng’s strong fourth quarter (11 points on 4-for-4 shooting) was enough to hold off any chance of a comeback by Cleveland.
This was another strong defensive performance by Chicago, who allowed 85 points on just 37 percent shooting. Joakim Noah (13 points, 15 rebounds) and Carlos Boozer (10 points, 12 rebounds) both contributed with double-doubles.
Kirk Hinrich also had an efficient game, shooting over 50 percent and tallying eight assists.
The offense was efficient as a whole, shooting 47 percent from the floor and were once again strong on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 45-41.
The Bulls’ 15 turnovers is probably the biggest criticism I have in this game.
There’s also the fourth-quarter struggles that the Bulls seem to have this season. Chicago shot 35 percent in the fourth quarter and were 0-for-5 from beyond the arc. They also had five turnovers in that period.
This was a big win for Chicago, as they have just one day of rest before starting another set of back-to-back games on Friday night with the Detroit Pistons, followed by the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
The Bulls’ seesaw season continues as they are once again above .500 with a 9-8 record.
Read more Chicago Bulls news on BleacherReport.com
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers looked as if they were still sleepwalking from their four-game road trip in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, but they woke up after halftime.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Marco Belinelli scored a season-high 23 points, Luol Deng added 22 and the Chicago Bulls took control early on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-85 on Wednesday night.
CLEVELAND — The Chicago Bulls haven’t lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in more than two calendar years.