Chicago Bulls: Minnesota Timberwolves

Rapid Reaction: Bulls 102, Wolves 87

April, 9, 2014
4/09/14
9:29
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 102-87 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night at Target Center.

How it happened: Joakim Noah racked up his fourth triple-double of the season -- and seventh of his career -- after recording 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. D.J. Augustin chipped in with 21 points and Kirk Hinrich added 16 as the Bulls won their sixth game in a row. Kevin Love paced the Timberwolves with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but they had no answer after the Bulls tightened up their defense in the second half.

What it means: Noah continues to set the tone for this team at both ends. He is the guy that every team focuses their game plan around -- and he still finds ways to dominate up and down the floor. He has become more patient within the context of the offense and waits for plays to develop so that his teammates can get open. Combine Noah's playmaking ability with his leadership skills and it's easy to understand why he is so beloved by his teammates and continues to get better. He enjoys the challenge that he is presented with on a night-to-night basis and seems to be making the most of it as his team gets ready for the postseason.

Hits: Jimmy Butler had a solid game on both ends of the floor. He scored 14 points, dished out seven assists, grabbed five rebounds and played tough defense in 46 minutes on the court.

Misses: Carlos Boozer had a terrible game. He was just 3-for-13 from the field and had five fouls in 24 minutes.

Stat of the night: Noah set a new franchise record for most assists in a season by a center with 397, according to Bulls radio statistician Jeff Mangurten. The previous record was held by Tom Boerwinkle.

What's next: The Bulls face off against the Detroit Pistons at home on Friday night.

Boozer's slump doesn't concern Thibs

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
11:47
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he wasn’t concerned about forward Carlos Boozer's lack of recent offense after another single-digit scoring performance in Saturday’s 87-80 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

(Read full post)

Bench provides big lift for Bulls

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
11:34
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- One of the main reasons the Chicago Bulls were able to overcome Derrick Rose's consistent absence last season was their bench play.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was able to turn to his bench, which called itself the “Bench Mob,” and those players would often hold the lead or extend it until the starters were ready to return. Thibodeau sometimes even opted to go with the bench over the starters at the end of games.

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Kirk Hinrich will have hip examined Sunday

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
11:26
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich suffered a right hip strain in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and did not return to the game.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau did not have an update on Hinrich’s status after the game.

“He’ll be re-examined (Sunday)” Thibodeau said.

Hinrich was 0-for-4 from the field with three assists and one foul in 10:47 before he departed. He has averaged 5.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and five assists through six games this season.

Hinrich also endured a strained groin in the preseason and missed the final preseason game.
Hinrich was acquired in the offseason to start at point guard until Derrick Rose returns from his ACL injury.

Hinrich has had injury troubles in the past. He had left shoulder surgery last season and missed the first 18 games with the Atlanta Hawks. During his first stint with the Bulls, he missed 31 games after having surgery on his right thumb during the 2008-09 season.

Bulls backup point guard Nate Robinson filled in for Hinrich on Saturday and had 18 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal and five turnovers in 31 minutes. Rookie point guard Marquis Teague also played 6:13 and had two points and one rebound.

Robinson said he would be prepared to start in Hinrich’s place if needed.

“Whatever coach needs me to do, I’m going to do it,” Robinson said. “I know Marquis will be ready, myself included. We’re just going to be playing our hearts out. Hope we hold it down until (Hinrich) gets back, as well as D-Rose.”

Kirk Hinrich suffers right hip strain

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
8:29
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich suffered a right hip strain in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and his return was questionable, according to a team spokesperson.

Hinrich was 0-for-4 from the field with three assists and one foul in 10:47 before he left the game. He is averaging 6.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists this season.

Hinrich also endured a strained groin in the preseason and missed the final preseason game.

Hinrich was acquired in the offseason to start at point guard until Derrick Rose returns from his ACL injury.

Hinrich has had injury troubles in the past. He had left shoulder surgery last season and missed the first 18 games with the Atlanta Hawks. During his first stint with the Bulls, he missed 31 games after having surgery on his right thumb during the 2008-09 season.

Bulls backup point guard Nate Robinson started the second half on Saturday.

Brandon Roy (knee) out for Timberwolves

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
7:02
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy will not play against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday and is considered day-to-day due to a sore right knee, according to Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman.

Roy left Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers at halftime due to the knee soreness. He was 3-of-5 shooting with six points, one rebound, one assist and one steal in 15 minutes before departing the game. He is averaging 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 24.4 minutes in five games this season.

Roy, a former all-star, sat out last season after deciding to retire from basketball in December of 2011 because of continuous troubles with both of his knees. He decided in July of 2012 to attempt a comeback with the Timberwolves.

Adelman said prior to Saturday’s game he was unsure if Roy would be sidelined for a long length of time.

“I have no idea,” Adelman said. “It’s just the soreness, and it’s best not to try tonight. Just take it day by day. He bumped it a few weeks ago. It’s the same knee. You know the guys that have had the knee problems he’s had or anybody who had knee problems, you’re going to have things where you step back a little bit. So I’m not going to be overly concerned right now.

“We knew it could be a situation where he wouldn’t be playing (at times this season). But we didn’t know when it was. We just had to go and try to play him and take it day by day and see how he’s responded. So far since the start of training camp he’s been pretty good. Hopefully, it’s just a minor setback. I certainly expected him not to go all the way through the whole time (this season).”

Chase Budinger will start for Roy on Saturday. Budinger had a team-high 18 points in the Timberwolves’ 96-94 win over the Pacers on Friday.

Luol Deng (thumb) ready to go

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
6:53
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng’s left thumb was deemed fine after jamming it earlier in the week and Deng will play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, according to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

Deng jammed his thumb during the fourth quarter of Thursday’s game with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Deng has averaged a team-best 18 points through the season’s first five games. He had 27 points in the loss to the Thunder and scored 23 points in the previous game against the Orlando Magic. He’s also averageing 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.6 steals.
Nicolas Batum wants to play in Minnesota, but if the Timberwolves can't work out a sign-and-trade for the promising swingman -- and as of now there is little movement on that front -- they appear to be ready to move on a trade for Chicago's Kyle Korver.

Read the rumors.

Rose: Durant is front-runner for MVP

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
1:23
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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Kevin Durant and  Derrick Rose Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty ImagesDerrick Rose likes the Thunder's Kevin Durant as MVP this season.
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls guard and reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose said Friday he believes Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant is the front-runner for this season's award.

“KD is playing great,” Rose said. “I’m hearing about what he’s doing, hearing about how he’s playing. The numbers speak for itself, how he’s working out this summer, and he’s playing great basketball.

“(Kevin Love) K-Love been putting in work, too, but I think KD.”

Durant averages 27.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks for the Western Conference-leading Thunder.

Rose is unlikely to repeat as MVP due to missed time this season. He has sat out 17 games because of a variety of injuries and could miss his eighth straight on Friday against the Detroit Pistons. He’s a game-time decision.

Rapid Reaction: Bulls 111, Wolves 100

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
9:32
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Here's a quick look at the Chicago Bulls' win over a scrappy Minnesota Timberwolves team on Tuesday.

How it happened: The Bulls almost gave up a 24-point lead, but Derrick Rose wouldn't let that happen in the end. He finished the game with 31 points, 11 assists and three rebounds. Luol Deng added 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Bulls won for the second night in a row. Ronnie Brewer continued his solid play of late, chipping in 17 points.

What it means: Tom Thibodeau is going to be livid at his team for allowing Minnesota back in the game, but ultimately he'll be happy with the way they finished it off. The Bulls could have completely fallen apart after giving up such a gigantic cushion, but Rose finally started driving to the rim again, and as usual, that opened up the floor for everybody else. Yet again though, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah were benched in the fourth quarter. It's obvious that Thibodeau trusts the combo of Omer Asik and Taj Gibson more on the floor. But that will surely be a topic of conversation for Bulls fans considering it's the third time already this season that Thibodeau has decided to make that move.

Stats of the night: The Bulls outscored the Timberwolves 40-24 in the paint.

What's next: The Bulls wrap up their back-to-back-to-back stretch on Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards at the United Center.

Bulls showing patience with Noah

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
8:31
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah did not have a shot attempt in Monday night's win over the Detroit Pistons, but Tom Thibodeau insists he's not concerned about his young center.

"The thing for him, to me, he's got to run the floor, rebound, play great defense," Thibodeau said before the game. "That's when he's at his best. When he's doing those things, his offense will come. He's a great runner of the floor, he's a great screener. He's a playmaker. So he can help us in a lot of different ways. He doesn't necessarily have to score. His scoring will come around, I'm confident in that. I just want him to think about his defense and his rebounding."

Does Thibodeau think the emotional Noah is starting to feel sorry for himself?

"He's fine," Thibodeau said. "It will come. He's already proven the type of rebounder he is. He's had some foul trouble to deal with and he'll be fine."

Thibs a fan of Love and Rubio: Like most critics around the NBA, Thibodeau is impressed by what he's seen from Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love.

"Great feel for the game. Great vision," he said of Rubio. "He keeps the ball moving for them. They put a lot of pressure on you. They've got great speed back there. Their bigs can shoot, they spread you out. But he's got a great feel for the game."

As for Love, Thibodeau sounds like a man who would love to coach the big man one day.

"Obviously, I thought he had a great year last year," Thibodeau said. "Each year in the league he's gotten better. You can see his confidence. He's an all-around player. He's getting to the line nine times a game. Obviously, he's a lot more comfortable with his three [point shot]. Now he's taking five threes a game, shooting 40 percent. He's got great post moves inside, the shot fake. His rebounding is just uncanny. Every game starts and it seems like in the first five minutes he already has six or seven rebounds. I think it's just his relentless pursuit of the ball. He's a multiple effort guy. He's a tough matchup."

Watson and Hamilton still out: Thibodeau said before the game that C.J. Watson (elbow) and Rip Hamilton (groin) were both improving, but neither played on Tuesday night.

While Hamilton remains day to day, Thibodeau reiterated that there is no timetable for Watson at the moment, although Watson has discussed possibly coming back early next week, if not sooner.

"I want to see him go through practice first," Thibodeau said. "He's doing a lot more. Once he can get through practice, then he'll be ready to go. But he's feeling a lot better."


Rapid Reaction: Bulls 108, Wolves 91

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
9:24
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 108-91 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night at Target Center.

How it happened: Playing without Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer had a big night, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Derrick Rose had a big night of his own, scoring 23 points and dishing out 10 assists. The Bulls controlled the game from the outset and played solid defensive against a terrible Minnesota team.

What it means: The Timberwolves are truly awful. The Bulls put away a bad team the way good teams are supposed to. They outplayed Minnesota in pretty much every way. What fans will most likely focus on more than that is the fact that Boozer had a huge night without Noah in the lineup. He looked a lot more comfortable on the floor without the starting center in the lineup. Tom Thibodeau has to be happy with the way Boozer played, but he's got to find a way for Boozer and Noah to get things going together before the playoffs begin.

Stat of the night: The Bulls had 31 assists to the Timberwolves' 12.

What's next: The Bulls have a day off before facing off against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. The last time they faced the Pistons at the Palace, they beat them in overtime the day after Christmas. The Bulls are now 2.5 games ahead of both the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Laimbeer on Rose: He has a lot to learn

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
2:24
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Bill Laimbeer wasn't much of a fan of the last Chicago Bull to win MVP, and he doesn't appear to enamored with the franchise's current contender for the award, Derrick Rose.

Read the entire story.

Wolves' Love plans to face Bulls

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
1:35
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love said Wednesday he'll be a game-time decision against the Chicago Bulls after missing the last three games with a strained left groin.

Read the entire story.

Rapid reaction: Bulls 113, Timberwolves 82

December, 11, 2010
12/11/10
9:36
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls cruised to an easy 113-82 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night at the United Center.

How it happened: The Bulls did exactly what they were supposed to do Saturday. After an emotionally-charged win over the Lakers on Friday night, they took control of the Timberwolves early and never looked back. Derrick Rose had another big night, scoring 21 points and dishing out 7 assists while Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng combined for points 36 points of their own. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has to be pleased that his team started off the contest with the energy that they've been lacking at certain times this season. They pushed the pace when needed and dominated on the boards.

What it means: The Bulls are starting to develop a winner's mentality. They knew that if they lost to Minnesota after beating the Lakers, all the momentum they had would fly out the window. Rose wouldn't allow that to happen. It's a credit to Thibodeau for keeping his team focused and pushing them to always improve. The Bulls played with the pace that the first year head coach always talks about and never took their foot off the gas against an inferior team.

Stat of the night: The Bulls out-rebounded the Timberwolves 53-36.

What's next: Rose and company get a much needed day off before heading back to the United Center to face the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. They'll be looking for their sixth win in a row.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
20.1 3.3 1.8 39.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.8
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.8
BlocksP. Gasol 2.1