Category Archives: Basketball

NBA pre-Season: Bulls beat Timberwolves, 114-105

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12oct3

Timberwolves Dieng makes a dunk as Bulls’ players looks on.

The Bulls returned to their free flowing game on Saturday with in an entertaining 114-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Winnipeg, Canada.

The Bulls led from the start with a 34-16 first quarter and were never really threatened in moving to 2-1 in the preseason. E’Twaun Moore off the bench led the Bulls with 18 points.

Doug McDermott continued his excellent preseason shooting with 16 points and four of seven threes. Overall, the Bulls were 16-36 on threes.

Kirk Hinrich added 13 points. The Bulls had 30 assists on 42 baskets and shot 49 percent overall. The Bulls return to the United Center Monday to play New Orleans.

The Bulls rested Joakim Noah after his hard fall Thursday against Denver, though his minor injury wasn’t serious. Derrick Rose, Mike Dunleavy and Taj Gibson remained out.

Pau Gasol got his first preseason start and opened with Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell, Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich.

Coach Fred Hoiberg made a point after the Denver loss about a lack of ball movement.

The Bulls responded immediately with less dribbling, both working the ball around the perimeter and driving, kicking out and then executing the extra pass. It produced a 34-16 first quarter lead highlighted by back to back threes from Mirotic.

Then Doug McDermott, leading the team in preseason scoring coming into the game, found his three-point range with four of four first half three pointers for 14 points in 10 minutes and a 65-55 Bulls halftime lead.

Though the Bulls led by 22 earlier in the second quarter. The Bulls were 11-19 on first half threes with 17 assists on 21 baskets.

Gasol sat the second half and Kirk Hinrich entered the three jamboree with a pair of early third quarter threes as the Bulls again surged ahead, this time by 17 before the Timberwolves got within 89-77 after three quarters.

HARDEN: I DESERVED MVP TITLE AND IS CAPABLE OF MORE

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14

It wasn’t long after the 2014-15 NBA season ended where he finished as runner-up for the MVP award and led the Houston Rockets to the Western Conference Finals, but James Harden is ready show everyone what he is capable of.

“You don’t think I can do more?” Harden asked, via Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. “Just wait. I’ll show you.”

The 26-year-old was nearly impossible to stop on offense last season, averaging 27.4 points, 7.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game. Despite the injuries Houston had to deal with, the team captured the No. 2 seed in the West and was just one series away from an NBA title.

That’s why—and no disrespect to LeBron James, Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant—the Rockets guard believes he is the best player in the NBA.

Part of the reason Harden may be able to take his game to an even higher level this coming season is the chip he has on his shoulder. As good as Curry was last season, the Arizona State product believes he should have won the MVP award.

He wasn’t shy when making his case, via Blinebury:

“I know I was the MVP. That’s 100 percent given all the things that happened last season.

Credit the Golden State Warriors for an unbelievable year. They had an unbelievable team, coaching staff, everything.

But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

Finishing runner-up to Curry in the MVP race last season could motivate Harden to be even better in 2015-16. It’s hard to imagine that, but the rest of the NBA should be on high alert just in case.