In a society where patience has gone out the window and only instant gratification matters, the poor play of the 2013 rookie class has many ready to write them off entirely. But while there isn’t an Anthony Davis in the bunch, this year’s draft had plenty of good young players who, for a variety of reasons, were simply not ready for the NBA. Read More. Written by Jonathan Tjarks on Apr 17, 2014
The San Antonio Spurs finished the 13-14 regular season with the best efficiency differential in the NBA with a mark of +8.1. The Spurs scored 110.5 points per 100 possession while allowing 102.4 points per 100 possessions.
The Los Angeles Clippers ranked second, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors.
The Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns round out the top-10.
The Chicago Bulls signed free agent Greg Smith to a contract for the remainder of the season and fully guaranteed for next season, a league source told RealGM.
For the Bulls, the signing represents a wise and proactive investment in Smith, a 6-foot-10 center capable of serving as a contributing reserve on a championship caliber team. Despite his season-ending knee injury, Smith was expected to be a valued player in free agency, and only became available when the Houston Rockets released him and he cleared waivers.
Smith, 23, has averaged 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 89 career games over three NBA seasons.
To create room on the roster, the Bulls released Tornike Shengelia.
Shengelia (6-9, 220), was acquired from Brooklyn in exchange for guard Marquis Teague on January 21. He appeared in nine games for the Bulls and averaged 0.4 ppg and 0.2 rpg in 1.9 mpg. In his NBA career, Shengelia has appeared in 45 games and averaged 1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg and 0.4 apg in 5.5 mpg, while shooting .451 from the field.
Carmelo Anthony has reportedly inquired a Chicago Bulls' player about what it is like to play for Tom Thibodeau, and the New York Knicks' star praised Thibodeau ahead of Sunday's matchup.
Anthony was asked how the Bulls are consistently competitive despite losing key players in Derrick Rose and Luol Deng.
“I have no clue. Thibs is a great coach, his system kind of reminds me of Gregg Popovich’s system," Anthony said.
“You put anybody in that system and it’s going to work. That’s what they’ve been doing. They’ve had guys sitting out all season long, guys that’s been in and out of the lineups and they seem to get it done.”
The Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be potential suitors for Anthony, who has said he hopes to remain with the Knicks.
Carlos Boozer reiterated that he has tuned out discussion of the Chicago Bulls likely using the amnesty clause on him in the offseason for salary relief.
"I'm not worried about that," Boozer said. "I'm just focused on what's in front of me. All that stuff will take care of itself in the summertime."
Boozer has played exactly 24 minutes -- the entire first and third quarter -- for nine straight games, a revolving role he called "challenging."
"I've just adjusted," Boozer said. "I'm doing whatever I can to help my team in the minutes I'm out there. I'm being a team player. It's all about winning. You make sacrifices for the betterment of the group. That's what we're all doing.
"Each night, there are different challenges depending on matchups and how often you touch the ball because that varies. But the intensity is always there. The passion is always there. Playing hard to win is always there. The numbers may vary, but the winning part is always there."
Joakim Noah won't play for France in the World Cup of Basketball this summer.
"It wouldn't be fair first of all, for my teammates, to even think about anything past today," Noah told ESPNChicago.com after Wednesday's shootaround. "When the French people ask me about [playing], it's hard to predict what's going to happen next year, or in two years. I live my life day to day, and I feel like the NBA season is, it's brutal. To play all year, I think it's something that is too much for me. So definitely not this year."
Noah sat out the 2012 Olympics due to plantar fasciitis.
Danie Leroux and Brian Schroeder discuss the surprising Bulls' season, Joakim Noah's place on the MVP ballot, the playoff race, the potentially intertwined futures of Noah and Tom Thibodeau, and other NBA topics.