John Wall had grown so accustom to the scene: a lackluster start to the season and segments of the Wizards' locker room slowly griping. This team meeting, teammates had settled upon the chair of the franchise’s max player. Read More. Written by Shams Charania on Mar 11, 2014
The Chicago Bulls' offense has seemingly found it easier to score in the fourth quarter of games with the ball running through Joakim Noah at the top of the key instead of Derrick Rose in isolations.
Noah has become one of the NBA's best passing big men and he's also improved his play in the pick-and-roll.
“The thing about Jo is he can beat you a lot of different ways," said Tom Thibodeau. "Sometimes it’s the defense and rebounding. Sometimes it’s the passing. Sometimes it’s his scoring. His screening has gotten significantly better. His rolling has gotten significantly better. He’s significantly better at making quicker decisions. And that’s how we want him to play."
The Bulls still rank 27th in offensive efficiency at 101.7 points per 100 possessions, but they have had 106.0 points or more per 100 possessions in eight of their past 11 games.
Jimmy Butler entered Monday having averaged 15.3 points on 52.5 percent shooting, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks over his previous six games, adding efficient offense to his already strong presence on defense for the Chicago Bulls.
"His demeanor is terrific," Tom Thibodeau said. "There are plays in which he defends as well as you can defend and they make (a shot). He comes right back and does it over and over again. When you can make a scorer work for his points, that's all you can ask.
"And then to carry over what he does offensively, to run the floor, move without the ball, get into pick-and-roll, to post, we're asking a lot. And he's playing at a very high level."
Carmelo Anthony will be a free agent this offseason and was asked on Thursday how the New York Knicks' disappointing 13-14 season will factor into his decision.
"A lot of things are going to be thought about when that time comes," said Anthony. "Off the court, on the court, just a lot of things going to have to be put all on the table."
Anthony's preference appears to be to stay in New York, a city he and his family enjoy living in. The Knicks also can pay Anthony significantly more money than any other team.
Anthony could potentially sign for less money while joining a team that has a better chance to compete for a title. The Knicks are hoping to re-sign Anthony with the idea that they will be able to improve the roster with cap space in 2015. Anthony will be 32 and in his 15 season to begin the 15-16 season.
Anthony, however, did say that whether or not the Knicks make the playoffs won't specifically impact the decision.