In case you missed it, last night the NBA and NBPA announced that the eight teams left out of the Orlando restart can hold voluntary group workouts starting in September. Participants will have to stay in an in-market bubble, where the NBA will supply housing and daily testing.
The training camp of sorts will take place from September 14th to October 6th, which means we could have an unwritten deadline for when the Bulls will name their next head coach. Arturas Karnisovas said there is no timeline for when the Bulls will conclude their coaching search, but I have to imagine he realizes the overwhelming benefits to having the new head coach in the building come mid-September.
Though I hear there’s already a frontrunner with the support of ownership ….
New frontrunner for the Bulls head coach vacancy, John Balen, is said to have the full support of ownership. pic.twitter.com/Xb5QAIJn3k
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) August 19, 2020
• Thanks to the league’s messed-up calendar (2020-21 season not expected to start until December, at the earliest), the Bulls technically have more offseason time than normal for a new head coach to become acclimated. These additional group activities should provide a great opportunity for the young roster to get a jump start on whatever system the new coach wants to run. The more time they have to hammer this home and build a relationship with their new leader, (hopefully) the less hiccups we’ll see at the beginning of next season. Additionally, regardless of the coaching situation, this is just great news for the Bulls young talent. In no way is it helpful for guys like Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., and Coby White (let alone, like, any player) to be out of 5-on-5 work for so long.
• General Manager Marc Eversley said that he wanted to look specifically into Markkanen’s regression. Even though Markkanen has reportedly been in the Advocate Center for individual workouts, these group practices should give Eversley is first real evaluative look at The Finnisher. In my opinion, he could probably also just ask Markkanen “what did Boylen do?” And then make sure to do the exact opposite.
• The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry may be on a hotter streak than Damian Lillard. In another awesome piece that I strongly encourage you to read, Mayberry gathered some thoughts from opposing coaches and scouts in the league on the Bulls top coaching candidates. In short, they’re all good options.
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) August 19, 2020
• What’s the most important quality you guys want in a head coach? As basic as it is, I’m just looking for someone who the players are going to love. With young talent that may or may not have a future in Chicago, this organization needs someone at the helm of the team that draws instant respect from players. If anyone knows someone who can clone Steve Kerr or Nick Nurse, let me know. We’ll set something up.
• Go home NBA, you’re drunk.
This is the first time both No. 8 seeds have defeated the No. 1 seeds in Game 1 of their respective first-round playoff series since the 2002-03 season.
In 2003 playoffs, No. 8 Phoenix defeated No. 1 San Antonio and No. 8 Orlando defeated No. 1 Detroit in Game 1s.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) August 19, 2020
• Scottie Pippen spitting facts.
• Bulls Talk also spitting those facts:
Michael Jordan never lost a first-round game when his team was the 1 seed
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) August 19, 2020
• Damian Lillard is must-watch TV.
Damian Lillard is now 55 of 134 (41%) on 30-footers this season
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) August 19, 2020
• This, this, and more this …
Heat run so many cool 3 man actions like this. Would love to see the Bulls institute some version with Wendell as the facilitator and Zach/Lauri/Coby screening, cutting and shooting pic.twitter.com/Y233vIn2oo
— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) August 18, 2020
• For what it’s worth, I hope you don’t get it right.
Casey: "Our fans deserve it, to put together our team. We deserve it. So, we’re very aware of that and understand where it is. Not only in the draft but also the moves, the acquisitions and what we do in free agency is just as important to build this to where it’s sustainable."
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) August 19, 2020