I’m donating both my knees to the Chicago Bulls.
If you’d like to join me, head to KneesForTheKneedy dot com.
(That’s a joke, and I take no responsibility if you accidentally end up in a sketchy part of the internet and lose your knees).
- After missing a handful of games over the last month with a sore right knee, the Chicago Bulls announced that Javonte Green would undergo surgery. The rotation player is expected to have the procedure today and could reportedly return to the floor in a month. More on the initial announcement here or below:
- Considering that Green has only played in six of the team’s last 19 games, I think it’s fair to say the Bulls have gotten a head start at learning how to play without him. And, to their credit, they have picked up several impressive wins while Green was stuck on the bench in street clothes. Having said that, though, there is absolutely no question that this is a better team when Green is healthy and available off the bench. The endless hustle he provides is precisely what you want around a team with three offensive-minded All-Stars. Whether it be sneaking in for offensive rebounds, sprinting back in transition, or sacrificing his body for the loose ball, Green has proven to be a master of the dirty work. Finding someone who can bring that kind of extra effort isn’t going to be easy.
- Indeed, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Bulls have watched their defense plummet while Green has been in and out of the lineup. Dunks & Threes lists the versatile forward as having a +1.8 estimated defensive plus-minus, which would rank in the NBA’s 93rd percentile. Both his STL% and BLK% also happen to rank in the 90th percentile, while his 2.2 deflections per game sit second on the team behind Alex Caruso.
- Overall, the advanced analytics absolutely love what Green brings to the floor during his 16.0 minutes per game. Even if he can be a bit limited on the offensive end at times, he’s still an overall plus-contributor thanks to his high-end defensive contributions and ability to finish strong at the rim and cut hard in the halfcourt. I know that losing him for the next 15 or so games may not feel like the biggest deal on the surface, but we’ve also seen how little margin for error this team has. They have to find a way to supplement his relentless energy.
- Speaking of which … DALEN TERRY, ANYONE!? I know I’m not behind the scenes every day, but this does feel like the perfect time to try to sneak in more minutes for the rookie. In theory, he has the skill set to replicate a lot of what Green can do. While he may not be the athletic beast that Green is when getting downhill, he does have that instinct to keep his feet moving off the ball and hound opposing players on the defensive end. Not to mention, offensively, he’s a very talented ball-mover. His ability to distribute the rock should fit in nicely with a Bulls offense that is finally executing the free-flowing style Billy Donovan wants.
- Now, I write all of that knowing that Derrick Jones Jr. will likely be the one seeing his minutes increased. Not only has he already been the player Donovan has trusted with Green on the sideline, but he’s frankly played well. He remains a strong small-ball option thanks to his length and verticality. The success he continues to find as a roll man is genuinely intriguing, and there is no question he also plays with some of that same throw-caution-to-the-wind mentality that Green has. He may be out-matched at times in the physicality department, but the Bulls don’t really have many other options. At least Jones always puts up a fight.
- The Chicago Bulls did officially list DeMar DeRozan as “questionable” for tonight’s game against the Wizards, but my guess is they let him take the night off. The guy has played every single game this season, so he’s due for a little bit of rest. Not to mention, NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson shared that DeRozan went through Bulls shootaround in a pair of flip-flops. Let’s see if Zach LaVine can lead this team to victory!
- I didn’t know going nuclear at the free throw could be a thing … but here we are. The Miami Heat went a perfect 40-40 at the free throw last night, which set a new NBA record for the most makes from the charity stripe without a miss. Even crazier, Butler broke that record on a game-winning and-one.
- Is that bad?
- Unfortunately, I can’t say I’m surprised. What a bummer for Otto Porter. The guy was a legitimately good two-way talent before injuries derailed his career.
- Roquan got PAID.
- Another trade deadline to think about …
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