Morning shootaround — April 9

VIDEO: Highlights from games played April 8


Mistakes spoil Rose’s return to Bulls’ lineup | Report: Copeland in ICU | Cuban bemoans state of college hoops | Noel suffers ankle injury

No. 1: Mistakes mar Bulls in Rose’s return to lineup Derrick Rose returned to the Chicago Bulls’ lineup last night after a 20-game absence and overall, he looked rusty. Still, just getting him out on the court was a net positive for the Bulls (as our Fran Blinebury noted last night). What wasn’t a positive for Chicago was how sloppy the team played against a low-level team as the season winds down. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has more:

With minutes left in the Bulls’ 105-103 collapse to the Magic on Wednesday night, at a time he used to dominate, Derrick Rose rose from his seat on the bench and implored his teammates to communicate better on defense.

That Victor Oladipo followed shortly thereafter with a blow-by of Jimmy Butler for the game-winning layup over late-arriving help from Joakim Noah should be as troubling as another late-game fade to a sub-.500 team.

Simply put, the Bulls couldn’t follow Rose’s lead in his return from missing 20 games to arthroscopic right knee surgery, whether that be on the court in an active first-quarter stint or off it with his late words.

The loss not only spoiled Rose’s return, which featured nine points, four turnovers and two assists on 3-for-9 shooting in 19 minutes, 24 seconds, it dropped the Bulls into the East’s fourth seed with four games remaining. The Cavaliers also clinched the No. 2 seed and the Central Division title.

“We were scoring, matching them, but defensively, we weren’t getting there,” Rose said. “Communication or whatever, it just wasn’t there. Win the game on a layup so we just got to make sure we talk a little bit more and make sure that someone is over there.”

“I felt good,” Rose said. “I didn’t feel any discomfort at all, so that’s a good sign. I’m just happy to be playing.”

“It’s upsetting,” Pau Gasol said. “There’s a time when you have to be sharp. You can’t have these type of games. We’re trying to figure a lot of things out right now with guys coming back and different rotations and guys sharing minutes. That’s what happens when you have a deep team. But we have to figure it out quickly.

“Continuity has been tough, for sure. At times, we look like we’re a little bit all over the place. That’s why we had so many turnovers pretty much all season long.”

The Bulls dropped to 15-5 in games with their starters intact.

VIDEO: Derrick Rose reflects on his return to the Bulls’ lineup


No. 2: Report: Pacers’ Copeland in ICU after suffering punctured diaphragm — The story off the court yesterday was that of the attack Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland suffered as the result of an altercation at a New York City night club on Wednesday morning. The team said in a release yesterday that Copeland had suffered stab wounds to his left elbow and abdomen. Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star reports that Copeland suffered additional injuries and details more of what may have led to the scuffle:

UPDATE, 12:38 p.m.:

The Pacers say that Copeland is in stable condition following surgery yesterday on his abdomen and left elbow and Copeland issued the following statement, too:

“I want to thank all the fans, friends, teammates, coaches and the Pacers organization for their support and prayers during this time. I also want to apologize to everyone, particularly the NBA and the Pacers for my bad choice at being out at that time. I am doing as well as can be expected and I will work hard to make a full recovery.”

Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland suffered a puncture to his diaphragm and remained in an intensive care unit on Wednesday.

A source close to the situation told the Indianapolis Star that Copeland remained stabilized at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Copeland underwent surgery for injuries to his abdomen and left elbow during an early morning knife attack outside a trendy Chelsea nightclub.

According to a source, Copeland and his ex-fiancée, Katrine Saltara, were assaulted while waiting for their car outside of the 1OAK Club. The source denied earlier reports that Copeland and Saltara were arguing when the 22-year-old suspect interceded and a fight escalated into a knife attack.

“It wasn’t even close to an argument,” a source told The Star. “Chris did not initiate anything.”

In video obtained by TMZ, the altercation left Copeland bleeding on the pavement, while Saltara protected him and yelled: “We’re both stabbed…We are scared for our lives!” The driver alerted nearby law enforcement. Police arrested Shevoy Bleary-Murdock at the scene and recovered a switchblade used in the attack. Bleary-Murdock was charged with three counts of felony assault and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

During the attack, Saltara sustained a gash on her elbow that may require cosmetic surgery. The source said she was “in great spirits” and would not leave the hospital until checking on Copeland. Saltara was released from Bellevue about 7 p.m., the source said.

Paul George and Solomon Hill wore blue headbands, a trademark of Copeland’s, in honor of their teammate during the Pacers’ 102-86 win over the Knicks.

“That’s what tonight was for. Just thinking about Cope,” said George, who also revealed how he could not shake thoughts about his teammate’s well being. “The whole night. I sit next to Cope every game. He’s right next to me. For him not to be out there – I feel like all of our conversations are on the bench, so it was tough not seeing him and not having him right next to me. It’s just unfortunate, he’s the last guy I’d ever expect that to happen to.

Atlanta Hawks players Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha were detained for trying to prevent police from setting up a crime scene investigation. The Hawks play the Brooklyn Nets tonight in New York. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Hawks are looking into the incident.

Antic and Sefolosha were released without bail after a brief court appearance where they were charged with obstructing governmental authority and disorderly conduct. Their attorney, Alex Spiro, said they did not commit any crime.


No. 3: Cuban no fan of college hoops — The NCAA Tournament is over and, after a closely contested national championship game, Duke ousted Wisconsin. Don’t expect Mark Cuban to talk about the merits of that game or college basketball at large, though. The Dallas Mavericks owner told’s Tim McMahon the college game more often than not leaves top prospects unprepared for the NBA game:

The “horrible” state of college basketball is hurting the NBA, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declared.

Cuban said he doesn’t enjoy watching the college game, but his bigger concern is the physical, slow-down style that has become common in the NCAA results in prospects who are poorly prepared to make the jump to the NBA.

“If they want to keep kids in school and keep them from being pro players, they’re doing it the exact right way by having the 35-second shot clock and having the game look and officiated the way it is,” Cuban said Wednesday night. “Just because kids don’t know how to play a full game of basketball.

“You’ve got three kids passing on the perimeter. With 10 seconds on the shot clock, they try to make something happen and two other kids stand around. They don’t look for anything and then run back on defense, so there’s no transition game because two out of five or three out of five or in some cases four out of five kids aren’t involved in the play.

“It’s uglier than ugly, and it’s evidenced by the scoring going down. When the NBA went through that, we changed things.”

Cuban hopes that the NCAA’s rules and officiating style change to allow that style to succeed instead of rewarding teams who milk the clock and play boring basketball.


No. 4: Noel suffers ankle injury vs. Wizards — The Philadelphia 76ers have three games remaining in their season. Whether or not Kia Rookie of the Year contender Nerlens Noel suits up for those games may be in doubt. Noel suffered a sprained ankle last night in Philly’s home loss to the Washington Wizards and Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports the team is concerned about the injury’s severity:

Nerlens Noel suffered a right-ankle sprain Wednesday in the fourth quarter of a 119-90 loss to the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center.

Trying to block a shot, Noel landed on the foot of Wizards guard Will Bynum.

“I am concerned,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “If you saw the tape and saw him come down on Bynum’s foot, that is a real turned ankle, that is a real sprain.”

“You see him back there [in the training room] in a boot, and we jumped on the treatment,” Brown said of Noel. “My guess is that he is unlikely to play in Chicago.”

Noel, who had five points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes, was not available for comment.

At 18-61, the Sixers have the third-worst NBA record. They get three more cracks at trying to match last year’s 19-win total, not exactly the highest of bars but one to shoot for, nevertheless.

Whether Noel plays in any of the games remains to be seen. He missed all of last year while recovering from knee surgery, and there was a question this season about his durability.

Yet, Wednesday was his 75th game of the season, and his play improved as the season progressed.


VIDEO: Nerlens Noel suffers and ankle injury vs. Washington


SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants to build, not sell, the team and, also, wants center Brook Lopez back next season … Great piece from our friends over at on how Kawhi Leonard is powering the Spurs’ recent surge … New York Knicks owner James Dolan says he isn’t worried about the direction of the team … Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard says he wants to play 20 seasons in the NBA (this is his 11th season) … The Dallas Mavericks are hoping Chandler Parsons can suit up before the playoffs begin … The Phoenix Suns are smarting over narrowly missing the playoffs again … The Detroit Pistons have missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season, the longest such drought in the East

ICYMI(s) of the Night: Elfrid Payton is a great rookie play-maker and point guard. He’s also not afraid to get up and cram one on someone’s head … 

VIDEO: Elfrid Payton rises up for the and-one follow-up slam

… and, breathe easy, Pacers fans. Paul George got nailed in the leg on a 3-pointer, but sank the shot and got up just fine …

VIDEO: Paul George hits the and-one 3-pointer vs. the Knicks



  1. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Lebron is just sick.

  2. harriethehawk says:

    If Phoenix and Detroit are so upset about not making playoffs, maybe they ought to think out the box and get creative. Hey, why not win more games?

  3. NBAARON says:

    Cuban has a point with the 35 second shot clock, bring it down to 28 seconds. Also, Noel was really the only other candidate for ROY other than Wiggins. Everybody else averaged under 10 PPG. Not to mention if you look at the other stats, Wiggins and Noel are winning. I explained it all on my blog, which you can access by clicking on my name. Please read my posts and if you have any suggestions on the blogs, or you want me to write a certain post, please leave a comment on the blog, Thank you

  4. Tip says:

    Clippers are gonna win the title.. BOOM!

  5. dustydreamnz says:

    1. Even though the Bulls are high up in the East, they’ve had plenty of shockers this season and it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re eliminated in the first round.
    Kawhi Leonard has been amazing lately.
    I can’t see Howard playing 20 years in this league with the injuries he’s had.

  6. Chris says:

    I don’t watch much college hoops, but I personally don’t why college players get a 35 second shot clock while NBA has a 24 second shot clock. For one, when players get to the next level of the NBA, it’s just another obstacle they have to get acclimated to of having a shorter time to run a play. Having players be use to playing a 24 second shot clock, as well as utlizing all 5 players on the floor will make kids better and bring better competition to the professional level.

  7. BullsAreTrash says:

    Bulls trash

  8. bogdan says:

    @r-dawg: reducing the clock shot will change the pace of the game but that also means that you risk the future careers of athletes who are unpaid, unsure of future income and without insurance.
    Yes, it might look better but do you really think that speeding things up and more banging won’t increase the risk of injuries? they happen anyway so why risk to hurt more of them?

    Cuban has it all wrong. The beneficiary of the student-athlete system is the student-athlete, not the nba.

  9. maiker feliz says:

    he could’ve got hurt the way he came back down

  10. R-Dawg says:

    Cuban is right, a 35 second shot clock is ridiculous. Get with the times NCAA.