Written by Darin Ford | 01 June 2012

Here we are, day two, on our way to day twenty-nine. Yesterday we talked about John Jenkins. Today? Doron Lamb from Kentucky.

The 6'4" guard is one of the best shooters in the draft this year. Lamb is also one of the smoothest players I've seen in a long time. When I say smooth, I mean that he just looks so cool, calm and collected out there even in the most extreme moments. Smoothness can often be confused with laziness. Even with that said, Doron is far from lazy.

Not only is his mid-range game pristine, he can score at the basket too. Lamb's wingspan and terrific athletism also allow him to be a cagey defender that can cause a lot of turnovers by deflections, interceptions and steals from the ball-handler.

I had the privilege of watching him in person at The Final Four. I personally enjoyed watching him play the most -- yea, even more than Anthony Davis. Doron always seem to be in-control of his emotions mentally. His toughness shows in late game situations all the time as he's been one of Kentucky's go-to guys for the last two years.

To wrap-up talking about his college days, Lamb is a winner. In just two years at UK, Lamb went to not only two Final Fours, but he won a championship in New Orleans this year with Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones and Darius Miller by his side -- all of whom will be most likely drafted on June 28 (Miller is the only projected second-round pick right now).

Now to some Bulls talk.

How would he fit in? Is he a first-round talent? Can he play the two-guard position in the NBA?

All of those questions above are stumpers. Answers to those questions? Well, yes, yes respectively.

I think that Doron can me a Randy Foye type of player. Not an All-Star, but could start for about 15% of the teams in the league. And at No. 29 in the first round, that's a steal.

Doron wouldn't be the answer at the two this season, but would be a great fourth guard in the rotation. He could easily back-up an aging Richard Hamilton and a -- no offence -- offense-less Ronnie Brewer. Doron could be the second point guard in the rotation behind C.J. Watson if the Bulls decide to not re-sign John Lucas III and Derrick Rose ends up being out all year. There have obviously been rumblings about the Bulls upgrading at both the point and shooting guard spots. Only time will tell on that one.

When comparing today's topic, Doron Lamb, with yesterday's, John Jenkins, I don't seem much of a difference in impact for the Bulls. I think that both would be great fits. Lamb is younger and longer, whereas Jenkins is probably the better ball-handler and give the Bulls more backbone if the Bulls lose Rose all year.

Check back tomorrow for the third installment in the 29DTP29 feature only here on Horns to the Hardwood!  no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 31 May 2012

Welcome to Horns to the Hardwood again as we embark on some comprehensive draft coverage for the Chicago Bulls.  Someone from our staff or myself will breakdown the Chicago Bulls and the 29 best prospects and case scenarios for their first round pick (which is No. 29) to be used in this years draft.

Yesterday I previewed the idea of this new feature -- 29DTP29 -- at the same time of analyzing ESPN's Chad Ford's mock draft that he released after the lottery results were out. In that article I pointed out how he thinks that John Jenkins from Vanderbilt will be the Bulls' selection so far.

So, on the first 29DTP29 column, I'm talking -- or reiterating -- the idea of John Jenkins.

Since I already talked about the situation in depth I'm just going to link you to the article here. Tomorrow, I'll really dig deep in another idea of for a draft resolution. Make sure you keep your eyes out for it as it will be a nice feature for the site. Thanks, come back! no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 30 May 2012

A NBA Draft guru named Chad Ford from ESPN published his most recent NBA mock draft tonight after the New Orleans Hornets came away with the No. 1Jenkins -- Photo from Zimbio.com pick in this year's lottery.

Obviously, our beloved Chicago Bulls are slotted with the 29th pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft which is 30 days from now to the date. (The draft is on June 28th.)

In that mock draft -- which is actually the fifth he's drawn up this off-season -- Chad was able to really dig-deep with the selections and think about the best fit for each team as the lottery much like the next sixteens picks in the first round were set in stone.

Ford's column was only visible to ESPN Insiders, fortunately, I have an account so was able to see what he was saying first hand.

At No. 29 Ford said that former Vanderbilt 6'4" sharpshooting guard, John Jenkins, was the most probable selection for the Bulls that deep in the draft. I agree, given he's there, and they're are some other names that aren't there.

Jenkins does a have a stroke, a nice one. He can defend very well also. Jenkins is a great combo-guard who will fit very well behind Derrick Rose in the coming years -- given GM Gar Forman gives his name to Commissioner David Stern. Jenkins is far from anything like Ray Allen or Eric Gordon for example but I think he can prove to be a very solid pro due to his strength, skill and shooting ability. Another highlight of Jenkins' resume is the fact that he comes from a winning culture at Vanderbilt -- one of the only two teams to knock off eventual NCAA Champion Kentucky Wildcats this past season -- under head coach Kevin Stallings.

Ford wrote: "The Bulls need a shooter and Jenkins has one of the best strokes in the draft. His super-quick release and ability to finish at the basket make him an interesting prospect here." (Sounds like a guy that's watched the Bulls a time or two this past year, hmm?)

Following this article, Horns to the Hardwood will start a new feature: "29 Days Till Pick 29." This feature will be one of our writers breaking down the best fits, players, case scenarios, et al for the Bulls on draft day as they are indeed seated with the 29th pick in the first round of this years draft.
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Written by Darin Ford | 30 May 2012

Hey Bulls fans! Want a Richard "Rip" Hamilton autograph signed in person? Well here's your chance:

Rip will be signing autographs in person at Macy's State Street tomorrow (May 31st) from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. CST. All you have to do is to purchase something in the Macy's men's department. ... But, you must as quick as you can because Rip is only able to sign for the first 250 fans that show up. (Note to remember: you MUST purchase something -- anything -- in the MEN'S DEPARTMENT at the Macy's on State Street.)

Give us a shout and send us your thoughts and let us know how much you love Rip!

Now, to celebrate Rip's decision, let's take a look at a highlight reel of his first game with the Bulls in the video below.

Special thanks to Liz Kores of Kores.org for handing us this information, thanks Liz! no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 29 May 2012

I'm going to take you back, back in time. To a place around Christmas time, in-face Christmas Day to be exact.

Yes, December 25, 2011. Not only did everyone rush down their steps to stalk what was hiding under the Christmas tree, but every NBA fan had a little treat to savor throughout the whole day. That treat? Opening Day for the 2011-2012 NBA Season.

I remember it very well. I was watching games all day. Knicks-Celtics, Heat-Mavs, OKC-Orlando, Clips-Warriors and of course Bulls-Lakers. I remember the Bulls-Lakers match-up by far the most vividly, without a doubt. It was by far not only the best game of the day -- with NY vs BOS a close second -- but, it was the third of five games so it was being played right in the middle of the day.

As I was vegging out on the couch working on my website and it's new design at the time, I caught the most peculiar thing just as the first quarter came to a close and the buzzer went off on the sidelines near the Bulls' huddle. Check it out: Originally this video was published on SportsRelease.net (the website I mentioned earlier) but didn't really serve a purpose but humor. Now, here on HttH, it's both meaningful and humorous.

Hopefully we'll be able to see Brian Scalabrine pull plenty of other funny acts like the one above, and if he does, we'll note it.  no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 26 May 2012

BoozerAccording to Doug Thonus of ChicagoNow's Chicago Bulls Confidentail blog, there could be some silver-linings in amnestying forward Carlos Boozer this year, opposed to next year.

Thonus runs a highly touted blog on ChicagoNow that continuously gets large numbers of hits and comments per article. In this particular piece, Thonus breaks down the positives -- with some very minute negatives -- on the Bulls' possible off-season move of removing Boozer off the roster and his contract off the payroll.

So, the question is: Will the Bulls use the amnesty clause on Booz?

According to my sources, it's unlikely. However, from what's been tossed around the internet for the past couple months spells Y-E-S.

Carlos Boozer has 15 million dollars even coming his way next year -- with 15.3 and 16.8 million coming the following two years respectively. Throughout the year, many Bulls fans have said they want Boozer out via trade or amnesty. Behind Boozer in the depth chart is a long and athletic younger 6'9" forward named Taj Gibson that has made great strides ever since throwing on a Bulls uni. 

Does it make since to amnesty Boozer? In my eyes, yes. But I don't think it's a good move for the Bulls. With D-Rose out for possibly the entire 2012-2013 he may breakout as the team's new go-to-guy.

We'll cover the situation and keep pumping out news to you.

(We're still in the process of hiring our terrific staff and will have one of our correspondents cover the stories that transpire.)
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Written by Darin Ford | 24 May 2012

Luol Deng was voted the NBA's Second All-Defensive Team today.

In fitting fashion, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose all received votes to their respective position. Noah finished third in center voting by 22 points. Boozer ended up getting one second place vote. Meanwhile, D-Rose -- who was often mentioned by Coach Thibodeau regarding his improvement on D -- was another Chicago recipient of a second place vote for his position. (Pretty impressive due to the fact that he missed 27 games this year.)

However, let's just work on focusing on Luol. In order to celebrate Deng's acclomplishments, I thought it'd be nice to review his career with some footage.

Check out below:

(Video iFrame taken out for unknown reason) Click here for link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kkAYFQbAWE

There you go, congrats to Luol for his recognition as one of the league's top defenders.

(Like the concept of video in our posts? Get used to it! We'll have a lot of it coming soon!)

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Written by Darin Ford | 21 May 2012

What is Party Poker?

Well by my definition it is a social or online gathering place for people to site down, have some fun, compete and gamble with real or computerized cards and chips. (It's also something I can't legally play for another 4 years and 7 days, I'm soon-to-be 17-years-old.)

In Poker, you usually are faced with the challenge of going all-in or folding. It's a proverbial point of a card-players strategy. Everyone knows the analogy I'm hinting to. And I certainly hope that the Bulls Brass -- front office and management -- know when they need to put the analogy to work and go all-in this summer with the teams questionable roster.

A few days ago I outlined and talked about Derrick Rose's current injury situation and that he very well be out for the entire 2012-2013 NBA Season. With that said, it's time for the Bulls to chase after another All-Star to superstar caliber talent that isn't a mirror image of Carlos Boozer (sorry Booz, had to go there.)

All-in baby all-in.

In this situation, The Bulls have been dealt a bad hand of cards (D-Rose's torn ACL). Let's take a 2 and 7 for example, which is statistically the worst hand in poker. As the betters around the table place their own bets, they all have one thing in mind: the pot of money placed in the middle of the table for all eyes to see. Think each individual better as a separate NBA team, they all want the pot of money, which is success in nailing a top draft pick, free agent or trade in this case.

Since the Bulls have a poor hand and low-money pile -- which is their available cap space -- it makes sense for them to fold this atrocious hand and build for the future in small baby steps. (Still following Bulls fans and Poker lovers?)

Whelp, it's the Bulls turn to bet now. However, they're faced with a choice. With their bad hand the only way to stay alive in the hand if they bet is to go all-in. As Gar Forman and Tom Thibodeau sit and look at each other, they decide what's best and right for the Bulls. That thing? Go all-in.

...... (I'll let you fill in what happens.)

To me the Bulls must take their chances this summer and get into the trade and free agency market to nail a prime-time player that will help fill the void of Derrick's absence next year if necessary and only help more when he returns.

Some possible thoughts:
  • Trade market guys: Dwight Howard (not likely), Carmelo Anthony (not likely), Pau Gasol (somewhat a decent fit and likely), Tyson Chandler (good fit), Amar'e Stoudemire (somewhat likely and an okay fit)
  • Free agency guys: Steve Nash (eh?), Jeremy Lin (bang!!!), Eric Gordon (the ideal candidate if you ask me but he's a RFA), Kevin Garnett (yea, he's old{er} but still has some game left in his body), Ray Allen (Kevin Garnett's blurb reiterated)
  • Move up n' draft em': Brad Beal, Thomas Robinson, Terrance Jones, Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (ALL DRAFT SITUATIONS UNLIKELY, but thoughts nonetheless)
In conclusion, the Bulls MUST go all-in this summer someway or somehow to stay in championship contention without D-Rose and his one knee. If they don't keep up with a big splash in the free agency, trade, or draft market, teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers are anxiously awaiting their opportunity in the East with a deteriorating Orlando Magic, a Knicks team that just can't seem to figure it out and an aging Boston who may be on their last lap.

It's a big hand of poker, gotta' know when to go all-in or hold and fold. The Bulls know now -- hopefully. 
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Written by Darin Ford | 20 May 2012

Scalabrine during his time with the CelticsBrian Scalabrine, also known as "The White Mamba," has reportedly stated according to The Boston Herald that he wants to play as  long as he can in the NBA, then get into coaching.

“I’ll play in the NBA as long as I can,” said Scalabrine, who’s working the Celts playoffs for CSN now that the Bulls have been eliminated. “I’ll get cut one day. That’s just the only way I can really go. To just retire would be like quitting to me. They’ll have to kick me out.”

“What I've realized as I've got older is that coaches have a lot of control over what goes on, but it’s hard,” he said. “In the NBA, sometimes you get dealt a bad hand or you've got a team that turns on you.

“That didn't seem like a life that I wanted to live or a road that I wanted to go down. But with talking to our coaches (with the Bulls) and even with Doc (Rivers), it’s more about the relationships you build. Doc’s relationship with Kevin (Garnett) and (Rajon) Rondo and even me, who never really played much — those are bonds. I still have a bond with Doc. I think that’s the thing that’s kind of pulling me back toward (NBA coaching). It’s that camaraderie that you get with a team in basketball.”

Funny how Scal is an analyst covering the Celtics while still being on contract with the Bulls.

Brian's contract ends soon with our beloved Bulls and will be on the free agent market this summer. Scalabrine only saw 4.4 minutes of action in 28 games this season while averaging just 1.1 points. Remember this is the same Brian Scalabrine that was a pivotal part of the Celtics' playoff run to the second round in 2009 without Kevin Garnett.

I definitely see The White Mamba being a coach in the NBA someday and think it'd be great for him. However, I can't help but imagining him alongside guys like Magic Johnson, Jon Barry, Chris Broussard and Michael Wilbon on NBA Countdown. Or even tuning into the NBA on TNT with Shaq, Charles, Kenny "The Jet" Smith and Ernie Johnson to see Scal featured as well.

Only time will tell.

Scalabrine is an enigma. He seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place in the Bulls' rotation. Brian is a great mentor, culture guy and fan -- as well as league -- favorite. So, with all of that said, don't be surprised to see Chicago ink him to another deal.

Brian concluded his word to The Boston Herald with these:

“Whatever happens, I don’t think I’ll leave basketball, even if I just do color commentary on games. I don’t really think I’d be a very good studio guy, but I think I could do a really good job with color commentary.”

So color commentary or coaching after he hangs it up? Comment below with your thoughts.

My final diagnostic: Coach for a few years (maybe two) and then settle at TNT, ESPN or more than likely a Celtics specific TV announcer. (I don't know what it is, but he still seems attached at the hip with the boys from Beantown.)  no comments

Written by Darin Ford | 17 May 2012

Uh-oh ... not the type of headline any Bulls fan wants to see.

Dr. Brian Cole, Derrick Rose's knee surgeon, publicly stated that Derrick's recovery will finish up somewhere between the next eight to twelve months. Unfortunately that is as optimistic as he can be right now.

Cole later went onto say, "Derrick is doing great," at a press conference.

"The surgery went extremely well. Really no surprises. It was pretty routine.

"We're at this point very optimistic. ... We think of recovery as the long process that's in stages. But the short answer is the time frame we believe an athlete of this caliber generally requires is about eight to 12 months. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer.

"While he will be at hopefully a very high level at 12 months, it still may take slightly longer for him to be at his pre-injury level. That's not uncommon for athletes of this caliber."

At this point there is no clear-cut answer as to when D-Rose will return.

Gar Forman, the Bulls' GM, did mention that Derrick hasn't officially decided where he wants to rehab his injury when being asked the question on a radio show.

Yes, Chciago is home to Rose and his family. But, at this point, the microscope he will be under is bound to massive -- as if it isn't already. Derrick could greatly benefit from being away from all of the raging fans and media. Tahiti sounds nice, eh?

It's going to take a long time before we can be optimistic on an affirmative date for D-Rose's return to NBA basketball in a Bulls uni.

My best guess -- remember this is a guess and I am in no way shape or form an actual doctor or medically savvy in anyway -- is that he will make the return in a short and sweet 9 months and be back for the last bit of the 2012-2013 season. (We can only help that he can make the fastest and quickest recovery possible.)

Note to readers: Again, welcome back to HttH. I am still in transition mode and trying to get settled in here at Bloguin. This is currently the busiest time of the year for me at school -- finals start next week, but only last three days, then I am free as can be! After I have a day or two after that, HttH will start to really see a lot of changes such as fuller staff, much more writing and coverage. Please, if your interested in joining the team, contact us.  

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