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Pelicans going at own pace after hitting NBA lottery jackpot

By Brett Martel, Associated Press NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the NBA city most familiar with “gris-gris,” folks see no small measure of poetic justice in the fact that their team will dictate the fate of a coveted prospect named Zion. Mystical explanations aside, the Pelicans are in the driver’s seat now — but say they’re in no hurry to disclose their plans for likely pick Zion Williamson or disgruntled All-Star Anthony Davis. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] A franchise that looked downtrodden for months since Davis requested a mid-season trade has been suddenly buoyed by the leverage that comes with winning the NBA’s draft lottery— and the option to pick the Duke star, widely seen as the best pro prospect since Davis entered the league in 2012. “What it’s doing to the franchise and to the city of New Orleans is probably not even measurable at this point,” said David Griffin, hired just weeks ago as New Orleans’ top basketball executive. “There’s a groundswell of excitement that frankly is palpable. “What has to come next is that we have to make it mean something. This is a lot of fun, but we’ve got to build a winner now.” It was welcome news for beleaguered sports fans in Louisiana, who had endured a rough start to 2019. It started with the “NOLA no-call,” a pair of missed penalties in the waning minutes of the NFC championship that likely cost the NFL’s Saints a Super Bowl berth. Fans were so angry that many joined lawsuits against the league or attended parties on Super Bowl Sunday which featured re-runs of the Saints’ 2010 title triumph instead of the most recent championship game between New England and the Los Angeles Rams. Less than two weeks later, Davis, the city’s six-time NBA All-Star and face of the Pelicans, publicly requested a trade, and the firing of ninth-year general manager Dell Demps followed not long after. Even at the major college level there was disappointment when one of LSU’s best campaigns in program history was tainted by the suspension of coach Will Wade amid questions surrounding his recruiting tactics. Wade wasn’t reinstated until after LSU was eliminated in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, and his future remains far from certain. Political commentator James Carville — a Louisiana native, New Orleans resident and avid sports fan — said Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) that the recent series of setbacks had led him to adopt a pessimistic theory that, “We are a cursed people, and so all we’re going to get is curses.” Then came Tuesday night’s (Wednesdahy, PHL time) NBA draft lottery, which the Pelicans had a 6% chance of winning. In New Orleans, interest had focused more on seeing which other team would get the top overall pick and become more of a player in a potential Davis trade. Instead, the Pelicans got that pick, placing them in a stronger position to try to change Davis mind — or dictate more favorable trade terms. “This is big,” said Carville, a Pelicans season ticket holder along with his wife, and fellow political commentator, Mary Matalin. “It’s good for the psyche of everybody.” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry stood up and joyously shouted an expletive when New Orleans was announced as the lottery winner, after which he apologized with a grin, sat back down and put both hands on his head. Pelicans ticket office staff celebrated wildly with shouts, leaps and hugs. Owner Gayle Benson’s decision to hire Griffin, who announced at his introduction last month that he would not make a coaching change, combined with the New Orleans’ top draft position, represent a sharp turn in fortune for Gentry after a trying year that began with last summer’s defections during free agency of DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo. But it could take a while to see how the Pelicans’ lottery luck plays out. Griffin, the club’s executive vice president of basketball operations, foreshadowed a deliberate approach to dealing with Davis, who is under contract through next season. “I want Anthony Davis to be part of this,” Griffin said. “If Anthony wants to buy into that, then that’s fantastic. And if he doesn’t, then we’ll deal with it when it becomes appropriate. But this isn’t something for me where that answer happens because of a conversation. That answer is going to reveal itself over a period of time.” Griffin also stopped short of confirming that the Pelicans would draft Williamson — albeit for reasons relating more to his insistence on adhering to his own managerial process than because of any doubts about the 6'7", 285-pound Duke star. “We just have to know what the fit is like among those people in the pool for us in terms of who we thought were the most elite players,” Griffin said, emphasizing that “there was more than one” such player. “Everybody wants to look at this as this is a fait accompli. If that were true, we would have gotten up there with somebody’s jersey in our hands,” Griffin said. “I’m not saying there’s anything at all derogatory about Zion in any way. What I’m saying is ... you can hope that people are like-minded, but until you talk about what matters to you and you sit in a room together, it’s hard to know.” One thing is for sure, it’s nice to have options......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 15th, 2019Related News

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Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 17th, 2017Related News

Healthy-again Butler leads Bulls past Pelicans

em>By Patrick Rose, Associated Press /em> CHICAGO (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 28 points in his return from the flu, and Dwyane Wade had 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter in the Chicago Bulls' 107-99 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). After the Pelicans cut a 15-point second-half deficit to one point early in the fourth, Wade scored six straight points to push the advantage to 85-80. Wade made it 89-82 with a three-pointer, and spun off a defender to convert a three-point play for a 102-91 lead with 2:27 left. Taj Gibson added 15 points and 16 rebounds to help the Bulls snap a three-game losing streak. Anthony Davis had 36 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks for New Orleans. The Pelicans had won two straight on the road. Butler returned after missing two games. He didn't show any fatigue early on by scoring 19 points in the first half as the Bulls led 55-45 at the half. Davis, who missed New Orleans' victory at Brooklyn on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) because of a sore left hip, had 13 points, five rebounds and three blocks in the half. The Bulls extended the lead early in second half. Butler threw down a dunk, then on a break, Wade set up Butler for a layup that made it 63-48. Former Bull E'Twaun Moore kept the Pelicans in the game in the second half. His three-pointer cut the lead to 66-60, and kept them within six at the end of the third quarter with another triple. He was 4-for-5 from three-point range and finished with 16 points. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Pelicans: /strong> /em> Moore made his first four shots against his former team for 10 points in the first half. He was 2-for-2 from three-point range. em> strong>Bulls: /strong> /em>Denzel Valentine also played after missing Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) loss to the Knicks with the flu. In his third game back after being benched for five games, Rondo had six points and five assists. Former Cubs catcher David Ross sat courtside, and received a loud ovation as he was introduced to the crowd. His World Series Game 7 home run was played on the video board to the delight of the Cubs fans. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Pelicans: /strong> /em> At Indiana on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in the final game of a five-game trip. em> strong>Bulls: /strong> /em> At Memphis on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Wade is skipping the trip to rest. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 15th, 2017Related News

Wizards move over .500 as Wall lifts team over Bulls

em>By Ian Quillen, Associated Press /em> WASHINGTON (AP) -- John Wall scored 26 points, including a game-winning baseline jumper with 5.9 seconds left, and added 14 assists as the Washington Wizards moved above .500 with a 101-99 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Marcin Gortat had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Washington (19-18). He also set the screen that freed up Wall for his jumper to seal a 10th straight home win. Markieff Morris and Bradley Beal each added 19 points for the Wizards, who completed their biggest comeback victory of the season after trailing by 18 in the second quarter. Washington is above .500 for the first time in more than a year. A season ago, the Wizards were 6-5 after a victory on Nov. 24, 2015. Denzel Valentine set career-highs by scoring 19 points and making five three-pointers for the short-handed Bulls, who despite seeing their lead slip away in the third quarter led by as many as seven in the fourth. Rajon Rondo added 12 points in his first game since Dec. 30 (Dec. 31, PHL time). Chicago was without leading scorers Jimmy Butler (ill) and Dwyane Wade (resting). Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic also sat out with an illness. After both teams led during the final stages, Wall hit a pull-up from near the foul line that tied it at 99 with 47.4 seconds to play. Chicago's Michael Carter-Williams missed a contested shot on the other end with about 30 seconds left. Wall got the ball after Otto Porter's rebound, took Carter-Williams into Gortat's screen on the right wing and hit a 16-footer over Robin Lopez's late-arriving outstretched arm. After a timeout, Doug McDermott missed a long three-pointer for the Bulls, and Wall grabbed the rebound with a second to go. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Bulls: /strong> /em>Shot 8-of-10 on three-pointers in the first half. Valentine surpassed his previous career-high of nine points when his third three-pointer gave him 11 with 2:22 to go before halftime. em> strong>Wizards: /strong> /em> Entered tied for the longest active home winning streak with San Antonio, which hosted Milwaukee later in the evening. Committed 13 turnovers before halftime. Morris fouled out with 3:58 to play after picking up his fifth and sixth fouls 25 seconds apart. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Bulls: /strong> /em> Try to even their season series with the New York Knicks at 1-all when they visit Madison Square Garden on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).  em> strong>Wizards: /strong> /em>Complete their eighth set of back-to-back games Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) at Boston. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 11th, 2017Related News

Rondo says he was told Bulls coaches 'saving me from myself'

em>By Ian Quillen, Associated Press /em> WASHINGTON (AP) — Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo says he was told by a member of the Chicago coaching staff that coach Fred Hoiberg was 'saving me from myself' by benching the four-time All-Star for the past five games. Rondo returned to action Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) in a game against Washington. Rondo said before the game that he was not provided a reason for his benching from Hoiberg, but 'I got a slight explanation from another guy on the [coaching] staff.' Rondo was surprised by the comment, saying 'save me from myself? I've never heard that before in my life.' Rondo hadn't played since posting a lackluster 11 first-half minutes in Chicago's 111-101 loss at Indiana on Dec. 30 (Dec. 31, PHL time). Hoiberg, speaking before Rondo's interview with reporters, said the 30-year-old point guard would be the first man off the bench Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) for the short-handed Bulls. Chicago was without an ill Jimmy Butler and a resting Dwyane Wade, and forward Nikola Mirotic was also out with an illness. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 11th, 2017Related News

Bulls focus on future amidst Rajon Rondo situation

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Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 4th, 2017Related News

Antetokounmpo stuffs stat sheet, Bucks gore Bulls

CHICAGO (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 35 points, Jabari Parker added 27 and the Milwaukee Bucks used a huge fourth quarter to beat the Chicago Bulls 116-96 on Saturday night. The Bucks outscored the Bulls 36-20 in the fourth to break open a tight game and come away with a lopsided win after dropping four of six. Antetokounmpo dazzled with an array of layups and dunks. He also had nine rebounds and seven assists in another strong all-around performance. Parker scored 18 in the second half. Malcolm Brogdon finished with 15 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Greg Monroe scored 15, and the Bucks pulled away in the fourth quarter after pounding the Bulls on back-to-back nights two weeks ago. Chicago held out struggling point guard Rajon Rondo, hoping Michael Carter-Williams could provide a spark. But the Bulls lost for the eighth time in 11 games. Jimmy Butler scored 26 points for Chicago, and Robin Lopez added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Dwyane Wade had eight points on 3-of-13 shooting. The Bucks let an 11-point lead in the third quarter shrink to one early in the fourth, but put it away from there. Chicago closed to 80-79 on a 3 by Nikola Mirotic in the opening seconds of the quarter. But Milwaukee responded with a 10-0 run. Antetokounmpo started the decisive stretch by driving for a 3-point play and finished it with a free throw that bumped the lead to 90-79 with 8:33 remaining. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 1st, 2017Related News

Lots of Bulls run over listless Pistons

CHICAGO – Jimmy Butler scored 19 points, Rajon Rondo had 10 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons, 113-82, on.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsDec 20th, 2016Related News

Bulls stop struggles with much-needed victory vs Pistons

CHICAGO (AP) For the Chicago Bulls, snapping out of their recent slump was as simple as putting the ball in the basket. Jimmy Butler scored 19 points, Rajon Rondo had 10 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds, and the Bulls beat the Detroit Pis.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 20th, 2016Related News

Chicago Bulls suspend guard Rajon Rondo 1 game for conduct

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Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 5th, 2016Related News

Wade's Bulls get better of LeBron's Cavaliers

CHICAGO (AP) Jimmy Butler scored 26 points, Dwyane Wade had 24 and the Chicago Bulls beat LeBron James and the slumping Cleveland Cavaliers 111-105 on Friday night. Taj Gibson added a season-high 23 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago. Rajon Ro.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsDec 3rd, 2016Related News

Wade: 1; Heat: 0

Dwyane Wade got a win in his return to Miami, with Jimmy Butler scoring 20 points and Rajon Rondo adding 16 points and 12 assists as the Chicago Bulls topped the Heat 98-95 on Thursday night......»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsNov 11th, 2016Related News

Wade a winner again in Miami as Bulls top Heat

MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade got a win in his return to Miami, with Jimmy Butler scoring 20 points and Rajon Rondo adding 16 points and 12 assists as the Chicago Bulls topped the Heat 98-95 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Robin Lopez had 16.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 11th, 2016Related News

Rondo setting the tone for the revamped Bulls

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Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 31st, 2016Related News

Bulls go back-to-back at expense of Pacers

CHICAGO (AP) Doug McDermott had 23 points, Jimmy Butler added 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Rajon Rondo had 13 assists to lead the Bulls to a 118-101 rout of the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, Chicago's second straight victory to open the season. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 30th, 2016Related News