With Butler and Wade out, Bulls no match for Warriors
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
OAKLAND, Calif. — Coach Fred Hoiberg was just hoping for some fight from his team.
Considering he was dealing with a roster void of any real punching power, it obviously was wishful thinking.
With Jimmy Butler (bruised right heel) and Dwyane Wade (respiratory virus) sidelined, then Paul Zipser done for the night after injuring his left ankle in the second quarter, the Bulls were walloped by the Warriors 123-92 Wednesday, dropping them to 2-2 on their six-game trip.
Robin Lopez had 17 points and Taj Gibson chipped in 15, but the Warriors never trailed and were never threatened.
Hoiberg’s next challenge is to get to Phoenix for the game Friday with a full roster rather than a skeleton crew.
“We had Dwyane stay back at the hotel and get some rest,’’ Hoiberg said. “He was weak from the virus. Hopefully he gets better, and we’ll make a determination on whether he can play Friday.’’
Butler has been dealing with pain in his right heel since the victory against the Thunder to start the trip, and it hasn’t subsided enough for him to play.
“I want to be able to help,’’ Butler said. “I don’t want to play 10 minutes and be like, ‘I can’t move.’ I want to be the player I can be on both ends of the floor.
“My coaches, my teammates understand that. When I go out there, I want to play. There ain’t gonna be restrictions. Go out there and play however many minutes, whatever I’m asked to do on the basketball court.’’
Zipser will be re-evaluated Thursday to get a better idea of a timetable.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr is used to his players speaking their minds on basketball and social issues, so he didn’t blink after what Stephen Curry said Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said, “To have such a pro-business president [Donald Trump] is something that is a real asset for the country.’’
Curry, who is the face of Under Armour, told the Mercury News that he agreed with Plank if “the ‘et’ from asset’’ was removed.
“The players are grown men,’’ Kerr said. “They have a microphone in front of them every day. They’re welcome to say whatever they want. I’m proud that they’ve done an amazing job representing themselves and our team. And this is a time when people are speaking out. This is a time where activism is coming back into the forefront. It’s an open forum, so the players can say whatever they want.’’
Shock and awe
Like most of the basketball universe, Hoiberg said he would be shocked if the Warriors aren’t representing the West in the NBA Finals in June.
“It’s just such a high-powered attack,’’ Hoiberg said. “And they’re very good defensively. When they got [Kevin] Durant in the offseason, obviously they became the favorites to win the championship. They’re so unselfish.’’