Dunn, Portis getting close, but return to Chicago Bulls unclear

 
 
Updated 12/5/2018 9:39 PM
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  • Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis, top, and Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, bottom, fight for the ball during the second half of a NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Chicago. The Bulls won 112-110.

    Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis, top, and Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, bottom, fight for the ball during the second half of a NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Chicago. The Bulls won 112-110.

Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis participated in full practices Tuesday with the Windy City Bulls and Wednesday with the NBA Bulls.

Both players should be back soon from knee sprains, though no one was willing to call this weekend's home games a realistic possibility.

"Not fully healthy, but definitely getting there," Dunn said when asked how his knee feels. "I think the training staff is doing a good job with the rehab, been pushing me to get through the injury."

Added Portis, "I went through three straight practices, contact and all. And I felt fine. It's fun to get back out there and play the game."

Dunn and Portis were injured two days apart in the opening week of the season. Wednesday marked the six-week anniversary of Portis going down with an MCL sprain in his right knee. He stayed behind to practice with Windy City, but Portis felt he got a good look at new coach Jim Boylen while watching Tuesday's game on television.

"It's kind of funny, he reminds me of my college coach (at Arkansas), Mike Anderson," Portis said. "I could hear him through the TV. I could hear everything he was saying. He (yelled) all the coverages himself. He's out there playing defense himself, in a defensive stance almost the entire game.

"That's kind of fun to see from a coach."

Bulls get in shape:

After Tuesday's game in Indiana, Jim Boylen mentioned that the team's conditioning needs to change. He expanded on that idea Wednesday after practice.

"Old-school, we get on the line (for sprints)," Boylen said. "Then we have certain drills we do within the line for that. But there's no shortcut to conditioning. The only way you get in shape in this game is to get on the floor and do it. That's what we're going to do. We're going to do it every day."

Longtime Bulls assistant Johnny Bach was famous for running to the other end of the court so he could make sure every player touched the line before changing direction. Asked if he designated a coach for that job, Boylen said yes.

"Some coaches put a clock on it. You have to run it in so many seconds," Boylen said. "We want to run it as fast as we possibly can every time."

Portis thanks Hoiberg:

Of all the players on the current roster, Bobby Portis has been with the Bulls the longest. He had some nice words for former coach Fred Hoiberg, who started with the Bulls during Portis' rookie season.

"Obviously, Fred was big in my development," Portis said. "He took his time with me. He had a lot of trust in my game, just go out and do what I do on a nightly basis, play basketball with confidence. He gave me minutes over the last two years. That's another trust factor he had in me. It's tough to lose a guy like him."

Kris Dunn had a unique experience, playing for Hoiberg after a disappointing rookie season in Minnesota with ex-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

"When I came in to the organization he (Hoiberg) helped me get my confidence, he helped me get my swagger back," Dunn said. "It wasn't just him, it was other coaches, but he played a huge role in that. I think he wished to have the opportunity to have all of us healthy at the start of the season.

"But things happen and we've got to roll with the punches."

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