Boylen says he knows Washington's secret for getting Porter to shoot
Jim Boylen said he did have a conversation with Washington coach Scott Brooks about getting newest Bull Otto Porter Jr. to shoot more often.
"I know Scotty really well," Boylen said. "We talked after the transaction and we talked about the positives about the guys in the trade and what they can do. Scotty wanted him (Porter) to be successful and I want our guys who left here (Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker) to be successful. So we had a good talk."
Logically, shooting volume shouldn't be much of a concern with Porter. He went from the third option on the Wizards, behind Bradley Beal and John Wall, to the third-oldest player on the Bulls roster, behind Robin Lopez and Cristiani Felicio. If he's open, there's no reason for Porter not to shoot and he hit 16 of 20 shots while scoring a career-high 37 points against Memphis Wednesday.
"I just think he's a winning player. He's a good kid," Boylen said of Porter. "They had Beal and Wall. I just think he was taking the role that he thought was best for the team and at times I think Scotty wanted him to be more aggressive in a moment when maybe those guys were out or he had it going or maybe his matchup was good.
"We need the guy and obviously we love the way he's playing."
Good return for Noah
Former Bulls center Joakim Noah got a chance to contribute at his old home. He played 20 minutes for Memphis on Wednesday, finishing with 8 points and 3 rebounds.
He was also the victim of a flagrant foul by Ryan Arcidiacono in the fourth quarter. Arcidiacono clubbed Noah in the head and neck trying to prevent a layup, but no real harm was done. Noah joined the Grizzlies in early December.
"I love it," Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of having Noah around. "There's an energy and a passion that he brings every single day where he's uplifting. He changes the dynamic of practice as soon as he steps on the floor. He asks the right questions. He plays with the right purpose and intensity. We've had a great time just being around him as a person, but then he's been helpful to all the guys on the floor as well."
Jim Boylen gave an All-Star break injury update. He said the Bulls expect Kris Dunn to be fine by next week after he missed Wednesday's game with a sore back. Chandler Hutchison's injured toe is expected to be reevaluated next week.
Boylen was asked if Wendell Carter Jr.'s thumb surgery is considered season-ending and the answer was probably yes.
"At this moment, it's a full-season injury," Boylen said. "I think he has a day coming up where they take his pin out and I'm sure they'll re-evaluate then. I did notice Denzel (Valentine) is out of his boot today. So that's pretty cool."
Slam dunk preview
Two-time dunk contest champ Zach LaVine gave a preview of this weekend's contest, which features New York's Dennis Smith Jr., Atlanta's John Collins, Charlotte's Miles Bridges and Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo.
"Man, I know Hami Diallo, I watched him in college," LaVine said. "I know he's extremely athletic off two feet. I think all of them are really athletic, but you've got to watch out for Dennis Smith. I feel like he has a lot tricks in his bag. I think it's going to be between either one of those guys."
On his Instagram feed, LaVine referenced the epic 2016 dunk contest between him and Orlando's Aaron Gordon and suggested a rematch. Maybe next year when the All-Star Game visits the United Center?