Chicago Bulls | Summer League Central 2009

Team finishes 3-2 in 2009 NBA Summer League presented by EA Sports in Las Vegas

Chicago Bulls | Summer League Central

2009 Bulls Summer League -- roster, averages & totals
Coverage at 2009 NBA Summer League | Broadband game webcasts
Twitter: SamSmithHoops | ChicagoBulls
Bulls announce roster for NBA Summer League | Bulls Draft Central 2009


Date Result Opponent Coverage
July 14 L, 95-83 Golden State Recap & Analysis | Box Score | Video
July 15 L, 87-72 Milwaukee Recap & Analysis | Box Score | Video
July 17 W, 80-74 Oklahoma City Recap & Analysis | Box Score | Video
July 18 W, 90-84 New York Recap | Box Score | Video
July 19 W, 93-85 Minnesota Recap | Box Score | Video

James Johnson
James Johnson

(Jack Arent/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bulls wrapped up play on July 19 in the 2009 NBA Summer League presented by EA Sports in Las Vegas, finishing with a record of 3-2.

The Bulls played a total of five games from July 14-19 at Cox Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack Center located on the campus of UNLV after finalizing their summer league roster during a four-day mini-camp at the Berto Center.

First-round picks James Johnson (No. 16 overall in NBA Draft 2009) and Taj Gibson (No. 26 overall) highlighted the roster. Johnson was the team’s top scorer, averaging 16.6 points along with seven rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Gibson, bothered by a Plantar Fascia strain, averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds per game in two contests. Bulls guard DeMarcus Nelson had a solid showing as well, chipping in with 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

Sam Smith's summer league coverage from Las Vegas:
Bulls get first summer league win (07.18.09)
Bulls' Johnny Ligs cleans up in Vegas (07.17.09)
Bulls keep losing in Las Vegas (07.16.09)
Bulls rookies look good despite summer league loss (07.15.09)
Bulls to begin summer games (07.14.09)
Johnson and Gibson look better than bad Boozer rumor (07.10.09)

Video: James Johnson on his performance in Las Vegas
Video: Vinny Del Negro on Chicago's draftees and its attempt to trade for Carlos Boozer
Audio: James Johnson talks with Chuck Swirsky following a workout (07.12.09)

Game 5: Chicago Bulls 93, Minnesota Timberwolves 85 (07.19.09)

Game 5: Chicago Bulls 93, Minnesota Timberwolves 85 (07.19.09)
Recap | Box Score | Video

James Johnson and DeMarcus Nelson each scored 18 points as the Bulls cruised to a 93-85 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Nelson and Johnson scored nine and six points apiece in the fourth quarter as the Bulls pulled away in the final frame, extending their lead to as many as 13 points before settling for the eight-point victory. Minnesota's Corey Brewer led all scorers with 20 points.

"Today went well for me out there. The biggest thing was that we wanted to come out and get the win, and we did that," said Nelson of the game. "I came out and played well, i just made it my priority to get the ball to our guys, and I saw opportunities for myself out there, too."

Game 4: Chicago Bulls 90, New York Knicks 84 (07.18.09)

Game 4: Chicago Bulls 90, New York Knicks 84 (07.18.09)
Recap | Box Score | Video

The Bulls rallied from a 10-point deficit with a 19-3 run in the final 4:42 to claim a 90-84 come-from-behind victory over the New York Knicks. The Knicks built an 81-71 lead five minutes into the fourth quarter, but watched as the Bulls offense came to life. Chicago got seven points from both DeMarcus Nelson and Brandon Costner in the final quarter to aid the rally. A three by Costner with one minute remaining gave Chicago the lead for good at 86-83.

Costner was the game’s top scorer with 21 points off 7-of-11 shooting. Nine of his 21 points came consecutively at the end of the first quarter to help Chicago take its first lead of the game. Besides Costner’s effort, the Bulls got double-digit efforts from three other players. James Johnson connected for 20, while Nelson had 15 to Anthony Roberson’s 12.

Game 3: Chicago Bulls 80, Oklahoma City Thunder 74 (07.17.09)

Game 3: Chicago Bulls 80, Oklahoma City Thunder 74 (07.17.09)
Sam Smith's Recap & Analysis | Box Score | Video

DeMarcus Nelson
DeMarcus Nelson

(Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Bulls entered the win column in their third NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas, notching an 80-74 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chicago's free agent guards finally hit some shots as Anthony Roberson scored 24 points while No. 1 draft pick James Johnson was just two of 11 shooting with eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Fellow No. 1 pick Taj Gibson sat out with a heel injury.

“I wasn’t too worried about the shooting,” said Johnson. “I’m more focused about rebounding, defense and moving the ball. It’s hard to get in a rhythm when you work on other things. But we got a win and that’s that. I’m being trapped in the corner, so that means there’s a player open and I’m going to use my height and quickness to see the plays that are open. I’m trying to move the ball around to get everyone open. I don’t care if I score two points or 20 points, a win’s a win and I love it.”

Game 2: Milwaukee Bucks 87, Chicago Bulls 72 (07.15.09)

Game 2: Milwaukee Bucks 87, Chicago Bulls 72 (07.15.09)
Sam Smith's Recap & Analysis | Box Score | Video

Taj Gibson
Taj Gibson

(Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)

James Johnson scored 16 points and Taj Gibson added 12 and eight rebounds, but the Bulls (0-2) fell for the second straight day in summer league action, this time to the undefeated Bucks (4-0), 87-72. Former Fighting Illini James Augustine chipped in with 10 and seven, but Chicago shot only 35 percent from the field, while Milwaukee connected on 52 percent of its attempts.

Yes, that would be the Summer League version of coming up snake eyes for the Bulls kids, wrote Sam Smith.

“We got out toughed, including myself,” agreed James Johnson, who shot four of 15 with a half dozen turnovers and perhaps a dozen defensive deficiencies in the loss to Milwaukee. “We can’t have that. We’ve got tough and competitive guys and that’s how we want to be. They got the best of us.”

Game 1: Golden State Warriors 95, Chicago Bulls 83 (07.14.09)

Game 1: Golden State Warriors 95, Chicago Bulls 83 (07.14.09)
Sam Smith's Recap & Analysis | Box Score | Video

James Johnson and Taj Gibson
James Johnson and Taj Gibson

In Chicago's opener, James Johnson recorded 21 points and eight rebounds and Taj Gibson added 14 points and 12 boards, but the Bulls (0-1) couldn't hold off a dominating performance from Golden State's Anthony Randolph, who finished with 42 points, in a 95-83 loss to the Warriors.

“I like what Taj (Gibson) and James did in their first game,” said Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro, who watched from the stands on the UNLV campus as assistant Bob Ociepka coached the team. “Taj, I liked his activity. He kept a lot of basketballs alive. Had (a team high) seven offensive rebounds.

"(For Johnson), a guy with that much bulk and weight, the way he can move and handle the ball, his agility is impressive for a guy his size. We’ve got to get a little weight off him. He knows that. But he can do some things you can’t teach. He’s unselfish, he’ll pass. Guys will enjoy playing with him. (Johnson) has a feel. He has those easy, soft passes you can catch. He can block a shot, rebound, take it off the glass, start your break for you. He can fill the lane. He can finish. You saw him off the dribble on the break cross a guy over, finish at the rim. With the versatility you get from that it opens things up for other guys.”

(updated 07.13.09 -- subject to change)

No. Player Pos Ht | Wt DOB College/Country Exp.
2 Bryan Mullins G 6-2 | 190 01/13/87 Southern Illinois R
3 Josh Shipp G 6-5 | 215 02/14/86 UCLA 1
5 Anthony Roberson G 6-2 | 180 02/14/83 Florida 4
11 Taurean Green G 6-0 | 185 11/28/85 Florida 3
14 Lorenzo Mata-Real C/F 6-8 | 230 02/27/86 UCLA R
16 James Johnson F 6-8 | 245 02/20/87 Wake Forest R
21 DeMarcus Nelson G 6-4 | 200 11/02/85 Duke 1
22 Taj Gibson F 6-9 | 225 06/24/85 USC R
32 Brandon Costner F 6-9 | 230 07/21/87 North Carolina State R
35 Tyrell Biggs F 6-8 | 235 08/07/86 Pittsburgh R
40 James Augustine F/C 6-10 | 240 02/27/84 Illinois 2
42 Nick Lewis F/C 6-11 | 240 04/20/83 San Diego R
50 Luke Zeller C 6-11 | 240 04/07/87 Notre Dame R
54 Linton Johnson III F 6-8 | 205 06/13/80 Tulane 6

HEAD COACH: Vinny Del Negro
ASSISTANT COACHES: Bernie Bickerstaff, Pete Myers, Mike Wilhelm, Nick Nurse (Iowa Energy)