Tom Thibodeau was quoted saying, search “I’d like to be here forever” when he signed his four year extension with the Bulls earlier this month. Bulls fans should be pleased to know that Thibodeau is loyal and committed to bringing the Bulls back to their glory days, even if the season ahead presents some serious challenges.
Thibodeau has a tough road ahead with Derrick Rose out for the first half of the season and a new “Bench Mob” to work with. However, the 2011 Coach of the Year winner has an intense work ethic and will play the Bull’s new underdog status to his advantage.
Thibodeau’s biggest strength as a coach is that he is a defensive genius. In the past he has helped make the Spurs, Knicks, Rockets, Celtics, and now the Bulls some of the best defensive teams in the NBA. His strategies for the ultimate defense are to block the driving lanes to stop dribble penetrations, cut off the passing lanes, force a tough shot, and of course, rebound.
Thibs runs an “in your face” type of defense with the Bulls, but they always seem to flow as a unit. The team chemistry and emphasis on the word team is what set the Bulls apart last season with the Bench Mob effortlessly transitioning off the bench into play. Thibs will look to create a similar type of chemistry with newcomers this year. When asked “whose team the Bulls are” after Kobe Bryant declared the Lakers were his team, Thibs quickly responded, “Jerry Reinsdorf’s”.
Thibodeau is known to be the hardest working member of the Bulls and has the respect of the players and front office. He is fully invested in the success of the Bulls and we look forward to hearing his raspy, barreling voice on the sidelines for many years to come.
Nurse Elise’s Recommended Prescriptions:
Don’t completely give up on new sharp shooter, Marco Belinelli’s lack of defensive ability. He is no Kyle Korver but, you are probably the only one that could make him a better defender and overall player.
Stick with your philosophy, “Improve every day, do the right things, concentrate, know your job, do your job, know when to shoot, know when to pass, stay disciplined. We do those things, we’ll have a chance.”
What do you get when a Swedish model and a French tennis player have a baby? Joakim Noah, of course. That’s probably not the first person that comes to mind but height and athleticism are deeply rooted in his genes thanks to his folks. Joakim Noah is the 6’11” center for the Bulls with the messy ponytail/bun that college girls try to emulate when they roll out of bed for class (even though they worked on their hair for half an hour to master it).
Noah has been with the Bulls since 2007 and has continued to improve over the years. He is easily one of the best defensive centers in the NBA and is one of the top rebounders. For a center, he has good ball handling skills and is effective at cutting to the rim. However, his offensive game is what keeps him from being named as a top overall center like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. Noah’s jump shot is about as horrendous as the Charlotte Bobcats. He looks like he is trying and failing miserably at setting a volleyball. He doesn’t square himself up to the basket, has zero arc, and never follows through. His excitement after making a jump shot seems to be more from shock that he actually made it.
If he goes back to the basics and works on his jump shot he can become the elite center we need him to be. He’s hardworking and always plays with high energy. Overall, he is a great asset to the team.
Nurse Elise’s Recommended Prescriptions:
Continue to rehab the ankle; even though you have recovered from the post-season injury suffered in Game 3 of the playoffs last year, it is critical to the Bull’s success that you remain off the disabled list this season
Continue to work on your jump shot: It’s pretty much the ugliest shot in the league
Kirk Hinrich is more than happy to return to Chicago after his stints with the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks since his departure from the Bulls in 2010. During his ten year NBA career, seven of which were played with the Bulls, he has always been a defensive-minded player and has been welcomed back to Chicago as a veteran point guard and a natural leader with the ability to create open shots for his teammates.
Bulls fans are excited to see Hinrich back in his Bulls jersey but he has big shoes to fill while stepping in for the injured MVP, Derrick Rose. Rose is Chicago’s golden child and it is impossible not to love him (even my Grandma loves him). He has a shy form of charisma and is a force to be reckoned with on the court.
While January 2013 has been pinpointed, exactly when D. Rose will return is still relatively unknown since recovering from a torn ACL requires time, patience, and plenty of rehab. There are very few athletes as quick and explosive as D. Rose and we are all hopeful that he can regain his signature show stopping drive to the basket.
However, Hinrich is not simply filling in for Derrick. He is a consistent player that still has fun when he steps on the court but also is an intense competitor. He is familiar with Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and Jokaim Noah from his previous seasons with the Bulls and he seems to be meshing well with Thibodeau’s style of pushing the ball in transition to get easy baskets before the opposing defense has the chance to get set. As point guard, he recognizes when to pull back and run plays. Hinrich is versatile since he can also play shooting guard which will benefit the Bulls once Derrick is healthy.
Nurse Elise’s Recommended Prescriptions:
Use preseason as a chance to get familiar with the team dynamics and what Thibodeau expects from you.
Get prepared for the stacked teams. The Miami Heat, who the Bulls will face four times this season, and the now Miami Heat of the West (The Lakers) are going to be tough to beat, that is if their egos fit through the door of the United Center.
Show your years: The Bulls need a seasoned veteran like you during this time of transition and rebuilding. Use this homecoming to prove that you’ve still got what it takes to lead a team to the Playoffs.
Charles Tillman helps solidify the notion that the Bear’s defense really does carry the team. With the help of Lance Briggs, viagra sale Tillman, also known as “Peanut”, made NFL history on Sunday with back to back pick-sixes (interceptions returned for touchdowns worth 6 points). It is the first time in NFL history that a pair of teammates returned interceptions for touchdowns in back to back weeks.
The Bears took down the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-3 on Sunday and two of the touchdowns came from the defense. Tillman and Briggs showed fans that there is no need to wait half a game for the offense to click, they are more than happy to pick up the slack. The Bear’s D has now scored 5 touchdowns this season, just as many as the Bear’s offense.
Tillman, a 10-year Bear’s veteran, specializes in creating turnovers. At 6’2″ with years of experience in the secondary position, he makes interceptions look easy. It’s difficult to critique a player with the nickname “Peanut”, who is known as being a genuinely good guy and an excellent athlete. Tillman got his nickname from his Aunt as a child and it has stuck ever since.
Not your stereotypical athlete who ends up in the tabloids for drinking excessively or being involved with “jersey chasers”, Tillman was a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award because of his charitable works through the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation, which supports families of critically ill children. Tillman’s daughter received a heart transplant when she was six months old and in response he started a foundation to make a difference in other people’s lives just like the total strangers who helped him and his family. To learn more about the foundation visit: http://www.charlestillman.org/index.php
Nurse Elise’s Recommended Prescriptions:
Keep the interceptions coming: Against a team like the Jaguars it is a little too easy to pick off passes. The Lions, 49ers and Packers will be more of a challenge.
Teach your fellow teammates a thing or two about manners and morals: as a former finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award you are a rare “good guy” which is becoming an extinct species. Continue to offer guidance, direction and inspiration. We don’t need another Sam Hurd, Tank Johnson or Cedric Benson incident in what is looking like a playoff season.
College: Yale undergrad, ampoule U of San Diego Law School
Elise’s Nursing Assessment:
With the Cubs hitting their 100th loss this season, the 3rd time in franchise history and the first time since 1966, Theo Epstein is back under the spotlight as this forgetful season comes to an end and fan’s off-season questions begin.
With 12 months under his belt as the new Cub’s GM, Epstein has had a rough first year in the drivers seat. No one expected the Cubs to be above .500 this season, but hitting 100 losses wasn’t on the radar either. As Epstein and Cubs executives continue to tell Cubs fans to be be patient and to expect at least 2-3 years before the club will be competitive, it’s difficult for Cubs fans to fathom another season like the one we just endured.
Epstein was successful in turning around the Boston Red Sox within 2 seasons of arriving as the youngest GM in MLB history, helping take them to a World Series and breaking the curse of the Bambino. But with a Cubs roster full of young, unproven talent, it would be foolish to think that the Cubs will be in a position to even make the playoffs for at least another 2 years.
RECOMMENDED PRESCRIPTIONS FOR THE OFF-SEASON:
Keep preaching patience. Cubs fans are a patient group. They’ve waited 104 years since the last World Series title, what’s another 6 months going to do?
Continue to focus on player development in the off-season: So the Ian Stewart project didn’t pan out this season, but with talent like Rizzo, Castro and Castillo to build around and veterans like Soriano, the other young undeveloped players will have role models and help.
Pick up a solid veteran pitcher in free agency: By trading away half your rotation this year at the MLB deadline, only Samardzija and Garza remain as reliable starters. Brining in a veteran pitcher to anchor the rotation and provide leadership to the young arms can only help.
Continue to beef up the farm system: We saw this year how effective calling up a solid player like Rizzo can be. With young unproven talent you’ll be relying on your farm team to pump in fresh blood throughout the season.
Work the PR machine: show up at a Bears game with your beautiful wife; bring your 5-year old son Jack to a Bulls game and sit court-side. Cubs fans are more forgiving when they can relate to the guy who is manning the ship.
Chicago beat the St. Louis Rams 23-6 on Sunday with help from Major Wright. The strong safety correctly read Ram’s quarterback, Sam Bradford’s eyes and intentions and picked off a pass that was intended for Rams wide receiver, Danny Amendola. Wright returned the interception 45 yards for a touchdown.
Wright is now in his third season with the Bears and is known for his ability to stop the run but has lacked in pass defense. As a strong safety he is a hybrid of a linebacker and a defensive back.
In past seasons, Wright has missed games due to injuries and tends to have a reckless style of play which makes him even more injury prone. If he can play smart and continue to improve on the pass coverage it looks like it will be a successful season for him.
Wright has been criticized in the past for not completely grasping defensive plays. He has admitted to having a lack of knowledge of the team’s system in the past but feels that he finally has a clear understanding of the defensive playbook and will be a smarter defender because of it. Perhaps over time Wright can provide some tips for Jay Cutler on how he reads opposing QB’s eyes and body language when looking for interception opportunities since Cutler continues to struggle with throwing to the other team.
Avoid reckless play: the defense is what holds the Bears together and there is no time for injuries.
Review the playbook: keep getting familiar with the intricacies of the defensive system.
Keep up the speed: on Sunday we all saw how fast you can be so there is no excuse to get continually beat by tight ends and wide receivers like you have in past seasons.