All-Star

President may be a bit extreme, doctor but Jimmy Butler is absolutely running this year’s Chicago Bulls team. I do feel like we, ask the fans, viagra owe the guy an apology. He was awarded a spot on the 2016 All-Star roster, but he didn’t make a starting slot because we didn’t give the man enough votes! We failed ya Jimmy. Here is your 2016 Eastern Conference All-Star lineup.

Starters:
Lebron James (Cavaliers, Forward)
Paul George (Pacers, Forward)
Carmelo Anthony (Knicks, Forward)
Dwyane Wade (Head, Guard)
Kyle Lowry (Raptors, Guard)

Bench:
Jimmy Butler (Chicago, Guard/Forward)
DeMar DeRozan (Raports, Guard)
Paul Millsap (Hawks, Forward)
Andre Drummond (Pistons, Center)
Chris Bosh (Heat, Forward)
John Wall (Wizards, Guard)
Isaiah Thomas (Celtics, Guard)

Despite our lack of NBA All-Star votes, Jimmy will yet again get to showcase his talents among the best of the best in Toronto on February 14th.  He’s our do-it-all player leading the entire league in minutes played per game (38.3 minutes) – he’s earned it. He’s the kind of guy who puts in work on both ends of the court, racking up around 2.74 miles a game. If you’d like to whip out your handy dandy calculator 47 games at 2.74 miles is literally just under 5 full marathons. Jimmy isn’t messing around.

He’s also becoming a stand-out leader off the court. He had a sit-down with Derrick Rose last Wednesday to make sure the two stars weren’t just coexisting on the team, but rather playing to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The following day the Bulls spanked the Los Angeles Lakers. Mission accomplished.

We had a long conversation. That’s the type of guys that we now are. Just checking in, wanting each other to be successful. Making sure we’re both healthy because as a backcourt, it’s important that we’re both doing OK and on the same page – Jimmy Butler, Chicago Sun Times

Now, don’t get me wrong. One sit down doesn’t solve all the Bulls problems, but two stars working towards a better relationship is definitely a plus. I can’t imagine it’s easy for Derrick to know he is no longer the best player on the team and no has to share his limelight with a kid drafted way late from Marquette.  Butler went as far to say he’d like to train with Rose over the off-season and take his “camp-Jimmy” to Rose wherever he likes to train with his family nearby. Whatever Jimmy’s been doing during the offseason has worked for his game, couldn’t hurt Derrick to jump on the Butler-bandwagon.

Something noteworthly that Jimmy mentioned in his interview with the Sun Times last week was that he believed that Rose would also be a part of the Bulls team for many years moving forward. Seems very interesting since Rose will be an unrestricted free agent after next season. Did Jimmy accidentally give us a look into the future?

One thing is clear, Jimmy is trying to make the most out of what he’s got to get our Bulls more wins. Thank you, Mr. Buckets.

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Noah and Taj

Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson

Oh-oh-oh, look we’re half way there… By now Bulls fans are used to the emotional roller coaster that has been the past two years, search but our guys have pleasantly overcome the obstacles thrown their way, and yet again.

Entering the 2013-2014 season Chicago was an absolute “title contender” with a healthy Derrick Rose. The team’s dreams were blown to smithereens when DRose went down with a second season-ending knee injury. Then just two months later, the front office shipped off sharp shooter Luol Deng to Cleveland. No matter how deep their pride was wounded, the Bulls came out swinging with the emotional intensity of Joakim Noah leading the way.

Much to our surprise, the Bulls start the second half of the season sitting in fourth place among the beasts of the East and are just shy of snatching the third seat at 27-25. Chicago has gone 15-7 in 2014 – only three teams have a better record since January 1st and they’re all in the big bad Western Conference. We’ve got 30 games to go and if the men in red can keep up the intensity down the stretch there is definitely reason for optimism.

ALL-STAR STATUS: JOAKIM NOAH

 

Jo-No is wreaking havoc in 2014. To say he’s found his “edge” is an understatement of the damage he’s done offensively and defensively. He goes out night after night and plays 100% guts and glory. More than ever before he is the heart of this Bulls team and the future of this NBA franchise. Losing Luol Deng was personal for Joakim Noah, it was like he lost his big brother, but his loss seemed to have spark a fire in the belly of the Jo-No bear.

Clark Street Sports

Clark Street Sports

Bet ya didn’t Noah he’s averaged 13.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 blocks since Jan. 1 – “double-double” is basically his middle name. He recently appeared in his second All-Star game and looked lost because the studs of the NBA we’rent playing at a normal intensity. He found himself again when BronBron decided to light things up with Noah under the basket. If you love Chicago basketball, you are crazy about Joakim Noah this year. Messy-bun-swagger has swept the nation.

HIGHLIGHT PLAYERS:

Taj Gibson is an easy candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. He’s taken his game to an entirely new level this season and we don’t mind one bit. He signed a hefty contract with the Bulls in 2012 and really never got into his groove. He took the off-season to work with the big dogs and it has paid off. When you get Jo-No and Taj on the court at the same time you have one of the most terrifying defensive units the NBA has to offer. Gibson has been so huge he’s the one on the court in the fourth quarter battling opponents, so much so Carlos Boozer got a little jealous and threw a pitty party about getting benched come the end of games.

D.J.D.J. Augustin has a renewed NBA career. Prior to being traded to the Bulls in December most of the league said “Augustin who?” I would guess most of the Toronto Raptors’ fans didn’t know the guy was even on the roster. He was a pickup during a time Chicago was desperate for a point guard after losing Rose and Augustin would work out “fine.” With a little Tom Thibodeau fairy dust Augustin has become a dominant player in the Windy City. When Kirk Hinrich is healthy (which is hit or miss) Augustin comes off the bench as a play maker as well as an outside scoring threat. We’ve needed a three-point shooting monster since the days of Kyle Korver.

ROUGH SPOTS AVERTED:

Just a month ago my Facebook feed was filled with statuses about the Bulls tanking their season on purpose. “Just blow the season and get a great lottery pick.” Well friends, if you haven’t noticed “tanking” and “Thibodeau” are like water and oil, it just doesn’t mix. After losing Rose and trading Deng the Bulls were in a rough place, but they recommitted to their defensive mindset and started playing basketball the only way they know how – down and dirty.

Their main weakness is the depth of their bench. When their starters are healthy (Noah, Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy) the Bulls can generally find their rhythm. With Taj, Augustin and rookie Tony Snell continuously coming off the bench lights out the Bulls can stay powerful throughout the game. Problem is, after those eight players things get a really hairy. Eight players aren’t enough to keep things going one experiences an injury and is forced to miss playing time.

OFF THE COURT: 

DRose AdidasBasically there’s no reason to feel sorry for Mr. Rose. Although he hasn’t played a full season in two years, DRose’s brand is stronger than ever. Forbes just ranked the top 10 NBA endorsers and our very own Derrick Rose came in third just behind Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Rose will have made over $21 million in endorsements over the last year. Combine that with the $17.6 million he’ll bring in from his Bulls contract and Rose will be sitting pretty at $39 million for the year. He’s single ladies, that’s all I’m saying.

Keep BULL-IEVING

They may not be title contenders this season, as it’s unlikely Los Bulls will be able to defeat the top two teams in the Eastern Conference (Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers) in a seven-game series, but they’re a hungry bunch who want to prove all those fans wrong who started guzzling Chicago Bulls-Hater-ade the second DRose went down. So ask yourself, if Joakim Noah and his crew aren’t giving up, why should we? Bring on the second half!

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Chris Sale

Fresh off hosting Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, sovaldi the Kansas City Royal’s welcomed the first place White Sox this weekend with the South Siders taking two out of three games and winning their first series of the second half of the season. All-Star Chris Sale had his stellar pitching skills on display allowing only one run over eight innings on Sunday. Chris Sale now leads MLB with the lowest ERA and the Sox remain in first place in the AL Central with a 3.5 game lead over the 2nd place Detroit Tigers. 

What You Need To Know:

  • Chris Sale picked up where he left off after having a fantastic first half of the season. Sale struck out 4 and earned his 10th win of the year. Sale lowered his ERA to an incredible 2.11 – the best in the American League.
  • Adam Dunn cranked his 28th home run which proved to be the difference in today’s game.   The solo shot put him in sole possession of first place for homers hit this season in all of MLB!  At his current pace, Dunn could have his first season with over 50 home runs.
  • Sox closer, Addison Reed nailed down his 13th save by tallying the final 3 outs to secure Sunday’s victory. This comes only two days after he blew a one run lead against the Royals in the 12th inning of the Sox’ marathon win on Friday night.

  • Gavin Floyd will be missing Monday’s start against the Boston Red Sox due to tendinitis in his elbow and forearm. This is just another injury bug that has been plaguing the White Sox pitchers this season. Other injured pitcher, John Danks has no expected return date since he was sidelined in mid May by injury.

 

Your Take Away Piece:  “While Chris Sale remains on fire, the starting pitching rotation has been called into question. With John Danks and Gavin Floyd both on the disabled list, the load will need to be carried by Sale, Jose Quintana and Jake Peavy. Even though he is an All-Star, Peavy has had durability issues in the past. This season he has already pitched more innings than all of last year. The Sox may need to direct their attention to a certain pitcher on the north side of town (the Cubs’ Ryan Dempster) with the trade deadline approaching.”

What’s Next: The Sox are taking their winning ways to Boston to take on a struggling Red Sox team. This will be a homecoming for the the newly acquired Kevin Youkilis. Youk played 8 years as a member of the Red Sox which included 2 World Series titles. Dylan Axelrod will take the bump against Aaron Cook in the first of this 4 game set on Monday.

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sox allstars

The news that the White Sox would be sending three players to the Mid-Summer Classic wasn’t enough to propel them to a victory as they lost Sunday, sick 4-2 to the Yankees. The Sox seemed to have all the momentum after a dramatic win on Thursday and a blow out on Friday but that was followed up with back-to-back losses on the back end of the 4-game series, cialis sale splitting their first series of the season with the Yankees.

What You Need To Know:

  • Leave ’em hanging:  The Sox bats keep failing to come to the aid of some of their best pitching performances of the year. First, discount Jake Peavy on Saturday and then Gavin Floyd on Sunday. The Sox have only managed 2 runs in Peavy & Floyd’s last 18 innings.
  • The White Sox will be sending 3 players to this years All-Star Game; Paul Konerko (leads the American League as first baseman in most major offensive categories), Chris Sale (leads the AL in ERA) and Adam Dunn (leads all 1st baseman in home runs).

Jake Peavy

 

  • Jake Peavy still has a chance to make the All-Star Game! His stellar pitching has brought him to the brink of being voted in. Jake should have double digit wins but his team’s offense has failed to support him in his last 4 starts. So although he only has 6 wins, that number is a little deceiving. Send Jake by voting on this website.
  • The White Sox winning 4 of their last 6 has been enough to keep them in first place in their Division but their 3.5 game lead on Saturday morning over the Cleveland Indians has shrunk again to 1.5.”

Your Take Away Piece: “You can vote up to 25 times per email address for the All-Star ballot, so get to work!”

What’s Next: Things don’t get easier for the Sox as they return home to face a red-hot Texas Rangers team who have a roster loaded with 7 All-Stars with one more that could possibly be voted in. The series kicks off on Tuesday with Chris Sale and the Ranger’s Roy Oswalt.

 

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Jake Peavy

Congrats goes out to White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy, ailment who was named the American League pitcher of the month of April! Sox fans couldn’t be happier with Peavy’s stellar start to the season after waiting two injury plagued years for Peavy to start resembling the All-Star pitcher the White Sox paid for back in 2009. It is only one month into the season but Peavy currently has two back to back complete games, one shutout, and the league’s best earned run average or ERA of 1.67. (This is the average amount of runs given up for each 9 innings of pitching)

Jake Peavy’s name will continue to dominate Sox conversations in this town – whether he’s on fire or falling apart – so let’s take a closer look at who exactly is Jake Peavy?

Fast Facts for #44 Jake Peavy

Nickname: Joliet Jake

Born: Mobile, Alabama

Celebrity Look-a-Like: Jeremy Renner

Do You See it? Jake Peavy and Jeremy Renner

 

  • Jake Peavy played for the San Diego Padres from 2002-2009, before being traded to the White Sox for three players and cash.
  • In San Diego, Peavy was one of the best pitchers in the league; making the All-Star team twice, leading the league in ERA 3 times, leading the league in strikeouts twice and won the National League CY Young award in 2007. (Cy Young is the prestigious award given to the league’s best pitcher)
  • He signed a $17 million a year contract with  the Sox in 2009, but injuries and fatigue kept him from reaching the worth of his contract. His 2010 year ended in mid-July from injuries and 2011 was the worst season of his career where he only pitched 19 times.

  • Jake is married to his wife Katie and has three sons Jacob Edward II,  Wyatt, and Judson Lee.

What’s Next: Itching to see Jake’s next pitching gem? He is scheduled to pitch this Friday vs. the Detroit Tigers. He will be pitching against a strong Tiger line-up that includes Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson and Adam Avila. The Tigers are only a half game behind the Sox in the standings and are due to go on a long winning streak soon. Hopefully Peavy AKA Mr. April, can keep that streak from starting anytime soon.

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