basketball

WHAT is going on with the Bulls?

Despite their depth, viagra height advantages and overall talent, the Bulls have lost two bewildering back-to-back games at home (woof).  Monday night’s 103-101 loss to the Suns was extra sour, as the Bulls crumbled in the 4th quarter and gave up a 16 point lead to a team they should have absolutely defeated. It seems as though, the only thing our Bulls can do consistently is be inconsistent. Why oh why, can’t our Bulls figure it out?

No one seems to have any answers. When asked about the Bulls ‘killer instinct’ swingman Jimmy Butler said,

“Hell, I think you either got it or you don’t. Right now we don’t have it.”

It’s been apparent thus far into the season Chicago comes out ready to destroy teams of higher calibers (Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs). When it comes to the less elite opponents, it’s almost like the Bulls just show up and play carelessly. They need to be consistent with their drive to win. So what can the Bulls do to find it?

Derrick Rose sure doesn’t have the answer, “If I could put a finger on it, I wish I could, but I can’t. I don’t have an answer for that.”

Pau Gasol thinks it’s time for a team meeting. I’m 100% with the big guy, communication is obviously an issue out on the court. There was a lot of head shaking and angry looks when players weren’t where they needed to be during Monday’s game.

Gasol told the media, “We got to understand what’s going on. How bad do we want this? Because games like this and games like Charlotte you just can’t afford to lose. It’s a big difference winning those types of games and then losing them at the end of the season. We’re putting ourselves out of the playoffs right now — the Eastern Conference is too tight. It’s wide open but you got to go for it. If we want to be up fighting for something, we got to change things up a little bit.”

New head coach Fred Hoiberg was also a bit confused. He explained during the Suns post game interview that the Bulls had played their best defensive game in the 3rd quarter only giving up 10 points, and then played their absolute worst defense during the 4th allowing the Suns to score 42 points. Talk about an identity crisis.

Time to lock it up guys. We can only use the “it’s still early in the season” excuse for so long. The Bulls have Tuesday off and then have the Boston Celtics on Wednesday and the LA Clippers on Thursday.

Updates:

In other news, Mike Dunleavy needs an additional 4-6 weeks of rehab before his return to the court. Definitely a bummer, since Dunleavy brings more experience to the team than Doug McDermott and Tony Snell at the shooting guard position. Also, Pau Gasol shared that he will “very likely” opt out of his Bulls contract at the end of the season and test the water of free agency.

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Derrick Rose Drama

Well, viagra  welcome back Bulls babes! With the NBA pre-season just under a month away, click  it’s about time we catch up on our favorite Chicago Point guard, pharm Derrick Rose. It’s what I like to call #DRoseDrama.

Old Drama

Since being drafted by the Bulls in 2008, Rose has been the golden child of Chicago Basketball. His explosiveness was thrilling to watch and with each driving layup Bulls fans felt a step closer to hoisting another NBA Championship trophy. His exceptional performance in the 2010-2011 season won him the Most Valuable Player award and immediate superstar status around the league. In April 2012, Bulls fans were ready for our guys to tackle the playoffs and in an instant our Championship hopes crumbled into smithereens. It was the last minutes of the first playoff game when DRose buckled his left knee and collapsed onto the 76ers court with a torn ACL. And so began the spiraling decline of Derrick Rose. Rose chose to sit out the entire  2012-2013 season and returned in 2013 to suffer a torn medial meniscus, this time in his right knee. After another stint rehabbing, Rose started 2014 hoping to bring back the Derrick of seasons past. Instead, the pride and joy of Chicago basketball had lost his explosive nature and seemed to forever be plagued by his two reconstructed knees. We saw small glimpses of the Old-Rose during last season, specifically the game-winning three-pointer against the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs, but it was more of a tease than anything else.

Today, Rose is closer to a bionic man than an NBA MVP, but fans are ever hopeful our guy could have a rebound season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the pro analysts are so optimistic. Each year Sports Illustrated releases the Top 100 list for NBA players. In 2014 Rose had dropped to the 23rd spot, but after his inconsistent performance last season he back-stroked his way to number 60. Here’s what the gentlemen over at SI had to say:

SI Drose

 

So, that’s not great. Definitely a bruise to the ego for Rose.

New Drama

Over the last three years Bulls fans have had their fair share of DRose Drama. The media hype and speculation surrounding “The Return” and “The Return 2.0” still haunts me. In late August, Rose was forced to deal with another type of demon, a far more scandalous type of drama.

An ex-girlfriend, probably more of a side piece from 2011, filed a civil lawsuit against Rose claiming he and two friends (Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton) drugged her, broke into her apartment and raped her. The suit states the woman was reluctant to report the incident because she had been in a consensual two-year relationship with Rose and was worried about backlash. Because of physical injury, emotional distress including post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as economic consequences (she lost her job shortly after the incident) the woman is looking for a monetary award.  This is the very watered down synopsis of the claim, you can find the nitty gritty details here.

Derrick Rose and his lawyer quickly denied the allegations. Rose issued a statement saying he is focusing on the season ahead and he’s confident the truth will prove him innocent (USA Today Sports). Rose’s lawyer, Lisa Cohen, provided a more detailed statement:

The plaintiff’s allegations are completely false and without any factual basis. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete. Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years. The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter. Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago. We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated. This lawsuit is outrageous.

 

These are very serious allegations, but hopefully Rose and his people are sharing the truth and this will one day be just a hiccup. The season hasn’t even started and it’s already a rocky road for DRose.

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While we’ve all been caught up in World Cup madness, case both the Bulls and the Blackhawks created some major waves in their respective drafts this past weekend. And though we’ve still got plenty of time before both seasons start, cialis sale we thought we’d kick off the week getting to know one of the newest members of the Chicago Bulls from the 2014 draft: Doug McDermott, our HAM of the Week.

If you look up “Tall, Dark and Handsome” in the dictionary, you will definitely find 22-year-old Doug McDermott’s picture. The 6’8”, 225-lbs Grand Forks, North Dakota native may play at small forward, but we think he’s going to be a huge powerhouse for the Bulls in the 2014-15 season.

Doug McDermott, http://espn.go.com

Doug McDermott, http://espn.go.com

The Bulls drafted the former Creighton star, as the 11th pick in the first round. At Creighton, (where he was coached by his father, Greg), he led the NCAA in scoring for the 2013-14 season with 26.9 points per game, was a three-time consecutive first team All-American from 2012-14 and a three-time consecutive first team All Midwest Valley Conference from 2011-2013, this year’s Consensus Player of the Year and was awarded the John R. Wooden Award as the most outstanding men’s college basketball player.

McDermott began his career in Ames, Iowa, where he led the high school team to 53 consecutive wins and won consecutive Iowa state titles. Though he was set to attend Northern Iowa on a scholarship, he left to play for his dad. If being the coach’s son wasn’t enough pressure, the younger McDermott seemed to thrive on it, as he became one of eight players in NCAA men’s basketball history to pass 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in all four years with the Bluejays.

Doug McDermott knows about the art of scoring, as mentioned in this interview with Fox Sports:

McDermott also has history of playing overseas: following his freshman year, he played for the United States in the FIBA Under-19 World Championship, where the team placed fifth.

Doug McDermott, http://college-basketball.si.com

Doug McDermott, http://college-basketball.si.com

He also landed the March 12 cover of Sports Illustrated, which pays homage to the 1977 cover featuring Larry Bird.

By the way, his Twitter avatar is amazing—”Dougie” really is the bees knees.

And when you get praise from former Chicago Bull Kyle Korver (who also played at Creighton), you know you’re on the right team.

But McDermott is just like the rest of us in that maybe he’s not the next Jordan Spieth, and maybe he hates public speaking. But that boyish charm sure has our hearts beating loud and clear.

According to ESPN, McDermott’s path to basketball stardom is just beginning, and we can’t wait to see more amazingness from him when he’s off the bench and playing at the UC.

Is it too early for us to give the young newbie a nickname? Just based on his stats, we really want to go with McBuckets…

Follow Doug McDermott on Twitter at @dougmcd3 and Instagram at @dougmcd35.

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Things are looking bright with the Chicago Bulls. Fresh off yesterday’s 95-88 OT win versus the Miami Heat at the UC, drugstore the Bulls are once again, seek proving doubters wrong and showing incredible consistency on both sides of the ball.  Former HAM of the Week Joakim Noah and D.J. Augustin have both posted multiple 100-point games in the past week and a half. Add another player to make this a powerhouse trifecta: Taj Gibson, our HAM of the Week.

He’s not always on the starting lineup, but he should be. And here’s proof:

The 6’9”, 225 lbs Brooklyn, New York native moved to California in 2004 to attend basketball prep school. Gibson played basketball at the University of Southern California for three seasons, helping the Trojans win the Pac-10 tournament championships in 2009.

Taj Gibson, http://www.sbnation.com

Taj Gibson, http://www.sbnation.com

The Bulls selected Gibson in the 2009 NBA draft. During his rookie season, the 28-year-old made the NBA All-Rookie First Team, averaging nine points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Now in his fifth season, Gibson is averaging a career-high 74.3% free throw percentage, 1.2 assists, 29.1 minutes and 13.5 points per game.

The team has managed to win more games against their biggest rival without former HAM of the Week Derrick Rose, and has been consistent during the second half of the season. A lot of that is thanks to Noah’s stellar play, but Gibson’s moves also deserve recognition.

Bleacher Report calls this season “his breakout year”, becoming a budding star in the NBA and should be considered one of the top two-way forwards. Gibson rises to the occasion defensively, and he is able to cover his opponents with a wide range of skills while allotting for a lower field-goal percentage. Gibson has also emerged as a red-hot offensive player—he leads the team in total points this season with 836.

With all of this in mind, Gibson should be a sure-fire candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award (and possibly for this year’s All-Defense team). He’s delivered in every game as a top player on the double team since the Bulls traded former HAM of the Week Luol Deng, scoring in double figures in 22 of his last 24 games.

Off the court, Gibson has already won our hearts. He recently revealed to the Chicago Tribune that his favorite “chick flick” is “Sex and the City” and he’s a wine aficionado. In an interview with the ladies of A Drink With, he credits MJ for having the biggest inspiration on him (he was the best Bull, after all), and Taj’s natural energy brings a sense of humor to a seriously focused team.  And if you love the “Real Housewives” series, Taj is your guy—he’s not shy about sharing his love for the drama series.

The dynamic duo of Noah and Gibson may give us Bulls fans some hope for a possible playoff picture as well, especially with a weak Eastern Conference. And with Boozer’s contract up, we’re thinking Thibs may need to do some reevaluation of the team’s starting lineup…

Follow Taj Gibson on Twitter at @TajGibson22 and Instagram at @tajgibson22.

 

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The Bulls are off to a strong start for 2014 with a 7-2 record and an impressive triple OT win last Wednesday against the Orlando Magic. With the recent trade of former HAM of the Week Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers, health a new leader of the Chicago Bulls has risen: our HAM of the Week, center Joakim Noah.

Even after former HAM of the Week Derrick Rose was out with a season-ending injury, Noah took the reins and has always been consistent with his play. He’s always spoken positively about the team after tough losses, especially as the team is in transition.

Jo-No has consistently been on our radar—we first HAMed the 28-year-old back in 2012 and he has made our Top 10 Chicago’s Sexiest Athletes list this year.

Joakim Noah, http://espn.go.com

In the two years since, the 6’11”, 232 lbs., New Yorker known for his man buns as much as his unique playing style has made impressive strides, making the NBA All-Star team as a reserve last year and the NBA All-Defensive first team. He hit career-highs in all 64 games with 11.1 rebounds per game, 4 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game, 2.1 blocks per game and 11.9 points per game.

Not to mention the shake-up surrounding Noah and the infamous Miami Heat fan who flipped him off during the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

With his impressive stats in the last month, it is only a matter of time before we think Noah will be named to the All-Star team for 2014. His numbers are a bit lower (we’re about halfway through the season), but it’s clear he’s the driving force to get the Bulls back in their groove.

The son of a former Miss Sweden and a former professional tennis player and French singer, Noah was born in New York City and lived in Paris for 10 years before returning to NYC at 13. He began his basketball career playing for three schools in New York before taking his skills to the University of Florida. Noah played for the Gators for three years, winning back-to-back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007.

In addition to playing in his seventh season for the Bulls, Noah also plays for the French national basketball team, though he was injured two years ago during the London 2012 Olympics.

As if we aren’t sold by his soulful brown eyes and demeaning swagger, Noah has a sensitive side. He’s involved with his charity he and his mom founded, the Noah’s Arc Foundation, which helps kids find their inner selves through the combination of art and sports.

 

We’re melting. Noah showed off a funnier side in a recent BMO Harris Bank commercial that debuted at the beginning of the season. Who knew Jo-No would be the best member of our book club?

All joking aside, a guy who speaks French, loves kids, has the drive to succeed and a killer bohemian style is the winning combination of a true HAM.

Look out for Noah and the Bulls as they kick off the week with games against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Charlotte Bobcats.

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Last Thursday when the Bulls played the Heat, discount I thought the Heat would dominate yet again, click especially without Bulls star player (and former HAM of the Week) D. Rose. But fans were treated to a completely different game—and the Bulls beat the Heat by more than 20 points in one of their best games since Rose’s injury. And with that game, a new star player emerged: our HAM of the Week, Luol Deng, who led the team with 20 points in that game. The 28-year-old had 37 points in the triple overtime loss two days prior.

So what else is there to know about the 6’9”, 220 lbs small forward?

Luol Deng, http://www.nba.com

Deng hails from what is now South Sudan, but fled the country with his family as a child, moving to Egypt and then to Great Britain, becoming a British citizen in 2006.

He attended high school in South London, developing an interest in soccer. He played for a few years before switching his focus to basketball, playing on England’s 15-and-under team for the Brixton Basketball Club and England’s squad in the European Junior Men’s Tournament. He earned a spot in the London Youth Games Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2009.

At 14, Deng moved to the United States to play basketball at Blair Academy in New Jersey. After graduation, he attended Duke University. In just one season, Deng appeared in 37 games and scored an average of 15.1 points per game, leading the school to the 2004 Final Four.

After receiving the USBWA National Freshman of the Year award, Deng entered the 2004 NBA draft. The Phoenix Suns originally drafted Deng as the 7th pick in the first round, but was immediately traded to the Bulls by another agreement. Though he suffered a season-ending wrist injury late in his rookie season, Deng made the NBA All-Rookie First Team and helped the Bulls return to the playoffs for the first time in seven years. He finished his first season with an average of 11.7 points per game.

In the 2006-07 season, Deng was the only Bull to start all 82 regular season games, and increased his scoring to 18.8 points per game. He earned the NBA sportsmanship award, the 2006-07 Golden Icon Award for Best Sports Role Model and the UN Refugee Agency’s Humanitarian of the Year Award as part of the UNHCR’s ninmillion.org campaign to bring education and sports to displaced children.

He played in his (much-deserved) All-Star seasons the past two years, joining D. Rose in 2012 and former HAM of the Week Joakim Noah in 2013.

Although he’s been plagued by injury over his past nine seasons, Coach Thibs has called Deng the “glue” that holds the team together, which has certainly helped in this season so far. He’s played through it—showing just how devoted he is to the sport.

Luol Deng, photo via @luoldeng9 Instagram

But being a basketball powerhouse isn’t the only thing that makes him HAM-worthy. Deng is involved in numerous charities, most notably his Luol Deng Foundation, which provides means for African children and adults with access to basic human needs. He serves as a spokesperson for Nothing But Nets, Ninemillion.org and the World Food Programme. He also attended the Basketball Without Borders Tour in 2006 and 2007, and made a highly publicized first return to his native Sudan following the 2009-10 season.

In addition, Deng is also the founder of the Luol Deng Foundation (UK), a not-for-profit organization that provides opportunities for participation in basketball for the Great Britain community while addressing issues of education, health, crime and social inclusion.

In a 2012 interview with GB Basketball, Deng talks about his commitment to bring basketball to the UK, especially as the team prepared for the London Olympics, in which he served as an ambassador and averaged 15.8 points.

The social media-savvy player posts on everything from basketball to his foundation. His main site, LuolDeng.com, includes all his accounts as a way for fans to connect and become a part of the community.

 

As the remaining player of the 2004-05 roster, Deng has weathered through trade rumors, which have increased more since the announcement of D. Rose’s injury. He’s playing in the final year of his contract, and the Bulls have been very fair without their star player. But for now, Deng is in his prime as a leader, and will hopefully get the team back on track.

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