Carlos Boozer

It was a night of sweet, cheap sweet Central Division revenge for the Chicago Bulls when they beat the front running Indiana Pacers 89-77 Monday night at the United Center. With their pride on the line, ailment the Bulls came out thirsty and gave Indy a physical challenge that the leaders of the East aren’t quite used to.

Just four nights ago the Pacers gave the Bulls a serious beat-down in Indy, sovaldi but last night Los Bulls came out fully charged led by Sixth Man Taj Gibson and a suffocating team defense. Gibson had accused the Pacers of “flopping” after their defeat in Indy Friday and last night he took his frustrations out on the basket. With their win, the Bulls also prevented their divisional foes from clinching the Central Division title.

It may have only been a regular season game, but the intensity of this matchup was through the roof of the Madhouse. This rivalry isn’t going any where any time soon, so who’s ready for another playoff series between the big men of the midwest?

What You Need to Know: 

  • #MCM goes out to Taj Gibson. Monday night was all about Taj, easily a top candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, who dunked all over the Pacers’ big men and was a continued catalyst for his men in red finishing with 23 points and eight rebounds. It seems as though Gibson is like a fine wine, he’s is only getting better with age.

    Taj Instagram

    Taj celebrating via @ChicagoBulls Instagram

  • Paul George led the Pacers with 21 points and seven rebounds and his teammates George Hill (17 points, four assists) and David West (14 points, nine rebounds) contributed with solid play.
  • Captain Kirk (Hinrich) also provided his Bulls with an offensive pick-me-up scoring 16 of his 18 points in the second half of the game.
  • Between Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson – Pacers’ big man Roy Hibbert had limited impact under the hoop – which is normally his domain.
  • The rivalry between these divisional teams is unspoken, neither organization ever openly discusses any “rivalry” but the players have their own agendas. Things got chippy quick between the Bulls and Pacers who both have reputations of being physical teams. David West and Jimmy Butler were called for double technical fouls after a free-throw situation – ugly.

Your Take Away Piece: 

“The Bulls aren’t going anywhere without a fight this season. They are resilient and a bit stubborn, but games like Monday night remind us to keep believing in the Bulls because they’re ready to brawl with the best. Indiana has the best record in the Eastern Conference at the moment and it’s highly likely that the Bulls will face the Pacers again on the big stage of the NBA playoffs.”

Chicago Bulls Women's Red Burrow V-Neck Tee by Sportiqe, Clark Street Sports: $34.99

Chicago Bulls Women’s Red Burrow V-Neck Tee by Sportiqe, Clark Street Sports: $34.99

What’s Next:

The Bulls get a three day break before they host the Portland Trailblazers on Friday at 7 PM. With a little less than a month to play in the regular season, every game matters as the Bulls and Raptors are neck-in-neck for the third place spot in the Eastern Conference. Keep the wins coming boys!

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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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Silence the haters. The Chicago Bulls earned themselves a well deserved ego boost at the United Center when they dominated the Miami Heat Thursday night. The formula for success was simple, store the Bulls out hustled, and out rebounded, check out competed and out played the defending champs.

After the devastating loss of Derrick Rose the Bulls have faced serious adversity and haven’t been able to close out a game. Los Bulls looked refreshed and not like a team who recently suffered the loss of their star player. Chicago held onto their lead impressively. No one anticipated this blow out, but we’ll gladly take it against Lebron and his crew!

What You Need to Know:

  • Size does matter. The Bulls used their size advantage against the Miami Heat and the big men came out on top. Carlos Boozer led all scorers with 27 points. Joakim Noah had a 17 point and 15 rebound double-double.  Bulls’ sixth man Taj Gibson did some damage with 19 points as well.

    via __jacobwebb__ Instagram

  • Luol Deng has been a complete animal lately. He had 20 points on the board last night all while challenging Lebron James defensively. This is the sixth straight game that Deng has scored at least 20 points for the Bulls this season…no big deal.
  • Threes were Key: The Bulls hit 10 three-point shots against the Heat when they’ve been averaging six a game. On the opposite end of the court the Bulls held the Heat to only six three-pointers which is where they can attack a team from the outside in.
  • Lebron James was the leading scorer for the Heat with 21 points, but he couldn’t close the point gap for his team last night. Michael Beasley followed with 15 points.
  • The “Big Three” were without Chicago-native Dwyane Wade who stayed at the team hotel due to sickness. Chris Bosh might as well have been sick. He had 10 points, but looked defeated under the basket against Chicago’s bigger bodies. 
  • A Little Romance at the UC. A Luv-A-Bull found forever love at center court last night. She was proposed to in front of the UC crowd and the entire display was caught on the jumbo screen.

Your Take Away Piece: 

“Thursday’s win was absolutely refreshing for Bulls fans. It wasn’t a playoff game, but it was a big win against a big rival. This is the kind of team basketball the Bulls’ need to play consistently. They may be without Derrick Rose, but the team still has a ton of talent on the roster. Let’s use it and abuse it. If the team can produce this much offense on the regular, we might see our Bulls with a winning record very soon.”

What’s Next: 

Next on the agenda the Bulls will host the Detroit Pistons on Saturday at 7PM. Be sure to tune in on WGN between holiday parties to see if the Bulls can keep the winning streak alive. All hope is not lost, ‘Tis the Season to BULLieve.

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via @bballforeverfb

Here we go again. The Chicago Bulls endured the absolute worst case of deja vu Friday night in Portland as Derrick Rose left the game on crutches with another knee injury. On Saturday the star point guard had a MRI on his right knee that confirmed he has a tear in his medial meniscus, treatment needs surgery to repair the tear and is out indefinitely.

The injury occurred on a non-contact play in the third quarter of the Bulls’ 98-95 loss to the Trail Blazers. Rose couldn’t put any weight on his right leg and was assisted back into the locker room.

Seeing Rose on crutches again honestly breaks my heart into a million little Bulls-fan pieces. Bulls fans have been down this road before and expected the worst.

I spent most of Saturday afternoon refreshing Twitter and RSS feeds just waiting for the Bulls to release the official news on DRose’s injury and to put us out of our misery.  When it was finally announced on Saturday afternoon that Rose has a meniscus tear, the reactions were consistent: not as serious as an ACL injury, but a serious injury that will take at LEAST a few months to rehab.

Is this for real? Is Chicago basketball being punked by the basketball gods? DRose spent an entire year off the court rehabbing his left knee after tearing his ACL in April of 2012. Despite a shaky start to the regular season, Rose was finally finding his explosive rhythm again (he had 20 points before leaving the game against the Trail Blazers) and then BAM one knee buckle and we’ve lost him again.

The entire situation is heartbreaking. Will this second knee injury take a toll on Rose’s confidence? It was just on Thursday that he filled out eight-year-old Skye Vaughn’s handwritten magic marker report card and gave himself straight A’s.

So now what?

In the short term, Rose is back in Chicago undergoing surgery and his teammates have to yet again make due without their star player on the court. Kirk Hinrich will start at point guard while Rose is recovering – let’s hope Captain Kirk can stay healthy himself. Most importantly the Bulls need more offense. Now would be a really great time for Carlos Boozer to have the best season of his career. Can we persuade Nate-Rob to ditch the Denver Nuggets and come back to the Bulls? I wish things were that easy.

In the long term the Bulls are looking at the bigger picture. Derrick Rose is the franchise player of the Chicago Bulls. He’s the centerpiece of the team. Don’t expect the Bulls or Rose to rush this second recovery. We could potentially see him back on the court in time for the playoffs, but things are trickier now. The MVP will have two reconstructed knees. If you push him back too quickly and he tweaks one of his surgically repaired knees he could ruin his entire career.

With Rose in uniform the Bulls are a championship contender. Without Rose, the Bulls are still a good team in a weak Eastern Conference, but wouldn’t be able to shutout the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers. We’re going to stick with our guys and see how this season plays out.

Get well soon DRose, we miss your handsome face and explosive moves already.

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It was a win-win kind of weekend for the Chicago Bulls who got back to their streak-snapping roots and pulled off two big blowout wins against the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers.

Despite their healthy roster, pharmacy it has been a rough start overall for Chicago who is still working through the kinks and rust of Derrick Rose’s return to the court. This weekend put the haters to rest and gave Bulls fans a gust of hope with some breakout performances and team defense.

Friday Bulls at Raptors

  • Bulls were cruising in the 96-80 win over the Raptors Friday night. With Rose on the bench resting his sore hamstring the Bulls played stingy defense and a well rounded offense. Luol Deng led the way with 19 points, but every Bulls’ starter was in double digits.
  • Joakim Noah finally found his offensive swagger and had his first big offensive game with 18 points. Jo-No missed the majority of the pre-season with a groin injury and needed a few games to find his rhythm again.

    Jimmy’s New Hair via ChicagoBulls Instagram

  • Raptors’ swingman DeMar DeRozan had a career high of 37 points. He dominated the fourth quarter making some outlandish jumpshots, but Toronto had dug themselves too deep of a hole to come back from.
  • Jimmy Butler showed off his new haircut. The handsome young stud changed up his fro to a more clean-cut style.

Saturday Bulls vs Pacers

 

  • STREAK SNAPPED: Going into Saturday’s matchup the Indiana Pacers were the only remaining undefeated team in the NBA. The Bulls, who had already lost to the Pacers earlier this season, said “not in our house.” Chicago not only ended Indy’s nine game winning streak, but they did so in a 110-94 blowout fashion.
  • Derrick Rosehad his first break-out game of the season with 20 points and four assists and against a tough opponent too (feel free to let out your sigh of relief).

    Deng against Pacers via Bulls Instagram

  • It was a battle between two All-Star small forwards, but Luol Deng (23 pts) took advantage of Indy’s counterpart Paul George (12 pts) who has had a solid start to his season. Overall, the Bulls starters dominated the Pacers big guys.
  • Carlos Boozer did some pushin-and-shovin against Chris Copeland. They were both ejected with 21.9 seconds on the clock.
  •  The Bulls and Pacers claim there is no longer a team rivalry between the two divisional opponents, but we beg to differ. Things got taken up a notch at the UC and things will continue to get more heated between these two teams as the season goes on.

Your Take Away Piece:

“We witnessed three things this weekend: the Bulls showed off their feisty team defense, they had a resurgence of balanced offense (they surpassed the 100 point hurdle) and DRose got his MVP groove back. I think things are finally coming together for our Chicago Bulls and there’s a lot of great basketball in store for us all.”

Chicago Bulls Women’s Dark Grey Hooded Fashion Long Sleeve Full-Zip by Adidas, Clark Street Sports: $49.99

What’s Next: 

Chicago is 5-3 as they prepare to host the 5-5 Charlotte Bobcats tonight at the UC. Tune in to Comcast Sportsnet at 7 PM to see if our main men can keep their offensive mojo going and continue their four game winning streak. Always BULLieve.

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With the reemergence of our main-man Derrick Rose, medical the Chicago Bulls are once again considered a top threat in the Eastern Conference and NBA Championship title contenders. After getting down and dirty with an 8-0 preseason record, cialis we can tell our Bulls are hungrier than ever.

Over the past three years the Bulls have established themselves as an elite NBA team coached by Tom Thibodeau. After last season, hospital the Bulls have also proven that no matter who is on the court, Thibs will find a way to make them competitors. With Rose’s explosiveness leading the pack, this Bulls team has lofty expectations.

The countdown for the 2013 NBA season is less than 24 hours away and that means it’s time for your Chicago Bulls-Brush-Up. Know who’s rocking the red, black and white jerseys for the Bulls this season.

Starting Lineup:

Derrick Rose #1
Position: Point Guard (PG)
Age: 25
Get up, or get out of the way. Derrick Rose is healthy and ready to get himself that NBA tile he so greatly desires. His athleticism and strength is apparent and his offensive improvements (sassy jump shot) during his recovery have only made him a more powerful force on the court. Expect an improved field goal percentage and less turnovers from DRose this season. Look out King James, DRose is looking to knock you off your MVP throne. 
Joakim Noah #13
Position: Center (C)
Age: 28
Next to Rose, Noah has become a fan favorite here in Chicago. He had a monster 2012-2013 season full of triple doubles, All-Star appearances, and a spot on the All-Defensive First Team roster. Jo-No and his messy-bun-swag give the Bulls an extra level of intensity that will only be heightened with his teammate Rose alongside him. However, the Bulls must be careful with Noah’s lingering plantar fasciitis. He was already shutdown during preseason with a sore groin injury. Restricting his minutes throughout the season will ensure a healthy All-Star center come spring.
Carlos Boozer #5
Position: Power Forward (PF)
Age: 31
There are still plenty of Booze Cruise haters, but Boozer had another solid offensive year for the Bulls last season (his defense could use a makeover). We need to accept that Carlos Boozer is never going to be the aggressive powerhouse Chicago had anticipated, but he can improve the offensive play of the team. Boozer had a solid preseason and benefited from Rose’s playmaking on the court. He is also the most active Bull on Instagram – Booze loves editing those family photos and sharing them socially.
Luol Deng #9
Position: Small Forward
Age: 28
Luol Deng has been one of the most consistent performers on the Bulls roster since being picked up in 2004. He’s made two All-Star appearances and been a silent leader of the team’s defense. Unfortunately, we’re not sure if Deng will be a Bull much longer. Sources state Deng and the Bulls have yet to agree on any sort of contract extension. Come summer, Deng’s asking price will be too high for the Bulls to afford so many are suggesting the Bulls shop around while they can get someone useful for the All-Star.
Jimmy Butler #21
Position: Shooting Guard (SG)
Age: 24
Jimmy Buckets has a bit of a fro going for the start of the 2013 season. Butler emerged at the end of last season, stole the spotlight during the playoffs and earned himself a spot in the starting lineup this year. We got to see a different side of Butler who has always had suffocating defense, but also became a presence on offense. It’s only going to get better with Rose in the lineup to create more open looks for Butler. Expect JimmyB to log quite a few minutes this season.

Bulls Back Court:

Taj Gibson #22
Position: Power Forward (PF)
Age: 28
Did Taj get himself a jump shot over the off season? He apparently spent the summer working out with DRose and Kevin Durant and we are loving the results. Taj has always been a tough defender, but with a solid jump shot, Mr. Gibson could be awfully dangerous. His game looks more powerful and smoother than in past seasons. It is very possible we’re going to see Taj’s best season yet. Early season rumors has him in the running for the Sixth Man of the Year award. 
Kirk Hinrich #12
Position: Shooting Guard
Age: 32
Captain Kirk is back for another year with the Bulls. Last season Hinrich was responsible for running the offense, but with Rose back on the court Kirk takes on a new persona for the Bulls – a tough defender who can shoot the ball. Thibs will have Hinrich come off the bench for most game starts, but we’ll be sure to see some DRose-Hinrich mixes in the lineup.
Nazr Mohammed #48
Position: Center (C)
Age: 36
Nazi isn’t the youngest buck on the Bulls, but he’s got heart. He earned some major street cred with Chicago fans when he pushed Lebron James right on his booty after James had been fouling Boozer. He stepped up during the post season putting up some necessary numbers when other teammates were struggling to produce offense. He’s not an All-Star center, but he gives his all every second he’s on the court. 
Mike Dunleavy #34
Position: Shooting Guard (SG)
Age: 33
Dunleavy joins the Bulls  after a half season with the Indiana Pacers and two years with the Milwaukee Bucks. Dunleavy is entering his 12th season in the league – don’t be fooled by his baby face ladies, this guy is a seasoned vet. The Bulls have added another Duke alum to the lineup and Dunleavy is quite excited to play under the coaching of Tom Thibodeau. 
Marquis Teague #25
Position: Point Guard (PG)
Age: 20 
He may be the youngster on the roster, but Teague has a full year of NBA play under his belt.  It’s going to be a do or die type of season for Teague who needs to prove his worth to this Bulls team with plenty of point guard talent. We could see a big season out of Teague, or we could also see him get traded during the season. 
Mike James #8
Position: Point Guard (PG)
Age: 38
Mike James nabbed the 13th roster spot for the 2013-2014 season. He’s a seasoned vet within the league, has played on multiple teams and was a part of the 2004 Piston’s Championship team. He has always been on Thibodeau’s radar and for that reason we might see more playing time than expected from the third string point guard.  He’s not in the prime of his career, but the Bulls are hoping to get some productivity out of James. If Rose or Hinrich were to face injuries, Chicago would need to lean on James to lead the way.

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Bulls Rookies 

Tony Snell #20
Position: Small Forward (SF)
Age: 21
Snell may not be the sexiest guy on the bench, but he fits coach Thibodeau’s mold. He can play tough D and isn’t afraid to pull up and take his jump shot (he was a little inconsistent during the preseason, but he’ll gain confidence with time). To most of us Snell was a big mystery draft pick as we don’t see much of the west coast NCAA play here in the midwest. Expect to see pretty good things out of this 21-year-old rookie.
Erik Murphy #31
Position: Power Forward (PF)
Age: 23
Big-man-rookie Erik Murphy won’t see too much playing time this season, but that doesn’t mean Thibs won’t utilize his three-point shooting ability in clutch situations. Murphy will also come in handy if Boozer, Taj, Noah or Nazi get into foul trouble and Chicago needs a larger presence on the floor. 

Bulls Head Coach

From NBA.com

Tom Thibodeau
Coach Thibodeau proved himself yet again last season advancing in the playoffs even without a healthy roster. Thibs instills a defensive mentality in his players that challenges even the most talented of opponents. If Thibs reputation holds true, he could see himself with another Coach of the Year award under his belt. Pair the wisdom he’s gained during his time in the league with his best roster yet and we’re in for a treat. 

What’s Next:

Bring us an NBA Championship DRose and company! It’s going to take a healthy roster, but the Bulls have the talent and depth to defeat their most rivaled opponents and finally get themselves to a NBA finals.

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