Cavaliers

Alright my fellow Bulls fans, prostate I know this hasn’t been the easiest of seasons for Chicago and many of you have probably given up altogether (I get it, here it’s no fun watching your favorite team suffer through losses), but it may get uglier as the Bulls attempt to claw their way back up the standings. Get ready for a bumpy ride.

Lets start with the good. Jimmy Butler who had missed 11 games with a knee strain returned on Saturday and helped the Bulls defeat the Houston Rockets at home. Buckets looked good, just serving up defense and making some beautiful baskets. Then this week, his knee weirdly swelled up on him and he had to go make a special visit to some guy named Doctor Andrews to get a second opinion on what’s going on. Luckily, Jimmy got the all clear by a second doc so hopefully he should be back in the lineup soon.

Next up on the agenda, Doug McDermott is finding a bit of a rhythm in his sophomore season. Things looked a bit shaky for McBuckets earlier this year. He had struggled to find minutes under old head coach Tom Thibodeau in his rookie season and was expected to really thrive under offensive minded Hoiberg. Until, he didn’t. In February, Dougie had his absolute worst showing of his professional career against the Cavaliers, but has seemingly used that performance to harness some kind of mojo. The following night he put up a career high 30-points over the Toronto Raptors. He admitted he’s just too tough of a critic on himself.

I’m really hard on myself. That can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. I think in college it’s a good thing because you have a week between your next game. In the NBA, you have a game, and then you have another game the next day. So if you’re constantly down on yourself, being mad about a play the night before, it’s going to affect the way you play the next night. So I kind of just let some things go, focus on the moment and just keep moving forward.

Seems like our guy just needed a bit of a confidence boost. Just keep doing what your doing Doug; attack the rim, make those mid-range shots, take more than just 3-point-shots and get aggressive.

Now, on to the UGLY. So the Bulls are currently holding onto the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and the Detroit Pistons are hot on our trail. Normally, I would say “So what, we’ve got this,” but this season has been rough.

The schedule ahead isn’t necessarily the easiest either and Chicago has no room for stingy losses. The Bulls face the Spurs in San Antonio tonight and then head home to take on the Heat on Friday in back-to-back games. The Spurs are sneaky good, I swear there’s a fountain of youth Coach Popovich keeps for his guys, and have gone under the radar in the West with all the hub-bub about the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs are 30-0 at home too people. So two back-to-back tough opponents, then the Bulls still have match-ups with the Pacers, Pistons, Rockets, and Cavs left on the schedule. Not to mention, two months worth of games that could result in more injuries. It’s going to be a tough few months friends. I would say, don’t hold your breath for a crazy playoff run, but the Bulls could always surprise us.

 

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I’m so thankful for the All-Star break because I currently sound like a broken record. I hate to say this, drugstore but the Chicago Bulls are bad. They’re not the perfect storm combination of offense and defense we had all hoped for at the beginning of the season. Instead, in their last 18 games, the Bulls are 5-13. The season has gone from inconsistent Bulls still sprinkled with hope, to literally holding on to the last playoff slot for dear life – in the Eastern Conference no less.

Things are getting relatively hostile on the fan-front. The majority of Bulls fans have completely given up on the season. There are plenty of reasons for the Bulls disastrous season, the laundry list of injuries hindering the team the is most crucial. Should we take a quick minute to layout everything that’s happened?

Jimmy Butler who had been single handily powering the Bulls defense/offense is out with a knee strain, second-year forward Nikola Mirotic is recovering from an appendectomy, Derrick Rose has sat due to “general soreness” and don’t forget about Joakim Noah’s season-ending shoulder injury that has left a gaping hole in the soul of Bulls basketball. So now we have a team that’s left with Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol to speak on behalf of the Bulls.

Gibson chatted with the press after Wednesday night’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks and honestly it was depressing. He said the Bulls had lost their spirit – so basically it’s like the team is dead inside and honestly that’s how they played so it makes sense. He also may have inadvertently trash talked new head coach Hoiberg again,

“We had straight defensive guys, hungry dogs. Now we have guys coming in, offensive-minded, shoot the 3. … We used to be scrappy. Now we’re trying to mold these guys into getting scrappy. … Right now a lot of teams smell blood; you just got to figure out a way to get over it. In this league, nobody’s going to feel sorry for you.”

Hey coach, why don’t we tell the guys to quit loving the three so damn much and make some easy layups? And then after some points are scored, the players run down the court and play actual defense. Two sides to this magical game of basketball.

All that’s left to wonder is whether the Bulls front office is going to make some real moves before the February 18 trade deadline. I would advise you not to get your hopes up, but there has to be a light at the end of this dark 2015-2016 Bulls season tunnel.

Ideally, the Bulls are coming up with some new strategies, heavily incorporating defense into their game-plan as the next opponent on the schedule are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron would love nothing more than to slaughter his Eastern Conference foes and continue the Bulls mockery. Come on guys, we have got to get it together. Otherwise, let’s start PJ Rose.

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The Bulls are like a box of chocolates, and you never know what you’re gonna get. If there is one perfect word to describe the Chicago Bulls this season it is unpredictable. Each time we’re close to giving up on the season because they look lifeless against a team like the Brooklyn Nets, store Minnesota Timberwolves, no rx or the Phoenix Suns they go and perform like champions against a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls have done just that yet again.

Saturday night the Bulls showed their potential by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-83 on the road. It’s not an easy task taking up Lebron James in his element on his home court, but our Bulls played tough defense and got the win. Fast forward to Monday night and the Bulls can’t handle the Miami Heat at the United Center…umm excuse me? Dwayne Wade is getting old, why could’t the Bulls put a stop on the guy?

So what does this information mean exactly for the potential of a mid-season trade? Will the Bulls buy or sell come time for the February 18 trade deadline? The unpredictability of the team makes it a difficult prediction for sure. Sometimes Chicago looks well equipped to handle the elite teams of the Western Conference and sometimes they look like a junior high basketball team (okay, that was dramatic). Regardless, the Bulls absolutely have some issues to address if they’d like to consider a long playoff run.

First off, Derrick Rose. We’ve seen glimpses of the star player we once knew, but more or less we’ve watched the point guard struggle on both ends of the court this year. He has missed six full games this year, including three in January with knee troubles, and sat out the second half of Monday’s game with a back and hamstring injury. Rose picked up his stats during the games he played in January, however opposing guards are getting into the lane too often leading him to the worst defensive rating on the team. Has the time come we try to trade our superstar that didn’t pan out?

Pau Gasol has been rumored to be a potential trade target. His offensive numbers have gone down a bit, but the NBA veteran All-Star is still productive. He’s a free agent at the end of the season and may be just the bargaining chip for the Bulls to pick up a player that can produce more offense from the small forward position.

Taj Gibson is another name on the chopping block. Joakim Noah’s season-ending shoulder injury not only was devastating to the Bulls depth, but has moved Gibson from his influential Sixth Man off the bench position to the starting power forward. Off the bench, Gibson was able to split time between small forward and power forward. Gibson is a good player, he’s just more effective off the bench. Also, rookie Bobby Portis has shown he may be ready for a larger roll on the team, which would make Gibson a very likely candidate to trade.

So far, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson are potential pick-up targets for the Bulls as well.

It’s tough to tell which way the Bulls will swing come the trade deadline. The answer will be more obvious after the seven-game road trip beginning  in Los Angles against the Lakers on January 28, and ending February 8 in Charlotte. Stay tuned my friends, I’m sure the ups and downs of the season will keep us on our toes.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls are without question two of the favorite contenders when it comes to the Eastern Conference this season. Generally because of the Lebron James factor, sovaldi analysts lean towards the Cavs to take the East and I get that whole “best player in basketball thing.” This week the Golden State Warriors took a road trip to the Midwest and literally wiped their sweat with the Cavs on Monday and then the Bulls on Wednesday. Now, thumb don’t get me wrong, check the Warriors led by Stephen Curry are undoubtedly the best team in the league (the Spurs are in the hunt though). Most days they look unstoppable, but generally when the best teams in the two conferences face-off it’s an exciting game to watch. Not the case here, it was more-or-less straight up depressing as both games were basically over by halftime leaving fans with not a damn thing to cheer about.

First came the 132-98 beat-down of the Cavs in Cleveland on Monday. The Warriors got a little sleep and traveled to Chicago where they gave the Bulls a 125-94 loss on Wednesday night. OUCH, that’s a combined margin of victory of 65 points, on the road no less! It doesn’t say much for the Eastern Conference I can tell you that much. Suddenly, Eastern Conference fans may find themselves rooting a little harder for teams like the San Antonio Spurs, or the Oklahoma City Thunder because these Warriors have proved they can blow out the East’s big dogs.

Generally speaking, I’m excited when a team trounces the Cavs because I am not a Lebron fan. When that same team comes and beats up on my Bulls I get angry. I mean Golden State scored on Chicago while two of their players were literally in the backcourt tying their shoes – embarrassing.  Now now, there were plenty of factors that fed into the Bulls horrific loss.

  1. Derrick Rose was the only player to show up on Wednesday with 29 points (the Bulls still somehow lost by 31)
  2. Pau Gasol was literally no where to be found. He had ONE point.
  3. People are talking smack about Jimmy Butler being quiet, but he had 23 points. The guy can’t give 51 points EVERY game there are other players on the roster than need to produce as well.
  4. Defense, what’s that?
  5. The Bulls lost Joakim Noah to a season-ending shoulder injury just last week. I know he wasn’t doing much on the floor this season, but I believe he’s a huge factor in the Bulls mental toughness when they’re preparing for a game. They’re definitely missing their leader.

The next few games the Bulls are sticking to the East heading to Boston to face the Celtics Friday and then a big potential Eastern Conference Finals preview against the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday. Hopefully our guys can find a quick bounce back and play to win some basketball.

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Our Bulls wrapped up their first entire month of play on Monday with a huge win against the San Antonio Spurs. Despite moments of brilliance, sovaldi sale this Bulls team is what I’d like to call a ‘beautiful basketball disaster.’ Chicago sits third in the Eastern Conference behind the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers with a 10-5 record. The Bulls’ standings and record doesn’t warrant any panic, doctor but there have been some inconsistencies that kept fans shaking their heads in disbelief.

Under new coach Fred Hoiberg the Bulls anticipated amping up their offense and loosening up the focus on defense. Surprisingly, here the Bulls have been the fifth worst offense (according to NBA.com), but have been the leagues sixth best defense. They’ve had some embarrassing blowout losses to lowly NBA teams, but have also beaten some of the top teams in the league.

Derrick Rose has been playing with double vision after suffering the orbital fracture during training camp. He hasn’t been able to consistently put up offensive numbers, but his presence on the court is absolutely noticeable. He’s still quick and can create plays for his teammates to score. There are a lot of Rose haters out there these days after all of his injuries, but the Bulls are a better team even with a cross-eyed Rose. His vision is only going to get better.

Overall, our Bulls are where most analysts predicted they’d be. They have a deep roster, they struggle to find offense occasionally, but when they play team basketball they win big games. We can call them fabulously flawled?

Best Moments:

  • Monday’s 92-89 win against the Spurs was one of my favorites for the Bulls. The Spurs are a red-hot Western conference force, only trailing the undefeated Golden State Warriors. The Bulls came out ready to play both ends of the court. The entire team played well and Joakim Noah finally looked like himself (thank goodness).
  • Bulls started the season with a big home opener win against the Cleveland Cavaliers (it was technically October, but we’ll let it slide).
  • They stole a big game from the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 104-98 game at home.

Woof – lets just forget about these games:

  • The Bulls got spanked 105-130 to the Charlotte Hornets – this one still makes me cringe.
  • A 102-93 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves also was a tough one to swallow.

November’s MVP:

Easy peasy – that would be Jimmy Butler. He may just be a top 10 player in the league and is absolutely the most consistent player on the Bulls roster. He’s averaging 20.3 points per game, 2.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds. Now he’s no Stephen Curry putting up 34 points a game, but Jimmy Buckets is the guy the Bulls can count on this season. He’s like a nice wine, he just keeps getting better with age.

The Bulls have to be cautious with Butler as he is obviously one of the most crucial players. Reports confirm Butler has been playing through the pain of a sore heel since November 20th’s game against Golden State. He says he’s going to play through the pain, but lets not push things – there’s still a lot of season to play.

I’m also going to give an honorable mention to Pau Gasol. His stats are not quite as amazing as seasons past, but the big man has been crucial to the best Bulls wins. Let us applaud the game winning block he had against Lebron James in the home opener.

Must Watch December Games: 

  • December 10th the Bulls host the LA Clippers at 7 PM
  • December 25th the Bulls head to OKC to face the Thunder on Christmas Day – games at 1:30 PM
  • December 30th the Bulls close out the holidays with the Pacers at the United Center at 7 PM. This is a big one as the Bulls and Pacers are 1-1 this season and both conference and division rivals.
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