Chicago

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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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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Things are getting AWKWARD when it comes to the Chicago Bulls, cheap Joakim Noah and new head coach Fred Hoiberg. This season has been a true test of Noah’s character, treatment as new coach Hoiberg demoted JoNo from his starting role. Not only is Noah now coming off the bench, but he’s also averaging only 22 minutes a game, a career low since his rookie season.

“I mean, I don’t know what to say. I wasn’t expecting to play such a limited role”

Noah has been a fan favorite during his colorful career in Chicago sprinkled with two All Star appearances and a 2014 Defensive Player of the Year honor. He’s also been the heart and soul of the team, a true competitor. So why have the big guy come off the bench? I’m going to blame it on old age. Noah is 30 now and he’s had his fare share of injuries hinder his game. He’s missed nine games so far this season due to a shoulder injury (the Bulls went 7-2 during these games without Noah, which unfortunately supports Hoiberg’s case). Not to mention his ugly jump shot has managed to get uglier and he’s lost significant height when it comes to jumping for rebounds.

Some trade rumors have been on the horizon the last few weeks as well. We all know the Bulls front court is crowded, the team has more seven footers than they know what to do with. No surprise, JoNo’s name has been on the chopping block. Come June, Noah will be an unrestricted free agent, the Bulls may be trying to get something for their big man rather than letting him walk for nothing this offseason. The Bulls also need some more shooting power, so don’t be surprised if Taj, Pau or Noah get replaced by a shooting guard.

Despite all the talk, Noah wants to play for our Bulls. He wants to be out on the court all the time, or as much as physically possible helping his team succeed.

“But this (role) won’t change my commitment to the team. I’ve never been about anything but winning and the team.”

Personally, I feel Noah and the #messybunswagger are a staple in Chicago and it would be nice for someone who’s done so much for our city finish his career here. I would be truly sad to see him go. However, at the end of the day the NBA is a business and the Bulls need to figure out the right winning combination. Right now, Noah isn’t the solution.

 

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Jimmy Butler is the real deal and now he’s making history. If you would have asked me three years ago if the kid from Marquette would be breaking franchise records, sovaldi sale I would have told you it was a long shot. Jimmy, you’ve proved me wrong and then some.

During Sunday’s game, Jimmy Butler came out TOO HOT to handle in the second half. He scored 2 points in the first half, took an elbow to the mouth, got stitched up, came back fired up and scored 40 points in the second half breaking Michael Jordan’s franchise record for most points scored in a half for the Bulls. He also led the Bulls to huge comeback 115-113 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Not a shabby way to end the weekend if you ask me.

However, Jimmy knows he had a franchise-record-setting day, but he by no means wants to be compared to MJ. Jimmy told the Chicago Tribune, “I don’t want to be compared to him because then people are going to think I’ve got to do what he did. I’m trying, but we’re nowhere near the same player. I’m just happy we got the win. Points or no points, we’re leaving here with a ‘W.'” Always the humble dude.

Butler had stirred the water a bit after publicly criticizing new head coach Fred Hoiberg after the Knicks game on Dec. 19. He spoke out about Hoiberg being too easy-going and needing to be tougher on the team when they’re under performing. Since Butler made comments in New York he’s backed up his big mouth with athleticism.  The Bulls are 5-2 and Butler has averaged 23.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2 steals. I’d say Butler’s comments may have inspired the Bulls to take their game up a notch.

If anything, this performance solidifies what I’ve been preaching all season; this is Jimmy Butler’s Bulls team. Butler is no longer an NBA underdog proving himself. He is damn good. Derrick Rose who? Oh, Rose has been sitting on the bench for 3 games with all sorts of soreness.

#JimmyBforMVP

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After dropping three lethargic game at the United Center, generic it’s looking like it could be a blue Christmas for our Bulls. Even before last night’s loss at home, discount Jimmy Butler spoke out about new head coach Fred Hoiberg and definitely may have ruffled some feathers. It’s been an inconsistent transition from over-bearing defensive guru Tom Thibodeau to laid back fast-paced focused Fred Hoiberg this season, but it was the Bulls loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday that pushed Butler to the edge of frustration.

Butler and Hoiberg apparently met for an hour on Sunday before facing the Nets on Monday night and hashed out frustrations and are “on the same page.” Hoiberg opted for the high road and said he instills open communication with his players and that talking things through is the best policy. He also mentioned that being the team leader is a new role for Butler who had been the scrappy underdog player fighting for respect. He also believe in Butler’s talent, his passion, his work ethic and thinks he can be great at it, but there are still some growing pains (like opening your big mouth in front of 10 TV cameras…did I say that out loud?)

Brought up in the league under Thibodeau, who for a better lack of words was rather harsh, I’m sure it’s  most frustrating for Jimmy-B to see his teammates playing with a lack of passion. Thibs was tough, but he often brought out the best in his players. He just played them for far too many minutes and burnt them out. So far, Hoiberg seems more like the guy who’s super chill, great to grab a beer with, but probably not your number one choice to back you up in a fight. He’s too easy going.

Jimmy later admitted that publicly criticizing coach Hoiberg probably wasn’t the best route. He also added that the media blew the statement out of proportion, I mean it was fresh bait just dangling in front of journalists faces. You can’t trash talk and not expect it to catch fire Mr. Butler. However, it was more like a light trash talk. Hoiberg is easy going, he didn’t say anything untrue. Things used to get far more heated in the lockroom back in the Jordan, Pippen, Rodman days. Come on you drama queens.

“I know what we have here (knows) what it takes to win. People are going to think what they want to think. Yeah, I said coach, but then again when we all talked about it, talked about it with my teammates, it’s on us. We’re the ones that have to go out there and play,’’ Butler said.

A few things are clear after Butler’s comments. He is the leader of this Bulls team. Money aside (he’s got that big fat 5-year deal), Butler’s on-court production and off-court persona allows him to claim the franchise player role. He’s doing it all and on his way to his second-straight All-Star game. The fact that he felt confident enough to make Saturday’s comments and know people would listen is a step in the right direction. He’s only going to get better as the Bulls leader.

I’m not worried about Jimmy and his PC criticism. I’m far more concerned about the overall identity of this Bulls team.

 

 

 

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