doug mcdermott

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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Sunday was one for the books at the United Center as the Chicago Bulls hosted Kobe Bryant for the very final time. Earlier this season Kobe announced his retirement and the Bulls made sure the correct homage was paid to the NBA superstar in his final visit to the Mad House – with the exception of a win, viagra the Bulls went ahead and took the 126-115 W over the Lakers. Sorry to spoil the special moment Kobe.

The Black Mamba has been consistently compared to Chicago’s Michael Jordan as a candidate for ‘Greatest Player of All Time.’ From his style of play, to his competitive drive, to his championship pedigree, even down to his tongue-wagging ways, many say Bryant is the closest thing to Jordan since Jordan (definitely a compliment). Kobe even passed MJ on the all-time scoring list, but won 5 Championships, one fewer NBA title than the Goat. I’d like to give a shout-out to Phil Jackson, who coached both legendary players during their prime-time domination years.

Did you know Kobe almost even played for the Bulls back in 2007 after Chicago and LA tried to negotiate a big fat trade between the Lakers, Bulls and Kings? Fun fact right? It obviously didn’t work out and would have completely changed the landscape of the Bulls (they would have never had a high enough draft pick to snag Derrick Rose in 2008 with Kobe on the team). Bryant did say, that Chicago had been his top destination aside from his Lakers.

The night started with PJ Rose grabbing a quick fist bump with one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball. Despite PJ’s overwhelming cuteness, Pau Gasol really stole the show giving his former teammate and friend quite the tribute. Gasol introduced Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup with a personal video that had the fans on their feet. Truly humbling kind of moment between two former teammates feeling all the love and respect for one another.

Kobe put up 22 points in his final game in Chicago and was provided plenty of hugs and admiration. Other than a loss for the Lakers, Bulls fans gave the former NBA MVP an honorable send-off. With 45 seconds left in the game, Bryant checked in at the UC for the final time and fans gave the guy a standing ovation, I’m talking lots of applause here. It was a beautiful thing.

The Bulls actually put on a good show Sunday night, which is unusual as of late. E’Twaun Moore and Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 24 points each. Gasol was right behind with 21 points and Bobby Portis and Doug McDermott combined for 33 points off the bench. The Lakers aren’t currently the best team in basketball, but it’s always nice to see your team play well after some rough games.

Farewell Kobe Bryant. It was an honor to watch one of the greatest of all time play the game. The Lakers will never be the same without you.

 

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The Chicago Bulls are helping us get into the holiday spirit with Christmas quickly approaching. The Bulls organization invited 70 members of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra to play a live rendition of the Christmas classic ‘Sleigh Ride’ during a Bulls scrimmage.

As I played this video I had the urge to breakout the old show choir holiday dance moves and start signing “let’s hear those sleigh bells jing-a-ling, treat ring-ting-ting-a-lin too.” Any body else feel the same?

Basketball is considered an art form and the producers wanted to juxtapose something never-before-seen for the fans. The end result, viagra a bunch of super huge dudes playing basketball with rather tiny humans surrounding them playing a lovely holiday tune. I’m guessing the producers had a quick chat with the guys before filming started to keep things relatively calm. If Joakim Noah or one of the other seven-footers ran into one of those cellos it would be done for. Not to mention the tiny violinists!

My personal favorite was Mike Dunleavy, still sidelined due to an extended recovery from off-season back surgery, conducting the guys under the hoop. Just a silly little tid-bit.

I’m sure the holidays are a bit different when you’re an NBA star. There’s no such thing as PTO for Christmas and for our Bulls they’re heading to Oklahoma City to take on Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and their Thunder squad. They’re also millionaires, so don’t think I’m over here feeling bad for the guys.

In other news, the Bulls are giving us another holiday gift, a four-game winning streak. Umm yes please! Overall the guys are still struggling to find their team identity under new head coach Fred Hoiberg. However, it’s not all bad. When Derrick Rose gives 100% the team is completely different as his speed sets the tone for the game. It’s just kind of hit or miss when he’ll be on his A-game. Sometimes he looks incredible, sometimes he looks lethargic. Jimmy Butler is having a SEASON and generally carries the team towards victory. Most recently, we’ve been blessed with some Doug McDermott three-pointers, let’s build up that boys confidence! And we finally got a glimpse of what could be from rookie Bobby Portis against the 76ers on Monday. They’re not perfect, but they’re improving and at this point that it absolutely fine with me.

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With all the talk about Kristaps Porzingas and D’Angelo Russell these days, viagra it seems like a distant memory when you think about the hype that surrounded the 2014 NBA Draft class.   Before last season, treatment the 2014 rookies were heralded as the best class since Lebron – Melo – D-Wade in 2003.  Words like “historic,” “loaded,” and “franchise” were being throw around during the build up to the June 2014 draft with teams constantly weighing the pros and cons of Jabari Parker, Joel Embid and Andrew Wiggins.  But as you might remember, by February 2015, only one of those names was at all relevant with older rookies Nikola Mirotic and Nerlens Noel dominating the Rookie of the Year race.  While injuries ravaged the 2014 class, and Andrew Wiggins did end up winning Rookie of the Year, last year’s rookie class proved to be objectively way over-hyped.   It’s hard to believe that Adam Silver’s first Draft as commissioner, which featured not one, not two, but three Canadians in the first 20 picks (shout out Wikipedia) could be a total flop 6 months later.  Blame Canada.

But as sophomores, the 2014 draft class shows a lot of promise.  There’s no sophomore of the year race, but broken tibias do heal, and some of these players who teams hoarded their picks to get, may live up to some of the hype a year later.

Who to Watch:

Julius Randle – Some believe that Julius Randle is the key to the Lakers season.  With a young back court, and known commodities in Kobe Bryant and Roy Hibbert, Julius Randle is the X factor.  Randle is an explosive rebounder and a versatile defender.  His shooting range will need to improve, but he could be a double-double player in LA in his sophomore season, even if his rookie season only lasted 14 minutes.

Jabari Parker – FROM CHICAGO Jabari Parker is on the comeback trail from a left ACL tear in December.  13 months removed from being forced to wear a cheesehead, and 10 months removed from ACL surgery (equally as painful – probably), Parker sounded a lot like fellow Simeon grad Derrick Rose, but without the backlash, saying “I just take it by day. I’ll just play by ear. I have nothing but time to get ready.”  However, the preseason rhetoric makes it sound like Parker will join the Bucks on the court sooner rather than later and when he does, he’ll join their young core which remains intact after taking the Bulls to six games in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.  With the addition of Greg Monroe, the Bucks will have two players who can play in the post, making them, and Parker, dangerous in the East.

Doug McDermott – The 2014 consensus National College Player of the Year, “Dougie McBuckets” was drafted #11 by the Bulls by way of the Denver Nuggets.  A knee injury and being generally ignored by Tom Thibodeau plagued his rookie season where he appeared ineffective, in only 36 games.  With a new offensive minded coach and an injury to forward Mike Dunleavy, McDermott is poised to lose the Thibs rookie red shirt and start in place of Dunleavy, or provide value off the bench with his shooting.  He has a long way to go to be a serviceable NBA defender and stay out of foul trouble, but his swagger appears at an all time NBA career high, and he should have an opportunity to prove himself beginning on opening night.

Others from the 2014 Draft Class to keep an eye on are Marcus Smart and whether his offense can catch up to his defensive abilities, as well as the Timberwolves trio of Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine and Adreian Payne as they get more comfortable in their roles, and join 2015 #1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns in making up a young core with a bright future.

No matter what happens, we’re 1 week away from NBA action.  ONE WEEK PEOPLE.

7 days until NBA season….

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Noah and Butler

Get ready to rumble Bulls babes. We have exactly TWO weeks until the Bulls tip-off their regular season against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the 27th. This gives us ample time to learn who’s-who on this year’s roster.

And now, search the starting lineup for your Chicago Bulls – actually it’s all your need-to-know players.

Derrick Rose #1
Position: Point Guard
College: Memphis
@drose

DRose is sporting a new hairdo to start his sixth season with the Bulls. Despite literally breaking his face during the first practice, buy cialis our Bionic man should be ready to go for the home-opener. Rose has only played 61 games in the last two seasons after a laundry list of injuries. We need DRose to just PLAY. I’m a hopeless Bulls fan that will always wish Rose can get back to MVP form, but it’s highly unlikely after two serious knee surgeries and rehabs. Regardless, he’s still DRose and as long as he is on the court and movin and groovin the Bulls are a better team. Please stay healthy for us Rose.

Jimmy Butler #21
Position: Small Forward
College: Marquette
@JimmyButler

All eyes are on Jimmy Buckets in 2015 after his big pay-day this off-season. Butler gave the Bulls a renewed sense of talent after his breakout season in 2014-2015. Now it’s all about Jimmy. We’re expecting some big offensive stats, another All-Star appearance, and a Butler-Rose duo that is unstoppable in the Eastern Conference. Are we asking too much? Call me greedy, but I want Butler to shine his brightest this season – right past Lebron and the Cavs and straight to the NBA Finals.

Joakim Noah #13
Position: Center
College: Florida
@JoakimNoah

After injury prevented Noah from being his influential self last season, Jo-No will be looking to get back to his Defensive Player of the Year stature and man have we missed it. Jo is the player opponents love to hate, but we love to have on our side. He’s six feet and 11 inches of a passionate basketball player rebounding all over the other team’s face. Yup, show us the good stuff Jo.

Pau Gasol #16
Position: Center/Power Forward
Prior to NBA:  FC Barcelona
@paugasol

Pow Pow! This seasoned NBA vet was picked up from the Lakers in 2014 and is a huge impact player whenever he hits the court. When it came down to it Gasol was stuck on the bench with an injury in the big games against the Cavaliers last year during the playoffs. He’s got 14 years of the NBA under his belt, but with age comes a longer bounce-back from annoying injuries like hamstrings or ankle sprains. We need Pau to stay healthy for the big moments. Perhaps these boys need to incorporate more hot Yoga into their workout regimes?

Taj Gibson
Position: Power Forward
College: USC 
@TajGibson22

Gibson’s game has jumped to a whole other level since his start with the Bulls, but unfortunately to Taj lovers he’s the main focus of potential trade rumors. The Bulls almost have too many big men and Gibson has the most trading value since he brings so much value to a new team. Keep your eyes peeled on Gibson, hopefully we get some big dunks off the bench before any more trading talk occurs.

Doug McDermott #3
Position: Small Forward
College: Creighton 
@dougmcd3

Under new head coach Fred Hoiberg, fans are looking to Dougie Mc-Buckets to have a breakout season. Coach Thibodeau wasn’t big on giving rookies too many playing minutes, but McDermott is now in his sophomore season and loves a nice shot from the perimeter which Coach Hoiberg fully supports.

Nikola Mirotic #44
Position: Power Forward
Prior to NBA: Montenegro 
@threekola

Mirotic, aka Three-ko-la (you have to say it like the Riccola commercials), is ready to embark on his second season in the NBA. There was definitely a bit of a learning curve coming from Montenegro to the NBA, but his serious three-point shot was an instant fan favorite. After a year, Mirotic has refined his game. You’ll be sure to find this guy outside the arc sinking three’s in Hoiberg’s new offense.

Bobby Portis #5
Position: Power Forward
College: Arkansas
@BPortistime

Rookie alert! The Bulls drafted Portis 21st in the 2015 NBA draft and could absolutely be a secret weapon off the bench this season. Portis had a break-out performance against the Pelicans in the preseason with 20 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes. Ideally, Portis can help provide the Bulls with additional offense it never seems to generate enough of.

Kirk Hinrich #12
Position: Point Guard
College: Kansas

Captain Kirk is too cool for Twitter apparently, but luckily he’s a Bulls veteran ready to backup Rose for another season. Hinrich offers the Bulls stifling defense, but he’s no spring chicken so hopefully he can actually play the roll of back-up point guard because Rose will be healthy enough to start the majority of games this season (fingers crossed people).

Aaron Brooks #0
Position: Point Guard
College: Oregon
@thirty2zero

Brooks offers the Bulls a burst of energy and speed off the bench. He takes some wild and crazy shots, but when he’s not getting stuffed by Power Forwards or Centers, Brooks can put up some useful offensive numbers. He’s a great back-up Point Guard when Rose and Hinrich need to rest.

Mike Dunleavy Jr. #34
Position: Guard/Small Forward
College: Duke
@MikeDunleavyjr

With 13 years in the league, Dunleavy is absolutely a seasoned vet. Unfortunately, a post season back surgery is going to keep this sharp shooter off the court for a while until he’s ready to rumble.

Tony Snell #20
Position: Small Forward
College: New Mexico
@TonySnell20

Year two is a definite sink or swim kind of season for Snell. We saw glimpses of star power last season, but we need some more consistent offense off the bench from Snell. He also has a much improved hairstyle which I truly appreciate.

Cameron Bairstow #41
Position: Center
College: New Mexico
@CBairstow41

This Aussie is relief for big man Joakim Noah. He’s tall, he’s strong, but he’s looking to gain some more minutes and overall experience under Coach Hoiberg.

E’Twaun Moore #55
Position: Point Guard
College: Purdue
@ETwaun55

Moore is the back-up’s, back-up’s back-up – if that makes any sense. He comes in to run the court when Rose, Hinrich and Brooks are all gassed or injured. We probably won’t see him outside of his sweet Bulls warm-up, but he is a capable back-up when needed.

Cristiano Da Silva Felicio #6
Position: Power Forward/Center
Prior to NBA: Brazil

The Bulls added Brazilian big man Cristiano during the past summer.  His signing was speculated as a pre-curser to a potential Taj Gibson trade sometime this season. The Bulls are pretty stacked when it comes to height and power and rather need some depth in the guard area. Nonetheless, we’ll keep our eye on Felicio and see what he can deliver off the bench.

Per usual, the Bulls are under serious pressure to prove they’re title worthy and many of the players are vying to prove they’re worth the money the Bulls spent on them. Hopefully we see the best of both this season 🙂

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(please press play before reading – let the goosebumps begin)

It’s time to dust off of your Bulls gear ladies because our men in red are ready to rumble all over this NBA season. I know your fan-dom may have been in hibernation for the last 24 months, try cure but basketball is back in Chicago. For the first time since the “Dynasty Era” when Michael Jordan and his boys ran the town, pharmacy the Bulls are a legitimate title contender and things are going to get crazy at the Madhouse.

Pau and Jo

Pau and Jo via @ChicagoBulls Instagram

Now, don’t interpret my excitement as ignorance, I know this Bulls team is not yet a well oiled machine and has quite a bit of work to do. I just believe our patience may finally pay off because the Bulls have their MVP point guard Derrick Rose back in the lineup, Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah ready to have another monster season, All-Star Pau Gasol joining the mix, Jimmy Butler ready for a bounce back season and Taj Gibson ready to claim the Sixth Man of the Year award. I mean, lets go!

What Went Down While We Were Beaching:

Summer 2014 was a dramatic one for Bulls fans. The front office knew it needed to spice up the roster with more talent to coexist with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah; question was, who would be the best fit? One thing was clear, we needed a player who could put consistent points on the board night after night and put up with all the crazy that is head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Chicago pulled out the red carpet for Carmelo Anthony, but the power house shooter loves his New York and decided to stay with the Knicks. He also just so happened to get a fat $120 million contract. Strike 1.

Thibs and Rose

Thibs and Rose via @ChicagoBulls Instagram

When Kevin Love trade talk hit the market the Bulls were one of the first teams to approach Mr. Hot-Shot (literally he can make it rain some threes), but low and behold KLove has a bromance crush on Lebron James and chose to head to Cleveland to play next to the King. I mean, whatever, he’s a little scrawny anyway. Strike 2.

Don’t you worry, our Bulls did not strike out this off season. They found a way to bring in some serious talent all while keeping their core. The biggest success was finally amnestying Carlos Boozer and clearing up ample cap space for players who fit Thib’s mold. All the while, DRose was off playing for Team USA getting his groove back.

New Names and Faces:

Mirotic and Gasol

Mirotic and Gasol sign with Bulls via @ChicagoBulls Instagram

Pau Gasol #16 (@paugasol) – Yes, PAU not PAUL – don’t make the mistake. He’s a seven foot All-Star from Spain who’s made a name for himself playing alongside Kobe Bryant on the Lakers. He can also help you brush up on your Spanish since he tweets in both inglés and español. What a guy.

Nikola Mirotic #44 (@nikolamirotic44) – He’s an internationally recognized power forward Bulls fans have been talking about since 2011, we just haven’t been able to get our hands on him since he was under contract with Real Madrid. Now he’s Coach Thib’s rookie, ready to be molded into a fierce NBA player. If you caught any of the preseason games, you saw this rookie isn’t afraid to post up and sink a three-pointer.

doug mcdermottDoug McDermott #3 (@dougmcd3) – Dougie Mcbuckets is a seriously promising draft pick out of Creighton University. He’s like the next coming of Kyle Korver at small forward, but a better defensive player. He may be a rookie, but he’s bringing the hot sauce back to Chicago. If he can consistently sink some shots, he gives the Bulls a whole new outside threat.

What’s Next:

GET PUMPED! The Bulls’ season starts tomorrow night at 7 PM in New York against Melo and the Knicks. You can guarantee our guys will be amped up to get this season going, but also show Anthony exactly what he’s missing. It’s time to officially start this season off with a bang and get Chicago sports fans excited about something again.

One thing I know for sure, it feels good to be back!

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