finals

The reigning champion Golden State Warriors have been rolling through the NBA with a whole lot of wins. For much of this season, and the Warriors have been compared to the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls who also happened to have an incredible season during their reign as the champs. One could say the Warriors are running with the Bulls. Today, pharm the Warriors have the chance to tie the Chicago Bulls record of 44 straight wins at home.

How do the Warriors compare to the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls? Through 59 games Golden State is sitting at 54-5 and the ’95-’96 Bulls were 53-6.

During the Bulls iconic season, they accomplished what no team had done before, or has been able to since, but the Warriors are knocking on their record-setting door.

Chicago won 18 games in a row during one stretch of the 1995-1996 season. They also led the league in scoring (105.2 points per game), ranked third in defense, lost just two home games all season and won more road games (33) than any team in NBA history. RESPECT. Come playoffs, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen lost just one game in their road to the finals and ended up beating the Seattle SuperSonics for the title.

This season, the Golden State Warriors started with a 24-0 run. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are hotter than hot and their team is in the hunt for a 73-win season.

So what do we think? Will the Warriors tie the Bulls record? It will be no easy feat as their opponent is the OKC Thunder – who just lost to Golden State by a mid-court, buzzer-beater in OT from Steph Curry in Oklahoma City. Let’s just say, tonight’s game will be entertaining to say the least (something Bulls fans aren’t currently able to enjoy). Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are thirsty for a win.

Despite all their success in the recent years, Steph Curry’s MVP award and countless three-pointers the Warriors don’t necessarily get the respect they deserve.  None of the contestants on Jeopardy could identify the team from their logo…I say it adds more fuel to the Golden State fire.

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Benny the Bulls

As we embark on the first pre-season game tonight I find myself giddy with anticipation for Chicago basketball, patient but also a bit anxious because this is a now-or-never kind of season for our Bulls. Since 2011 we’ve been so close we could taste the NBA Finals; Derrick Rose was the MVP, nurse Joakim Noah won defensive player of the Year in 2014, sovaldi Jimmy Butler made his first All-Star team, and the Bulls picked up All-Star Pau Gasol, but for one reason or another (too many heart wrenching injuries to count) the Bulls have failed to get past Lebron James and whatever team he was playing on. So what makes this year different? Can the Bulls get past their Eastern Conference rival Lebron James and his elite Cleveland Cavaliers. I may just be another hopeless optimistic fan, but I think our guys can do it. Here are the three key ingredients to a successful Bulls season.

Staying Healthy:

Well, here I was thinking the Bulls were relatively healthy this season and then Derrick Rose went and broke his face during the first practice. Can we get that guy some bubble wrap already? Luckily, the left orbital fracture he suffered doesn’t require a year of rehab and DRose should be ready to start the regular season (phew!). Aside from Mike Dunleavy who is still recovering from off-season back surgery the Bulls should be as full-strength as they’ve seen in three years. Taj Gibson also had off-season surgery and won’t be starting in the first pre-season game, but he will be using October to ease back into things.

Staying healthy throughout the season is of utmost importance. The Bulls have quite the big man lineup with Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Gibson, and Mirotic all ready to play some minutes. With big men we can dominate the boards, but the bigger the guy the easier it is to get injured – they have more weight pounding down day after day. We know all too well what it’s like to get to the Eastern Conference finals and not have enough strength to defeat the opponent (who is generally the freakishly athletic James). A healthy Bulls team is the only way to win.

Offensive Mentality:

There’s a new coach in town, and he’s got offense on his mind. Fred Hoiberg is known for being an offensive strategist, a very handsome strategist that is, and this is a breath of fresh air for Bulls fans. Ex-Head Coach Tom Thibodeau was a defensive guru, but he burned out his starters forcing them to play ungodly amount of minutes and limiting opportunities for rookies to get playing time. Hoiberg is a different kind of coach and we’re thinking it’s just what the doctor ordered to compete with NBA sharpshooters this season.

Jimmy Butler’s MVP Season:

This off-season our boy Jimmy Buckets got PAID. We’re talking five-year $95 Million contract. Yup, not a bad days work Mr. Butler. After low-balling the rising All-Star in October of 2014, the Bulls front office came to their senses and showed Butler the money. NOW, we need Jimmy to have another incredible season and lead these Bulls to a title. It would be ideal if Butler could take his game to the next level, a little offensive-defensive combo.

 

It’s always easy to speculate as an eager fan, but October 27th will be the first real show of what our Bulls are working with this season. Preseason is just a teaser of what’s in store this year, but we’re READY watch our Bulls ball.

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The Bulls are back in business! After going a very impressive 8-0 in the preseason, illness it’s clear that the Chicago Bulls are dedicated, unhealthy determined and looking rather fierce for their 2013 debut. Superstar point guard Derrick Rose has returned after a rough year-long hiatus and so have the Chicago Bulls’ title hopes.

Last year was a tough time for Bulls fans, capsule as we eagerly awaited the non-existent return of our MVP, but it’s time to put all grudges aside because DRose is ready to show us he was worth the wait.

The ultimate goal remains the same: knock Lebron James and the Miami Heat from their Eastern Conference throne and get Chicago to their first NBA Championship in over a decade. Can greatness be achieved with the return of Derrick Rose and a stifling defensive mindset under the guidance of head coach Tom Thibodeau? Only time will tell, but if the preseason was any indication of what is to come, things look good for the Chicago Bulls in the upcoming season. Let’s dig deeper into the Bulls 2013 season and Chicago title contention hopes.

What to Know about the 2013 Season:

  • The Return: Welcome back to the hardwood DRose. Derrick Rose is back and looking better than ever – if that’s even possible. After a difficult year of rehabilitation on his knee and criticism for waiting to return, Rose has made his bball game even stronger with a bigger and bolder jumpshot. Explosiveness hasn’t been an issue during the preseason scoring 22 points against the Detroit Pistons, 32 against Indiana and then 26 points against Kevin Durantand the OKC Thunder. If the preseason is any indication of what to expect from DRose, prepare yourself for an amazing season.

    Bulls Instagram

  • New Faces: The off-season is always a time when us fans become super hopeful our team signs a glorious free-agent that will take our team to the next level. Unfortunately, our Bulls didn’t have the financial flexibility that many NBA teams have available – so there weren’t any mind-blowing off-season moves. HOWEVER, the pickup of Mike Dunleavy was a steal. He can throw down the jumpshots and is an upgrade on the defensive end. The Bulls also grabbed rookies Tony Snell (New Mexico Lobos) and Erik Murphy (Florida Gators) in the draft.
  • Strong Core: There are plenty of familiar faces on the Bulls’ roster heading into the 2013 season. Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Carlos Boozer round out the starting lineup alongside DRose. As for the supporting cast, expect to see good things out of Kirk Hinrich, Taj Gibson, Nazr Mohammed and Marquis Teaguethis season.

    Rose, Deng, Murphy, Gibson & Dunleavy

  • Lost Bulls: Unfortunately, the Bulls had to say goodbye to a few impact players from last season. Despite a sensational performance during the NBA playoffs, Nate-the-Great Robinson is now a Denver Nugget. He had a one-and-done season with the Bulls, but Nasty-Nate will always hold a special place in our hearts after his outstanding 34-point performance in the triple OT Game 4 of the Brooklyn Nets series. The Bulls also parted ways with Marco Belinelli; the Italian-Stallion is headed to San Antonio to play alongside Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Richard “Rip” Hamilton, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Daequan Cook were also released from the roster.
  • Strengths: Defense! Defense! Under the thumb of head coach Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls have consistently been a top defensive team. It doesn’t hurt to have NBA All-Defensive First Teamer Joakim Noah’s intensity leading the pack.  Thibs has proven it doesn’t matter who’s on his roster, he can make any team play with heart, hustle and muscle and form to his defensive expectations.
  • Weaknesses: Last season the Bulls were one of the league’s worst offensive teams. While the return of Rose will boost up the stats, the majority of the same players are returning and we’re going to need a bit more offensive productivity out of everyone to dominate.
  • Key To Success: STAY HEALTHY. From Rose’s ACL to Noah’s plantar fasciitis to Luol Deng in intensive care, the Bulls have struggled with maintaining a healthy roster. Playing hard, but keeping their star players healthy throughout the season is essential to a successful post season run.

What’s Next:

Get your Bulls gear ready ladies, DRose and the Bulls are going to deliver a wild ride this season. Our MVP is healthy and Coach Thibs has his best Bulls roster since the MJ days – it sounds like a good time for a Championship to us.

Clark Street Sports: $29.99

For their season opener Chicago will get things going guns blazing against the Miami Heat in South Beach on October 29th – wait for it – the night of the Heat’s Championship ring ceremony. Stay tuned for more details about this season’s opening night rivalry. Lebron James may have two rings now, but we say Bring. It. 

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