Fred Hoiberg

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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Joakim Noah

My heart aches for Joakim Noah and his ailing knees. In less than two years Jo-No has gone from a MVP candidate and Defensive Player of the Year to knee surgery ruining his 2014-2015 season and coming off the bench for a second year player (Nikola Mirotic).  Talk about a tough turn of events. Now it seems those pesky knee issues have resurfaced and they could be a bigger problem than we think.

Joakim Noah is the heart and soul of the Bulls, viagra his energy alone can propel a team, viagra but do Jo-No fans need to brace themselves for the probable reality of Jo leaving Chicago?

Here’s the low down. He had actually been slated to start Monday night’s game against the 76ers, but decided to sit out due to knee soreness. Now normally, if a player has a little soreness we wouldn’t lose sleep over it, but this is a very telling season for Noah and his knees are the second worst next to Derrick Rose’s two completely reconstructed knees.

“You don’t plan on these things. I wasn’t expecting it. I’ve been feeling great up to this point, and it just happened. I don’t think it’s [anything] too serious, but it was definitely a situation where I had to be smart. I wanted to play tonight really bad.”

Another extremely important tidbit, Noah’s contract is up at the end of this season, he’s currently making $13.4 million and that seems a bit steep a price for a guy to come off the bench. Noah needed to regain his stature and prove to new Head Coach Fred Hoiberg he deserves his starting roll and his money. Otherwise, Noah could potentially be shopped around come the trade deadline in February because the reality would be the Bulls could lose Noah all-together during Free Agency this summer.

To top things off, the Bulls have TOO many big men. Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah and that list doesn’t even include rookie Bobby Portis. Basically it’s too many cooks in the Center/Power Forward position kitchen and not enough shooting guards. The Bulls need to unload one of them.

Noah hasn’t had the comeback season he had been hoping for, but it’s still early. Maybe coming off the bench wasn’t his thing, but his most memorable moment was elbowing a Hornets player. What happened to all those triple-doubles of seasons past? If his knees can get it together, Noah has  plenty of time to step up his game. Unfortunately, if Noah’s knees don’t cooperate, we could have a goodbye in our future.

It devistates me to think about Jo-No and all his messy-bun-swagger wearing a different jersey, but I think it’s safe to say Noah fans should prepare ourselves for potential NBA heartbreak.

 

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Aye dios mio, search the Bulls defensively crumbled against the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday allowing the previously win-less Hornets to score 130 points on them – ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY POINTS.

We can trash talk the Bulls play against the Hornets all we want, see but the overlying issue here is whether this was just a one game blunder with a valuable defensive lesson, or if this is the future of this Bulls’ squad under new Head Coach Fred Hoiberg (and small tear falls down my cheek).

Jimmy Butler was the first to vocalize his frustration with the game, explaining that the team hasn’t been playing tough enough defense. Butler, who was brought up in the league under coach Thibodeau who preached his defense-minded game strategy until he was blue in the face, is definitely not used to getting out played on the boards by a 0-3 team.

We got to nip that in the bud now because that’s not winning basketball. It will never be winning basketball here and it never has been winning basketball here. We’ve always prided ourself on playing hard and not being pretty. Tonight, we were pretty, we were soft. Got our asses whipped. – Jimmy Butler

Something interesting to note, was prior to Tuesday’s game the Bulls were fourth in the NBA for points allowed per 100 possessions according to ESPN Stats. There was also Pau Gasol’s huge Lebron James block to win the season opener and Jimmy Butler’s game-winning defensive moves to hold onto a win against the Magic. The Hornets did however shoot over 50 percent from the field and 60 percent from beyond the 3-point line – so maybe they had their most incredible game ever, or there’s something deeper happening here. Butler seemed to think the problem was rooted in all the offensive scorers on the roster. With the additional offensive freedom given by Hoiberg, the goal has been to out-score other teams. What’s essential to remember is that basketball is a two sided game. You have to make the buckets, but you also have to stop other teams from scoring. The Bulls are too big and too strong to get out rebounded by any team, use your size to an advantage guys.

After a game like this, comparisons between new Head Coach Fred Hoiberg and previous coach Tom Thibodeau are inevitable. Is Hoiberg’s offensive freedom-focused strategy actually the path to success for the Chicago Bulls? Thibodeau’s strategy was criticized for being overly focused on defense, not producing enough offense to win the big games against opponents like the star-studded Miami Heat of season’s past. Will we ever see a happy medium? A team that is able to produce the points, but also prevent opponents from going on crazy scoring runs. I guess I’ll have to put it on my Christmas wish-list.

Tonight will be an ultimate test as the Bulls prepare to take on the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder. If defense doesn’t show up to the game tonight, things are going to get real ugly real fast.

The goal is to have Jimmy feeling more like this after the game:

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Our Bulls are 2-0 and that is definitely something to smile about. Now, capsule I wanted to bring our attention to something a little less comfortable, sovaldi Derrick Rose and his current masked situation.

Blurred Lines

Rose has played two games and is still standing, search so his new protective mask is doing it’s job. Even better, he scored 18 points in the home opener and 15 points in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Despite missing preseason with an orbital injury, Rose’s explosiveness looks almost up to MVP Rose standards. We’ve seen speed, assists and even some spin moves. One slight hiccup, after Tuesday’s home opener against the Cavs Rose admitted he can only see out of one eye – hence his inability to make a three-point shot at the moment.

“I wish it was a blink, but it’s all the time,” Rose shared with the media in his post game interview, “Like right now, I see two of you.”

“When I’m out there playing, I’m only using one of my eyes,” he continued. “I close my left eye whenever I’m out there. So I just got used to it from practice.”

Looks like we’ve got a one eyed wonder out there. Or a pirate sans the eye patch. The blurred vision is a symptom of Rose’s recovery, but hopefully that doesn’t last too long. I’d be dizzy for sure with blurry vision, but Rose let us know “he’s a pro,” and he can handle it.

Even his new head coach has had a bit of fun with the situation,  “I think he sees three baskets right now,” Hoiberg said. “I told him, ‘Aim for the middle one.’ That’s part of it right now, the depth perception. It’s probably still a little bit off. He’s still out there working on [3s], shooting them, but we want him to be aggressive getting to the basket and making plays for his teammates.”

Bottom line, as long as Rose stays healthy and is movin’ and groovin’ out there creating open shots for his teammates everyone is happy and the Bulls will most likely continue winning.

Off the Court

DRose’s ex-girlfriend/accuser is seeking $21.5 million in damages. Quick recap: Rose and two friends are being sued by a woman who alleges Rose sexually assaulted her in August 2013. Rose has obviously denied all allegations, but things are kind of messy. The case is currently in the hands of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, but Rose lived in Illinois during that time. Apparently, this isn’t impacting or distracting Rose’s performance on the court, he said he’s letting his lawyer handle the legal information and he’s doing his job on the court. More news to come on this topic in the coming months.

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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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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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