Jimmy Butler

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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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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WHAT is going on with the Bulls?

Despite their depth, viagra height advantages and overall talent, the Bulls have lost two bewildering back-to-back games at home (woof).  Monday night’s 103-101 loss to the Suns was extra sour, as the Bulls crumbled in the 4th quarter and gave up a 16 point lead to a team they should have absolutely defeated. It seems as though, the only thing our Bulls can do consistently is be inconsistent. Why oh why, can’t our Bulls figure it out?

No one seems to have any answers. When asked about the Bulls ‘killer instinct’ swingman Jimmy Butler said,

“Hell, I think you either got it or you don’t. Right now we don’t have it.”

It’s been apparent thus far into the season Chicago comes out ready to destroy teams of higher calibers (Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs). When it comes to the less elite opponents, it’s almost like the Bulls just show up and play carelessly. They need to be consistent with their drive to win. So what can the Bulls do to find it?

Derrick Rose sure doesn’t have the answer, “If I could put a finger on it, I wish I could, but I can’t. I don’t have an answer for that.”

Pau Gasol thinks it’s time for a team meeting. I’m 100% with the big guy, communication is obviously an issue out on the court. There was a lot of head shaking and angry looks when players weren’t where they needed to be during Monday’s game.

Gasol told the media, “We got to understand what’s going on. How bad do we want this? Because games like this and games like Charlotte you just can’t afford to lose. It’s a big difference winning those types of games and then losing them at the end of the season. We’re putting ourselves out of the playoffs right now — the Eastern Conference is too tight. It’s wide open but you got to go for it. If we want to be up fighting for something, we got to change things up a little bit.”

New head coach Fred Hoiberg was also a bit confused. He explained during the Suns post game interview that the Bulls had played their best defensive game in the 3rd quarter only giving up 10 points, and then played their absolute worst defense during the 4th allowing the Suns to score 42 points. Talk about an identity crisis.

Time to lock it up guys. We can only use the “it’s still early in the season” excuse for so long. The Bulls have Tuesday off and then have the Boston Celtics on Wednesday and the LA Clippers on Thursday.

Updates:

In other news, Mike Dunleavy needs an additional 4-6 weeks of rehab before his return to the court. Definitely a bummer, since Dunleavy brings more experience to the team than Doug McDermott and Tony Snell at the shooting guard position. Also, Pau Gasol shared that he will “very likely” opt out of his Bulls contract at the end of the season and test the water of free agency.

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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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This is the time of year I like to call “Cirque du Bulls.” Don’t worry the Bulls players aren’t quitting the game and running away to the Circus, click but rather the Circus claims the United Center each year so the Bulls jet-set to face-off with their West Coast opponents. It just so happens the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors are next on the Bulls’ schedule and a true test of just how good Chicago is this season.

Wednesday kicked-off the trip against the Phoenix Suns and it was all about Jimmy Butler. Derrick Rose was out with an ankle injury and all eyes were on Jimmy Buckets to lead the way to victory. Butler scored a season-high 32 points, unhealthy completely dominating the 4th quarter, which pushed the Bulls to their 103-97 win over the Suns. Jimmy was working on his MVP resume most definitely. It was beautiful.

Now the Bulls’ set their sights on reigning MVP Stephen Curry and the Champion Golden State Warriors on Friday. Just a lot of “Champion” happening in GS. Did I mention the Warriors are currently 12-0? Yes, just a perfect start to the season, no big deal. Golden State faces their division rival Los Angeles Clippers tonight, where they’ll put their undefeated season on the line. My prediction, Steph Curry comes up big and torches the Clippers.

Let’s talk about Steph Curry, who unlike Lebron James, is seemingly impossible to hate. Maybe it’s his adorable daughter Riley Curry who took the NBA finals by storm last season, or maybe it’s Curry’s soft spoken self, but I love the guy (and I know I’m not alone). He won his first MVP title last season and seems to have transformed from the best player in the league in 2014-2015 to a Super-Shooting MVP. However possible, he’s gotten better improving from 24 points a game to 34. He’s also averaging 5 three-pointers a game and making it look so stinkin’ easy. His supporting cast of Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes are also good, which adds fuel to GS fire.

The Western Conference has been full of talent and generally more competitive than the Eastern Conference for the last three years. Friday’s game against the Warriors is going to be the Bulls toughest and truest test yet. Can Chicago’s defense pull through and defend Golden State’s big men all while watching out for Curry on the perimeter? Will Jimmy Butler be able to drum up another All-Star performance and produce significant points for the Bulls? We’ll need all our guys to step up and produce some points as Golden State has no trouble scoring.

 

We’ve got a lot of #TBT happening today. There’s been some chatter about the 1996 Bulls (Jordan, Pippen, Rodman big three) beating a simulated 2015 Warriors team. I’m all for the fun and games, but I prefer to live in the present and I’m pumped for the 2015 Bulls to take on the 2015 Warriors. You can catch all the action on WGN at 9:30 PM CST Friday.

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