Kawhi Leonard

The holidays are here and that means food, drugstore family and football.  No wait, this is Christmas and that means food, family and BASKETBALL.  It’s easy to get confused because Christmas is to the NBA what Thanksgiving is the NFL.  An annual tradition that dates back to 1947 of all day basketball folly.  In 2011, the slate of games grew to 5, tipping off at 11am, and has stayed as large and as long ever since.

This year we’re looking at anything and everything from coast to coast match ups, a Finals rematch (or preview), East vs. West face-offs, and a Staples Center showdown, all complete with the requisite NBA Christmas uniforms, which I am not mad about this year.

If you’re looking to pick and choose when to watch vs. when to eat, sleep or spend time with the fam, here’s the game by game rundown.

11am CT New Orleans at Miami

A match up of the somewhat surprisingly intriguing Heat vs. the under performing Pelicans.  The Brow is always a fun watch and seeing him take on Hassan Whiteside in the paint shouldn’t disappoint.  But New Orleans is ravaged by injuries and an inability to adjust to the new coaching staff.  While I’m much more partial to New Orleans for eating, drinking and dancing, I’d pick Miami in this one.

1:30pm CT Chicago at OKC

The NBA so wanted Derrick Rose vs. Russell Westbrook to mean what it used to.  Unfortunately three knee surgeries has taken its toll on one much more than the other.  Despite this, the Bulls beat the Thunder earlier in the season behind a great game from Rose, who has since lost his facemask, the height of his hair, and his shot.  Both teams are playing under new head coaches who made the jump from college ball, but OKC is surging, while the Bulls count their lucky playoffs stars that they’re in the East.  I want to take the Bulls to turn it around and bring this one home because they always seem to surprise me on Christmas but without Joakim Noah, I have little faith this holiday season.

4pm CT Cleveland at Golden State

Get out the eggnog early because this is going to be good.  You can call it a Finals rematch or a Finals preview, but the top teams in each conference are at full strength with Cleveland seeing the return of Kyrie Irving this week, and they’re about to go at it.  Golden State boasts one of the best crowds in the NBA, who have been getting to games an hour early just see Steph Curry warm up.  And Lebron, well he’s mad.  Golden State makes history with every win so I’m picking the Warriors, if only to hope for a Riley Curry sighting at the post game press conference.

7:00pm CT San Antonio at Houston

Eat dinner quickly so you can be on the couch for an in-state battle of two completely opposite teams.  The Spurs quietly have the second best record in the NBA with only two less wins than the Warriors.  Pop is still sitting during games since it’s not April, and Kawhi Leonard shows us nightly how much bigger, stronger and faster he is than other top shooting guards in the league.  He’ll face another one in James Harden on Friday, but Harden’s Rockets have not done anything quietly this season.  Already working with an interim head coach and Dwight Howard trade rumors, the Rockets have been incredibly mediorcre so far, and outright bad at times.  They are however coming off of a 3 game win streak and have the talent to put on a show at home.  But if NBA fans know one thing, it’s to never bet against the Spurs.

9:00pm CT Los Angeles at Los Angeles

Many family Christmas gatherings may be able to relate to this match up – two passive aggressive siblings, living under the same roof, cut from the same cloth, with so little in common on any level.  On one end of the floor, the Lakers are a mess.  In the midst of the Kobe retirement tour, they boast two young stars in the making in Randle and Russell, who go in and out of the lineup for no apparent reason.  Kobe may score 34 points, or he may have 3 or 4 air balls.  Meanwhile, the Clippers are as good as they’ve ever been, but it doesn’t look to be good enough.  Their team is filled with controversial players who have never made it quite as far as they should have, and it doesn’t look like they ever will after the first few months of the season.  Kobe will be looking to go out with a bang in his 16th Christmas game, but I’d still take the Clippers to use the holiday to get their season back on track, as they continue to chase the shadow of the Warriors.

And that’s a wrap on Santa’s gift to all NBA fans this year.  Wishing you a very merry NBA Christmas, from our SDI family to yours!

Popovich and Parker

Popovich and Parker via kens5.com

After a day of R&R the Bulls will need to conjure up some more hustle as the San Antonio Spurs are blowing into the windy city Tuesday. Chicago has won six of their last seven games at home and are looking to knock down another big dog in the league. Their opponents are currently on a six-game winning streak and looking to extend their winning record to seven. It’s a night where two of the greatest minds in the NBA will face-off. Who’s the coaching master mind; Coach Thibodeau or Coach Popovich?

You may be thinking to yourself, pharmacy “isn’t Tim Duncan an NBA dinosaur?” If last season taught us anything, sale age does not defy Gregg Popovich and his Spurs who’s roster seemingly continues to get older and older, but these dudes (46-16) are chasing the Pacers and OKC Thunder for the best record in the league. Brace yourselves Bulls babes, it’s going to be a wild and crazy night on the United Center floor.

What You Need to Know: 

  • If you’re looking for the hottest center in the league, Chicago Noah’s someone. Jo-No is having a remarkable season and you can bet he’s coming out guns blazing after the Bulls emotional win over the Miami Heat on Sunday. We’d like to place an order for another triple-double with some blocks on the side por favor.
  • Watch Out For: Tony Parker (PG) and Kawhi Leonard (SG). Parker (AKA Eva Langoria’s ex) is one of the best PG’s in the league and also the leading scorer on the Spurs. Leonard will most likely be matched with Mike Dunleavy which means he may have more open shots than his other teammates.
  • Noah has some competition when it comes to rebounding. NBA veteran Tim Duncan (PF) is a big boy and knows his way around under the basket. Be prepared for some serious booty-boxing-out.

    Belinelli 3 point contest

    3-point Champ via MBeli3 Instagram

  • Familiar Faces: Marco Belinelli will return to the United Center for the first time since being traded to the Spurs. Bells didn’t let the trade bring him down. He won the 2014 three point contest and you can be sure he’s ready to show his old teammates his outside shooting.
  • Per usual, it’s going to be about the Bulls top defense holding the Spurs elite offense to a scoring minimum. Los Bulls have done it before this season back in January when they held San Antonio to their lowest scoring game of the season. It’s time for some Deja Vu.

Your Take Away Piece:

“Don’t let their age fool you, a matchup with the San Antonio Spurs is never just a walk in the park. If the Bulls play with the same heart, hustle and muscle that has been surging them throughout the season, it’s going to be a great game. If the Bulls come out tired or hesitant, the Spurs will exploit any weaknesses.”

What’s Next:

Everything goes down at 7:00 pm at the UC – be there or be tuned in on WGN to catch all the action. We #BULLieve

No Parker No Rose

When you play the team with the best record in the NBA, viagra a little panic is expected. However, ampoule when both team’s star point guards are sitting out with injuries – as is the case with the Spurs and the Bulls, and we like to believe that anything can happen.

In tonight’s matchup in San Antonio, both the Bulls (34-26) and the Spurs (47-14) will be playing without their star point guards. San Antonio is riding the best record in the NBA and is on the hunt to keep their top spot for the push to the playoffs. Coach Gregg Popovich and his Spurs gave the Bulls a spanking once this season all while missing three of their starting players. Can Chicago split the season series and get a win on the road?

What You Need to Know:

  • Point Guard woes are a tale we know all too well in Chicago. Spurs PG Tony Parker sprained his ankle against the Sacramento Kings on March 1st and is expected to be out four weeks. What does that mean for the Bulls tonight? San Antonio will be out 21 points and 7.6 assists (Parker’s averages) without the ex-Mr. Longoria.
  • The last time these two teams met at the UC the Spurs were out Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. They put in a bunch of youngsters and still managed to give the Bulls a 103-89 beat-down. The Spurs have more tricks up their sleeves than most teams in the NBA.
  • The Bulls’ defense is the real deal – thank goodness! We’ve got Joakim Noah who’s up for Defensive Player of the Year and has been carrying this team through tough times. In the last five games Noah is KILLING it, averaging 15 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocks. Spurs Center Tiago Splitter has his work cut out for him tonight.

    Ginobili and Duncan

  • “Unreliable” is a great adjective for Chicago’s offense. They have players that can shoot, but they’re not always in the groove. The Spurs on the other hand have star talent in Ginobili and Duncan, Danny Green’s three-point shot and one of the best up-and-coming NBA talents in Kawhi Leonard.
  • Injuries: Taj Gibson (knee) is out, Kirk Hinrich (foot) and Rip Hamilton (back spasms) are both day-to-day and could possibly grace us with their presence.
  • Game Changer: Nate Robinson. If Nasty-Nate can get out of his offensive funk and get explosive shooting he could be the difference in the points produced for Chicago. Also we’re counting on him to rein in the offense and run it like a real man while Kirk is out.

Your Take Away Piece:

“Chicago’s defense is great, but their offense is spotty. Jo-No has been consistent, but we need fire power to beat the San Antonio Spurs. Hopefully, tonight the Bulls can work some magic and get a W out West.”

What’s Next: 

It’s game time baller-babes! Bulls tip off in San Antonio at 8 PM on ESPN or CSN Chicago. Be sure to tune in and catch all the action!


No star-power? No problem. So goes the saying for the San Antonio Spurs. A shorthanded Spurs team came to the windy city Monday Night and easily man-handled the Bulls in a complete game that demonstrated why they lead the competitive Western Conference.

Chicago had a nasty case of the turnovers that ultimately led to their 103-89 loss. Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli made their way back into the lineup, generic but it wasn’t enough of a boost to top the Spurs. Even with their three stars on the bench, malady the Spurs still had enough depth to defeat the Bulls on their own turf, delivering them an ugly homecoming in their first game back at the UC after completing a 6-game road trip.

What You Need to Know:

  • Chicago was a sloppy mess on Monday racking up 19 turnovers – that’s quite a few. On the other end of the court, the Spurs only gave up eight turnovers. The discrepancy between the two teams was ultimately the game changer.
  • Kawhi Leonard killed it against the Bulls; he led the Spurs with a career-high of 26 points. Who is Leonard you ask? He’s a second year youngin’ out of San Diego State who continues to make a name for himself in the league. Danny Green contributed with 18 points while Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal both picked up 16 points.


    Kawhi Leonard, Source: www.spokeo.com

  • The Bulls were a hot rebounding team Monday night, but they couldn’t make anything out of their hard work under the hoop. Honestly, they just didn’t shoot very well. Chicago had 49 rebounds compared to the Spurs’ 26 – yet the Spurs led for the majority of the game.
  • Nate Robinson who started in place of the injured Kirk Hinrich led the way for Chicago with 20 points. Rip Hamilton also tacked on 16 points.
  • As expected, Spurs’ stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili weren’t in the lineup Monday night, but point guard Tony Parker was a game-time scratch with a swollen knee. With Parker out of the game you’d assume the Bulls would have the advantage, but the Spurs stole the momentum in the second quarter forcing the Bulls to fight back for the rest of the game. 
  • There was nothing but respect between two of the league’s best coaches last night. Gregg Popovich proved victorious over coach Thibodeau in this meeting, but Chicago gets another shot at the Spurs later this season.

Your Take Away Piece: 

“You can’t beat the best team in the West if your shots are ice cold. The effort was there as the Bulls were fierce rebounders, but if you can’t make baskets, you can’t win the game. With the team on the verge of being healthy and Derrick Rose’s return around the corner, the Bulls need to get it together and avoid ugly games like tonight’s.”

What’s Next: 

Garnett and Pierce

Source: www.syracuse.com

And they’re off! Chicago will need to shake off this home loss and get ready for their Eastern Conference match-up with the Boston Celtics Wednesday night. Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo feels Rose’s pain as he too was plagued with a season ending ACL injury just a few weeks ago. Our men in red will take on the green machines in Boston at 6:30 PM. Luckily, the Bulls have played better on the road than at home this season. Tip off is at 6:30PM CT on Comcast SportsNet.

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