Michael Jordan

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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Derrick Rose has been pulling on our Bulls-fan-heartstrings since 2012 when our NBA Finals hopes and dreams were crushed by his first crippling ACL injury. Over the years, viagra we’ve stuck with Rose through additional season ending injuries as well as the minor ones. Ever since the heart wrenching ACL tear, pharm Rose has never returned to his MVP self, medical rather Bulls fans have seen glimpses of the explosive Rose of years past. This year, news that Rose has returned to “MVP form” has been making headlines.

Since Derrick’s Christmas Day performance against the OKC Thunder, he seems to be playing with a renewed sense of confidence. It’s almost like he’s having fun playing basketball again. Don’t get me wrong, the guy has been through quite a bit. Even this season he suffered that horrible orbital fracture which required him to play with basically one eye and a protective face mask, but 2016 has shown DRose in a far better spirit. The boost in confidence and performance comes at the perfect time for the Bulls who are currently without All-Star Jimmy Butler who suffered a sprained left knee. Butler has at least a few more weeks of recovery and Rose is needed to take the Bulls under his wing and right some serious wrongs – like the Bulls playing like total garbage most of 2016. Chicago has fallen from the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference to the No. 6 seed.

I don’t know how good I can become. Nobody knows . . . I think it’s an unknown ceiling. The way that I’m playing right now, the shots that I’m taking I didn’t take when I was younger. I’m shooting off glass now. Defense could get a lot better, but I love the way I’m playing offensively – Rose told ESPN

And then moments later we see news like this flooding twitter feeds:

I swear, Rose’s hamstring must be the tighest in all the land. Lets get yourself a membership to a hot yoga studio and STRETCH. IT. OUT. Now, Tuesday night’s game at the United Center against the Wizards wasn’t the most crucial, but was it necessary to sit out the entirety of the game? Maybe don’t play 30-40 minutes, but give your teammates some jolts of energy from time-to-time within the game. I know Rose is also being cautious due to his history with injury, but I’m not sure he’s ever going to be the dependable guy the Bulls can lean on. Maybe Bulls fans have severely high expectations (me, specifically) having had players like Michael Jordan who literally played no matter what because he was a monster competitor, but Jordan never injured both knees. Who am I to judge?

Here’s what I know to be true. When Derrick Rose shows up to play, the Chicago Bulls instantly become more exciting to watch. He alone can set the entire tone for the team in that particular game. Now, the question is, can this aggressive and successful DRose last? I’m going to take the road of least expectations over here, so if I’m proven wrong I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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The NBA All Star break couldn’t come soon enough for Bulls fans (Pau Gasol just missed a layup as I write this), drugstore but for those whose teams are rolling this time of year, a weekend of outlandish events, more focused on Kevin Hart and over the top fashion than basketball, is not always welcome.  Lucky for them, despite taking the game north of the border to -8 degree Toronto temperatures, All-Star Saturday night delivered for everyone.  The big stars were still missing from the court, but Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon almost made us forget about the team dunk format of 2014 by putting on a true dunk contest reminiscent of the old school battles that featured the likes of Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins.

In the last 5 years, the dunk contest has lost the luster of those late 80s battles and the nostalgia of Vince Carter‘s prolific performances by serving up sub par dunks from role players while the All-Stars sat in the stands with their kids stealing most of the attention.  But this year,  Minnesota’s LaVine and Orlando’s Gordon took the NBA’s ultimate power move to new heights by pushing each other to perfect scores, round after round, forcing dunks even they had never seen or tried before.  LaVine and Gordon went beyond high flying dunks and 360s to new and improved moves like grabbing the ball from Stuff the Magic mascot while he spun on a hover board.

While LaVine came out victorious after perfect scores forced a bonus round, the most reality-defying dunk of the night came from Gordon when he leaped over Stuff (my second favorite mascot to Benny the Bull), grabbing the ball off of the pink wings on the side of his head, tucked his legs to a fully seated position and pulled the ball under them before slamming it down.

It’s hard to believe that didn’t seal the deal, but LaVine finally ended the night and took home the trophy with a spur of the moment decision to try a windmill dunk from the free throw line that he’d never even seen himself do.

The 2016 All-Star Weekend was a major stop of the Kobe Bryant retirement tour, with Saturday’s dunk contest coming 19 years after Kobe won the event in 1997.  Earlier in All-Star Saturday, Bryant expressed displeasure with the state of the contest, longing for the days when the NBA’s biggest stars participated.  And he wasn’t wrong, with the last All-Star caliber player to participate in a true dunk contest (disregarding whatever the NBA tried to do with the team format in 2014) being Blake Griffin in 2011 who won amid controversy that the league rigged the event to allow him and Kia, a major NBA sponsor, to win when he jumped over the hood of the automaker’s sedan.  And don’t ever forget that Lebron James has never shown his face on the court in the Dunk Contest for fear of injury or failure.

Nevertheless, the big stars weren’t necessary on Saturday, just the best dunkers, who were dedicated to bringing back an NBA tent-pole event by paying homage to those who brought it to prestige in the first place.  Zach LaVine said he came back in 2016 to defend his 2015 Slam Dunk title as a nod to the days when stars like Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins would compete year after year.  Aaron Gordon, born in 1995, still managed to throw it back to a staple Wilkins move from the late 80s, with a between the legs reverse dunk in an early round.

Dominique Wilkins has been another outspoken critic of the dunk contest in recent years, so if he says it, it goes…

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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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Steph Curry is off to a crazy hot ridiculous monster unreal start. This dude is averaging 36 points, and 5 rebounds, discount and 6 assists. With 148 total points through Monday, sickness only Michael Jordan has ever scored more points in 4 games. After a prolific MVP season, Steph has somehow come back even better and more confident.  He’s clearly demonstrating that he’s the top shot-maker in the league and making noise that he’s the best player in the world.

So far this season, Curry has hit shots from literally everywhere, including 95% of free throws and 52% from 3.  As twitter was quick to point out on Monday, he could have gone 0-88 in his next game and still have a higher 3 point percentage than James Harden.   If you’re so inclined, there are a lot more crazy stats, shot charts, and videos you can watch here.

If not, this tweet pretty much sums it up:

The Warriors won 67 games last year before joining the elite ranks of the NBA as the 10th team to win the Championship in the last 35 years.  Could they challenge the 1995-96 Bulls team that won 72?  If Curry keeps playing like he drank Michael’s Secret Stuff, it’s likely, and it’s also fun to make ridiculous predictions in the beginning of November, and throw in Space Jam references.  Curry will probably come back to earth at some point but his earth is not the same as yours, James Harden’s or Derrick Rose’s (sorry).   For now, we can all just sit back and enjoy Steph Curry’s incredible, not human, and historic start to the season.

And if he wasn’t already SO likable, last weekend Curry took a break from being on another planet to take his 4 month old daughter Ryan to get iced up at Piercing Pagoda in the mall.

Stars, they’re just like us.

 

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Pink's Pulse

Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, cialis I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending or what’s coming up in sports: perfect for sports bars, cocktail parties, board rooms, and well… just knowing your week in sports.

HOT

  • Meet the newest Cuban White Sox: The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a six-year, $68 million contract with Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu. This marks the largest initial contract for an international player. In the 2010-11 season in Cuba, Abreu had a .453 batting average and 33 home runs in 63 games. Abreu had a better track record than Oakland A’s Yoenis Cespedes and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, but the move by the Sox is still extremely risky. The White Sox are dumping a bunch of money in a guy that’s never played in the MLB before. Yes, they saw the payouts of Cespedes, who took his team to the playoffs and won this years Home Run Derby, and Puig, the Dodgers star that elevated them to the playoffs, but Abreu’s productivity in the MLB is not guaranteed. The signing of Abreu is a first step in the White Sox rebuilding efforts during the offseason. Watch for more big moves as the ball club picks up the pieces from their disastrous season.
  • College basketball is just around the corner: If the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks and college football weren’t enough for you…get ready because the countdown is on for college basketball! B10 colleges are gearing up with fundraisers, school competition games and more this week. I won’t go into a preview as to who will win the B10…but grab your team posters and buckle in. The ride is around to start!

 

  • DRose comes home: For the first time since his injury, Derrick Rose returned home to play the United Center this week. Oh, was it magical. Rose’s long-awaited return is a sign that the regular NBA season is almost here and that this season should be a very good one. Not only did Chicago fans get to see Rose back in their court, but Rose put on a show for them as he scored 22 points against the Detroit Pistons. In case you missed it, here’s Derrick Rose‘s first introductory since the injury.

COLD

  • Dwight Howard takes Batman too seriously: This week Dwight Howard came forward to say that Batman was the reason why he left the Los Angeles Lakers. As if the media, players and Kobe wasn’t enough, it was Batman. Howard told USA Today that he reflected on a conversation between Alfred and Batman from The Dark Knight Rises in which Alfred advises Batman he must endure and may have to be an outcast in order to be a legend. When are people going to realize that Dwight Howard needs to grow up? Taking advice from a Batman movie about your life decisions? I’m sorry, it’s not smart nor is it a good reflection of himself.
  • Apparently Ellen is cooler than the Blackhawks: Check out the tweet below. This fancy cat was watching Ellen at the Chicago Blackhawks game on Thursday. There’s about 1,000 reasons why this is wrong, and hopefully I don’t have to explain them. This person needs to sit down for an intervention.
  • MJ’s selling his Chicago compound: If you haven’t heard, former Chicago Bull Michael

    From worldspropertychannel.com

    Jordan is putting his Highland Park house on the market. The 9-bedroom, 11-bathroom house is on the market for $29 million dollars…just incase you are considering a move any time soon. The massive compound even has his jersey number “23” engraved on the gates. I’m pretty sad about this. That guy gave us Bulls fans so much and I don’t think the city means that much to him anymore. He’s moving on I guess. Sad times.

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