Playoffs

Our Chicago Bulls kept us at the edge of our seats in Game 5 as they gave us one final gutsy performance to end their wild playoff run. The Bulls came back from an 18-point deficit in the first, buy viagra led by 11 and then gave up an 8-point lead in the fourth quarter to open up a window for the Heat. In the end, pharmacy heart and hustle wasn’t enough to take out the defending champion Miami Heat who closed out the series 94-91 at the American Airline Arena Wednesday. It was a heartbreaking final stand from Chicago.

Impressive is the only accurate word to describe the Bulls’ season. Burdened with torn ligaments, case plantar fasciitis, back spasms and a missing franchise All-Star point guard the shorthanded Bulls never gave up. They made an actual playoff run, defeated a healthy Brooklyn Nets team in round one and truly challenged a full strength Heat team. Nothing to be disappointed about there.

The Heat are heading to their third straight Eastern Conference Finals appearance and the Bulls are heading to their practice facility until next fall. The Bulls’ snapped the Heat’s 27-game winning streak earlier this season, but the Heat snapped the Bulls 2013 season. Talk about leaving a sour taste in your mouth. Keep reading to see how our Bulls went out in style.

What You Need to Know:

  • Carlos Boozer was huge Wednesday night with 26 points and 14 rebounds – he actually played like he deserved his big ‘ol contract. Nate Robinson got feisty and added 21 points. Jimmy Butler played another great game overall and finished with 19 points (we can’t wait to see what Jimmy has in store next season). The biggest boost for the Bulls in Game 5 was Rip Hamiltonwho scored an additional 15 points.

    Source: Yahoo! Sports

  • Lebron James led the Heat with 23 points and eight assists, but the biggest difference maker was Dwyane Wade’s fourth quarter performance. The Chicago native struggled through the first three quarters with his ailing knees, but in the fourth Wade reminded the NBA he’s a future Hall of Famer and has two rings for a reason. Wade finished with 18 points and put a little spanking on the Bulls egos.
  • After such an intense and physical series, there wasn’t any hand slapping or comradery between these rivals. One bro-hug between Nate Robinson and Ray Allen was about as friendly as it got. It has become apparent that there is no love between the “White Hot” Heat and the fearless Bulls. Let the rivalry continue.

Your Take Away Piece:

“You can’t be anything but proud of our Chicago Bulls. They took on the defending champs without three of their starting players. In the end, the Bulls got too tired and lost steam, but their passion and consistent fight is admirable.”

What’s Next:

That’s a wrap folks! It’s time to put this injury ridden season behind us and get excited for the real Derrick Rose return next fall. Watch out Heat. The Bulls are coming back next season healthy and hungry for a title. However, the roster could see some changes this off-season with Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed, and Rip Hamilton’s future as a Bull all still TBD.

The Heat will face the Indiana Pacers (ugh another Bulls’ rival) or the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals and the winner will head to the NBA Finals to take on the Western Conference Champion (either the San Antonio Spurs or Memphis Grizzlies). Keep your eyes peeled for more NBA playoff details!

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A very sick Luol Deng took to Twitter from a local Chicago-area hospital Friday afternoon to defend himself as a professional basketball player.

Since the moment the Bulls’ All-Star small forward was sent home from the United Center before Game 6, for sale Chicago fans have been in a bit of an uproar that Deng would miss a playoff basketball game due to the flu. Social media was buzzing with tweets scrutinizing Deng for not suiting up. Mr. Deng let us all know today that it takes quite a bit more than a flu-bug to keep him off the court.

In reality, see Deng had been sent to the hospital on Wednesday where a spinal tap was performed to make sure he didn’t have a case of meningitis. The results came back negative for the illness, but the procedure is not the most comfortable as it requires drawing fluid from a person’s brain and back (yea ouch!). On Thursday Deng was still suffering from his virus, but also the side effects of the spinal tap.

Unfortunately, when Deng woke up this morning his symptoms had worsened. After Friday’s practice, Bulls’ Head Coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t sure whether Luol would travel with the team to New York for Game 7 against the Nets.

Deng is about as tough as an NBA player comes these days. He plays through injuries (wrist ligament all last season) and illnesses. He wouldn’t be leading the league in minutes played per game if he sweat the small stuff. He made it very clear he will be suited up as long as he’s cleared to play on Saturday. We love you Deng, just focus on getting healthy.

As for the rest of the men in red, they have some serious work to do. Hopefully whatever flu-bug was ailing Taj Gibson and Nate Robinson will have passed by Saturday’s 7 PM tip-off. The Bulls will need to bring out all the big guns they have left to defeat a much healthier Brooklyn Nets team.

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Source: USA Today

If watching the Bulls has taken a back seat to other reality TV viewing this season, pharmacy it’s time for you to jump back on the Bulls bandwagon.The NBA playoffs have finally arrived and the next month and a half of exciting playoff action is the ideal time to really tune in and pay attention.

It’s been a love-hate relationship for most of us Bulls fans this season, but the time has come to put the regular season behind us, strap on our best Bulls gear and BULLieve in our city’s team.

Despite the constant disappointing hype surrounding Derrick Rose’s return and the additional injuries to other starters, the men in red nabbed the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and are heading to Brooklyn to get the post season started against the Nets this Saturday.

Playoff Ready: Clark Street Sports, $29.99

Brooklyn has home-court advantage in the first series, being the fourth seed, however the match-up is not unfavorable for the Bulls. Chicago took 3 of the 4 games against the Nets in the regular season – one coming just a few weeks ago while the Bulls were missing half their roster. This series will be a true test of the offensively powerful Nets and the defensively feisty Bulls.

Can the “heart, hustle and muscle” pull off a first round win against the new-era Nets? Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN he “likes his chances,” with the guys who have played all year. Let’s find out.

Key Players for the Nets:

  • Point Guard Deron Williams has gotten his groove back and finally looks like an All-Star again. He had a crazy good month of April and will be ready to throw down with the Bulls to take his Nets to the second round. In their last meeting, Williams scored 30 points against the Bulls.

    Williams, Johnson, Lopez

  • Brook Lopez has held his own as an elite scoring Center for the Nets all year. Lopez averaged 19.4 points a game this season. With Joakim Noah still not 100% and limited on minutes, Lopez may stand out even more against the Bulls.
  • Shooting Guard Joe Johnson faced an injury later in the season, but will be back on the court come Saturday. He’s averaged 16.9 points in his 62 playoff appearances according to the Chicago Tribune.

Key Players for the Bulls:

  • Carlos Boozer is having his best season in a Bulls uniform. The question is will he continue to produce or take a step back in the playoffs? If the Booze Cruise can set sail with his eyes on the Eastern Conference title the Bulls may be able to make an impressive post season run.
  • Luol Deng is the most consistent fire power on the Bulls roster with Derrick Rose missing. Deng is a two time All-Star who is averaging 16.9 points a game this season.
  • Jimmy Buckets Butler showed us he’s got quite a lot to offer his Bulls team. Butler finished off the season strong in April and we hope he continues this higher caliber of play.
  • Kirk Hinrich must stay HEALTHY. He was plagued with quite a few injuries throughout the season, but managed a nice month of April. Nate Robinson is a spark off the bench at point guard, but the team’s offensive rhythm struggles when Nate-Rob is running the show. While Rose is out, we need Captain Kirk at starting point guard.

What You Need to Know:

  • The overall health of the team continues to be biggest problem for the Bulls heading into the playoffs. How healthy is Jo-No? Joakim Noah’s battle with plantar fasciitis has been a big thorn in the Bulls’ side. Rumor has it he may miss some or all of the first round with the Nets. Noah was having the best season of his career grabbing triple-doubles and really feeling his offensive mojo before being sidelined on-and-off for his painful foot. I think it’s time the big man stops wearing those french sneakers and opts for a nice pair of Nikes or Addidas.
  • Will God finally clear Derrick Rose to play? Don’t hold your breathe friends. You may have seen videos of him dunking at practice or during pregrame, but all signs point to the previous MVP waiting until next November to suit up. Don’t get me wrong, if he chose to come back during the post season he will be welcomed with open arms, but considering he didn’t play in any regular season games, a surprise appearance during the playoffs looks doubtful.
  • Who will be the Bulls post season “go-to-guy”? Without their star point guard on the court the Bulls struggle to produce a player who can do it all. Generally it takes a team effort with Deng, Noah, Boozer, Butler, and Robinson all producing double digits to nab a win. Will Boozer step it up this year for the Bulls in the post-season or will we catch him sitting on the bench with a towel on his head in the final minutes of a game?

First Round Schedule:

Game 1: Saturday, April 20 in Brooklyn at 7 p.m. on ESPN and CSN Chicago

Game 2: Monday, April 22 in Brooklyn at 7 p.m. on TNT and CSN Chicago

Game 3: Thursday, April 25 in Chicago at 7:30 p.m. on NBA TV and CSN Chicago

Game 4: Saturday, April 27 in Chicago at 1 p.m. on TNT and CSN Chicago

Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, April 29 in Brooklyn at TBD on National TBD and CSN Chicago

Game 6 (if necessary): Thursday, May 2 in Chicago at TBD on National TBD and CSN Chicago

Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday, May 4 in Brooklyn at TBD on National TBD and CSN Chicago

What’s Next: 

Annnnd now, it’s time for our Chicago Bulls to make their magical playoff run. On paper the Nets have the upper-hand, but Tom Thibodeau is one of the best coaches in the league. Thibs and the Bulls have been surprising tough teams all year and the playoffs won’t be any different.  I predict the Bulls snag the first round in six games. Let’s go!

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Dan Johnson

The White Sox ended the 2012 season with a 9-0 rout of the Cleveland Indians Wednesday night. The Sox were in control from the second inning on thanks to the bat of Dan Johnson as they earned their 85th win of the year, and exceeding the win total predicted by many early critics by about 10 games. The Sox took their final series of the season 2 games to 1, ailment their first winning series since they played the Twins 5 series ago in mid-September.

What You Need to Know

Gavin Floyd

  • Gavin Floyd finished the year with a winning record of 12-11 after going 7 shutout innings and only allowing 3 hits Wednesday night. The bullpen did the rest, preserving the shutout.
  • The little known Dan Johnson hit three home runs and 5 RBIs to lead the offensive charge in the Sox’ 162nd game. Everyone in the Sox’ lineup had a hit with the exception of Jordan Danks.
  • Sox captain Paul Konerko is scheduled to have wrist surgery on Thursday. He has a bone fragment in his left wrist that came about 5 seasons ago. This injury is believed to be the main reason that Paul Konerko struggled through his last 2 months at the plate after starting the season with the best batting average in the American League.

Your Take Away Piece:

“Another season has come and gone and unfortunately the season ended early. The Sox played a lot of memorable baseball that kept us all tuned in keeping our playoff hopes high but alas in the end, they couldn’t close out. I was pleasantly surprised on how they performed as the underdog after all the praise Detroit had received.  Even though it’s another year that the Windy City isn’t represented in the MLB post-season, we can still watch some great teams play in the one of the most exciting playoff races in sports.”

What’s Next:

Stay tuned for 2012 analysis and a look ahead to what the Sox will need to accomplish in the off-season in order to stay relevant for 2013.

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Category: White Sox
wildcardER

After an exhausting 162-regular game season, pharmacy playoff baseball in October is the highly anticipated finale that spotlights the best teams of the season and draws casual fans back in.  While Chicago has been denied a playoff team in the last 5 post seasons (last Chicago team to make the Playoffs were the Sox in 2008), malady the Sox are in a good position to clinch the AL Central and return to the post season for the first time in 5 years.

This year, look MLB has added a second Wild Card to the playoff mix, a move that has created a lot of buzz this time of year and is definitely something to be aware of as we wrap up the last 2 weeks of the regular season and hold our breath for the Sox.  Here’s what you need to know about the new wild card and how it will impact this year’s playoffs and beyond.

What’s New?

Prior to this year, the MLB playoffs were reserved for the 3 first placed teams of each division in both leagues (6 total teams). In 1994, major league baseball added the wild card spot giving another opportunity for a very good team to participate in the playoffs.

This year major league baseball is adding a second wild card per League. So the top 2 teams with the best record who did not win their division will make the playoffs. These two top teams will play against each other in a one-game playoff, the winner would go on to face the best team in their league.

What is a Wild Card?

The team that has the most wins in their division makes the playoffs. (The top team in the American League East, West and Central and the National League East, West and Central.) The wild card is reserved for the one team with the best record in the league who did not win their division. There is one Wild Card in each league.

Who does this benefit?

This benefits a team that, despite having a great season, wouldn’t necessarily have made the playoffs had it not been for this new rule. This could also benefit the team with the best record in each league. Since the best team would play the winner of the one-game playoff, there is a chance that the team could avoid playing the better of the 2 wild cards.

Who does this hurt?   

This hurts the team that takes the higher wild card spot. Normally that team would go straight into a 5 game series against the best team in their league. Now they could be eliminated in a single game against a team that could just be in the midst of a hot streak.

Current National League Playoff Picture

Wild Card Facts

  • Last year’s World Series champs, the St. Louis Cardinals were the National League wild card team.
  • The Red Sox have been the wild card team a league best 7 times. The Cubs are the only team in Chicago to have been a wild card team (1998).
  • Wild Card teams have won a total of 5 World Series. The Miami Marlins were not only the first wild card team to win it all but also the only team to win it twice as a WC team.
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Rip Hamilton

Now that Derrick Rose is out for the Playoffs with a torn ACL, recipe the question of how far can the Bulls go without Rose has the city buzzing, hospital critics guessing, pilule and teammates ready.  The Bulls have one of the deepest benches in the NBA (lingo for talented and capable back-up players).  Guys like CJ Watson – who will now start for Rose, Taj Gibson, and Omar Asik have been reliable all season long and have helped carry the Bulls throughout the season.  But it’s Richard “Rip” Hamilton who is expected to be the difference maker and the new leader on the team with Rose now missing, which leads us to ask:  Who is Rip Hamilton and what’s with the trademark mask?

What You Need to Know About Rip: 

  • Rip is a 3-time all-star shooting guard and has amazing ball control, is a strong passer, accurate shooter and leads many nights in assists.  The guy never stands still and is also a solid defender.
  • Like Derrick Rose, Rip also dealt with injuries all season long that limited his playing time.  Of the condensed 66-game season this year due to the lock-out, Rip only played in 28 games.

  • Rip is a veteran on the team with crazy Playoff experience – he’s played in over 120 playoff games with his former team, the Detroit Pistons.  This experience and mental toughness during the Playoffs will be a huge asset for the otherwise young Bulls.
  • The story behind the mask:  After breaking his nose twice Rip was told he needed to begin wearing the mask during the 2003-04 season with the Pistons, to avoid nasal reconstructive surgery.  It has now become his trademark look.  Rip refers to his mask as his “Superman cape”.

Masked men are known for swooping in and saving the day – just think of Superman, Batman, and our favorite – the farm boy from the Princess Bride.

 

Let’s hope that Rip and his “Superman cape” is exactly the extra element needed to propel the talented Bulls team deep into the Playoffs without their star MVP, Derrick Rose. Check out the funny video below for a more up-close-and-personal look at Rip and the story behind the mask.

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Category: Bulls
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