Ronnie Brewer

Bulls are Hungry

Calling all Bulls babes: the NBA playoffs are right under our noses! If you took a backseat after Derrick Rose went out for the season or Luol Deng was shipped off to Cleveland – we don’t blame you, find but it’s time to brush up on your Bulls basics because we’re gearing up for a playoff party.

The league is wrapping up their regular season tonight and our Bulls have secured the role of “most dangerous underdog” in the post season this year. No one expected much out of Chicago after Derrick rose went down with the doom and gloom of a second knee injury. Many suggested the team tank the season and collect themselves a nice lottery pick in the draft. Instead, the Bulls are prepping for the 2014 post season and are easily one of the biggest threats to the top seeded dogs in the East.

What You Need to Know:

1. The Perfect Playoff Positioning? They’re either playing the Brooklyn Nets or the Washington Wizards in a first round show down. It all depends on the outcome of the final games tonight (The Bulls snag a four seed and Indy’s bracket with a loss or a Raptors win. They take the three seed with a win and a Raptors loss). Rumor has it the Nets don’t want to meet the Bulls in the first round after we knocked them out last year. The Pacers clinched the top seed in the East so technically we want the 4th seed to avoid the Miami Heat’s half of the bracket. Let’s not face BronBron and his title contending friends until the Eastern finals por favor.

2. It’s all about the messy bun swagger and the heart hustle and muscle of Joakim Noah this post season. His energy propels the emotional stability of the entire roster. JoNo has been absolutely stunning this season, racking up career high stats. Triple-double is basically his middle name. He leads the team in rebounds, blocks, and assists (yea our center is the best passer on the team, deal with it). Noah’s health and consistent performance is essential for the Bulls to advance to the second round.

3. Crazy Cool Coach: Thibs may look like a Disney evil villain or maybe you get the used car salesman vibe from his fashion sense, but one thing proves true; Tom Thibodeau knows how to coach an NBA team. It doesn’t matter who’s on his bench, NBA players ride or die with their boy Thibs.

4. Defensive Titans: By now we are all aware of the Bulls defensive mindset. Tom Thibodeau has his teams eat and breathe defense and the Bulls are peaking (minus the loss to the lowly Knicks) at the right time. We’re looking your way Jimmy ButlerThey’ve been ranked in the top 5 defenses all season and are about to take the physicality up a notch.

5. X-Factors: Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler. Gibson is in the running for Sixth man of the year and there is no time like the present for him to whip out all the stops. I want ego-smothering dunks and I want dirty defense. Jimmy Buckets had a slow start on the year, but has picked things up since the All-Star break. We need a big burst from Butler to solidify some offense and defense for the Bulls.

6. Down and Dirty Delivery: The Bulls are primitive in their strategic play and do not possess the same finesse as power houses like the Heat and Pacers. Sometimes they barely have much offense at all; it can get ugly. However, the Bulls find other ways to beat you. They’ll physically and emotionally wear their opponents down.

Jimmer

Jimmer Fredette via @ChicagoBulls

7. Jimmer Fever: From the second Jimmer Fredette stepped foot onto a Bull’s bball court, the media and the fans went into their usual Jimmer Fever frenzy. Think Brian Scalabrine White Mamba style, but not a super old NBA veteran. Jimmer is a bench mobber who may not see heavy minutes, but can make an impact emotionally – plus he’s got a nice mid-range shot. #jimmerfeverforever

8. D.J. Augustin is the best pick-up the Bulls could have hoped for. Chicago snatched Augustin after the Raptors put him up on waivers (the NBA equivalent to being homeless on the street). The Bulls were a team who needed a backup point guard, they took Augustin under their wing and he instantly made an impact off the bench. He’s currently the Bulls’ leading scorer.

Brewer's back

Brewer via Chicagobullspics

9. Roster Updates: Ronnie “brew-ha-ha” Brewer is back on the Bulls. We were sad to see him go a few years back, but his return to the bench mob is a happy one. Brewer knows Thib’s intense defensive ways. He plays tough and can give the Bulls a pick-me-up when they need one.

10. No DRose: Derrick rose isn’t making a superhero return to whisk his team off into NBA happily ever after. Let it go, Let it go. (Yes, I went there, Frozen style)

Per usual any playoff advancing is going to take an entire Bulls team effort. Kirk, Boozer, Butler, Dunleavy and the whole gang are going to have to play their hearts out and maybe, just maybe, our Bulls may upset the entire conference. It’s time to #BULLieve.

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After two solid road wins the Bulls are heading home to the United Center to take on the Eastern Conference-leading New York Knicks. Yes, here you read that right, buy the Knicks snatched the top spot in the East after they gave the defending NBA champs, levitra the Miami Heat a 20 point whooping in South Beach. Many thought it may just be an early season fluke, but for the first time since the 90’s New York has a balanced team with a dangerous offense and a dirty defense. Just what will our injury prone Bulls need to do to pull off a victory this Saturday?

What You Need to Know:

  • Joakim Noah is an offensive monster! The messy-bun-swagger was in full reign last night in Detroit as Noah racked up 30 points and 23 rebounds – career highs in both categories – leading Chicago to their 108-104 win against the Pistons. TOTAL DOMINATION. We’ll take another order of that Jo-No! 
  • Carmelo Anthony, aka King of the Knicks, is questionable for Saturday’s match-up against the Bulls due to some stitches he had to his middle finger. Anthony has been the fearless leader of the Knicks in recent years, but they have other weapons even with Melo on the bench. New York’s Raymond Felton was the firepower in the game against Miami – he had 27 points, 18 of which game from three pointers.

    Carmelo Anthony

  • Ronnie “Brew-ha-ha” Brewer is heading back to Chicago for the first time since being traded in the off season. It’s tough seeing Brewer rocking an orange sweat band when we knew him as “Chicago’s finest brew” just last year.
  • As for the Bulls, sharp shooter and former HAM, Marco Belinelli seems to be settling into his starting role while Rip Hamilton recovers from his foot injury. Belinelli had a standout performance against the Cleveland Cavs on Wednesday scoring 23 points. Now, we know this isn’t going to be something consistent, but hey we’ll take it whenever we can get it!
  • To pull off a big W, Chicago needs to keep up their defense. New York has quite a few veterans that know how to run the game and the Bulls can’t let any of them get too hot. If Chicago’s defense can suffocate the Knicks offensive, they’ll be in good shape.

Your Take Away Piece: 

“New York’s not fooling around this year. As they sit at the top of the Eastern Conference they’re under a serious magnifying glass and have to keep up their exceptional performances, otherwise they could potentially lose it all – specifically their flaky fan-base. The Bulls need to step up their defense and give a team effort offensively to shake the Knicks confidence a bit and bite NY’s 5 game winning streak right in the butt.”

What’s Next: 

The Knicks are coming in hot after their surprising win in Miami. Let’s hope the Bulls have rested up on their ride home from Detroit Friday. This is a big one for the Bulls. Tune in at 7PM on WGN to catch all the action.

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It may only be August, find but it’s never too early to amp up your Bulls knowledge, particularly after a turbulent off-season like this.  The theme of this year’s off-season has definitely been “out with the old, in with the new” – bench that is.  After the Bulls brass changed up the roster quite a bit through a series of trades during NBA Free Agency, we’re going to have some new names and faces to get to know.  Old faces like Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are still around to provide us with some dunks, but the Bulls’ beloved bench mob is essentially gone.  Check out who’s in and who’s out!

Say Good-Bye to the “Bench Mob”:
We know, we’re just as sad about the whole situation – if you aren’t familiar, the “Bench Mob” was the nickname given to the Bulls’ bench players who would come into the game to relieve the starting five players. The Bench Mob was the core group that sustained the Bulls top record in the NBA all season after facing so many injuries to star players. Many of our favorite personalities on the team have been traded off one-by-one to new NBA cities, take a look:

  • Most recently the Bulls decided against matching the Houston Rockets $25 million dollar offer for the “Turkish Hammer”, Omer Asik. Although he isn’t the best offensively (he struggled with an inbound catch to win in the playoffs and then proceeded to miss some free throws) his defense and rebounding abilities will be tough to replace.
  • Chicago won’t be hearing anymore “Hot Sauce” during the color commentary since the handsome Kyle Korver will be making his way to “hot-lanta” as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.Of course being the classy guy we know and love, Korver had only kind things to say about his time with the Bulls organization.

    Kyle Korver

  • Backup point guard C.J. Watson will be heading to the Brooklyn Nets (formerly the New Jersey nets). He may have made quite a few Chicagoans cranky when he said Deron Williams (the Nets point guard) was the best point guard in the NBA – not his former teammate Derrick Rose.
  • Chicago’s finest brew is heading to the Big Apple. Ronnie Brewer will be playing for the New York Knicks after signing a one-year deal. His defense will absolutely be missed.
The New-Crew: 
After letting go so many essential pieces to the Bulls successful 2012 team, Chicago had some serious holes to fill.  Not to mention finding a suitable back-up point guard for Derrick Rose as he rehabs and recovers from his season-ending torn ACL.   The Bulls did what they could to the best of their “financial” ability.
  • Chicago welcomed back a familiar point guard: Mr. Kirk Hinrich.With Derrick Rose most likely not returning until March of 2013 the Bulls need a seasoned point guard to man the court. The Bulls drafted “Captain Kirk” back in 2003 where he played his first seven seasons in the NBA and was then traded over to the Washington Wizards and later to the Atlanta Hawks. Kirk also holds the franchise record for most three point field goals – hopefully he can break his own record!

    Kirk Henrich

  • The Bulls picked up forward Vladimir Radmanovic from the Atlanta Hawks after agreeing on a one-year deal.Radmaonvic is a big guy, but he’s not too smooth on defense. I can’t wait to see what kind of nickname Stacey King can come up with for Vladimir!

    Vladimir Radmanovic

  • Another recent addition is shooting guard Marco Belinelli. The 26-year-old sharp shooter is coming up from the New Orleans Hornets and hopefully bringing his offense with him. He slightly resembles Sylvester Stallone in his “Rocky” days – take it or leave it. His one downfall is also his defense. He openly admitted to not playing very well on defense, hopefully defensive connoisseur coach Tom Thibodeau can work some magic.
  • The Bulls most recently picked up  free agent center Nazr Mohammed, who will be able to pick up the slack after trading Asik. The 14-year NBA veteran played for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season and is also a Chicago native who gets to play for his hometown team!
Your Take Away Piece:  Patience is a virtue, and we’re going to need it this season. Former MVP Derrick Rose will be out for the majority of the season with his recovering ACL and Luol Deng’s wrist surgery is still up in the air. With our stars out and a salary cap to fight, the Bulls had to make some financial moves for the future. The organization always says they make decision for the “basketball team” but we can all see through this one, at the end of the day the Bulls are a business as well.

 What’s Next: The Bulls just released their 2012-2013 schedule, so get your calendars ready! Their first official match-up is at the United Center on Oct. 31 against the Sacramento Kings. Six of the seven first games will be played at home, including duels with the Oklahoma City Thunder and conference rival Boston Celtics. Check out the full schedule here!

 

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The anxiety around tonight’s Game 6 is growing by the minute, but we won’t stop Bullieving!  It’s been two days since Game 5 and the Bulls find themselves in the same nerve-racking “do or die” situation as they return to Philly for Game 6 Thursday night. The Bulls escaped elimination Tuesday, but the 76ers will undoubtedly try to close out the series at home heightening the intensity between the two teams. Game 5 was a brutal mixture of offense, stifling defense, and even a gritty scuffle between the Bulls’ Taj Gibson and 76ers’ Elton Brand. The Bulls will need to show the same type of emotional and aggressive performance again tonight in order to pull off a win and force Game 7 back in Chicago.

Taj Gibson and Elton Brand scuffle in Game 5

 

What You Need to Know & Watch For:

  • Bench Mobber Taj Gibson lays it all on the line each time he steps on the court, and this is why our hearts sank when he fell to the ground clutching his right ankle in Game 5 – it was deja vu – but he proceeded to fight through the pain and finish the game. Gibson has reassured the media that his ankle was “hurt” and not “injured.” As long as he doesn’t feel he’ll negatively impact the performance of his team, he will be playing in game 6.
  • Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer need to have strong offensive and defensive games. Boozer has surprisingly done well in this playoff series for someone who has struggled in the post season the last few years. Game 5 was the first time Deng really made an impact offensively and it worked out nicely for Chicago.
  • If Richard “Rip” Hamilton can really get going offensively, the Bulls will be in good shape. He has been very quiet in this first round, but he has potential to be that “x” factor that the Bulls need to pull off a Game 6 win.
  • Suffocating defense is an absolute must for Game 6. Ronnie Brewer – defenseman extraordinaire – has stepped it up a notch during Game 4 and 5. We need another mesmerizing defensive performance out of him as well as some explosive offense.
  • Bulls Center, Joakim Noah, will be a “game time decision” again for Chicago, but boy would we love to see him out on the court grabbing vicious rebounds.
  • Maintaining control of the game is clutch. The Sixers thrive on the fast break. Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Lou Williams all like to get turnovers – steal the ball from their opposing offense – and quickly deliver the ball to their end of the court. This type of play builds their momentum, which needs to be avoided at all costs.
Your Take Away Piece: The Sixers are young, naive and lack aggressiveness in their play. That being said, Game 6 will be the most difficult for Chicago yet. The Bulls need to take full advantage of all three 76ers weaknesses. If they come out suffocating on defense, Philly will be forced to take sloppy quick shots. A win in Game 6 would completely shift the momentum of the series towards the Bulls favor and send the Sixers packing to Chicago for game 7.

What’s Next: Tip off is at 6pm on CSN Chicago. It’s all about survival tonight.  Let’s get this win and force a Game 7 back in Chicago.

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Full of heart, hustle and muscle, the Chicago Bulls survive elimination in Game 5 to see another day!  The pressure-cooker environment at the Madhouse worked last night as the Bulls prevailed and avoided an early first round exit by defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 77-69 at home. They still trail the Sixers 3-2 but after an emotional and gritty Game 5 victory, the Bulls have a bit more confidence as they head back to Philadelphia for Game 6 with the same “Do or Die” mentality.

All-Star Luol Deng

What You Need to Know:

  • Tuesday’s Game 5 triumph was the first win the Bulls have obtained since MVP Derrick Rose tore his ACL in the playoff opener.  Center, Joakim Noah also sat out his second straight game tonight (be sure to check out his ensemble in the highlights, he’s rocking the messy bun and has a large beaded tribal-inspired necklace to accessorize). The win proves that the Bulls can produce under pressure even without their stars.
  • Deng, was he good! Luol Deng really stepped up his game as soon as the clock started. The All-Star got off to a quick start, had some shots at the buzzer and really was the difference in the Bulls Game 5 success. He was the Bulls leading scorer of the night, finishing with 24 points and 8 rebounds.
  • We’re all riding the Booze Cruise as Carlos Boozer continues to do damage during this playoff series. He scored a total of 19 points and added 13 rebounds as well. He’s a player who has struggled in the post season in recent years and it’s reassuring to see him playing so confidently for us this year.
  • The Bulls’s Bench Mob was alive in Game 5 too! Taj Gibson (8 points, 7 rebounds) was a boost of energy off the bench and provided outstanding defense – despite tweaking his ankle in the second half of the game and playing through the pain. Ronnie Brewer (6 points, 8 rebounds) also had a larger presence Tuesday night.

    Taj Gibson

  • Defense was an essential factor in Tuesday night’s win. The Bulls defense held the 76ers best players to limited points. Jrue Holiday scored 16 points for Philadelphia, Lou Williams scored 13 points and Andre Iguodala and Spencer Hawes both finished with 11. We had previously let Hawes score over 20 points in the last two games.

Your Take Away Peice:  The Bulls aren’t finished yet! Last night’s energy and collective win seemed like a turning-point for the team.   But, the Bulls still have no room for error and must keep up their momentum as the Sixers will be looking to finish this on Thursday, especially at home.”

What’s Next: No need to retire your Bulls gear because we’re not done yet!  Back to Philly the Bulls go, still threatened with the possibility of elimination. Bulls’ Omer Asik said it best, “We will never give up fighting,” the players won’t and neither will their fans.  Game 6 will be Thursday at 6pm on Comcast SportsNet. The Bulls need to win (otherwise it’s all over) and force the series to Game 7 and snatch the final win at home. Check back in tomorrow for Game 6 Cheat Sheet and until then, keep bullieving.

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It’s time to see what the Chicago Bulls are really made of. They’ve had two full days to collect themselves since the initial shock of Derrick Rose’s season ending injury on Saturday. Chicago can still ruffle some feathers in the playoffs despite Derrick Rose being sidelined with a torn ACL. In an instant the Bulls went from one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference to being written off by some critics. You can now call them an “underdog” in the conference, sovaldi but our Bulls are going to use this as motivation. Don’t count them out just yet because they’re still up 1-0 on the 76ers.

What You Need to Know:

  • Coach Tom Thibodeau told the media that the team feels for Rose because he’s not just a great player, but a great teammate. He also added, “It’s not a death sentence.” The Bulls are thinking about HOW they can win without Derrick Rose, not the reason WHY his injury happened. The team has played 27 games without Rose this season and won 18 of them.
  • It’s C.J. Watson’s time to shine. He is a capable backup point guard (the position Derrick Rose plays) and this gives Watson the opportunity to start in a NBA playoff atmosphere. This also gives fan favorite John Lucas III a shot to get on the floor.
  • Chicago is counting on Richard “Rip” Hamilton to be a consistent scoring threat as well as sexy Bench Mobber, Kyle Korver. We need points from our masked-man and the Hot Sauce (which hasn’t been an issue the past few games).
  • The Bulls have one of the best defenses in the NBA and they have shown they can shut down any team. We’ll be looking to Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Omer Asik and Carlos Boozer to get down and dirty under the basket. We’ll also be counting on Ronnie Brewer and Luol Deng to use their quick cat-like reflexes to nab some steals.
  • The 76ers lack a “superstar” but without Derrick Rose the talent gap between the two teams shrinks. The key to tonight’s game will be avoiding turnovers – when the offense gives the ball up to the defense. The Sixers thrive on their defensive abilities and if the Bulls can limit their mistakes, they’ll come out with a win.

Your Take Away Piece: “Tonight’s game will be a defining moment for this young Chicago team. It’s going to reveal how mentally tough the squad can be without their fearless leader.  A win would keep their momentum rolling while a loss could be devastating to the team’s confidence moving forward.”

What’s Next:  Head to Happy Hour early, throw back a few cocktails to ease your nerves, and hope the Bulls can knock out another win at home.  Game 2 tips off tonight at 7pm on TNT or CSN Chicago!

 

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