Stephen Curry

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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The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls are without question two of the favorite contenders when it comes to the Eastern Conference this season. Generally because of the Lebron James factor, sovaldi analysts lean towards the Cavs to take the East and I get that whole “best player in basketball thing.” This week the Golden State Warriors took a road trip to the Midwest and literally wiped their sweat with the Cavs on Monday and then the Bulls on Wednesday. Now, thumb don’t get me wrong, check the Warriors led by Stephen Curry are undoubtedly the best team in the league (the Spurs are in the hunt though). Most days they look unstoppable, but generally when the best teams in the two conferences face-off it’s an exciting game to watch. Not the case here, it was more-or-less straight up depressing as both games were basically over by halftime leaving fans with not a damn thing to cheer about.

First came the 132-98 beat-down of the Cavs in Cleveland on Monday. The Warriors got a little sleep and traveled to Chicago where they gave the Bulls a 125-94 loss on Wednesday night. OUCH, that’s a combined margin of victory of 65 points, on the road no less! It doesn’t say much for the Eastern Conference I can tell you that much. Suddenly, Eastern Conference fans may find themselves rooting a little harder for teams like the San Antonio Spurs, or the Oklahoma City Thunder because these Warriors have proved they can blow out the East’s big dogs.

Generally speaking, I’m excited when a team trounces the Cavs because I am not a Lebron fan. When that same team comes and beats up on my Bulls I get angry. I mean Golden State scored on Chicago while two of their players were literally in the backcourt tying their shoes – embarrassing.  Now now, there were plenty of factors that fed into the Bulls horrific loss.

  1. Derrick Rose was the only player to show up on Wednesday with 29 points (the Bulls still somehow lost by 31)
  2. Pau Gasol was literally no where to be found. He had ONE point.
  3. People are talking smack about Jimmy Butler being quiet, but he had 23 points. The guy can’t give 51 points EVERY game there are other players on the roster than need to produce as well.
  4. Defense, what’s that?
  5. The Bulls lost Joakim Noah to a season-ending shoulder injury just last week. I know he wasn’t doing much on the floor this season, but I believe he’s a huge factor in the Bulls mental toughness when they’re preparing for a game. They’re definitely missing their leader.

The next few games the Bulls are sticking to the East heading to Boston to face the Celtics Friday and then a big potential Eastern Conference Finals preview against the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday. Hopefully our guys can find a quick bounce back and play to win some basketball.

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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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NBA PTO

It’s September, and so when it comes to PTO, unhealthy or paid time off, seek many of us are either maxed out from summer travels, saving a few days for Fall weddings, or hanging on to what’s left for the winter holidays.  For NBA players, PTO takes on a different form from the masses, with time off from what can be April for lottery teams, through the end of September when training camps tip off.  So with the last few weeks of PTO winding down for NBA players across the globe, lets see what some of our favorites have been up to for the last 4-6 months…

The Champs…

After an MVP and NBA Championship Season that lasted through mid-June, Steph Curry spent the summer enjoying his wife Ayeesha’s amazing cooking (follow her blog), and hanging with his beautiful new daughter Ryan, born in July, and of course her sister Riley.  He managed to sign a land mark Under Armour deal, visit Davidson for homecoming, shoot socks with Stephen Colbert and still make time to attend the wedding of teammate…

Andre Iguodala who tied the knot in Cabo in August to his childhood sweet heart Christina Gutierrez.  (See Photos)  It’s almost unfair how likable the Warriors are.  In attendance were teammates and friends Harrison Barnes (unclear if he tried tequilla for a 2nd time), Rudy Gay, Evan Turner, Festus Ezeli, Shaun Livingston, Draymond Green and…

Klay Thompson who has been making rounds with the Larry O’Brien Trophy, visiting his alma mater Washington State for the football team’s season opener, and appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live to surprise US Airman Steve Stone, a die hard Warriors fan and one of the three Americans who prevented a terrorist attack on a train to Paris in August.  Thompson played sports fan almost as much as he played sports hero this summer, taking in White Sox games at U.S. Cellular and on the road to watch his brother Trayce Thompson who was called up to the big leagues in August.

The Rubberneckers…

Jimmy Butler probably could have used the extra rest he got with the Bulls early playoff exit in May.  But Jimmy GOT PAID by the Bulls when free agency opened in July, and spent the rest of the summer in the gym (I hope), as well as on the road with his odd couple BFF Mark Wahlberg promoting the Entourage movie in Europe.   He lost to Michael Jordan (no judgement) in a shooting contest at MJ’s Flight School in early August, before taking in the Denver Broncos season opener from the sidelines to support his friend and Broncos Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas.

A little further “West,”  James Harden went from Houston to Hollywood this offseason jumping in to a new relationship with Khloe Kardashian that I think is just everything and more.   Harden accompanied Khloe to Kylie Jenner’s 18th birthday festivities as well as to the All-White Yacht Party Khloe threw for his 26th birthday.  He also won the 2015 Drew League Championship and signed a monster deal with Adidas, while wearing Nike Air Jordans, and celebrated with SWAG.

The Wolverines…

With Michigan Football off to a semi-OK start, my Blue blood is building back up, so I had to check in on my favorite Wolverines in the NBA.

Nik Stauskas had a rocky summer breaking up with his longtime girlfriend and social media star Taylor Anderson just about the time that he was traded from Sacramento to Philly.  Stauskas spent some time at Camp Sanderson in Ann Arbor getting his strength and conditioning on before competing in the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship for Team Canada who suffered a crushing defeat by Venezuela and will now have to win a qualifying tournament next summer in order to compete in the Rio Olympics.  Here’s hoping Nik hits more threes and sells less hot sauce in the coming year.

Back in the US, Mitch McGary had an extra long offseason when OKC failed to make the playoffs in the West.  This gave him ample time to watch Cubs games, take his Dad to a game at Wrigley, instagram his Jeep, and work on his epic bench celebrations, although I’m not sure this one can be topped: https://vine.co/v/O9ezJvlIm1v

34 Days until NBA Tip Off…

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