Taj Gibson

I’m so thankful for the All-Star break because I currently sound like a broken record. I hate to say this, drugstore but the Chicago Bulls are bad. They’re not the perfect storm combination of offense and defense we had all hoped for at the beginning of the season. Instead, in their last 18 games, the Bulls are 5-13. The season has gone from inconsistent Bulls still sprinkled with hope, to literally holding on to the last playoff slot for dear life – in the Eastern Conference no less.

Things are getting relatively hostile on the fan-front. The majority of Bulls fans have completely given up on the season. There are plenty of reasons for the Bulls disastrous season, the laundry list of injuries hindering the team the is most crucial. Should we take a quick minute to layout everything that’s happened?

Jimmy Butler who had been single handily powering the Bulls defense/offense is out with a knee strain, second-year forward Nikola Mirotic is recovering from an appendectomy, Derrick Rose has sat due to “general soreness” and don’t forget about Joakim Noah’s season-ending shoulder injury that has left a gaping hole in the soul of Bulls basketball. So now we have a team that’s left with Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol to speak on behalf of the Bulls.

Gibson chatted with the press after Wednesday night’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks and honestly it was depressing. He said the Bulls had lost their spirit – so basically it’s like the team is dead inside and honestly that’s how they played so it makes sense. He also may have inadvertently trash talked new head coach Hoiberg again,

“We had straight defensive guys, hungry dogs. Now we have guys coming in, offensive-minded, shoot the 3. … We used to be scrappy. Now we’re trying to mold these guys into getting scrappy. … Right now a lot of teams smell blood; you just got to figure out a way to get over it. In this league, nobody’s going to feel sorry for you.”

Hey coach, why don’t we tell the guys to quit loving the three so damn much and make some easy layups? And then after some points are scored, the players run down the court and play actual defense. Two sides to this magical game of basketball.

All that’s left to wonder is whether the Bulls front office is going to make some real moves before the February 18 trade deadline. I would advise you not to get your hopes up, but there has to be a light at the end of this dark 2015-2016 Bulls season tunnel.

Ideally, the Bulls are coming up with some new strategies, heavily incorporating defense into their game-plan as the next opponent on the schedule are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron would love nothing more than to slaughter his Eastern Conference foes and continue the Bulls mockery. Come on guys, we have got to get it together. Otherwise, let’s start PJ Rose.

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The Bulls are like a box of chocolates, and you never know what you’re gonna get. If there is one perfect word to describe the Chicago Bulls this season it is unpredictable. Each time we’re close to giving up on the season because they look lifeless against a team like the Brooklyn Nets, store Minnesota Timberwolves, no rx or the Phoenix Suns they go and perform like champions against a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls have done just that yet again.

Saturday night the Bulls showed their potential by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-83 on the road. It’s not an easy task taking up Lebron James in his element on his home court, but our Bulls played tough defense and got the win. Fast forward to Monday night and the Bulls can’t handle the Miami Heat at the United Center…umm excuse me? Dwayne Wade is getting old, why could’t the Bulls put a stop on the guy?

So what does this information mean exactly for the potential of a mid-season trade? Will the Bulls buy or sell come time for the February 18 trade deadline? The unpredictability of the team makes it a difficult prediction for sure. Sometimes Chicago looks well equipped to handle the elite teams of the Western Conference and sometimes they look like a junior high basketball team (okay, that was dramatic). Regardless, the Bulls absolutely have some issues to address if they’d like to consider a long playoff run.

First off, Derrick Rose. We’ve seen glimpses of the star player we once knew, but more or less we’ve watched the point guard struggle on both ends of the court this year. He has missed six full games this year, including three in January with knee troubles, and sat out the second half of Monday’s game with a back and hamstring injury. Rose picked up his stats during the games he played in January, however opposing guards are getting into the lane too often leading him to the worst defensive rating on the team. Has the time come we try to trade our superstar that didn’t pan out?

Pau Gasol has been rumored to be a potential trade target. His offensive numbers have gone down a bit, but the NBA veteran All-Star is still productive. He’s a free agent at the end of the season and may be just the bargaining chip for the Bulls to pick up a player that can produce more offense from the small forward position.

Taj Gibson is another name on the chopping block. Joakim Noah’s season-ending shoulder injury not only was devastating to the Bulls depth, but has moved Gibson from his influential Sixth Man off the bench position to the starting power forward. Off the bench, Gibson was able to split time between small forward and power forward. Gibson is a good player, he’s just more effective off the bench. Also, rookie Bobby Portis has shown he may be ready for a larger roll on the team, which would make Gibson a very likely candidate to trade.

So far, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson are potential pick-up targets for the Bulls as well.

It’s tough to tell which way the Bulls will swing come the trade deadline. The answer will be more obvious after the seven-game road trip beginning  in Los Angles against the Lakers on January 28, and ending February 8 in Charlotte. Stay tuned my friends, I’m sure the ups and downs of the season will keep us on our toes.

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Things are getting AWKWARD when it comes to the Chicago Bulls, cheap Joakim Noah and new head coach Fred Hoiberg. This season has been a true test of Noah’s character, treatment as new coach Hoiberg demoted JoNo from his starting role. Not only is Noah now coming off the bench, but he’s also averaging only 22 minutes a game, a career low since his rookie season.

“I mean, I don’t know what to say. I wasn’t expecting to play such a limited role”

Noah has been a fan favorite during his colorful career in Chicago sprinkled with two All Star appearances and a 2014 Defensive Player of the Year honor. He’s also been the heart and soul of the team, a true competitor. So why have the big guy come off the bench? I’m going to blame it on old age. Noah is 30 now and he’s had his fare share of injuries hinder his game. He’s missed nine games so far this season due to a shoulder injury (the Bulls went 7-2 during these games without Noah, which unfortunately supports Hoiberg’s case). Not to mention his ugly jump shot has managed to get uglier and he’s lost significant height when it comes to jumping for rebounds.

Some trade rumors have been on the horizon the last few weeks as well. We all know the Bulls front court is crowded, the team has more seven footers than they know what to do with. No surprise, JoNo’s name has been on the chopping block. Come June, Noah will be an unrestricted free agent, the Bulls may be trying to get something for their big man rather than letting him walk for nothing this offseason. The Bulls also need some more shooting power, so don’t be surprised if Taj, Pau or Noah get replaced by a shooting guard.

Despite all the talk, Noah wants to play for our Bulls. He wants to be out on the court all the time, or as much as physically possible helping his team succeed.

“But this (role) won’t change my commitment to the team. I’ve never been about anything but winning and the team.”

Personally, I feel Noah and the #messybunswagger are a staple in Chicago and it would be nice for someone who’s done so much for our city finish his career here. I would be truly sad to see him go. However, at the end of the day the NBA is a business and the Bulls need to figure out the right winning combination. Right now, Noah isn’t the solution.

 

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Joakim Noah

My heart aches for Joakim Noah and his ailing knees. In less than two years Jo-No has gone from a MVP candidate and Defensive Player of the Year to knee surgery ruining his 2014-2015 season and coming off the bench for a second year player (Nikola Mirotic).  Talk about a tough turn of events. Now it seems those pesky knee issues have resurfaced and they could be a bigger problem than we think.

Joakim Noah is the heart and soul of the Bulls, viagra his energy alone can propel a team, viagra but do Jo-No fans need to brace themselves for the probable reality of Jo leaving Chicago?

Here’s the low down. He had actually been slated to start Monday night’s game against the 76ers, but decided to sit out due to knee soreness. Now normally, if a player has a little soreness we wouldn’t lose sleep over it, but this is a very telling season for Noah and his knees are the second worst next to Derrick Rose’s two completely reconstructed knees.

“You don’t plan on these things. I wasn’t expecting it. I’ve been feeling great up to this point, and it just happened. I don’t think it’s [anything] too serious, but it was definitely a situation where I had to be smart. I wanted to play tonight really bad.”

Another extremely important tidbit, Noah’s contract is up at the end of this season, he’s currently making $13.4 million and that seems a bit steep a price for a guy to come off the bench. Noah needed to regain his stature and prove to new Head Coach Fred Hoiberg he deserves his starting roll and his money. Otherwise, Noah could potentially be shopped around come the trade deadline in February because the reality would be the Bulls could lose Noah all-together during Free Agency this summer.

To top things off, the Bulls have TOO many big men. Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah and that list doesn’t even include rookie Bobby Portis. Basically it’s too many cooks in the Center/Power Forward position kitchen and not enough shooting guards. The Bulls need to unload one of them.

Noah hasn’t had the comeback season he had been hoping for, but it’s still early. Maybe coming off the bench wasn’t his thing, but his most memorable moment was elbowing a Hornets player. What happened to all those triple-doubles of seasons past? If his knees can get it together, Noah has  plenty of time to step up his game. Unfortunately, if Noah’s knees don’t cooperate, we could have a goodbye in our future.

It devistates me to think about Jo-No and all his messy-bun-swagger wearing a different jersey, but I think it’s safe to say Noah fans should prepare ourselves for potential NBA heartbreak.

 

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Noah and Butler

Alright, cialis alright, sovaldi sale alright! Who’s ready for some legitimate Bulls basketball? (raises hand eagerly) Preseason is fine and dandy, but it’s like going to get Froyo and just having some taste-test samples – you love some, you like some, but ultimately you want to put your favorites all in one tub and experience the magic! So maybe I enjoy Froyo too much, but I am also ready for the Chicago Bulls to run the floor of the United Center on Tuesday kicking off the new season. Who better to challenge our favorite men in red but the defending Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers? Let the rivalry continue!

Remind me, why do we care about the Cavs?

Here’s the skinny, Cleveland currently is and has been the favorites of the Eastern Conference – which is the Bulls conference. First and foremost, they have Lebron James the four-time NBA MVP. He’s a freak of nature when it comes to basketball and my favorite player to hate because he’s always on the opposing team. The Cavs as a whole have crazy depth (we’re talking Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson) and can suffocate their opponents on offensive AND defense. Question is, will the Bulls new offensive-minded approach be enough to overpower the Cavs? Well, we’ll just have to find out.

Keep Your Eyes On: Lebron James and Jimmy Butler

Despite the few Derrick Rose hopeless romantics left in Chicago, we all know this Bulls team is going to be led by Jimmy Butler. He signed his big boy contract this offseason and now we need the man to perform. Butler always plays Lebron James tough since his professional game was developed under Thibodeau who preached defense. Lebron James, is rumored to not be practicing after a back injection, but he claims he is healthy and ready to go. Lebron James with the flu is still tougher to play than most guys in the league so Butler has his work cut out for him – per usual.

Big Bench Mob: 

Joakim Noah has been demoted to come off the bench according to Coach Hoiberg and Nikola Mirotic will be starting in his place. JoNo’s never been the team’s most prominent offensive player, but after a career low season in 2014-2015 and a new offensive minded coach, Noah needs to add something else to the mix. Apparently, that something else is going to be coming off the bench, but I mean Taj Gibson AND Noah off the bench is rather intimidating to other team’s reserves. I kind of love the depth.

Masked Man:

This is definitely day-to-day, but as of right now Derrick Rose is slated to play in the home opener at the United Center on the 27th. Before the orbital fracture during practice (aka breaking his face) I was so optimistic about Rose this season, getting a healthy chance. Now he’s rocking a mask that looks incredibly uncomfortable and I would imagine it’s so hot and sweaty under there. Regardless, we’re not going to get top notch DRose for the home opener, but we may at least hear his name called during introductions. Also, totally unrelated to actually playing basketball, please enjoy the irony of Rose’s Addias 6 slogan “Never Break” – it’s too much for my heart to handle.

Two years in a row our Bulls have kicked off their home opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. You know those NBA schedulers are adding fire to the already existing rivalry on purpose. Tip-off is at 7PM on the 27th, be at the UC or tune in! Time to #SeeRed Bulls babes.

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Noah and Butler

Get ready to rumble Bulls babes. We have exactly TWO weeks until the Bulls tip-off their regular season against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the 27th. This gives us ample time to learn who’s-who on this year’s roster.

And now, search the starting lineup for your Chicago Bulls – actually it’s all your need-to-know players.

Derrick Rose #1
Position: Point Guard
College: Memphis
@drose

DRose is sporting a new hairdo to start his sixth season with the Bulls. Despite literally breaking his face during the first practice, buy cialis our Bionic man should be ready to go for the home-opener. Rose has only played 61 games in the last two seasons after a laundry list of injuries. We need DRose to just PLAY. I’m a hopeless Bulls fan that will always wish Rose can get back to MVP form, but it’s highly unlikely after two serious knee surgeries and rehabs. Regardless, he’s still DRose and as long as he is on the court and movin and groovin the Bulls are a better team. Please stay healthy for us Rose.

Jimmy Butler #21
Position: Small Forward
College: Marquette
@JimmyButler

All eyes are on Jimmy Buckets in 2015 after his big pay-day this off-season. Butler gave the Bulls a renewed sense of talent after his breakout season in 2014-2015. Now it’s all about Jimmy. We’re expecting some big offensive stats, another All-Star appearance, and a Butler-Rose duo that is unstoppable in the Eastern Conference. Are we asking too much? Call me greedy, but I want Butler to shine his brightest this season – right past Lebron and the Cavs and straight to the NBA Finals.

Joakim Noah #13
Position: Center
College: Florida
@JoakimNoah

After injury prevented Noah from being his influential self last season, Jo-No will be looking to get back to his Defensive Player of the Year stature and man have we missed it. Jo is the player opponents love to hate, but we love to have on our side. He’s six feet and 11 inches of a passionate basketball player rebounding all over the other team’s face. Yup, show us the good stuff Jo.

Pau Gasol #16
Position: Center/Power Forward
Prior to NBA:  FC Barcelona
@paugasol

Pow Pow! This seasoned NBA vet was picked up from the Lakers in 2014 and is a huge impact player whenever he hits the court. When it came down to it Gasol was stuck on the bench with an injury in the big games against the Cavaliers last year during the playoffs. He’s got 14 years of the NBA under his belt, but with age comes a longer bounce-back from annoying injuries like hamstrings or ankle sprains. We need Pau to stay healthy for the big moments. Perhaps these boys need to incorporate more hot Yoga into their workout regimes?

Taj Gibson
Position: Power Forward
College: USC 
@TajGibson22

Gibson’s game has jumped to a whole other level since his start with the Bulls, but unfortunately to Taj lovers he’s the main focus of potential trade rumors. The Bulls almost have too many big men and Gibson has the most trading value since he brings so much value to a new team. Keep your eyes peeled on Gibson, hopefully we get some big dunks off the bench before any more trading talk occurs.

Doug McDermott #3
Position: Small Forward
College: Creighton 
@dougmcd3

Under new head coach Fred Hoiberg, fans are looking to Dougie Mc-Buckets to have a breakout season. Coach Thibodeau wasn’t big on giving rookies too many playing minutes, but McDermott is now in his sophomore season and loves a nice shot from the perimeter which Coach Hoiberg fully supports.

Nikola Mirotic #44
Position: Power Forward
Prior to NBA: Montenegro 
@threekola

Mirotic, aka Three-ko-la (you have to say it like the Riccola commercials), is ready to embark on his second season in the NBA. There was definitely a bit of a learning curve coming from Montenegro to the NBA, but his serious three-point shot was an instant fan favorite. After a year, Mirotic has refined his game. You’ll be sure to find this guy outside the arc sinking three’s in Hoiberg’s new offense.

Bobby Portis #5
Position: Power Forward
College: Arkansas
@BPortistime

Rookie alert! The Bulls drafted Portis 21st in the 2015 NBA draft and could absolutely be a secret weapon off the bench this season. Portis had a break-out performance against the Pelicans in the preseason with 20 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes. Ideally, Portis can help provide the Bulls with additional offense it never seems to generate enough of.

Kirk Hinrich #12
Position: Point Guard
College: Kansas

Captain Kirk is too cool for Twitter apparently, but luckily he’s a Bulls veteran ready to backup Rose for another season. Hinrich offers the Bulls stifling defense, but he’s no spring chicken so hopefully he can actually play the roll of back-up point guard because Rose will be healthy enough to start the majority of games this season (fingers crossed people).

Aaron Brooks #0
Position: Point Guard
College: Oregon
@thirty2zero

Brooks offers the Bulls a burst of energy and speed off the bench. He takes some wild and crazy shots, but when he’s not getting stuffed by Power Forwards or Centers, Brooks can put up some useful offensive numbers. He’s a great back-up Point Guard when Rose and Hinrich need to rest.

Mike Dunleavy Jr. #34
Position: Guard/Small Forward
College: Duke
@MikeDunleavyjr

With 13 years in the league, Dunleavy is absolutely a seasoned vet. Unfortunately, a post season back surgery is going to keep this sharp shooter off the court for a while until he’s ready to rumble.

Tony Snell #20
Position: Small Forward
College: New Mexico
@TonySnell20

Year two is a definite sink or swim kind of season for Snell. We saw glimpses of star power last season, but we need some more consistent offense off the bench from Snell. He also has a much improved hairstyle which I truly appreciate.

Cameron Bairstow #41
Position: Center
College: New Mexico
@CBairstow41

This Aussie is relief for big man Joakim Noah. He’s tall, he’s strong, but he’s looking to gain some more minutes and overall experience under Coach Hoiberg.

E’Twaun Moore #55
Position: Point Guard
College: Purdue
@ETwaun55

Moore is the back-up’s, back-up’s back-up – if that makes any sense. He comes in to run the court when Rose, Hinrich and Brooks are all gassed or injured. We probably won’t see him outside of his sweet Bulls warm-up, but he is a capable back-up when needed.

Cristiano Da Silva Felicio #6
Position: Power Forward/Center
Prior to NBA: Brazil

The Bulls added Brazilian big man Cristiano during the past summer.  His signing was speculated as a pre-curser to a potential Taj Gibson trade sometime this season. The Bulls are pretty stacked when it comes to height and power and rather need some depth in the guard area. Nonetheless, we’ll keep our eye on Felicio and see what he can deliver off the bench.

Per usual, the Bulls are under serious pressure to prove they’re title worthy and many of the players are vying to prove they’re worth the money the Bulls spent on them. Hopefully we see the best of both this season 🙂

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