Tom Thibodeau

Popovich and Parker

Popovich and Parker via kens5.com

After a day of R&R the Bulls will need to conjure up some more hustle as the San Antonio Spurs are blowing into the windy city Tuesday. Chicago has won six of their last seven games at home and are looking to knock down another big dog in the league. Their opponents are currently on a six-game winning streak and looking to extend their winning record to seven. It’s a night where two of the greatest minds in the NBA will face-off. Who’s the coaching master mind; Coach Thibodeau or Coach Popovich?

You may be thinking to yourself, pharmacy “isn’t Tim Duncan an NBA dinosaur?” If last season taught us anything, sale age does not defy Gregg Popovich and his Spurs who’s roster seemingly continues to get older and older, but these dudes (46-16) are chasing the Pacers and OKC Thunder for the best record in the league. Brace yourselves Bulls babes, it’s going to be a wild and crazy night on the United Center floor.

What You Need to Know: 

  • If you’re looking for the hottest center in the league, Chicago Noah’s someone. Jo-No is having a remarkable season and you can bet he’s coming out guns blazing after the Bulls emotional win over the Miami Heat on Sunday. We’d like to place an order for another triple-double with some blocks on the side por favor.
  • Watch Out For: Tony Parker (PG) and Kawhi Leonard (SG). Parker (AKA Eva Langoria’s ex) is one of the best PG’s in the league and also the leading scorer on the Spurs. Leonard will most likely be matched with Mike Dunleavy which means he may have more open shots than his other teammates.
  • Noah has some competition when it comes to rebounding. NBA veteran Tim Duncan (PF) is a big boy and knows his way around under the basket. Be prepared for some serious booty-boxing-out.

    Belinelli 3 point contest

    3-point Champ via MBeli3 Instagram

  • Familiar Faces: Marco Belinelli will return to the United Center for the first time since being traded to the Spurs. Bells didn’t let the trade bring him down. He won the 2014 three point contest and you can be sure he’s ready to show his old teammates his outside shooting.
  • Per usual, it’s going to be about the Bulls top defense holding the Spurs elite offense to a scoring minimum. Los Bulls have done it before this season back in January when they held San Antonio to their lowest scoring game of the season. It’s time for some Deja Vu.

Your Take Away Piece:

“Don’t let their age fool you, a matchup with the San Antonio Spurs is never just a walk in the park. If the Bulls play with the same heart, hustle and muscle that has been surging them throughout the season, it’s going to be a great game. If the Bulls come out tired or hesitant, the Spurs will exploit any weaknesses.”

What’s Next:

Everything goes down at 7:00 pm at the UC – be there or be tuned in on WGN to catch all the action. We #BULLieve

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Noah and Taj

Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson

Oh-oh-oh, look we’re half way there… By now Bulls fans are used to the emotional roller coaster that has been the past two years, search but our guys have pleasantly overcome the obstacles thrown their way, and yet again.

Entering the 2013-2014 season Chicago was an absolute “title contender” with a healthy Derrick Rose. The team’s dreams were blown to smithereens when DRose went down with a second season-ending knee injury. Then just two months later, the front office shipped off sharp shooter Luol Deng to Cleveland. No matter how deep their pride was wounded, the Bulls came out swinging with the emotional intensity of Joakim Noah leading the way.

Much to our surprise, the Bulls start the second half of the season sitting in fourth place among the beasts of the East and are just shy of snatching the third seat at 27-25. Chicago has gone 15-7 in 2014 – only three teams have a better record since January 1st and they’re all in the big bad Western Conference. We’ve got 30 games to go and if the men in red can keep up the intensity down the stretch there is definitely reason for optimism.

ALL-STAR STATUS: JOAKIM NOAH

 

Jo-No is wreaking havoc in 2014. To say he’s found his “edge” is an understatement of the damage he’s done offensively and defensively. He goes out night after night and plays 100% guts and glory. More than ever before he is the heart of this Bulls team and the future of this NBA franchise. Losing Luol Deng was personal for Joakim Noah, it was like he lost his big brother, but his loss seemed to have spark a fire in the belly of the Jo-No bear.

Clark Street Sports

Clark Street Sports

Bet ya didn’t Noah he’s averaged 13.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 blocks since Jan. 1 – “double-double” is basically his middle name. He recently appeared in his second All-Star game and looked lost because the studs of the NBA we’rent playing at a normal intensity. He found himself again when BronBron decided to light things up with Noah under the basket. If you love Chicago basketball, you are crazy about Joakim Noah this year. Messy-bun-swagger has swept the nation.

HIGHLIGHT PLAYERS:

Taj Gibson is an easy candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. He’s taken his game to an entirely new level this season and we don’t mind one bit. He signed a hefty contract with the Bulls in 2012 and really never got into his groove. He took the off-season to work with the big dogs and it has paid off. When you get Jo-No and Taj on the court at the same time you have one of the most terrifying defensive units the NBA has to offer. Gibson has been so huge he’s the one on the court in the fourth quarter battling opponents, so much so Carlos Boozer got a little jealous and threw a pitty party about getting benched come the end of games.

D.J.D.J. Augustin has a renewed NBA career. Prior to being traded to the Bulls in December most of the league said “Augustin who?” I would guess most of the Toronto Raptors’ fans didn’t know the guy was even on the roster. He was a pickup during a time Chicago was desperate for a point guard after losing Rose and Augustin would work out “fine.” With a little Tom Thibodeau fairy dust Augustin has become a dominant player in the Windy City. When Kirk Hinrich is healthy (which is hit or miss) Augustin comes off the bench as a play maker as well as an outside scoring threat. We’ve needed a three-point shooting monster since the days of Kyle Korver.

ROUGH SPOTS AVERTED:

Just a month ago my Facebook feed was filled with statuses about the Bulls tanking their season on purpose. “Just blow the season and get a great lottery pick.” Well friends, if you haven’t noticed “tanking” and “Thibodeau” are like water and oil, it just doesn’t mix. After losing Rose and trading Deng the Bulls were in a rough place, but they recommitted to their defensive mindset and started playing basketball the only way they know how – down and dirty.

Their main weakness is the depth of their bench. When their starters are healthy (Noah, Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy) the Bulls can generally find their rhythm. With Taj, Augustin and rookie Tony Snell continuously coming off the bench lights out the Bulls can stay powerful throughout the game. Problem is, after those eight players things get a really hairy. Eight players aren’t enough to keep things going one experiences an injury and is forced to miss playing time.

OFF THE COURT: 

DRose AdidasBasically there’s no reason to feel sorry for Mr. Rose. Although he hasn’t played a full season in two years, DRose’s brand is stronger than ever. Forbes just ranked the top 10 NBA endorsers and our very own Derrick Rose came in third just behind Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Rose will have made over $21 million in endorsements over the last year. Combine that with the $17.6 million he’ll bring in from his Bulls contract and Rose will be sitting pretty at $39 million for the year. He’s single ladies, that’s all I’m saying.

Keep BULL-IEVING

They may not be title contenders this season, as it’s unlikely Los Bulls will be able to defeat the top two teams in the Eastern Conference (Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers) in a seven-game series, but they’re a hungry bunch who want to prove all those fans wrong who started guzzling Chicago Bulls-Hater-ade the second DRose went down. So ask yourself, if Joakim Noah and his crew aren’t giving up, why should we? Bring on the second half!

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You might be friends with Luol Deng off the court, tadalafil but unless you’re sporting the crimson and gold these days you’re an obstacle between Lou and the hoop. After playing his entire career as a Chicago Bull, Deng-er-ang will host his old teammates at his new Cleveland arena for the first time Wednesday night (SIGH).

As a fan it’s absolutely tough to consider Deng an offensive threat instead of our favorite gangly player, but as he so gently put it “it’s just another game.” Don’t expect Deng to be all rainbows and sunshine against his old friends, this competitor is coming out to win. Lucky for Los Bulls, Joakim Noah has taken Chi-town pride to the next level. Expect nothing less than a gritty Eastern Conference match-up friends.

What You Need to Know:

  • Dengerang is Crankin in Cleveland: The Cavaliers are only 3-3 since acquiring Deng the first week of January, but individually he’s averaging just under 18 points a game – not too shabby after being shipped off to a new city. It’s unfortunate the uniforms are so ugly.

    via ivanov_22 Instagram

  • Prideful Pack: HAM of the Week Jo-No has taken the team under his wing emotionally since the trade and the Bulls surprisingly have gone 6-2. Considering they lost their best scorer when they shipped off Deng (Rose was already out for the season) they’ve shown some serious resilience as a team. They are most definitely NOT tanking the season.
  • Kyrie Irving may like to dress up like “Uncle Drew”during his free time, but this dude doesn’t mess around when it comes to basketball. He’s averaging 21.6 points a game with a side of some sick crossovers. He is the future of the Cavalier organization at this point. Within the sports realm there have been plenty of heated discussions on the topic of Kyrie Irving versus Derrick Roseas the top point guard. The answer is easy in my book, a healthy DRose could school Mr. Irving.

    Irving via nba_memes_quizzes Instagram

  • Best Match-ups: PG DJ Augustin hasn’t been with the Bulls for too long, but he’s made a solid impression so far. With Kirk Hinrich’s hamstring injury, Wednesday night will be a true challenge for Augustin as he takes on Kyrie Irving at point guard. Mike Dunleavy will get a full serving of Luol Deng and his lanky arms up and down the court; we’re going to need some hot sauce out of Mikey.
  • Restructured Roster: If you’ve been keeping up on your Bulls news you’ve noticed that the Bulls traded away Marquis Teague, the second year PG (he just wasn’t panning out) and picked up Toko (Tornike) Shengelia from the Brooklyn Nets. The trade created more cap space for the Bulls come the summer and Toko is a 6-foot-9 forward that we’ll consider a project for Coach Thibodeau over next three months. It’s unlikely Toko will get any playing time against the Cavs, but Thibs is full of surprises these days so we’ll have to wait and see.

Your Take Away Piece: 

“It’s going to be very strange seeing Deng in a Cavaliers uniform instead of repping the black, red and white, but change is inevitable. I’ve got to get over it sometime and what better way than with a Chicago Bulls win in Cleveland.”

Chicago Bulls Women’s Grey Yolo Cutoff Midriff Long Sleeve by Sportiqe, Clark Street Sports: $49.99

What’s Next: 

The Bulls tip off in Cleveland at 6 PM. Be sure to tune into Comcast Sportsnet to catch Deng and Noah going head to head for the first time in their NBA careers. It’s going to be a throwdown.

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Chicago’s heart, help hustle and muscle was out full force Tuesday night as Joakim Noah led the Bulls to a gritty triple overtime win in Orlando. It was a definite nail biter, nurse but the Bulls were able to hang on long enough to defeat the Magic 128-125 in dramatic fashion.

If you haven’t noticed, drugstore “tanking” and “Thibodeau” are like water and oil, they just don’t go together. Between Derrick Rose’s second season ending knee injury and the Bulls organization trading away All-Star Luol Deng last week, you’d think these guys would toss in the towel, but that’s NOT HAPPENING. “Resilience” is Chicago’s middle name.

What You Need to Know:

  • Joakim Noah took his frustration out on the mini-Magic. You can trade his best friend away (Deng looks silly in a Cavs uniform), but this dude is never giving up. Jo-No was the Bulls’ leading scorer with 26 points and 19 rebounds. He was literally everywhere; under the basket snatching rebounds, dunking all over the Magic’s defense and blocking Big Baby Davis. We love the messy-bun-swag.
  • Jimmy Buckets is unstoppable, literally the guy doesn’t stop going. Butler broke the Bulls’ record for minutes played in a regular season game; he spent 60 minutes scoring and defending against the Magic. He finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Ow ow!
  • Don’t think the Magic didn’t play their hearts out, they had the Bulls down early in the game. It was all about the guards on Orlando’s side of the court. SG Victor Oladipo (Oh-La-Deep-oh, it’s a fun one) led the Magic in minutes (57) and points (35) while PG Jameer Nelson was a close second with 54 minutes and 31 points.
  • Rookie Radar: Tony Snell is in his first year in the league, which generally means taking up permanent residence on the bench in Thibs world. Snell had his best game yet as a pro playing 35 minutes, finishing with 15 points and had one nasty dunk on the Magic during the second OT. I think we’ll see him continue to develop and improve under Thibs direction.
  • Derrick Rose made his first appearance on the bench since his knee injury in November. It was great to see him back with the team, but I wasn’t feeling the full on khaki suit, call me a khaki hater.

Take Away Piece:

“The Bulls are stubborn, dedicated, and probably a little angry at their luck this season. A triple OT win on the road is a huge hurdle for the Bulls after they got a beat down by the Wizards at home on Monday. Tuesday’s game had so much more versatility and highlights from every player on the bench. The only way our Bulls can win is if every player shows up and contributes – that’s exactly what happened against the Magic.”

What’s Next:

It’s time for a re-match! The Bulls stay on the East Coast to face the Washington Wizards in DC on Friday. Hopefully our Bulls can get some payback from Monday nights disaster game. Tip-off starts at 6PM, just in time for happy hour. Keep on BULLieving, Divas!

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After months of trade rumors, doctor the Chicago Bulls ended an era when they wheeled and dealed their two-time All-Star small forward Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers late Monday night.

Initially, seek you might be thinking the Bulls front office has lost their marbles. Deng has been the most consistent offensive player on the Bulls the past few years, ampoule he’s led the entire league playing a ridiculous amount of minutes, he’s a stifling defender and he has a heart of gold.

It wasn’t always pretty, but Lou gave Chicago his all throughout his 10 year journey and embodied the Bulls gritty defense-minded approach. Unfortunately, our love for Luol Deng is not enough to keep him in Chicago. There are plenty of reasons why the Deng-er-ang was sent off to hang with Kyrie Irving and the Cavs. It’s business, baby.

To give the Bulls’ organization some credit, they did try to keep Deng in Chicago by offering him a 3-year, $30 million extension last week. However, Deng declined the offer which then led to plan B – the trade.

Deng is 28, leading the team in points scored, but he’s also be ailed by quite a few injuries this season and in past years. The game takes a lot of wear and tear on the body. John Paxson, Chicago’s VP of Basketball Operations, addressed the media immediately Tuesday morning to discuss the big move. He explained just how hard of a decision it was to trade Luol and the amount of respect the organization has for the NBA player.

Chicago has been through the ups and downs with Deng and he has always proven the toughest of soldiers, playing through sprains, muscle tears and spinal taps. The city is forever grateful for his time here and we wish him nothing but greatness in Cleveland (unless he’s playing the Bulls of course).

What the Bulls got in Return:

I know what you’re thinking, “ditching Deng better have been worth it,” or maybe that’s just what I was thinking. The Bulls picked up center Andrew Bynum, three future draft picks and the right to swap 2015 first round picks with the Cavs. Los Bulls already have a solid center in Joakim Noah, so they will release Bynum before the Jan. 7 deadline (tonight). This will clear up about $12.3 million to go with the $14.3 million they saved by trading Deng.

The draft picks are what really sweetened the deal. The Bulls now have a boatload of draft picks coming their way in the next few years. This is great news because the 2014 draft is deep with talented players and the Bulls could really get some quality guys.

What This Means for the Bulls:

The fun has only just begun for the Chicago Bulls’ front office. This trade absolutely signifies a new era in Chicago basketball and a time for rebuilding, but it’s not going to be a complete overhaul. They still have serious talent in Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. Yes, trading Deng means the Bulls won’t be doing much winning this season, but the goal is to develop the young players we do have like Tony Snell and find the the guys who can truly take the Bulls to a championship upon Derrick Rose’s return.

DRose is still the center of Chicago’s universe. The organization’s goal is to find the best players to compliment Rose. We need a team who no longer plays under Derrick, but rather a team who plays well WITH Derrick.

Expect the Bulls to amnesty Carlos Boozer this summer, this will cut another $16.8 million for the Bulls spending, which would hopefully allow enough salary cap room for the signing of an elite caliber free agent. All these deals give the Bulls quite a bit more wiggle room when it comes to the limitations of players they can sign.

These are absolutely long shots, but players like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Greg Monroe and even LeBron James could potentially be attainable. The Bulls have cap space and with some tempting rookies, Chicago may be able to conjure up some sign-and-trade deals.

Losing Deng is no easy feat. It’s going to take the team some time to bounce back after their silent leader was traded away, but I bet Joakim Noah is even more upset that the poor guy has to live in Cleveland.

Farewell Luol, we’ll miss you and your Dengerous wingspan.

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cheap Noah, medicine Augie” src=”http://sportsdivasinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Deng-Noah-Augie.jpg” alt=”” width=”290″ height=”288″ /> Via Chicagobulls Instagram

The Bulls December was as brutal and inconsistent as the Chicago winter weather. Our men in red started the month rolling by defeating the defending Champion Miami Heat, remedy but then went on to lose three in a row to the Pistons, Bucks, and Knicks. Wins were scarce for the remainder of the month for the struggling Bulls who went 5-10 during the holiday season.

With DRose down and out for the season while rehabilitating his repaired meniscus, the Bulls find themselves in an all too familiar situation; missing a piece of their Roseless puzzle. They have enough talent to win big games on occasion, but they don’t have the manpower to blow past the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers who are dominating the Eastern Conference. Lucky for our guys, the East is the weakest conference and Chicago is still surprisingly in it.

You may feel like all hope is lost when it comes to Bulls basketball, but the season is still very young and the team has plenty of time to ship and shape up.

The Good: Let’s try to look on the bright side; the Roseless Bulls have been underperforming so ticket prices have plummeted and now we can actually afford to experience a game at the Madhouse – find the best deals on Bulls tickets HERE.  There is nothing like the Bulls starting lineup introduction live, “Annd nowww…”

There was an adorable proposal on the UC floor when Luvabull Ariana was surprised by her boyfriend and teammates during halftime of the December 5th game while the Heat were in town. It also may have been one of the most memorable moments throughout the entire month.

The Bad: Injuries (aside from Derrick’s devastating knee) proposed a problem for the Bulls during December. Key players like Jimmy Butler, Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng have all seen time on the bench due to injury. Deng missed almost the entire month with his sore achilles.

Are the Bulls planning on rebuilding? You better believe it. December was a month of trade rumors regarding small forward Luol Deng. Late Monday night these rumors were finally put to rest when the Bulls actually traded Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum and two drafts picks.

Deng was a two-time All-Star with the Bulls and has been the glue that has kept the Bulls together these past few frustrating years, but he was going to be a free agent come this summer and too expensive for our Bulls. GM Gar Forman said this move will save the Bulls quite a deal of money in salary cap space and luxury taxes, which puts them in a better spot for the future. Coach Thibs LOVES Deng, this trade could have a spiral effect on our Bulls, we’ll have to wait and see.

Overall: The Bulls went 5-10 in December and are still struggling to hit .500 which lands them the failing grade. They received a bit of extra credit for the D.J. Augustin pickup avoiding the scary F.

Spotlight on: D.J. Augustin
Point Guard #14 

Via ChicagoBullsPics Instagram

Who’s the new guy you ask?

On December 13th the Bulls picked up point guard D.J. Augustin in a trade with the Toronto Raptors. Kirk Hinrich had been picking up the point guard slack playing with heart, hustle and muscle, but he’s not a spring chicken and has had plenty of wear and tear on his body. The Bulls were running too thin at PG and Marquis Teague just wasn’t cutting it.

In rolls Augustin. He seemed to fit into Coach Thibodeau’s play calling almost instantly and has only improved with increased playing time. He’s in his sixth year in the league and has never been an outstanding player, but Coach Thibs has a reputation of bringing out the best in players (cough, cough Nate Robinson).

What to Watch in January:

Saturday January 18th, Philadelphia 76ers at Bulls: The Sixers’ scrappy offense always challenges Coach Thibs and the Bulls.

Monday January 20th, Los Angeles Lakers at Bulls: The Lake-Show heads to the Windy City to take on the Bulls. All of the “Kobe” fans here in Chicago will flood the UC with their purple and gold gear.

Friday January 24th, Los Angeles Clippers at Bulls: High-flying Blake Griffin and his Clippers crew head to Chicago. It’s always a dunkfest with these bros in town.

Wednesday January 29th, Bulls at San Antonio Spurs: Two of the league’s most elite coaches will throwdown as Gregg Popovich will attempt to cook up a better game plan than Coach Thibs.

Just remember, Divas, the season is far from over and the East is up for grabs. If the Bulls can get hot at the right time, they’ll be vying for a top spot in the playoff slots. New year, new Bulls!

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