Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009-10 Chicago Bulls Season Starts Tonight! Season Predictions!

By Sean Mackey

Finally, after a 4 month hiatus, the Bulls are back! Tonight Chicago will open up the season at home and in front of a nationally televised audience against the new look San Antonio Spurs.

Derrick Rose will be starting after playing only one preseason game way back on Oct 2nd. Tony Parker was injured late in the 3rd quarter and never returned during last nights 17 point victory over the New Orleans Hornets last night. He is however expected to start tonight.

Tonights game is going to be tough after watching how San Antonio played last night. They have a very deep bench now that includes Antonio McDyess and rookie sleeper Dejuan Blair. Blair had 14 points and 11 rebounds last night coming off the bench. Thomas and Gibson are going to have to out hustle him if they want the ball or 2nd chance opportunities.

Anyways, I'm SUPER excited for this tonight's game and tomorrow's rematch with the Celtics. Tonight's game will be on TNT and tomorrow's on ESPN. Here are my predictons for the 2009-10 season.

Final Standings for the East:
1. Orlando Magic
2. Boston Celtics
3. Cleveland Cavs
4. Atlanta Hawks
5. Chicago Bulls.
6. Washington Wizards
7. Toronto Raptors
8. Miami Heat
9. Philly 76ers
10. Detroit Pistons
11. New York Knicks
12. New Jersey Nets
13. Milwaukee Bucks
14. Charlotte Bobcats
15. Indiana Pacers

Final Standings for the West
1. LA Lakers
2. San Antonio Spurs
3. Denver Nuggets
4. Portland Trailblazers
5. Utah Jazz
6. New Orleans Hornets
7. Dallas Mavericks
8. Minnesota Timberwolves
9. Phoenix Suns
10. Golden State Warriors
11. Memphis Grizzlies
12. OKC Thunder
13. LA Clippers
14. Houston Rockets
15. Sacramento Kings

Finals Prediction: Lakers over Magic (4-2)

MVP: Lebron James
Defensive Player of the Year: Lebron James
Coach of the Year: Stan Van Gundy
Sixth Man of the Year: DeJuan Blair
Rookie of the Year: Blake Griffin
Most Improved Player of the Year: Brook Lopez

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bulls Fall To Magic 101-98, Free Money is Upset

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls preseason record fell to 5-2 with a loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday night. The Bulls were without Derrick Rose (Achilles injury) and Lindsay Hunter (flu-like symptoms).

During the first quarter, Chicago was matching Orlando shot for shot. Noah got 2 fouls early on and was taken out and thankfully, so was Dwight Howard. With Rashard Lewis out, Michael Pietrus played a lot of unnecessary time at the 3 spot and was taking some horrible shots. This alone kept the Bulls into the game throughout the entire 1st half. At one point the Bulls were up by 9. Chicago stayed in the game until the final seconds when Vince Carter made two free throws to put the game away.

I was only able to watch the first half on one of those poor quality peer to peer sites that wouldn't enlarge to full screen until I passed out at half time. The Bulls defense was fantastic and I couldn't have been happier to see them stay in a game with the defending Eastern Conference Champions. Noah and Miller did their best against the NBA's best center but there's not much you can do with a guy who's that quick. Miller even took Dwight Howard off the dribble showing how deceiving his quickness is when he decides to use it.

The story of the night was how Taj Gibson started over Tyrus Thomas after putting up that monster double-double against Minnesota the other night. After the game, Thomas voiced his disgust to the press about not starting. "I don't think it should even be questionable from what I contributed to this team last season and what I did throughout camp, but like I said, he (Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro)is the guy that makes the decisions. Whatever decision he makes I still I have to go out and play,".

In Tyrus' defense, he is the starting PF for the Bulls and can only be consistant if he's starting and given the minutes. He was noticeably sour after coming off the bench and what VDN has against him is beyond me. Then again, in VDN's defense, it's only the preseason and he needs to see what his best option is at the PF spot to help win more games and keep his job.

Overall, the Bulls put in a great effort against one of the best teams in the league and almost won without their star player. The Bulls have one last preseason game left against the Washington Wizards on Friday before the nationally televised season opener against the San Antonio Spurs next week. Derrick Rose is unfortunately questionable for both games.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Preseason Win Over Indiana , Rose, Salmons & Thomas Out for Today's Game and NBA 2K10!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls were able to pull out a win in their first preseason contest against the Indiana Pacers, 104-95. Rookie Taj Gibson led the way with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Derrick Rose had a solid game with 17 points and 3 assists and Luol Deng returned to the starting lineup with 15 points, going 9-9 at the free throw line. Salmons also chipped in a decent 15 points, going 6-8 on shooting.

Alex and I were in attendance for the first preseason game and I came to the conclusion that I feel really bad for Indiana fans. Literally, 1/3 of the arena was full and they have even less to be excited about than we do. I understand they're in a rebuilding stage but they need some lotto luck to get John Wall or something so they can start going in the right direction. Danny Granger is fantastic but he's really the only scorer they have. Then again, the Bulls don't really have a designated scorer either but I at least think we're going somewhat in the right direction. Taj Gibson looked decent. He's a hustler and seems like he really puts in an effort on every play. James Johnson looked lost and he couldn't get decent look the entire game.

Anyways, today the Bulls are playing the Utah Jazz, a team they were 4-0 against last season. The game is part of the NBA Europe Live Tour and they'll be playing in Luol Deng's hometown, London. The Bulls will be without John Salmons, Derrick Rose and Tyrus Thomas . Salmons is with his wife welcoming their second child, Rose is out with a sore right Achilles and ankle and Thomas is out with right hip contusion. Who in the hell VDN will start is completely up in the air, here's my projected starters of the game:

PG: Kirk Hinrich
SG: Derrick Byars
SF: Luol Deng
PF: Taj Gibson
C: Joakim Noah

PG: Deron Williams
SG: Ronnie Brewer
SF: Paul Millsap
PF: Carlos Boozer
C: Mehmet Okur

I'll be posting a web feed of the game via our Twitter account if one becomes available through Justin TV later today.

Also, in other news, NBA 2K10 comes out today! This is the 11th installment in the NBA 2K series. My Xbox 360 unfortunately crapped out with the "Red Ring of Death" about a week ago so it won't be until next week that I'm able to play it....sad face. This year's game boasts the inclusion of the D-League and the NBA Draft Combine (purchased separately through Xbox Live or the Playstation Network). If they could just include All-Star Weekend (3 point contest, dunk contest, skills challenge) like NBA Live does and actually change where the all-star game is every year in Association mode, the game would be perfect. I can't stand how you can go 7 seasons into association mode and still play the all-star game in the same location with the same coaches (even though the coaches have retired in the game). Talk about a continuity error. Regardless, you should pick up the game! It's hands down the best one out on the market and the one Alex and I would endorse....if we endorsed things. NBA Live hasn't been great since 2003 and this year's version is even more arcade-like than in year's past. They do however have a great NBA All-Star Weekend feature though.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Preseason Starts Tomorrow in Indiana!

By Sean Mackey

Finally, after a 5 month wait, the Chicago Bulls are back! The boys in red will be taking on the Indiana Pacers at the Conseco Fieldhouse tomorrow night at 7pm in the first of 8 preseason exhibitions. I didn't think I would be this excited with Ben Gordon leaving us for the dirty Pistons, but I have some faith that Chicago can make it to the playoffs this year. With a new emphasis on defense, the Bulls will look to shut teams down then run the ball. I like that idea but can the Bulls actually play defense? Well, we'll get our first glance at the team tomorrow night and see how well they do against a team they "should" be blowing out by 20 on a regular basis. Here's a look at the projected starters:

PG: Derrick Rose
SG: John Salmons
SF: Luol Deng
PF: Tyrus Thomas
C: Joakim Noah

PG: TJ Ford
SG: Brandon Rush
SF: Danny Granger
PF: Troy Murphy
C: Roy Hibbert

Chicago's A-Gray is going to be out for 6-8 weeks with an injury and Indiana will be without rookie Tyler Hansbrough and SG Mike Dunleavy. Overall, the Pacers starting five is terrible. Granger's a great player but he can't shoulder that kind of load.

Things to Watch For:

1. James Johnson - The biggest question mark in the 2009 NBA Draft, will he succeed?

2. Joakim Noah - Worked on post moves and put on 5 lbs of muscle. The man is ready to bang.

3. Luol Deng - Out for most of last season, will he return in top form?

4. John Salmons - Can he compensate for the loss of Ben Gordon?

5. Derrick Rose - All-star material? You bet.

Alex and I will be in attendance towards the nosebleeds for this colossal battle of crappiness sporting our ridiculous 1990's Champion jerseys and heckling Pacers fans.