Friday, December 30, 2011

Bulls Outrun the Kings, 108-98

By Sean Mackey

After the lackluster performance Monday night against the Golden State Warriors, the Chicago Bulls revved it up to 11 for a win against the Sacramento Kings, 108-98. Carlos Boozer lead the way for Chicago with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Derrick Rose wasn't a slouch either, scoring 19 points and dishing out 8 assists. However, the real hero of the game was CJ Watson who came up big when Rose was in foul trouble. Watson tallied 8 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds. Demarcus Cousins lead the way for the Kings with an impressive 15 points and 12 rebounds. Rookie Jimmer Freddette chipped in 14 points. Marcus Thornton had 20 points and 5 boards. The Bulls improved their record to 2-1.

This was a refreshing win for Chicago. After the miraculous Christmas victory over the L.A. Lakers, the Bulls struggled against Golden State on Monday night. It was one of those losses that just took the wind out of your sails. Rose was too focused on getting his teammates involved, shots weren't falling and the Warriors backcourt of Monte Ellis and Stephen Curry totally ran over Chicago.

Last night's game against Sacramento was a game the Bulls needed to win to get back into their groove. On paper the Kings look great, they have Tyreke Evans, Demarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton and rookie PG Jimmer Freddette. If the Kings choose to keep their young studs, they might have a decent playoff team in a few years. However, the Kings couldn't catch up with the Bulls who ran almost the entire game and played some fantastic defense in stretches when they weren't fouling. Unfortunately, I doubt the Bulls will be able to repeat the running they did last night for the remaining 63 games. I was pretty surprised to see how well Rip Hamilton was running the floor last night. He had an ideal game for his role on the team with 16 points and 4 rebounds. Rose was back into his MVP mode, just slicing and maneuvering around whatever the defense threw at him. I think Rose knows that he's going to have to continue to shoulder the load on this team and it's not going to be as easy as last season was.

The Bulls kind of snuck up on everyone as a sleeper in the east and ended up with the leagues best record. Every team now knows that Chicago means business but they still have many holes in their game. It's easy to say that the lock down defense and Derrick Rose were enough last year but one forgotten factor is missing and that's the outstanding play of Kurt Thomas. Thomas was the enforcer on the Bulls last year and was able to step into either the PF or C position at any time and played solidly the entire season. Osik and Taj both foul way too much and are still pretty soft. Hopefully the Bulls front court will start playing a little smarter or maybe they could find a free agent who could slide in and take the Kurt Thomas role.

The Bulls play again tonight against the Los Angeles (Lob City) Clippers to a national television audience at 10:30 p.m. on NBATV. The Bulls need to replicate their performance last night in tonight's game against this fast paced Clipper offense.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bulls Sign Richard Hamilton

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls officially signed former Detroit Piston's all-star, Richard Hamilton Wednesday afternoon. The 33 year old shooting guard signed a 2 year, $10 million contract with a 3rd year team option. This signing puts the Bulls roster at 14.

While this signing was a no brainer, I can't help but feel like the Bulls may have missed out on possibly a younger back court running mate for Derrick Rose. Unfortunately, J.R. Smith is stuck playing in China and Arron Affalo and Nick Young were both restricted free agents so Rip was the only real option besides Jamal Crawford and Jason Richardson.

The good thing about this signing is that Rip brings a ridiculous amount of veteran championship experience to the Bulls. On paper it looks like the right fit, however Rip is 33 years old and coming off his worst NBA season since his rookie year. Does Rip still have something in the tank to guard the likes of Dwayne Wade in the playoffs? Who knows. I sort of look at this signing as a temporary fix to the Bulls shooting guard problems. I have strong doubts that the Bulls will keep Rip the entire 3 years if they haven't made it to the NBA Finals by 2013.

I've always felt that J.R. Smith would be the perfect backcourt partner for Rose and it's definitely a possibility in the near future. I also think they should may a strong push to sign someone like Eric Gordon after Carlos Boozer is off the books. However, for some reason stars don't seem to really want to come to Chicago. I don't know if they're bitter about the 6 championships in the 90's or that Derrick Rose doesn't wanna be buddy-buddy with any of them. Regardless, the Bulls championship dreams should look brighter with Rip coming on as an obvious upgrade over Keith Bogans.

The Bulls 2 game preseason starts tonight against the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls will also play Indiana on Tuesday (12/20). The Pacers have added some decent players this offseason including David West and George Hill. Their playoff shooting guard, rookie, Paul George also grew 2 inches in the offeseason putting him at 6'10. I imagine Frank Vogel will likely start running him at the 3 this season with George Hill as the starting SG. The Pacers are going to be incredably deep this year and will contend for the Central Division title with the Bulls. After a heated first round exit, I'm sure Indiana is going to come out strong against Chicago tonight. Should be an interesting/sloppy game. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on WGN Chicago. NBA basketball is finally back. Go Bulls!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The NBA is back!

It seems like the 2011 Conference Finals was like 5 years ago doesn't it? Watching the Bulls go down in 4 straight games was a little too hard for me to swallow so excuse me for not writing about it. You throw a really nasty 5 month lockout on top it and your motivation to be an NBA fan just goes down the crapper. Anyways, here we are 4 weeks before the NBA season starts and I'm just starting to come out of my no-NBA coma.

Like last season's Carmelo Anthony debacle that swallowed every bit of media coverage for 4 straight months, 2 free agents will swallow this year's. Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are this year's Carmelo story all over again. It's no secret that both players want out of the teams they're currently on. However, since both Howard and Paul are arguably the best players at their position, getting a fair deal is going to be hard for the Magic and Hornets.

Over the summer, in an interview for GQ, Howard was quoted saying:

"There's more you can do in a bigger place. I'm stuck in a tough position because I feel like right now, where I'm at, I've done so much. And I just don't know what else I can do. I can't live for everybody else."

That quote was the nail in the coffin for Orlando fans. While the Magic front office has tried their best to build a great team around their center, Howard obviously wants to move on. Howard can sign anywhere next season, and you can bet Orlando will try to trade him this season if they're positive he won't return. The problem Orlando is going to run into is somehow getting fair value from any sort of trade. The Nets are said to be offering Brook Lopez (who last season had a very lackluster year) along with multiple first round draft picks and other filler. The only other 2 teams that could top that offer are the Lakers (Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and filler) and possibly the Bulls if they were willing to part with Joakim Noah. The problem with any trade is that the team vying for Howard is going to need assurances that he'll sign a contract extension and it's obvious Howard wants to play in a bigger market. L.A., Brooklyn and New York are said to be the options Howard prefers however, New York has absolutely no assets they can part with at this time that would be worth it to Orlando.

I'm not too sure the Bulls wanna stir the trade rumor pot by putting Noah on the block especially with how much this squad feeds off his energy. Yeah, D-Rose and Howard wear the same shoes but that doesn't mean anything. Chicago rarely takes chances like that so I wouldn't be getting my hopes up for a Noah for Howard trade. My guess is that Howard will be a Net, Laker or just stay put in Orlando by the end of the season.

Chris Paul will not be a Hornet by the end of the season, absolutely no way he's going to stay in New Orleans. Paul not so quietly prophesied at Melo's wedding last year that they were going to start their own big 3 with Amare' in New York. With Melo already on the roster, and Chauncey Billups as the odd man out, it's safe to say that New Orleans is going to get screwed in the end. The Boston Celtics are said to have already offered the Hornets Rajon Rondo for Chris Paul, however, Paul has no interest in signing an extension in Boston. Why would he? The Celtics are going to start to look like that 1993, old musty Boston team that were too loyal to trade away their old talent. The Lakers would be an interesting destination for Chris Paul. Due to the depth in L.A.'s front court, I could definitely see the same sort of trade scenario that's going to be offered for Dwight Howard as I could with CP3. Regardless, by the end of the season, Chris Paul will not be a Hornet.

Putting all Dwight Howard fantasies aside, the Bulls' real need is a quality shooting guard to pair with Derrick Rose. Because of the new "Derrick Rose rule" in the CBA agreement, Rose will be making more $ because of his recent MVP season and All-Star appearances. While Rose is now a superstar and deserves a bonus for his outstanding year, this alters the salary cap and leaves little room to sign a quality free agent. I've read the Bulls *could* use the the mid-level but Reinsdorf still has probably no interest in going over the cap to sign someone like Jason Richardson or Caron Butler when the Bulls were so close to the NBA Finals last season with their current roster. It's being said that the Bulls will keep their eye out for any amnesty drop offs from other teams but it's looking more and more like franchises aren't going to go for that option this early in the game. Should Rip Hamilton or Brandon Roy pop up on the free agent market, you can bet the Bulls will be very aggressive trying to woo those guys to Chicago but this is once again, probably another fantasy. There's also talk about possibly moving CJ Watson to SG and picking up a cheaper back up point guard like T.J. Ford. I think this would be a rather risky option but CJ has proven in times that he can score pretty well so it could work.

With all that being said, the questions to be answered of the 11-12 NBA season are: Will Derrick Rose come out of the gates like the MVP he was last season, or was it fluke? Who will be the Bulls starting SG? Will Dwight Howard and Chris Paul be dealt by the end of the season and does everyone STILL hate the effing Miami Heat?

This is definitely going to be a very interesting season.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bulls Beat Hawks 86-73, Tie Up Series at 1-1

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls were able to grind out a rather uneventful victory against the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night, winning 86-73. After being presented the 2010-11 MVP trophy, Derrick Rose went to work by posting 25 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Joakim Noah was the real hero of the game with 19 points and 14 rebounds (7 of which were offensive). Luol Deng finished with a ho-hum 14 points and 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague lead the Atlanta Hawks with 21 points.

While it's nice to see 3 players on Chicago with double-double's, don't be fooled, this was a terrible game for both teams. Derrick Rose was able to muster up 25 points but only after taking 27 shots. Carlos Boozer was a complete non-factor with 8 points and 11 rebounds. Boozer's tendency to leave the man he's defending and hope he misses is going to start backfiring real soon if Marvin Williams ever gets going. I know the point of signing Boozer wasn't for his defense but he's not providing offense either. The whole season I've kind of looked at him as a temporary solution for the Bulls and I have a feeling next season he may be on the trading block if he's still performing like this. Maybe Gar Foreman could snatch up K-Love before he bolts for Oklahoma City in 2012.

The Hawks shot selection last night was absolutely TERRIBLE. That combined with the energized play of Joakim Noah and the constant double teams of Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford contributed to this win. Will it work for another 3 games? It's possible but regardless, the Bulls rhythm is off and Derrick Rose looks tentative to drive the ball into traffic with that sore ankle. While he played the ankle injury off like it was fine in the post game interview, there's something definitely wrong with his game. Rose has never been known to be a great defender but Jeff Teague scored 21 points which is someone who has no business scoring on the MVP.

Kyle Korver had an off night as well shooting just 1-9. I have no worries about Korver finding his shot because once he does, he rarely misses. Korver is really our x-factor clutch guy and I have faith he can knock down anything in a clutch situation. The rest of the bench is a totally different story though. With the exception of Kyle Korvers measily 5 points, the rest of the bench scored just 9. Lucky for the Bulls, the Hawks bench was even worse scoring a combined 13 points (11 were from Jamal Crawford).

I should probably stop griping because it's going to be a long, boring series full of sloppy playing and gritty defense. The Bulls travel to Atlanta for the next 2 games in the series. Game 3 is on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. Hopefully the Bulls can close out this series in 5 so they can prepare for a probable matchup against the Miami Heat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bulls Destroy the Pacers, Win Series 4-1!

By Sean Mackey
The Bulls were able to win their first playoff series since 2007 on Tuesday night, defeating the Indiana Pacers 116-89. Derrick Rose shook off a sprained ankle to score 25 points. Luol Deng had a fantastic game with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 1 block. Danny Granger lead the Pacers with 20 points. With this win, the Bulls win the series 4-1 and advance to the 2nd round to take on the winner of the Atlanta Hawks/Orlando Magic series.

First of all, it was great to see the Bulls shake off the funk they were in and dominate an average NBA squad like they've done all season. The Pacers definitely turned it up and were just a few points away from having a 3-0 advantage but the Bulls have the NBA's best closer in Derrick Rose right now. I definitely think the Pacers are back but I don't think they have a shot of luring any big time free agents anytime soon. The only way they're going to improve that team is by the draft or some savvy trades. Frank Vogel was caught boasting that they're an "attractive" franchise but they're not.
Anyways, last night's game was pretty awesome. The Bulls lead the entire game and started the game off with a 10-2 lead. The Pacers tried to get back in the game several times during the 2nd and 3rd quarters cutting it to a 5 point lead. By the time the Bulls came out of halftime they pretty much decided they needed this series to be over so they could get some rest.
With the exception of Carlos Boozer, the Bulls frontline was absolutely abusing the Pacers. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson did a great job of contesting almost everything. It should be noted that this was the first game of the series in which Kurt Thomas didn't play. In return, the Bulls put Omer Asik in the rotation with great success. The real story of the game was the defense of Joakim Noah. Noah was simply outgritting the Pacers on rebounds and getting into their heads. After a swift elbow (behind the ref's back) to Josh McRoberts throat, McRoberts retaliated and got caught. The act was considered a flagrant 2 and McRoberts was thrown out of the game. On a play several minutes later, Derrick Rose flew through the air to block a Roy Hibbert dunk and that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game. After a few three pointers made by Rose, the lead was pushing 20.

By the beginning of the 4th quarter, Rose was hit with his 5th foul and he was removed from the game. The bench mob picked up the slack and CJ Watson & Kyle Korver continued to bury the Pacers with 3 pointers the rest of the evening. After the game, Danny Granger complained that Noah was a dirty player but don't try to tell me that Jeff Foster wasn't playing the role of the dirty enforcer on his team. Suck it up man! With the exception of the Cavs, Granger would be a 2nd scoring option on any other NBA team. Danny Granger is a second rate star, he's essentially a Mo Williams who plays SF.

While getting the win was awesome and completely satisfying for those Bulls fans who made the long drive last Saturday only to see the Bulls lose (I was one of them), you have to be worried about Carlos Boozer. His game was completely off the entire series and for a guy who's ALWAYS performed at a super high level during the playoffs, he was less than impressive against the Pacers. Hopefully with 6 days of rest, the Bulls can turn their attention to resting and practicing, while thinking of a way to get Boozer more involved.

Game 1 of the Bulls second round series against the Atlanta Hawks or the Orlando Magic tips off at 8:00 p.m. Monday night. Go Bulls!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bulls Post 61st Win of the Season, Defeat the Knicks 103-90!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls posted their 61st win of the season Tuesday night in front of a nationally televised audience, defeating the New York Knicks 103-90. The Knicks were previously the only team the Bulls hadn't defeated at least once in the regular season.
Derrick Rose lead the way, solidifying his MVP campaign by scoring 26 points including a reverse slam and a breathtaking alley oop off a lob from Ronnie Brewer. Carlos Boozer had a monster double-double with 10 points and 22 rebounds with Amar'e Stoudemire sitting this game out. Luol Deng was also solid in posting his own double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 21 points. Bill Walker came of the bench to add 18 as well.

This was a great win for the Bulls against a team they couldn't seem to get a victory against earlier in the year. Of course, half of the Knicks roster from the first two meetings of these teams are now playing for the Denver Nuggets. It's amazing how much the Knicks organization had to give up for Carmelo Anthony who just seems disinterested in any game he plays. Don't get me wrong, he's a great clutch scorer (or scorer in general) but they gave up a lot of solid players to get him and he hasn't won a damn thing since college.
Not to get overly worried or anything but Joakim Noah and Ronnie Brewer left last night's game with injuries. Brewer injured his thumb while scrambling for a ball. I imagine he'll be okay but Noah's a different story. Joakim re-tweaked his ankle going for a rebound and came out of the game late in the 4th quarter. There was no medical attention given to Noah so hopefully he won't have any swelling today. I think it's likely he'll miss tonight's final game of the season against the New Jersey Nets. The Bulls don't need to chance his health going into what will probably be a scrappy playoff series against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

With the win against the Knicks last night, the Bulls are now tied for the best record in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs (who lost to the Lakers last night by resting their starters). If the Spurs and Bulls win tonight and they happen to meet in the NBA Finals, home court advantage will be determined by a random draw. However, I don't think the Spurs will make it to the Finals this year and for television ratings sake, I doubt the NBA wants them there. With a win tonight against the New Jersey Nets, the Bulls will match the 97-98 record when they won their last title. This is truly been a fantastic season for the Bulls organization. It's been great for the league as well.

The playoffs start on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers, get excited!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bulls Win 2nd Laugher in a Row, Beat Hawks 114-81!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls are ridiculously locked in right now. They very well might be the hungriest team in the NBA after winning their second 30+ point win in a row last night, beating the Atlanta Hawks 114-81.

Derrick Rose proved once again why he's the #1 MVP candidate, scoring 30 points including 6-8 from downtown, also dishing out 10 assists. Luol Deng scored 27 points on 10-15 shooting. Taj Gibson had a solid night as well , coming off the bench to tally 9 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 20 points, however 17 were in the 4th quarter during garbage time.

The Bulls went on an 11-2 run in the 1st quarter and never seemed to let off the gas. By half time, Chicago had shot 73.8% from the field. You can just tell, D-Rose wanted to make his old teammate, Kirk Hinrich look bad. I think everyone in the arena knew the game was already over at the half after Rose hit a buzzer beating 3 right in Hinrich's face. The Atlanta Hawks are a solid team too, they're not like the Kings who the Bulls beat by 40 the night before. Atlanta was able to come back from a 19 point deficit and win the game the last time these teams met. Derrick Rose remembers stuff like this and wanted a little revenge.

If these last two games are any indication of what's to come, the Bulls have a great shot at winning an NBA championship this year. I think everyone (including myself) kind of thought they might be a year off from being a real contender but with hard work and the whole roster buying into a defense first system, they're ready now. None of these guys are putting up stat stuffers every night other than Derrick Rose and Luol Deng but these guys don't care, they want a ring. The selfless play of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah has been fantastic. Omer Asik could very well be good enough to be a starting center on another NBA club. CJ Watson could very well be a starter as well.

The Bulls next game is against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. Go Bulls!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bulls Stand Pat At Trade Deadline, Beat the Heat (Again) 93-89!

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls organization did everything in their power Thursday afternoon to trade for a SG without giving up any of their bigs. Chicago pulled off a trade on Tuesday night when they shipped James Johnson off to the Toronto Raptors for Miami's 2011 1st round pick. There was a lot of speculation that Chicago would use that pick in a trade. While there were rumors of possibly snatching up Courtney Lee, Anthony Parker or OJ Mayo, the first time in years, the Bulls didn't do a thing on the day of the trade deadline. Every team wanted either Omer Asik or Taj Gibson in return for a shooting guard but in the end, it was decided that they were both too valuable to the Bulls playoff roster to give up. The Bulls bench proved last night that Gar Forman was right about not giving up the depth at the four and five.

The Bulls were able to pull off a stunning victory over the Miami Heat last night, winning 93-89. Derrick Rose proved he was the MVP by tallying 26 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Luol Deng had a spectacular game challenging LeBron James and eventually hitting what would be the game winning shot. Deng finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Carlos Boozer had a decent game with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Dwayne Wade lead the Heat with 34 points and 8 assists. LeBron James ended the game with 29 points and 10 rebounds.

This was a must win game coming off of a tough loss to Toronto the night before. Chicago's defense was almost flawless in the 2nd half. There was no possible way to play better than they did other than cut back on the fouls. The Bulls are a second half team and whatever pep talk Thibs gives those guys must work. They're so motivated to win at any cost.

The Bulls second unit was what really helped win the game for them and exposed just how bad Miami's bench was. Chicago's bench outscored Miami's 22-2 and out rebounded them 20-2. It's nice to have players like Eddie House and James Jones come off the bench and hit an occasional three but when it comes to big man depth, Joel Anthony and Big Z's ghost aren't going to cut it.

Gar Forman was correct to keep Asik. He's a guy who plays with as much intensity and hustle as Noah and is so big that he disrupts other team's offense on a consistent basis. Deng, Boozer and Asik kept Bosh from scoring almost anything going 1-18 from the field. Bosh didn't just have a bad shooting night either, he had a hand in his face the entire game.

The Bulls do still have a hole at the two guard spot but if they can make up for it with their defense like they did last night, they might be okay in the playoffs. It's also possible the Bulls will play the buy out market and pick someone up like Michael Redd or Tashaun Prince if they become available. The D-League is also a possibility.

The Bulls take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night in Milwaukee. Hopefully the Bulls can continue their winning ways. Go Bulls!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bulls Head Into All-Star Weekend With a Win Over the Spurs, 109-99!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls were able to pull off another upset Thursday night when they defeated the San Antonio Spurs 109-99. Derrick Rose went off, scoring a career high 42 points while tallying 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 1 block. Luol Deng had another solid outing with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Carlos Boozer racked up 15 points and 6 boards. Tony Parker lead the way for San Antonio with 26 points and 4 assists.

This was certainly a great game. I think a lot of people expected both teams to come in and play some loose, sloppy ball the day before the All-Star break but they didn't. The Spurs have the best record in the NBA and had only lost 9 games before last night. You can see why they have the best record too because their defense is outstanding and they have plenty of decent bench players to help them chug along. Rookie, Gary Neal lit the Bulls up for 16 points including 4-5 from behind the 3 point line. Last night, Sam Smith tweeted something among the lines of how well the Spurs find these great players late in the draft. Last year it was DeJuan Blair, this year it was Neal. You add those kind of players around Parker, Ginobili & Duncan and you have a decent team. Tim Duncan is still awesome. He started 5-5 in the 3rd quarter and 2 of those field goals were closely guarded. He's just so fundamentally solid.

While I sort of think Derrick Rose was intentionally going for a career high towards the end of the game, he played great. He wants to win games and the MVP trophy really bad. He's taken it upon himself to show up every point guard he's played this season. In a league where about every team has a solid point guard these days, this is quite the accomplishment. It's hard to believe this guy is only 22 years old.

The Bulls defense was absolutely stifling last night. When Taj Gibson and Omer Asik are on the floor, no one's getting to the hoop. Asik's work never really shows up on the box score but he's definitely not worth giving up for someone like Cavs guard, Anthony Parker. As much as I love Brad Miller's work, I'm glad we chose Asik over re-signing B-Mill. When Noah comes back next week, the Bulls front line will be the most solid in the NBA. I have serious doubts at this point that the Bulls are going to make a trade before the deadline unless they're willing to give up draft picks and/or James Johnson. If the Bulls can get someone like Anthony Parker or Courtney Lee for JJ, go for it. If they're asking for Gibson or Asik, I'd definitely say no way. This team is built with certain pieces that keep everything going in the right direction. There is no need to fix something that isn't broken. The Bulls head into NBA All-Star Weekend with the 3rd best record in the East at 38-16.

NBA All-Star weekend starts tonight and the Bulls organization have a lot to be excited about. Derrick Rose will be participating in both the All-Star game on Sunday (as a starter) and in the Skills Challenge on Saturday night. D-Rose won the Skill Challenge in his rookie season but couldn't participate last season due to injury. Taj Gibson will be participating in the Rookie/Sophmore game this evening and is also oddly part of the NBA Shooting Stars competition. Gibson will be joined by former Bull (and 3 point shootout winner) Steve Kerr and Cathrine Kraayveld of the Chicago Sky. The Shooting Stars contest looks like a one sided battle with team Texas set up for a win with Dirk Nowitzki leading his squad. Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol and Al Horford are not really big shooters so I'll be surprised if anyone other than Texas wins that contest.

The Bulls next regular season game is next Thursday (2/24) against the Miami Heat. Bulls center, Joakim Noah is set to return. It's going to be a great game.
Go Bulls!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kurt Thomas Tears Apart the Bucks, Bulls Win 92-83!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls added their 31st win to the season Monday night, defeating a shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks team 92-83. Kurt Thomas surprisingly lead way for Chicago scoring 22 points along with tallying 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Derrick Rose had a decent game going 10-10 from the free throw stripe, scoring 21 points on 5-16 shooting and also added 10 assists. Chris Douglas-Roberts lead the way for Milwaukee scoring 30 points.

This was another ho-hum affair that Bulls fans are getting accustomed to. Kurt Thomas held Andrew Bogut to just 8 points and with John Salmons, Brandon Jennings and Drew Gooden out, this was hardly a contest. The Bulls briefly held a 20 point lead in the 3rd quarter before slacking off and letting the Bucks cut it to 6 in the 4th. Luol Deng and Ronnie Brewer couldn't stop Douglas-Roberts but it didn't really matter. It was really nice to see Derrick Rose get to the line 5 times making up for all those missed shots. Great players always find a way to score and Rose is starting to get the calls he deserves. It should be noted that after the game, Rose admitted that he's been nursing a sore back. I'm not sure how bad it is but Rose hasn't been shooting terribly great lately. The Bulls have the next three nights off before taking on Orlando Friday night. The Bulls lost to the Magic by 29 in their last meeting back in December, hopefully the 3 days rest will help Rose and the rest of the team re cooperate.

While it's great to see Chicago rack up wins against teams, the last two months have been kind of hard to watch. After playing a series of really tough games against title contenders the first month and a half, it seems like Chicago has been taking on some rather boring, below .500 opponents. February and March will be a lot harder and the Bulls need Joakim Noah back at full strength to compete with some of the better teams in the league. Kurt Thomas just isn't going to cut it against guys like Kendrick Perkins, Dwight Howard and Tim Duncan.

The Bulls take on the Orlando Magic at 8:00 p.m. Friday night on CSN Chicago and NBA League Pass.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bulls Win Another Ugly One, Defeat the Pistons 95-82

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls continued their winning ways Monday night by following up their big win against the Celtics last Saturday with another win over the Detroit Pistons, 95-82. Derrick Rose lead the way for Chicago with 29 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. Carlos Boozer absolutely abused Detroit's front court tallying 27 points and 11 rebounds. Luol Deng added a solid 17 points and 7 rebounds. Ronnie Brewer also had a great game scoring 11 points off the bench along with 6 assists including a highlight reel alley-oop pass to Derrick Rose (sick). Tayshaun Prince lead the way for Detroit scoring 15 points.

This was a really ugly game. How ugly you ask? Former Bull, Ben Wallace injured his ankle on the freakin' jump ball and didn't return. During the first half, the Bulls really let the Pistons do whatever they wanted. Detroit out rebounded Chicago and the Bulls played most of the second quarter with 2nd string unit. Only 6 Bulls even scored during this game, not that they needed much production from anyone else to beat the Pistons. Derrick Rose took over in the 2nd half and that was pretty much the end of any Detroit lead the rest of the game. Richard Hamilton surprisingly played in what will probably be one of his last games as a Piston. He had 2 points in 21 minutes off the bench.

It's kind of sad to see how far the Pistons have fallen in the last 3 years. It was a really fun rivalry back in 2006 but loyalty to older players has ruined their chances. Also, Joe Dumars blowing a ton of money on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva in the summer of 2009 has turned out to be a huge bust as well. Those two players combined for 8 points last night...8 POINTS! I still believe Ben Gordon is a great player but it's obvious he's unhappy losing and doesn't care enough to try on such a pathetic team. The same thing happened to Hedu Turkaglu in Toronto. Hedu went for the money and once he got it, he didn't care enough to try, especially on a crappy team he knew wasn't going to make the playoffs. Miraculously, ever since Hedu was traded back to Orlando in December, he's been playing great again.

I would have loved to have seen BG and I truly believe they would have retired his jersey had his whole contract standoff not happened. I'm glad we kept Luol Deng instead. He's been absolutely fantastic this season. I really do believe, he's the 4th best SF in the NBA behind LeBron, Melo & Durant. The thing that's so great about Deng is he's averaging 17 and 6 very quietly. Deng's defense has improved as well. Thibs has done a great job using Luol in the right situations.

The Bulls will continue to add to their win streak on Wednesday night when they take on the Charlotte Bobcats before playing the Indiana Pacers Friday and their first game this season against the new look Miami Heat on Saturday.