Bulls or Bust: 10 Things to Know Before the Playoffs

Calling all Bulls babes: the NBA playoffs are right under our noses! If you took a backseat after Derrick Rose went out for the season or Luol Deng was shipped off to Cleveland – we don’t blame you, but it’s time to brush up on your Bulls basics because we’re gearing up for a playoff party.

The league is wrapping up their regular season tonight and our Bulls have secured the role of “most dangerous underdog” in the post season this year. No one expected much out of Chicago after Derrick rose went down with the doom and gloom of a second knee injury. Many suggested the team tank the season and collect themselves a nice lottery pick in the draft. Instead, the Bulls are prepping for the 2014 post season and are easily one of the biggest threats to the top seeded dogs in the East.

What You Need to Know:

1. The Perfect Playoff Positioning? They’re either playing the Brooklyn Nets or the Washington Wizards in a first round show down. It all depends on the outcome of the final games tonight (The Bulls snag a four seed and Indy’s bracket with a loss or a Raptors win. They take the three seed with a win and a Raptors loss). Rumor has it the Nets don’t want to meet the Bulls in the first round after we knocked them out last year. The Pacers clinched the top seed in the East so technically we want the 4th seed to avoid the Miami Heat’s half of the bracket. Let’s not face BronBron and his title contending friends until the Eastern finals por favor.

2. It’s all about the messy bun swagger and the heart hustle and muscle of Joakim Noah this post season. His energy propels the emotional stability of the entire roster. JoNo has been absolutely stunning this season racking up career high stats. Triple-double is basically his middle name. He leads the team in rebounds, blocks, and assists (yea our center is the best passer on the team, deal with it). Noah’s health and consistent performance is essential for the Bulls to advance to the second round.

3. Crazy Cool Coach: Thibs may look like a Disney evil villain or maybe you get the used car salesman vibe from his fashion sense, but one thing proves true; Tom Thibodeau knows how to coach an NBA team. It doesn’t matter who’s on his bench, NBA players ride or die with their boy Thibs.

4. Defensive Titans: By now we are all aware of the Bulls defensive mindset. Tom Thibodeau has his teams eat and breathe defense and the Bulls are peaking (minus the loss to the lowly Knicks) at the right time. We’re looking your way Jimmy ButlerThey’ve been ranked in the top 5 defenses all season and are about to take the physicality up a notch.

butler and gibson5. X-Factors: Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler. Gibson is in the running for Sixth man of the year and there is no time like the present for him to whip out all the stops. I want ego-smothering dunks and I want dirty defense. Jimmy Buckets had a slow start on the year, but has picked things up since the All-Star break. We need a big burst from Butler to solidify some offense and defense for the Bulls.

6. Down and Dirty Delivery: The Bulls are primitive in their strategic play and do not possess the same finesse as power houses like the Heat and Pacers. Sometimes they barely have much offense at all; it can get ugly. However, the Bulls find other ways to beat you. They’ll physically and emotionally wear their opponents down.

Jimmer7. Jimmer Fever: From the second Jimmer Fredette stepped foot onto a Bull’s bball court, the media and the fans went into their usual Jimmer Fever frenzy. Think Brian Scalabrine White Mamba style, but not a super old NBA veteran. Jimmer is a bench mobber who may not see heavy minutes, but can make an impact emotionally – plus he’s got a nice mid-range shot. #jimmerfeverforever

8. D.J. Augustin is the best pick-up the Bulls could have hoped for. Chicago snatched Augustin after the Raptors put him up on waivers (the NBA equivalent to being homeless on the street). The Bulls were a team who needed a backup point guard, they took Augustin under their wing and he instantly made an impact off the bench. He’s currently the Bulls’ leading scorer.

Brewers-back9. Roster Updates: Ronnie “brew-ha-ha” Brewer is back on the Bulls. We were sad to see him go a few years back, but his return to the bench mob is a happy one. Brewer knows Thib’s intense defensive ways. He plays tough and can give the Bulls a pick-me-up when they need one.

10. No DRose: Derrick rose isn’t making a superhero return to whisk his team off into NBA happily ever after. Let it go, Let it go. (Yes, I went there, Frozen style)

Per usual any playoff advancing is going to take an entire Bulls team effort. Kirk, Boozer, Butler, Dunleavy and the whole gang are going to have to play their hearts out and maybe, just maybe, our Bulls may upset the entire conference. It’s time to #BULLieve.

Be sure to check out all my post season pieces at SportsDivasinc.com via Bulls or Bust: 10 Things to Know Before the Playoffs | SportsDivas, Inc..

Bulls November Report Card: C-

The Bulls’ season has been underway for a little over a month and the game has already taken a toll on our emotions. As fans we’re exhausted, I can’t imagine what the players must be going through. If you’ve missed Coach Thibodeau’s recent emotional sideline displays, the Bulls are in a full fledged identity crisis after losing Derrick Rose for the season and sitting 2nd in the Central Division at 7-9.

It’s tough times Bulls fans. November started with the highest hopes, Rose was finally finding his rhythm after a year off the floor and the team was starting to gel again. Then BAM in the blink of an eye everything plummeted into a devastating black hole. This is the kind of season where you either pride yourself on being a die-hard Bulls fan and stick it out, or perhaps just pack it up until next season.

The Good: 

Jimmy Butler finally got a haircut.

Other than the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat the Bulls are competing in a weak Eastern Conference. It’s a blessing and a burden. The Bulls won’t be terrible enough in the conference to “tank” the season and get a top draft pick, but they don’t have enough without Rose to

The Bad: Well gosh, where do I even begin.

It was just a normal game during the yearly Circus Trip where the biggest challenge was Jimmy Butler sitting out with a case of turf toe. Then suddenly Derrick Rose’s right knee buckled in the third quarter and he limped off the TrailBlazer’s court. Next thing we know he needs season ending surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus. And in an instant all the Bulls’ hopes and dreams of an NBA Championship were immediately stripped away.Losing your franchise player to a knee injury for the second time in less than two years is a bit traumatizing. It’s one thing to go into the season knowing you’ll be without your star player, however losing DRose 11 games into the season after believing he was 100% healthy is near impossible to bounce back from. DRose seems to be on a year-to-year status with the Bulls.

Overall: It’s going to take the Bulls a hot second to shake off the loss of their superstar point guard, regain their composure and buckle up to do what they do best – get back to playing defense. It’s always been about heart hustle and muscle in Chicago.

Read my whole piece via Bulls November Report Card: C- | SportsDivas Inc..

Weekend Roundup: Bulls are Back in Business with Two Blowout Wins

Weekend roundup

It was a win-win kind of weekend for the Chicago Bulls who got back to their streak-snapping roots and pulled off two big blowout wins against the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers.

Despite their healthy roster, it has been a rough start overall for Chicago who is still working through the kinks and rust of Derrick Rose’s return to the court. This weekend put the haters to rest and gave Bulls fans a gust of hope with some breakout performances and team defense.

Friday Bulls at Raptors

Bulls were cruising in the 96-80 win over the Raptors Friday night. With Rose on the bench resting his sore hamstring the Bulls played stingy defense and a well rounded offense. Luol Deng led the way with 19 points, but every Bulls’ starter was in double digits.

Joakim Noah finally found his offensive swagger and had his first big offensive game with 18 points. Jo-No missed the majority of the pre-season with a groin injury and needed a few games to find his rhythm again.

Raptors’ swingman DeMar DeRozan had a career high of 37 points. He dominated the fourth quarter making some outlandish jumpshots, but Toronto had dug themselves too deep of a hole to come back from.

Jimmy Butler showed off his new haircut. The handsome young stud changed up his fro to a more clean-cut style.

Saturday Bulls vs Pacers

STREAK SNAPPED: Going into Saturday’s matchup the Indiana Pacers were the only remaining undefeated team in the NBA. The Bulls, who had already lost to the Pacers earlier this season, said “not in our house.” Chicago not only ended Indy’s nine game winning streak, but they did so in a 110-94 blowout fashion.

Derrick Rosehad his first break-out game of the season with 20 points and four assists and against a tough opponent too (feel free to let out your sigh of relief).

It was a battle between two All-Star small forwards, but Luol Deng (23 pts) took advantage of Indy’s counterpart Paul George (12 pts) who has had a solid start to his season. Overall, the Bulls starters dominated the Pacers big guys.

Carlos Boozer did some pushin-and-shovin against Chris Copeland. They were both ejected with 21.9 seconds on the clock.

The Bulls and Pacers claim there is no longer a team rivalry between the two divisional opponents, but we beg to differ. Things got taken up a notch at the UC and things will continue to get more heated between these two teams as the season goes on.

Your Take Away Piece:

“We witnessed three things this weekend: the Bulls showed off their feisty team defense, they had a resurgence of balanced offense (they surpassed the 100 point hurdle) and DRose got his MVP groove back. I think things are finally coming together for our Chicago Bulls and there’s a lot of great basketball in store for us all.”

What’s Next:

Chicago is 5-3 as they prepare to host the 5-5 Charlotte Bobcats tonight at the UC. Tune in to Comcast Sportsnet at 7 PM to see if our main men can keep their offensive mojo going and continue their four game winning streak. Always BULLieve.

Check out all my Bulls posts via  SportsDivas Inc..

Justin Bieber: Worst Dressed NBA Fan

BiebsDear Justin Bieber,

You really went with the leather shirt and tacky gold chains get-up to go with your court-side seat? No wonder Selena G got rid of you.

Always,
A Concerned TwentySomething

Aye Dios Mio…I know Game 7 between the Pacers and the Heat was in Miami, a city known for pushing the fashion limits, but a leather shirt is never acceptable game day attire for a man (or “young man” for the Biebs sake). Also, is he aware American Airlines Arena is an indoors facility? Were the shades really necessary?

I think Justin Bieber truly established himself as the douchiest dressing NBA fan across the nation. What happened to the little boy with the Ellen DeGeneres haircut who just loved basketball? Let’s take a look at his progression from a nice Canadian Toronto Raptors fan to the individual we saw on Monday:

Justin BieberI can’t wait to see what the Biebs comes up with for the Finals series. Not sure he can top the horrific leather shirt.

 

Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers

If you stopped watching the NBA Playoffs when our depleted Bulls were bounced last week in round two, you may want to consider tuning back in starting tonight as the Eastern Conference Finals are about to get underway.

The post season is far from over as four teams remain (down from the original 16) and are looking to advance to the NBA Finals, the final round of the NBA Playoffs. In the Western Conference, the favored San Antonio Spurs are facing off against the underdog Memphis Grizzlies and already have a 2-0 lead in the series.

In the Eastern Conference, for the second year in a row the top seeded Miami Heat find themselves going head-to-head with the third seeded Indiana Pacers. That’s right, two of the Bulls biggest rivals will face-off to claim their throne as the biggest beasts of the East and continue their quest to an NBA title.

Let’s take a closer look at this interesting Eastern Conference matchup that is sure to keep Bulls fans tuning in just a little longer.

On one end of the court you’ll find the Pacers who have the league’s best defense led by big nasty Roy Hibbert and on the opposite side you have the defending Champion Miami Heat with the hottest commanding offense in the NBA led by four-time MVP Lebron James. Will the Pacers tough antics rattle Miami’s nearly perfect offense? We will soon find out. Here’s the need to know information for round 3.

Read the entire Eastern Finals Preview with Key Players, need to know facts and predictions at SportsDivasInc.com via Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers | SportsDivas Inc..

Slam Dunk-A-Roo

Last night was the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk contest, which in my opinion is one of the most entertaining sporting events to watch – especially during an all-you-can-drink package at your favorite local establishment.

This year’s contestants really got creative and were refreshingly less cheesy than Blake Griffin’s over-the-car dunk from last year. In the end, Utah’s Jeremy Evans took the cake.

Evans, got into the competition as a replacement for injured New York guard Iman Shumpert. Reports show he earned 29 percent of the 3 million votes cast. He beat out Houston’s Chase Budinger, Indiana’s Paul George and Minnesota’s Derrick Williams for the Jazz’s first-ever trophy in the contest.

Evans dunked with a camera on his head, slammed two basketballs as he soared over a seated assistant and rocked a Karl Malone jersey to dunk over comedian Kevin Hart (celebrity all-star MVP) dressed as a mailman.

Another one of my favorite dunks of the night was when Budinger jumped over Mr. P.Diddy. The fact that anyone can jump over another man is unreal, I can’t even jump up 6 stairs.

Jumping over men seemed to be the theme of the evening as Indiana’s Paul George also jumped over two large guys, his Pacers teammates Roy Hibbert and Dahntay Jones.

If you missed the event, you can watch the highlights below :-)