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 BUZZ: Off-Season Bench-Cleaning Re-Cap | SportsDivas Inc.

It may only be August, but it’s never too early to amp up your Bulls knowledge, particularly after a turbulent off-season like this. The theme of this year’s off-season has definitely been “out with the old, in with the new” – bench that is. After the Bulls brass changed up the roster quite a bit through a series of trades during NBA Free Agency, we’re going to have some new names and faces to get to know. Old faces like Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are still around to provide us with some dunks, but the Bulls’ beloved bench mob is essentially gone. Check out who’s in and who’s out!

BULLS BUZZ: Off-Season Bench-Cleaning Re-Cap | SportsDivas Inc..

 

Will Ferrell Announces Bulls-Hornets Lineup

In case you missed tonight’s Bulls-Hornets introductions, funny-man Will Ferrell did the honors in New Orleans and every word was obviously truthful. Carlos Boozer definitely lives with his mother. Luol Deng could easily have a pet dolphin named “Chachi” (my sister’s nickname might I add ) and collect rare birds he’s from Sudan, it’s exotic. Joakim Noah is so tall and gangly, I bet he looks silly on the dance floor. Ronnie Brewer lives in Chicago, a city with the finest hotdogs, 20 hotdogs is nothing. Derrick Rose is a soft spoken man who loves his mama, I can garuntee he’s seen The Notebook.

The Bulls trounced the Hornets 90-67, Boozer had 18 points and 6 rebounds, Noah added 13 points and 10 rebounds. It was apparent Rose’s back is still bothering him, he only played 22 minutes and had 6 points. Coach T, how about we just let him rest on Friday so he can be 100% when it matters?

Ferrell is in the Crescent City shooting the movie Dog Fight, in which he and Hangover star Zach Galifianakis play political rivals who are seeking the same congressional seat. Since he’s been in New Orleans for some time shooting, Ferrell has been popping up at Hornets games quite frequently, hence the invite to announce the game’s introductions.

True or False – Dwight Howard is open to being a Bull?

True! The NBA trade rumor mill is spinnin. Once again Dwight Howard was asked where he might end up this season, and this time he mentioned he’s open to landing in Chicago with the Bulls and reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose. Prior to last Friday, Howard had mentioned locations including Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey and Dallas yada yada yada.

I mean why wouldn’t he want to play alongside Rose? A Rose-Howard dynamic duo (“double d” – Derrick and Dwight) could be, potentially, the best point guard-center combination in NBA history. It’s just what Chicago needs to wipe the floors with their Eastern Conference rival the Miami Heat, whose greatest weaknesses are at point guard and center. Hit them where it hurts. With the combination of Rose’s explosiveness and Howard’s strength and rebounding skills, I can barely keep my pants on. They’d be unstoppable.

“If I could play with Derrick right now and God wanted that to happen, it will happen,” Howard told the Chicago Tribune. “It has nothing to do with me not wanting to play with Derrick Rose. I love him. That’s my brother.”

Rumors had spread saying that marketer Adidas would not want two signature players being signed to the same team. I say forget Adidas, bring on the big man. More people live in Chicago than Orlando, which equals more feet to wear shoes, which results in their stupid shoe sales being fine.

Now, for the real question, is this franchise changing trade necessary for the Bulls success?

The Orlando Magic are most likely going to demand that Hedo Turkoglu’s bloated contract be taken on by the team getting Howard. This would force the Bulls to negotiate a player of Luol Deng’s caliber. We would also need to give up Joakim Noah (2nd best center in the east) and probably either Omer Asik or Taj Gibson. So many of my favorites…Noah’s messy bun alone holds a special place in my Bulls-fan heart.

We must remember the Bulls won 62 of 82 games last season. They also addressed their biggest positional weakness by adding Richard Hamilton at shooting guard. We have Rose the MVP at point, Deng and Noah who should be All-Stars. Chicago’s depth is impressive with Gibson and Asik backing up Carlos Boozer, Noah in the frontcourt and Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Kyle Korver coming off the bench as guards.

Would this trade be too much? Would such an alteration in the Bulls structure strip them of their identity? It isn’t likely as Howard would more than makeup for any lost rebounding as a three-time defensive player of the year. Would this type of trade be the only way Chicago would be considered the Miami Heat’s equal as a title contender?

This is all extremely hypothetical as both sides would have to really jump on it to make the trade deadline (for those of you who don’t know, it’s March 15th).

Ronnie Brewer is Lookin’ Good

Looks like Ronnie Brewer did his homework this off season. Six (seven depending what time you read this) games into his second year with the Chicago Bulls, it is apparent Brewer has developed a little more than just a consistent jump shot during the NBA lock-out. The man has some serious confidence so far this season.

The Bulls bench or “bench mob” is solid, with back ups like Taj Gibson and C.J. Watson (pre-elbow injury), but Brewer has stood out from the rest of the second unit.  Unlike last year, Brewer is healthy and in shape – able to maximize on his shooting game. In Sunday night’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Brewer had 17 points while starting in place of an injured Richard Hamilton. Never considered a strong offensive player, mostly due to his strange shooting form, Brewer has always been a long-armed solid rock to the Bulls’ defense with excellent court vision, able to create turnovers and guard any opponents.

After the Bulls acquired Hamilton as a starting two guard, one can only imagine it was a bit of a shot to Ronnie’s ego, as he wasn’t going to be the Bulls starter. However, I think he used this situation as motivation. Yes it’s early in the season, and he hasn’t done anything miraculous, but I think we can expect much more out of Brewer offensively this season. He is taking the lead as the boss of the “bench mob” and in a season with a crazy number of back-to-back games, his strength/consistency will be key to the team’s success. And now with early season injuries to Hamilton and Watson, I expect his minutes to increase resulting in more shot attempts and ultimately making more baskets, which will only boost his confidence more.

Brewer told ESPN, “Playing with D-Rose and the level of defense [coach Tom Thibodeau] preaches, it kind of takes a little getting used to. This year was a little different. I came in in a lot better shape. Healthy, working on my shot and just been playing with a lot of confidence so far.” Get after it Ronnie B, Chicago is loving the new you.