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Chicago Bulls 2009-2010 Season…
Rose Blooms In January...Derrick Is Named To NBA All-Star Roster
Photos & Story By Mark Rotor
The Twelve Year Drought Is Over
In the middle of a cold winter a ray of sunlight shined on the Chicago Bulls as Derrick Rose was able to do what others have not accomplish since the legendary Michael Jordan twelve seasons ago, Rose was named to the Eastern Conference NBA All-Star team.
Rose who was scheduled to play on All-Star weekend February 13-14th in the Freshmen versus Sophomore game in Dallas was thrilled to be named to the All-Star team by the Eastern Conference coaches along with six other reserves. Rose in his second year has truly bloomed since his slow start due to pre-season ankle injury is now scoring nearly 20-points and 6-assist per contest. As usual Rose was humble when commenting on his latest accomplishment.
"It means a lot to me that my hard work finally pays off," said Rose. There no way you can compare me to him (Michael Jordan). I can't even fill his shoes and I probably never will. When you finally here it you don't believe it. It hasn't really hit me yet."
Bulls Brass Couldn't Be Prouder
"We, as an organization, are absolutely thrilled for Derrick," said Bulls General Manager Gar Foreman. "He is truly deserving of being an All-Star, and I couldn't be happier that all of his hard work and dedication have paid off in getting to this point, as a player in only his second season. Perhaps more importantly, it speaks volumes about Derrick as a person and the family that he comes from. We know we can count on Derrick to represent the Bulls and the city of Chicago
with a great deal of dignity and pride."
Paxson Believes - "Derrick Is Just Scratching The Surface"
"Derrick Rose is such a good kid who is just 21 and he carries himself in such a good way, said Executive VP of Bull Basketball Operations John Paxson. "The best thing is he has been voted by the coaches and only seven guys from each conference are voted in."
"His skill level and talent is recognized by coaches throughout the league. Let’s face it we have not had a all-star since Michael and you have to have great player to win in this league. Derrick is just scratching the surface in terms of how he is playing. he has been so assertive lately. I think people assume it just going to happen for guys but Derrick has just bloomed now."
"I think an experience like the All-Star game were he around the best players in the game where he can see how they approach the game and how they go about doing their business. I think its gonna make him better and better. Were very fortunate we have a young man like this to build around."
Derrick Rose Spins the Bulls to thrilling win in Double Overtime 121-119 Friday night.
Game Photos By Mark Rotor
The man with “all the right moves”
You can say the Derrick Rose had all the right “moves”, but to him, its all just playing basketball.
I’ve been doing that move since college,” Rose said after his first game winning basket with 5.4 It was his career-best 37-point effort and gave the Bulls a 121-119 win Friday night.
“If I want to go a certain way and they play me a certain way, I got to spin and I got a nice little floater. … I used to think about what move I’m going to make or whatever. I’m just letting it come to me right now.”
The Wizards headed into the game with some off the court problems for star player Arenas, but the team put that on the back burner.
“They have gone through some difficult things in the last couple of weeks,” Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro said of the Wizards. “Fortunately we made one more play than they did. It could have gone either way.”
Jamison said Arenas’ off the court legal problems had no bearing on the team’s efforts Friday night. They came to play a basketball game, and nearly won.
“It doesn’t matter what’s going on off the court. It just matters what’s going on on the court,” Jamison said.
“It’s tough to take anytime you lose a game. Off the court doesn’t affect what goes on during game time. It doesn’t affect us at all. We’re out there playing hard, but we’re just coming up short. Off the court distractions don’t even come in this locker room when it’s time to play the game.”
#1 Is The Loneliness Number.
Rose On Bench for Pre-Season
Wizards Vanish As Bulls Turn-up the Heat on Offense
Thanks to a 17-point scoring run by Chicago beginning early in the 3rd quarter the Bulls were able to dispatch the Wizards and all-star guard Gilbert Arenas. Scoring contributions from Tyrus Thomas 19-points, Miller18-points, John Salmons 14-points and Joakim Noah 13-points allowed Chicago to deliver a knockout punch to the Wizards 68-51 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Although Washington 's Gilbert Arenas made his presence noticed scoring 15-points and team mate Andray Blatche carried the team in the first half scoring 14-points Chicago closed the door on Washington in the 4th quarter limiting their scoring opportunities while pulling away (25-19) to defeat the Wizards.
No Point Guard No Problem! - Point-Center Miller?
With a shortage of point guards, Brad Miller became point-center showing his passing prowess with 7 assist and a few to Tyrus Thomas. "Brad doesn't mind throwing the ball, said Thomas. "That's why I like to play with him." Miller commented, "Passing is something I really enjoy and tonight it was just the way they were playing defense and when you have guys that can go up get the pass it makes easy." Let's hope that during the upcoming season the opponent’s defense will continue to oblige Miller.
Rookie Taj Gibson Gives Tyrus Competition
The surprising play of rookie forward Taj Gibson gave Chicago a boost as Gibson scored 13-points and collected 5 rebounds. Gibson continues to earned playing time with his poised presence, defensive abilities and mid-range jump shooting.
Gibson has taken full advantage of the three game absence of starter Tyrus Thomas due to his hip injury, gaining additional preseason playing time and a possible spot in the regular season rotation. He has averaged 12-points, 6-Rebounds and is shooting 53% from the field. Pretty good stats for the 26th pick in the first round NBA draft!
Ty Thomas Makes His Shots Count Scored 19-Points
4th Year Forward Tyrus Thomas Comes To Life
The active presence of Tyrus Thomas was appreciated by the fans as Thomas scored 19-points, 6-rebounds and gathered 3-assists to lead Chicago in scoring.
Thomas who returned from injured list two games prior has made the most of his minutes since returning from a thigh injury. Because of point-guard shortage Chicago was forced to use a "Big" line-up at times Thomas was asked to play the small forward position and took advantage of his size advantage.
"Tyrus is long, athletic and presents problems for teams", said Coach Vinny Del Negro.
"In the first half Brad (Miller) found him for some easy lay-ups and some dunks. Using Tyrus around the rim is where you like to use him as much as you can"
When Thomas was asked about his own pre-season performance he responded "In the three games I played, I think I did well in all of them. The numbers might have not show it in the last game (Orlando Magic) but I think my energy and defense was there."
Rookie Taj Gibson Shines In Preseason
The Season Opener & the Return of Derrick Rose?
The Bulls are counting on Derrick Rose this season more than ever to help pick-up the slack in clutch scoring created by the departure of guard Ben Gordon who was signed by the Detroit Pistons during the off season.Gordon averaged 20-point per game last season and was key to Chicago 's success versus the Boston Celtics in their highly competitive and record breaking 1st round playoffs series.
Rose is rumored to start on opening night against the San Antonio Spurs if his ailing ankle will allow. Rose has practiced during the week and has indicated that will be at 80% if he plays in home opener.
Photo By Mark Rotor
It won’t be an easy opener for the Bulls. They face a strong San Antonio Spurs team. The Bulls are 3-19 vs the Spurs since the 1998-99 Season. The Bulls are 17-19 in the windy city and 8-26 all-time in San Antonio.
To find the Bulls last victory against the Spurs… it occurred nearly three years ago on January 15, 2007 when the Bulls and Kirk Hinrich paced the Bulls that night, winning 99-87. Hinrich had a game-high 23 points.
At the United Center, the Bulls are 6-8 vs the Spurs and dead even at the Old Chicago Stadium at 11-11.
Past News .....
Every Rose has its thorn?
Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson defended the men’s basketball program Thursday, saying the school checks out all potential players.
He would not confirm that Derrick Rose, who led Memphis to the 2008 national title game, is at the center of an NCAA investigation of major violations during that season.
In a letter to the school the NCAA says an unknown person took the SAT for a player, with his knowledge, and then the player used that test to get into Memphis. The NCAA said the athlete in question played for the Tigers in the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. The only person who played just that season was Rose.
“We wouldn’t play anybody if we hadn’t checked it out pretty thoroughly,” Johnson told The Associated Press.
Johnson would not identify the player involved for privacy reasons. But he said the player is cooperating with Memphis’ investigation into the allegations
“Nobody has thrown up any road blocks,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to get it resolved and do it the right way.”
The NCAA has asked Memphis to provide copies of the SAT and a Sept. 2, 2008, report by a forensic document examiner who studied the handwriting in the SAT.
Rose’s attorney, Daneil E. Reidy, said in a statement Thursday that the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA draft by Chicago and this season’s rookie of the year was aware of the allegations.
“Mr. Rose cooperated fully with the University of Memphis’ athletic and legal departments’ investigation of this issue when he was a student and that investigation uncovered no wrong-doing on his part,” Reidy said. “At this time, Mr. Rose sees no reason to engage in further discussion regarding this matter and will instead focus on his career as a professional basketball player.
“Neither Mr. Rose nor I will have further comment.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday that someone with access to Rose’s academic records at Simeon High School changed a D to a C on his transcript. The newspaper reported that Rose was one of four athletes at the school whose grades were boosted for a one-month period after their June 2007 graduation and then changed back after the bogus transcripts were sent to colleges.
Memphis was notified Jan. 16 of the potentially major violations in the men’s basketball program and will appear June 6 in Indianapolis before the NCAA committee on infractions for a hearing. Johnson declined to provide any details on what Memphis has found in its investigation prior to the hearing.
“We’ve been working on this for some time and continue to get our final presentation finalized and make sure we dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts,” Johnson said.
The alleged violations occurred under John Calipari, who left March 31 to take over at Kentucky. Calipari, who’s cooperating with the investigation, was told by the NCAA in a letter that he was not at risk of being charged with any violations in the case.
Kentucky president Lee Todd reiterated in a statement Thursday that his university was aware of the inquiry while interviewing Calipari.
“We are confident that Coach Calipari was not involved in any way,” Todd said. “He was very open with us about what he was aware of at that particular time, and since this is an issue between the University of Memphis and the NCAA and not a UK issue, we will not be commenting further on anything related to this situation.”
Memphis faces the loss of its 38 wins that season.
New Memphis coach Josh Pastner said he wasn’t aware of the allegations when offered the job in April to replace Calipari.
“It’s nothing that will affect the current team, which I believe,” said Pastner, who first joined Tigers staff as an assistant in June 2008. “I can’t comment anymore than that.”
Thriller at the house Jordan built… and he would be proud..
One more thriller, and now, the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics will play a decisive seventh game. Derrick Rose scored 28 points and blocked Rajon Rondo's potential game-winner, John Salmons scored 35, and the Bulls beat the defending champions 128-127 in triple overtime Thursday night to tie the first-round series at three games apiece.
On a mission from god?
Ray Allen Nails Three-Pointer.. Evens Series 1-1
Ray Allen picked the perfect time to snap out of his shooting slump. Allen made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2 seconds left and finished with 30 points, leading the Boston Celtics a 118-115 win over the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of their playoff series Monday night. Ben Gordon nearly carried Chicago to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Bulls vs. Celtics.... Kevin Garnett out?
Even though Celtics coach Doc Rivers said it's likely the All-Star big man's sore right knee will sideline him for the entire NBA playoffs. The Bulls are not buying it...
"I'm not buying that," Bulls forward John Salmons said. "I'll believe that when I see it."
Derrick Rose added: "Knowing him, he would play if his leg was broken. We still have to think he's going to play."
"Kevin could say all of a sudden he feels better and wants to play 20 minutes," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We'll prepare for both ways just to cover our bases. That's the smart thing to do. They have a very, very strong team, so there's a lot to worry about, not just Kevin."
Salmons on Paul Pierce...
"He's a tough cover," Salmons said. "He has every move in the book. He's real herky-jerky. He's one of those guys where every jab step or pump fake he makes, you have to respect it because there's nothing he can't do on offense."
The Bulls beat the "World Champs" earlier this season and will look to get back on track after a dismal season ending loss against a surging Toronto Raptors team.
The Bulls beat Boston 127-121 on March 17.
The Celtics 62-20 were 18-7 without Garnett in the lineup this season, though Garnett's play transcends statistics. He's the vocal and emotional leader of the defending champions, and the 2007-08 Defensive Player of the Year would relish trying to limit Rose's penetration.
"New Look Bulls"…Get New Results....Chicago Bulls Blows-Out Orlando Magic 120-102
Story & Photos By Mark Rotor
The last time Orlando met the Bulls the outcome wasn't pretty for Chicago. On New Years Eve the Bulls suffered an embarrassing loss to the Orlando Magic 119-94. In the game, Chicago ’s inability to match Orlando ’s intensity and offensive firepower giving-up 11-three-pointers allowing the Magic to domination the game from the tip-off till the final buzzer. After the loss, it would have been difficult to imagine Chicago turning the tables against the division leading (41-14) Magic but the new improved Bulls extracted revenge on Tuesday night crushing the Magic 120-102.
Trade Talks and New Faces
Much has changed since Chicago last played Orlando with both teams making trades to improve their rosters. On February 18th with less than 24 hours before the trading deadline, the Bulls re-acquired veteran Brad Miller a 7-foot passing Center with a mid-range jump shoot and added Forward John Salmons averaging 18-point per game. The move bolsters Chicago ’s front court scoring while in return, Chicago sent four players to the Sacramento Kings notably (Center/Forward) Dwight Gooden and fan favorite (Forward) Andres Nocioni.
Orlando short handed with a season ending shoulder injury to All-Star point-guard Jameer Nelson pulled the trigger on a trade with the Houston Rockets acquiring point-guard Rafer Alston for a 2009 first round draft pick. The move gave the Magic an experienced play making guard for the remainder of the season and the playoffs.
Since the trade Chicago has a 2-1 record with victories over Milwaukee and Denver , two teams contending for a playoff positions. So far, the addition of the new players energized Chicago as was witnessed by the Orlando Magic in 120-102 blow-out loss to the impressive Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
The "New Look” Bulls
Chicago returned to the United Center for their first home since the trade The “New Look” Bulls which also includes the team’s final veteran acquisition, 3-point shooter Tim Thomas returning for his 2nd tour with the Bulls. In the deal, Chicago sent disgruntle veteran guard Larry Hughes to the NY Knicks in exchange for forward Thomas and guard Anthony Robertson.
Magic must have been salivating with a chance to play a team with a losing record of 25-31 that they had defeated twice this season but to their surprise the Bull’s new reinforcements came to play and made a startling difference in the outcome of the game.
Shooting the Lights Out
The Bulls apparently called in the S.W.A.T. team with marksmen like shooting in a highly contested 1st quarter that included six lead changes and four ties.Chicago traded baskets with Orlando ’s potent offense matching their intensity while out shooting the Magic by 56% to 47% from the field. Chicago won the first quarter skirmish taking the lead at the end of the quarter 30-27. Ben Gordon scored 10-points on red hot shooting from 20-foot range while Luol Deng unloaded for 8-points. “Everybody was a threat out there tonight and that's the way we have to play” said Gordon.
Orlando’s big man, the rising 6’ 10” and 230 pounds star-star Dwight Howard answered the challenge scoring 13-points in the first quarter with low-post moves against the physically over matched Joakim Noah. However, momentum shifted from the Magic back to Chicago as the sizzling shooting exhibition by the Bulls continued. “They were on fire. It started with Derrick Rose; he hit a lot of open shots and Ben Gordon was lighting it up. We tried a lot of different schemes but it didn't work tonight.” said Howard.
New Guys and New Team Chemistry
The pieces fell in place for Chicago as they began to take control of the game early in the 2nd quarter with contributions by each of the new arrivals. John Salmons made his presences felt with two rebounds and an assist to newcomer Tim Thomas. Terrific ball movement and good floor spacing allowed the Bulls to attack Orlando from long range with shooting from Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas and three 3-pointers from Tim Thomas. He ended the quarter with 8-points, 3-3 from the field and one assist.
“There are guys on this team who know how to play this game. Because of the young guys on this team, the older guys have to come in and bring energy. This was definitely a confidence builder tonight. If we play the way we did tonight, good things will
happen.” said Tim Thomas. The Bulls finished the quarter with a bang with baskets from reserve center Brad Miller to lead the Magic 63-54 at half time. “We had a good solid performance from start to finish. Our ball movement was real good, especially in the first half. Everybody contributed.” said Head Coach Del Negro.
Slaying the MagicOrlando wouldn't quite with strong play from Orlando ’s shooting guard Courtney Lee scoring 12-points keeping the Magic close in the 3rd quarter 87-82. However, the Magic could not silence the spectacular offensive display of Derrick Rose shooting 7 of 9 and scoring 14-points in the 4th quarter. Rose punished many of the Magic's defenders with his powerful scoring drives to the hoop finishing the night with 22-points.
It was the play of Salmons and Gordon that broke the Magic’s back mid-way in the 4th quarter as Salmons drove up the center of the lane taking JJ Redic to the rim scoring on a spectacular left-handed flip-shot at a pivotal moment in the game giving Chicago a 97-89 lead. Ben Gordon followed suite with a fade away jumper to break Orlando ’s back. Salmons ended the night with 17-points and Gordon with 20-points on 9 of 14 shooting an amazing 64% from the field.
“We knew coming into this game that the Bulls were a much better team. They run a lot harder. We weren't ready for their intensity tonight. We were frustrated and had a lot of turnovers. To build a championship caliber team, we have to keep our turnover ratio down. Tonight it was turnover after turnover. They were hitting shots and when they're hitting shots and we're turning the ball over it's not good. “ said Howard.
With 5 minutes left in the game Joakim Noah put an exclamation point on the evening with a slam-dunk giving Chicago an 18-point lead and appeared breaking Orlando's spirit. Bulls coasted to a 120-102 victory.
On the Road Again
Now that Chicago has revenge their previous loss to Orlando and have now won their last 3-4 games the Bulls will take it on the road on a mini two game road trip starting Wednesday in New Jersey followed by a game with the Wizards in Washington DC on Friday.
Chicago 's road record at 10-20 must improve if they are to compete for the last playoff position in their division. But as Vinny Del Negro said "Some times it is going to be your night and sometimes not. That is what it is all about being a team, about putting the team before your self." Let hope the reconstituted "New Look" Bulls will be able to play committed basketball and grab much needed victories on the road.
“King” James & Cavs Shocked By "Sir" Derrick & the Bulls...
Chicago Wins 102-93 in O.T.
Shock, Awe and Excitement at the United Center
Story and Photos by Mark Rotor
The word surprise probably grossly understates the emotions of the 21,297 in attendance at the United Center as they watched the team with the best record in the NBA the Cleveland Cavilers (30-6)lose to the Chicago Bulls, a team that a week prior was defeated by the worst team in the league the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A national TV audience (TNT Network) with renown broadcaster Marv Albert and former Indiana Pacer star Reggie Miller were on hand in Chicago on a fidget -8 degree evening to witness the single most talented player in the NBA LeBron James compare skills with Bulls rookie sensation Derrick Rose. Expectation of many of the media in attendance was that the Eastern conference leading Cavilers would easily dictate the final score as the young Bulls team with a 17-21 record would surly be defeated by the best team in the east.
The return of Drew Gooden, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich from the injured reserve helped ignite defensive intensity and offensive fire-power that allowed Chicago to compete thought-out regulation and provided a boost during the over-time.
Combined with the fact that the Cavilers would start the night minus starters Ben Wallace and Zydrunas Ilguskas due to injury, the Cavs would be at a disadvantage beginning the game with back-ups Anderson Varejao and Lorenzen Wright. Adding insult to injury, Cavilers would lose their starting guard Delonte West to an injury and would be with out West services for the rest of the game. The resulting injuries left Cleveland three starters down and under-manned as they continued towards the overtime period.
Bull's Kirk Hinrich & Andres Nocioni Provide a Spark from the Bench
Would Chicago Out Play the Cavs?
The hot shooting of Delonte West helped provide a spark to the Cavilers that shot a sparkling 60% from the field. West hit 5-7 from the field scoring 11 points to lead Cleveland .
Overall, LeBron had a solid quarter as he was 4-8 shooting from the field, scoring from both outside as well as taking it to the rim.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, they were shaky on both offense shooting just 9-24 (37.5%) and defensively with Ben Gordon unable to harness the explosive Delonte West. As seems to be the pattern for most first quarters played this season, the Bulls were down early by double-digits (10 points) and ended the quarter trailing by a score of 28-20.
Of course, the defensive match-up with LeBron is problematic for any team as was the case with Luol Deng drawing “King” James assignment. To the Deng's and Bull credit, they did provided various types defensive team help against James that limited the most dominant player in the league to a mortal 9-points tally for the quarter.
6'1" Mo Williams Plays Big for Cavs Scoring 26-points
So how Did Chicago Slay Goliath?
The turning point of the contest occurred late in the 1st quarter as the red hot Delonte West had to leave the game due to an injury. With 1:30 minute remaining in the 1st quarter, West collided with the Bull's Derrick Rose under Chicago 's basket while attempting to block Rose’s shot. West plummeted to the court hitting Rose in the head with his foot and injuring his hand. Once West exited the game the Cavaliers were no longer same aggressive offense and would have to play the remaining regulation and over-time without three of their starters.
Running With Bulls
Bulls took charge in the 2nd quarter as LeBron James rested on the bench as the Cavs shooting went cold allowing Chicago a 12-point scoring run. After beginning down (20-31) Chicago seized the lead on a Drew Gooden tip-in giving the Bulls a 34-33 advantage with 7:40 remaining in the quarter.
The run began with a slam-dunk from Andres Nocioni followed in secession by two 3-pointers from Sefolosha and Hinrich that turned the momentum early. In the quarter Chicago scored four 3-point plays but ended the quarter down two as LeBron returned scoring 4 points at the end of the half. “It was a very competitive game all night. They kept coming at us and I thought our guys really responded well. We had a lot of goodperformances.” said Coach Del Negro.
Clutch Shooting!..Bull's Thabo Sefolosha Drains a Three
Chicago’s Turing Point
Cleveland and Chicago limped through the 3rd quarter tying the game 4 times and exchanging lead twice. With the Bulls down by three points (68-71) with 36 seconds left in the quarter, Hinrich drove to the hoop kicking back the ball to an open Thabo Sefolosha for clutch 3-pointer ending the 3rd at 71-71 all.
Although Cleveland ’s #23 launched jump shots and attempt layups he couldn’t get his shots to fall. LeBron went 4-17in 4th quarter scoring a minuscule 4 points as the Cavaliers could not break the tie and were dead-locked at 87-87 at the end of regulation.
“It's tough out there when you can't breathe. I missed layups and put-backs as I had no lift in my legs. We're a team and we win and we lose as a team.” said James.
Mo Williams attempted to pick-up the scoring slack left by team James, and pored in 26 points 9-16 from the field to keep the Cavs in the game.
LeBron 4-17 from Field in the 4th Quarter Need to Draw Foul-Shots
Note-A-Bulls: Derrick's Dominance
Rookie phenom Derrick Rose took over the game with 5 minutes in regulation as he drove to the hoop scored and was fouled tying the game at 82 all. Rose would finish the quarter with 7-points scoring on two key positions late in the game ultimately tying the Score.
Rose finished the game scoring 16-points shooting 6-20 (30%) from the field. “My teammates wanted me to shoot and I was trying to get us to move the ball and get my teammates open shots as well. It was fun. That's a really good team and we moved the ball and got some good things done tonight.” said Rose.
Tonight, Cav's LeBron James is Out Shined by Bull's Derrick Rose
What about the All Planet “King” James
Cleveland ’s super hero LeBron James, scored 28-points, 11 rebounds and 7 assist on the evening which for almost any player in the NBA would be a tremendous performance however, according to James this game was one he would like to forget.” This was my worst game of the season. We gave ourselves a chance to win in regulation. Yes, I was sick tonight. When I get sick like that I miss layups and put-backs”. said James.
"They say all teams go through it (injuries) but for some odd reason our team goes through it a little different every year. We don't have guys going out for 2 or 3 days we have guys like Delonte who there is no telling how long he will be out while “Z” (Ilguskas) and Ben (Wallace) has been out for a while."
James also commented on the loss of 3 starters to the line-up. “We're a team and we win and we lose as a team. Coach doesn't have to take the blame for the loss. It's easy to ask what can we do to make up for “Z” (Ilguskas) out, Ben (Wallace) out and now Delonte. Guys having to step up it’s easy to say but it is tough when you have three starters absolutely out of your lineup."
“That is just a part of basketball. We just have to have the other guys step up. Tonight I rode some guys for too long which is something you can have a tendency to do when
an injury like that occurs.” said Cavaliers Head Coach Mike Brown.
Hustle Wasn't the Problem as LeBron Hits the Deck in the 2nd
Prime Time on TNT – The Over-Time
With a national TV audience Chicago made their 5th appearance in overtime this season and made the best of the opportunity by outscoring the Cavilers by 15-6.
A key moment in the O.T. occurred with four minutes remaining as Hinrich and Deng each drilled a 3-pointer giving Chicago an eight point lead 96-87 lead.Chicago ontinued to dominate Cleveland
as the Bulls when on a 11-2 run winning by a final score of 102-93.
Rose Take it to the Glass in O.T. to Break the Tie 89-87
Two Wins In A Row – Can Chicago Make Three?
Chicago has won their last two games including the win against Toronto Raptors on Thursday.
Chicago has not won two consecutive games since March of 2007. “We needed this win tonight. We need to go on a little winning streak. We haven't had one in so long. We really need to make that happen.” said Derrick Rose.
Chicago will get their chance to pick-up their next win as they will play 3 games in 5 nights starting with San Antonio Spurs at home followed by a day game in N.Y. and home game versus the Atlanta Hawks. Although inconstancy has been the rule for the Bulls this season, Chicago fans can only hope that the Bulls are able to turn the page and surprise the Spurs with the same brand of aggressive intense play witnessed during the Cleveland game.
Chicago’s Luol Deng Rest on the Scores Table after Safeguarding the Ball
“And The Rockets Red Glare”…United Center Pre-game Ceremony
Bulls Derrick Rose Shines Bright...But Atlanta Hawks Al Horford Shines Brighter...
Bulls Lose 113-108
Photos & Story By Mark Rotor
Oak Park Journal
Prior to game time Tuesday, Chicago Bull's rookie Derrick Rose felt stiffness in his back but he was determined to play through it, and that he did!
Rose tied his career high scoring withh 26 points in a 113-108 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Rose said "It just hit me (back Spasms) just before the game...
I don't even know where they came from. I haven't had them (spasms) since the 7th grade." During the game Rose felt stiffness that made him hessitent to sit down.
during time-outs but didn't stop him from keeping the Bulls in the game with 9 field goals, 8 free throws, 10 rebounds and 6 assist.
Rose's performance was very impressive considering that he lead or tied his teammates in scoring pts, Rebound and Assist while nursing back spasms.
If Derrick can perform like this with a stiff back, I am looking forward to seeing him play when he feeling 100 percent! Manny league observes believe that as Derrick's gains experience in the league and as his game (skills) matures the sky is the limit for the this brilliant budding star.
However, Atlanta's Al Horford showed no mercy on the ailing Bulls nor his former University of Florida two time NCAA championship teammate Joakim Noah,scoring 16 points in the first half and an additional 11 points at games end. Horford finished the game with 27 points, 17 rebounds and 6 block shots leading the Hawks to convincing victory over the Bulls.
Horford said "We know that we are a running team and the coach (Mike Woodsen) said to run right back at them and they weren't getting back so we were getting easy points"
The 27 point performance was Horford’s best performance of the young season eclipsing his season average of 8.8 point per game by 18 points and rebounds average by 10.
The turning point in the game came when the Bulls battled back from a 15 point depict with four minutes left to go in the 4th quarter, down by eight points.
Unfortunately, the Bulls could not over take Atlanta being silenced by a 3-point dagger by sharp shooting guard Mike Bibby.
From that point on Bulls traded baskets and fell to the Hawks. After the game Bull's head coach Vinny Del Negro commented "Transition defense killed us...We're not getting back."
When asked about Rose's back injury Del Negro said "Derrick will receive treatment for his back on Wednesday and we will revaluate it on Thursday." It will likely be a game time decision for both Rose and Hughes. Hughes is returning from a dislocated shoulder and has been practicing for about a week.
Next up is the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night With All-Star Dirk Nowitzki scoring leader of the Mavs (25.2 PPG).
Bulls take Derrick Rose at No. 1
With the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls selected Derrick Rose, a 6-3, 190-pound point guard out of the University of Memphis.
Rose posted averages of 14.9 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game as a freshman and led Memphis to the NCAA National Championship game. He appeared in all 40 games for the Tigers, who went 38-2 and set an NCAA men's basketball record for wins in a season
Rose visited the Bulls for a private workout on June 19Â—two days after Michael Beasley was in townÂ—and wasn't shy about his desire to play for his hometown team.
"I think back to all the times people have told me I was good enough to play for the Bulls, and now it could come true," Rose told Bulls.com last week. "I'd love to play here. I know the whole city would be behind me and it's such a great sports city. The Bulls have a lot of talent and they're young, too. I think if I'm lucky enough to come to this team, we'll do some damage."
Rose attended Simeon Career Academy High School in Chicago, where he helped the school become the first Chicago Public League team to win back-to-back state titles in Illinois prep history. His teams went 120-12 (.909) during his four years at Simeon.
A rare combination of speed, elite athleticism and poise at the point guard position, Rose emerged as a candidate to be the NBA Draft's top pick during a remarkable postseason run, in which he averaged 20.8 points, 6.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game.
"I'm just an extremely competitive person," said Rose, a member of the 2008 NCAA Tournament All-Final Four Team. "Everyone was saying I was too young or that another player was going to get the best of me because they were older, but age doesn't always matter. It's about being the better player. I just wanted to prove people wrong and show that I was the best player on the court."
The Bulls also own the 39th overall pick in the NBA Draft. Chicago has scheduled an 11:00 a.m. press conference at the United Center on Monday to introduce the team's new additions.
L.A Clippers Capsize Bulls 90-82
Photos & Summary By Mark Rotor
Chicago appeared to be out-of-sync from the onset returning home after a two weeks on the road they were unable to sustain their offense throughout the contest scoring only 16-points in the 2nd quarter and a meager 19-points in the final quarter.
February 2nd, 2010
Despite 18-Points from Luol Deng and 16-points from Derrick Rose the Chicago loses at home 90-82 to the 20-27 Los Angles Clippers on Tuesday night at the United Center.
Bulls Throw A Surprise Party At The Garden...Celtics Defeated 96-83
Story and Photos By Mark Rotor
January 14th, 2010
Chicago upset the Eastern Conference leader (27-10) Celtics at home 96-83. The Bulls handed the Celtics only their 2nd loss this season at the Garden. It's True, the Celtics were without all-start center Kevin Garnet and back-up Rasheed Wallace however, even without those players Boston still presents a formidable line-up including Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and a 3-point assassin Ray Alan
Bulls Ambush Celtics & Grab A Road Win!
Yes, without Ben Gordon and with a (16-20) loosing record the Bulls definitively proved that on a good day David can beat Goliath even when Goliath is playing at home.
Early in the contest Chicago took control of the Celtics scoring in the paint while out hustling Boston to the ball. Derrick Rose scored in the lane on multiple opportunities while matched-up with Rajon Rondo.
Chicago shot 57% in the quarter and 45% for the game. Luol Deng was Chicago 's leading scorer with 16-points at the half. While Joakim Noah continues to be extremely active on the boards taking advantage of the Celtics under sized defense grabbing 11-boards and 15-points. Chicago maintained the advantage throughout leading by 11-points at end of the 1st quarter 29-18 and at the half with an 8-point lead (47-39).
However, Chicago 's offensive opportunities wouldn't have clicked without their aggressive defense led by Noah and resulted in a 50-39 rebound advantage. Boston was without Kevin Garnet due to a strained right knee started Brian Scalabrini in his place. Scalabrini a 3-point threat had only limited ability to defend Chicago ’s big men. Coach Doc Rivers encouraged his players from the bench to pick-up their energy on defense and crash the boards or "It's gonna be a long night". River's words were prophetic as it turned out to be a tough night for the Celtics who struggled to sustain their offense and to deny Chicago second chance rebound baskets.
Rajon Rondo Scores 15-points
"Defense!...Defense!" is the chant you will hear at any NBA game at key moments late in the contest but in this game, Chicago let their defense do the talking as they blocked 10-shots, forced 18-turnovers and captured 35 defensive rebounds leading to additional scoring opportunities.Chicago scored 18-points in the paint in the first quarter alone. Unfortunately for Boston , the only lead was they enjoyed was their first basket with a score of 2-0. Chicago
proceeded to take the led at 2-4 and never relinquished it.
Besides Chicago's Derrick Rose offensive punch, Luol Deng led all scores with 25-points and 9 rebounds. Deng hit mid-range jump-shots throughout the game and shot lofty (8-13) 62% to help hold-off the charging Celtics in the 2nd half.
Noah finished with 14-points and said "We played very well tonight, it's always tough to get a win in this building even without K.G. (Kevin Garnet) and Rasheed (Wallace). This is a very good team with a lot of weapons. We stayed on edge and came-up with a huge win for us."
Paul Pierce shot an anemic 6-18 from the field but led the Celtics with 20-points. However, it was not enough as only three other teammates scored in doubled figures: Rajon Rondo 15, Kevin Perkins 14-points and Eddie House 11-points.
Coach Del Negro said, "They (Celtics) made their run and we keep on attacking with the high screen role inside and other sets that got Luol (Deng) open. You just have to make plays. We got some stops when we need to and they didn't hurt us with 3-pointers."
The Final Dagger
Rose's 17-points and 10-points in the final quarter came at the right time as the Celtics cut the lead to 8-points on three occasions and each time Rose answered with a lay-up leaving Boston down with final time with a 1:48 remaining with the Bulls leading 90-80.
Rose said, "It was probably the most complete game we played all year as we were controlling it (the game). It is something that we have been working on. We are a young team and were trying to compete know"
Rose and his team mates were rewarded for their complete game winning their 4th game of the season on the road and will have ample opportunity to improve the road record as they travel for two week as the ice show comes to the United Center as of Saturday.
No Thorns here... nothing but Roses...
Derrick Rose, who led his hometown Bulls to the playoffs and restored hope to a franchise in disarray, is the NBA's rookie of the year. Two people familiar with the award confirmed to The Associated Press that Rose won it. Both requested anonymity as the announcement was to be made later Wednesday. Rose is the third Bulls player to win the award, joining Michael Jordan and Elton Brand.
2009 Chicago Bulls Coverage....
Derrick Rose had a playoff debut like few others and led the Chicago Bulls to a victory over the Boston Celtics in the playoffs. Not even Michael Jordan did that. Rose matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record with 36 points in his playoff debut, adding 11 assists to lead the Bulls to a 105-103 overtime victory over the defending NBA champions in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round series.
Rose set a Bulls rookie record for most points scored in a postseason game, previously held by Michael Jordan (35 points). It was Rose's two free throws with 9.4 seconds remaining in regulation that broke the mark.
If you watched Michael Jordan and didn’t appreciate what you were seeing at the time, watch the Bulls now, History doesn’t always seem special when you are watching it. But look at what you are seeing. You will be telling people about Rose for years to come... and it has only just begun.
Bulls See Red and Clinch a NBA Playoff Birth....As Bobcats Sent Packing 113 to 106
By Mark Rotor
Long and Winding Road To Playoffs
After a long season of highs and lows the Chicago Bulls received good news on Friday as they were notified that Oklahoma Thunder the defeated New Orleans Hornets (84-81) eliminated the Hornets from playoffs consideration and assuring Chicago no worst than an 8th playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
For the first time since the 2006-07 season the Bulls fans will reenter the post season playoff derby with a opportunity to improve their playoff pairing by winning out their last two games against the Detroit Piston and the Toronto Raptors. As of game time, Chicago was positioned to pair-up with the (64-15) Eastern Conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers and MVP candidate LeBron James.
When asked about clinching a playoff birth Ben Gordon commented:
“I was surprised, this was the first time I ever cliched a playoff spot sitting on by couch at home.”
With Chicago assured a position from the 8th to potentially 6th place they went to work on Friday against the 35-44 Charlotte Bobcats out of the playoff hunt and playing only for pride.
Locked and Loaded for Bobcat
Having won 6 games in a row and 13 of 14 at the United Center, Chicago was poised to jump at the Bobcats from the opening tip taking a 10-point lead mid-way in the first quarter jump-started by the aggressive play of Derrick Rose and boosted in the 2nd half by the prolific scoring of Ben "The Scoring Machine" Gordon with 39-points leading the Bulls to 111-106 solidwin over Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats.
"Rookie of the Year" candidate Derrick Rose sparkled in the 80th game of the season demonstrated his “attack mode” blazing pass defenders and beating them with his the jump shot as Rose was the early catalyst for Chicago’s offense. His shooting was an uncanny 6 for 6 from the field with 4-assist scoring 12-points in the quarter.
“He's becoming the quarterback more and more and I love to see it,” said Head Coach Vinny Del Negro. Rose continue to display his point-gaurd prowess throughout the game calling plays to keep the team under control.
Cats Gone Wild
Raymond Felton and his fellow Bobcats entered the night knowing that their playoff hopes were shattered however, they still preformed admirably with strong contributions from Charlotte’s five starters each scoring in double figures to help play spoiler to the Bulls as they attempted to improve their playoff position. Head coach Larry Brown commented:
“We lost one last night and we are out of the playoffs. I was so proud we came out and after getting down early we came out and competed. We got control of the game but we just didn't get anything and we threw the ball all over. We gave them easy opportunities.”
Felton, Diaw and Company
Although, the Bobcats did give up their share of turnovers (15) Felton keep the Cats alive scoring 17-points in the first half finishing with 26-points, 7-assist and two three-pointes to keep Chicago in check throughout the contest.
Forward Boris Diaw also made his 6’ foot 8” presence know especially in the 3rd quarter dropping 22-points on the Bull’s defenders including Tyrus Thomas shooting 9 for 18 from the field to help establish an 83-78 comeback for the Charlotte at the end of the 3rd quarter. Diaw finished the game with 24-points and was 2 of 5 from the 3-point line.
1st round draft choice Center Emeka Oakfor and rookie D.J Augustin contributed to Charlotte's cause with Oakfor scoring a double-double (13-points/14-rebounds) and Augustine running the Bobcats offense scoring 15-points while distributing 7-assist.
Gordon The "Scoring Machine"..
Ben Gordon's explosive firepower ignited Chicago's 2nd quarter offense scoring 14-points while shooting 3 of 4 from 3-point range to end the half with 21-points. Gordon's red hot barrage throughout the 4th quarter paced Chicago's offense while hitting key baskets in the quarter. Bulls were down by 4-points (92-88) as Gordon keep them in the fight by attacking the basket drawing contact and making two free-throws to pull the Bulls within 2-points.
Heroics continued as Brad Miller scored tying the game at 92 all on a reverse lay-up followed by two huge game changing 3-points by John Salmons and by Gordon in secession. The 3-pointers turned-out to be the pivotal moment in the game as the Bulls took the lead beginning Charlotte’s demise at 98-93 with .
“Give them credit, they made shots. Gordon was on fire. One big play w hen we had a one point lead, we got a rebound and then tripped and John Salmons hit a big three. I think that was an omen,” said Charlotte’s head coach Larry Brown.
Salmons scored 19-points on four 3-pointers, three assist and two steals adding a knock-out punch to the combative Bobcats. However, the sharp-shooting of Gordon 4th quarter buried the Cats in the final minutes of play allowing the Chicago to take as much as a 10-point lead with a minute left in the game. Gordon shot an outstanding 13 for 25 from the field finishing the game with 39-points to lead all scores.
“It just seems like we've been able to turn it up in the fourth quarter and really get rolling. Coming into the playoffs, we need to figure out how to play that well in the first half also. We just have to continue to play hard. We have to realize that when we get on the road we're not going to have the crowd to feed off of. We need to come out with intensity right away,” commented Ben Gordon.
Over the Hump - 41 Wins & 40 Losses
Chicago punctuated the contest with a final 3-pointer by Gordon with one minute to play capping-off a resolute team victory by the final score 113-106. With the victory Chicago is now one game above .500 at 41 wins and 40 losses for the first time this season since week #2.
Regardless if the Bulls finish in the eight spot and play Cleveland or in the seventh sport and are paired with Boston, Chicago will have quite a challenge playing a team that has won 20 games more than Chicago. But considering that in late January the Bulls were at 23-30 in the standings losing home game to teams with lesser records, Chicago has made quite a turn-aound since the the Salmons and Miller trade winning 11 their last 18 games and clinching a playoff birth. Given the turnaround, the players and management staff should be given their due making huge stride toward a winning future taking the a first step in the the right direction.
The opportunity for the young Bulls to experience playoff intensity will likely pay dividends down the road as the seeming unlimited potential of Derrick Rose is revealed and the cast of team mates are solidified over the next few years. If the Bulls and John Paxton continues their progress Chicago may have a chance chance to taste champagne and make their way to NBA Finals in the not so distant future.
Bulls Love it at Home!.. Extend Home Winning Streak to 6 by Swatting the Hornets
Love It Live!
The Chicago Bulls were looking to get of the “Schnide” an on winning track back at home, after another dismal road trip with the Bulls losing all three of the games on the east coast. Heading into the game, the Bulls and their rivals to the North were virtually tied for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Not anymore, Chicago with a decisive and dominant victory over the buzzing Hornets 97-79 now finding themselves in sole possession of the 8th and final spot but just barely!
The Bulls Season Is Like A Box of Chocolates?
Lately, you could say the Chicago Bulls are like a box of Chocolates.. You never know what you’re going to get when you open the box. Head Coach Vinny Del Negro commented "We know we let some game slip away. We are a young team and I know we said from day one that we would be unpredictable."
Tonight is just the beginning of what could be their playoff push albeit a difficult one, as they face a stout Hornets team and then the “World Champion” Boston Celtics. Playing the surging Hornets from Naw’leans, one would have expected a much closer game.
Tyson Chandler & Chris Paul Run A Screen Role On John Salmons
Dominate or Fortunate?
Maybe the Hornets were tired from their road trip which saw them play the Bucks last night in Milwaukee, or were the Bulls taking advantage of the countless missed shots and lack of energy of New Orleans.
Hornet’s head coach Byron Scott summed it up this way...
“We didn't come ready to play. That's the bottom line. They played like the game meant something to them and we didn't. That's the bottom line. They came out with a lot more energy and were a lot more aggressive from the start of the game. We got down early. I brought in the second unit and we got down even more. We were just never in the game from a mental standpoint or a physical standpoint.”
John Salmons Makes It Rain 3's On The Hornet's Parade
The Bulls On the Other Hand, Did Show Up to Play...
Ben Gordon scored 27-points, 13-points in the first half as Gordon rebounded from two sub par performances by hitting 3-of-7 from 3-point land. Contributions from new teammate John Salmons added 24 and was on fire from three-point line burring 5-of-8 to pound the surging New Orleans Hornets on Saturday night.
"You can't just say that we played horribly. John Salmons shot the light out of the ball, Ben Gordon does what he usually does, Brad Miller was huge in the game. We just never weathered the storm tonight.” said Hornet's all-start guard Chris Paul.
The Bulls were off and running leading 53-39 at halftime and built a 24-point lead early in the second period. By the 4th quarter, Chicago increased their lead to 32-points (89-57) on steals and missed shots by the Hornets. With 10 minutes left in the quarter the Bulls shooting went ice cold as they scored only 8-points but fortunately for Chicago they had amassed a 32-point margin and could afford to give up 14 points eventually winning 97-89.
All-Star Chris Paul Strolls Down the Lane and Scores 27-Points
Ether Way, an Impressive Victory
Perhaps it was the Bulls hot shooting that allowed them to dominate or it was the Hornets that didn't have the energy to stay with Chicago but in the end, Chicago had an impressive victory against a top NBA team.
“It was a great win. New Orleans has been playing very good basket ball, they've won nine of their last 11. We all know Chris Paul is very difficult to contain. Our guys did a good job of fighting and making it difficult on some of their rotations. He keeps coming at you. But our ball movement was very good and our turnovers were down. That is something we have been struggling with.
The Attack of the Hornet
Chris Paul The New Orleans Offense Not to be forgotten, was the 20-points scored by Chris Paul after back-to-back 30-point performances despite the Bulls' best efforts to contain him. Paul hit 13 of 20 shots while distributing six assists and grabbing six rebounds. But he got little help. Although, Paul was not on the winning side it didn't keep him from entertaining the United center crowd with spectacular drives to the bucket. Chicago's defensive schemes to keep Paul in control may have reduced his assist total from his average 11.1 per game to 6 but it allowed him to be the sole focus of their offense scoring 8-points more than his season average.
Tyson Chandler Where Are You? Not much of a home coming for former 1st round draft choice of the Bulls Tyson Chandler had a quite game offensively scoring only 4-point and corralling 9-rebounds. Chandler averages 16-point and 17 rebounds on the season.
Ben Gordon Seals the Win Dropping 27-Points On "CP3" and Company
Chicago will play the two of the three top teams in the NBA as they meet the NBA champions the Boston Celtics on Tuesday and the L.A. Lakers on Saturday both game at home.
The Push for the Playoffs
The chart is on the wall in the locker room and is updated after every game. And Ben Gordon can hardly miss it.. It’s next to his locker. “I look at it. I can't help but look at it. There are like four or five teams that are right there right not and if a team goes on a winning streak they are going to get themselves in the playoffs.” Gordon said.
“This shows what we can do if we come out and play the way we did tonight. We have had some tough losses on the road. The Miami and Philly games we were right there at the end so I don't consider those bad losses. It's the games like Orlando that we've got to cut out.” said John Salmons.
Bulls Win 5th at home with a Total Team Effort.
Beat Bucks 117-102
The Bulls grabbed the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference from the Milwaukee Bucks after a convincing 117-102 win over Friday night at the United Center. The question is… will they be able to hold that spot for the remainder of the season.
It was the second straight game at home where the Bulls beat their opponent by double figures. Chicago won Wednesday night, 110-88 over Golden State.
The Bulls are 7-7 since the beginning of February, going 5-1 at home and 2-6 on the road.
"To tell you the truth, I really don't know," rookie point guard Derrick Rose said of the difference between the Bulls' home and road play. "We've been trying to figure that out the whole season. The only thing I can say is that we need to be consistent, no matter where we are at, here, Mars, anywhere, we still have to play more consistent and together."
What was at stake? With the playoffs fast approaching, both teams still have a shot at the 8th spot in the playoffs. With the win tonight, the Bulls are in that lucky 8 spot.
The win at home was their 5th straight.
The Bulls looked tentative early on, missing rebounds and clutch shots, allowing the visitors from the north the early advantage. The Bulls never led in the 1st quarter. Luckily, they play four quarters in basketball, and tonight the Bulls had a team effort from all players.
The Bulls got a wake up call in the second quarter and took the lead… and never looked back. Milwaukee cut into the double digit lead late in the game, cutting the lead to three points early in the fourth quarter. The Bulls answered the challenge and beat the Bucks 117-102.
Ben Gordon led all scorers with 34 and Derrick Rose added 27 points, which tied for the season high for the 20 year old rookie.
Fun at the Ole Ball Game...
Raptors Crush Bulls 114-94...
Chicago Loses in a 4th Quarter Meltdown
Story by Mark Rotor & Dan Peters
The 20,886 fans at the United Center were eagerly awaiting the tip-off between two well matched teams, the Toronto Raptors (16-28) and the home town Chicago Bulls (18-25). Both teams struggling to improve their win-loss record, each team a few games under the .500 for the season. The Raptors arrived in Chicago having loss seven games in a row, and dropping 8 of their last 10 games.
Chicago currently in 10th place, two games out of contention for a playoff spot, was poised to break-up a three game losing skid against a Raptor team that was ripe for picking. However, the Raptors had plans of their own as they executed the pick-role offense to perfection led by guard Jose Calderon who returned to the roster from the injured reserve to energize Toronto ’s offense.
Along with Caldron’s contributions, the Bulls continued to be their own worst enemy turning over the basketball to the Raptors 23 times leading to many easy scoring opportunities.
Toronto delivered the final knock-out punch in the 4th quarter as they shredded Chicago ’s defense delivering a 20-2 scoring run defeating the Bulls by 114-94.
Bull's Co-Captain Kirk Hinrich and Company before the Game
Photo by Mark Rotor
Bull Fight Tonight?
During Chicago ’s most recent home stand the Bulls have started-off many of the games slowly allowing the other team to initially jump-out to double-digit leads only to recover by half time eventually challenging their opponents late in the 4th quarter. Early in this contest Bulls continued their pattern as the Raptors jumping ahead of the Bulls in the 1st quarter.
Who Got The Horns?
Chicago battled back in the first two quarters coming from behind down by 7-points (17-24) with 3:00 minutes left in the first quarter to eventually tie the game at 54 all at Half-Time.
The early comeback was lead by Tyrus Thomas who was extremely active on the glass in the 1st quarter scoring 8-points on two slam-dunks, foul line shooting and from shots from the field
Tyrus Thomas Shot Block Average is on the Rise 1.78 Blocks per Game
Tyrus Thomas the "Human Eraser
Thomas intimidated the Raptor’s big men driving the lane blocking two shots including All-Star forward Chris Bosh’s lay-up attempt. Thomas’s continued development as a “Shot Blocker” which bodes well for the 22-year old starting forward averaging 1.78 blocked per game.
Scoring contributions from Kirk Hinrich (9-points), Ben Gordon (9-Points) and Derrick Rose (8-points) many of the shots coming from inside overwhelm the Raptors in the paint by 24-16 differential allowing them to pull-up even at half-time.
Ben Gordon Teams Scoring Leader 19-Points Drives to the Hoop
Photo by Mark Rotor
And Then the Wheels Began to Fall Off
Although Chicago was able to compete in the first two quarters Chicago found them selves once again trailing Toronto at the ending the 3rd quarter down by 74-83 on a string of baskets by Toronto guards Anthony Parker and Jason Kapono. Raptors also turn-up their defensive intensity disputing Chicago ’s screen role making scoring difficult.
Raptors Prowl the Lane
“We played a great game in the second half. Coach was mad at us at halftime and he was right. And in the second half we played great. He said we were passive on our rebounding, we were just not active. It was like we didn't want the game. In the second half, everyone was fighting and we played great defense. We did a good job on our pick-and-roll defense and they didn't have any easy shots. We were contesting every shot.” said Toronto ’s Andrea Bargnani.
Guard Anthony Parker Makes Chicago Pay Scoring 2 of his 14-Points off Chicago
Photo by Dan Peters
Welcome to Turnovers City - The Key to the Bull Season?
In addition, Chicago continued to struggle with their nemesis the turning over at an average of 15 per game. The young Bulls won the dubious turn-over honors by a 2-to-1 ratio over the Raptors, damaging Chicago ’s ability to control the ball while giving Toronto extra opportunities to score.
“We played pretty well in the first half but we had too many turnovers. We definitely had too many turnovers in the second half. There's no explanation. We were making bad decisions with the ball. We stress it in practice, we go over film and we talk about it.” said Head Coach Vinny Del Negro.
Chicago turnover possession of the ball 23 times while also giving-up 23-points to the Raptors. In the last three games, Chicago has yielded a total 58 turnovers while giving-up 73-points to the opposition. With this in mind, it's not hard to fathom that the Bulls have loss their last three games when a team gives away an average of 24.3-points in turnover per game. “We have to take care of the ball and do what we need to do. Right now turnovers are killing us.” said Bulls forward Andre Nocioni.
All-Star Chris Bosh & Jamario Moon Take Advantage of Bulls Turnover
Photo by Mark Rotor
Raptor Pick-and-Role to Perfection -Toronto 's Heaven & Bull's Hell Starting early in the 1st quarter Toronto
wasted no time demonstrating the effectiveness of their two man pick-and-role game and proving how divesting a weapon it was against the under sized Bulls front court. The combination of Calderon, Bosh, Bargnani and
Anthony Parker quickly provided open short range jump shots for the "wings" and inside scoring for the "cutters". Bosh the recipient of open jump shots scored 17-points along with mobile center Bargnani scoring 22-points Jose Calderon to the Rescue!
Calderon fresh off Toronto ’s injured reserve sparked the Raptors with 23-points of the bench and was the leading scorer who dished out 10 assist that energized their crisp two-man game
“Calderon definitely makes a difference in their team. He shot the ball well and controlled the tempo of the game. Bosh and Bargnani had their way. We shot it all right but we gave up too high a field goal percentage for them. We were back on our heels
most of the game and they controlled the tempo.” said Head Coach Del Negro.
Pick & Role Paradise for #24 Kapono and #4 Bosh
Photo by Dan Peters
Raptors Take the Last Bite Out of the Bulls
With 5:23 in the final quarter Toronto was leading by 2-points (94-92) and 4 minutes later the Raptors led by 20 points scoring on an astonishing 20-2 scoring run. The collapse of Chicago ’s 4th quarter defense plus hot shooting by Calderon led to a stunning finish with Toronto holding Chicago scoreless for the last five minutes of the game.
“In the NBA it's all about team defense. You have to rely on your teammates and your system. Right now we're just not playing good team defense. Disappointing. It's tough, we just have to hold our heads up and we have to play better if we want to win.” said Bull’s guard Ben Gordon
Andrea Bargnani 7-Foot Center Drops 17-Point on Chicago
Photo by Mark Rotor
Bulls Regrouping & Moving On
Defensive laps and turnovers hurt the Bulls over the last three games. Tonight good play by Kirk Hinrich scoring 17-points and 7 assist went relatively unnoticed as Chicago lost their 4th game in a row with 3 of the games lost at home. With future super star Derrick Rose seemingly hitting the rookie mid-season wall having played in 44 games while his scoring average (15.8 ppg) has declined over the past 10 games, Chicago is looking forward to a the refreshed Derrick Rose to lead Chicago in the second half of the season as he did earlier at the start of the season.
“Things happen. We've got to keep our heads up. This is the NBA and you're going to lose games. Hopefully we can go on a winning streak after this.” said Rose.
Time Is Running Out On the Clock & Chicago Needs to Regroup
Photo by Dan Peters
Hit the Road and Put the United Center on Ice
Chicago will play their next seven games on the road as part of the “Ice Show” road trip causing the resident United Center teams to evacuate as the Disney On-Ice show arrives. An opportunity now exists for Chicago to feast upon the next three teams (Minnesota , L.A. Clippers & Sacramento) with lesser records then there own. A .500 road trip would likely be seen as success and a well needed boost to Chicago ’s confidence as they begin the second half of their NBA season
Photo by Mark Rotor
Next Bulls Game:
Home VS. Detroit
Tuesday February 10th at 7:30PM CT Game Time
Radio - ESPN AM 1000
TV - Comcast Chicago Sportsnet
Photo by Dan Peters
Okalahoma City Thunder Strikes-Down Chicago Bulls in OT 109-98
Photos and Story By Mark Rotor
East Meets West
The Oklahoma City Thunder, a transplanted NBA franchise in 2007-08 season arrived in Chicago for a 7:30PM tip-off versus the Bulls at the United Center. On the season, the Thunder’s record was 5-32 and they were looking for their 2nd road win of the season. However, Chicago with a winning home record of 12-5 and having won their last two home games were looking forward to a easy victory against an opponent with the worst record in the NBA. Unfortunately for Chicago , the Thunder would not cooperate dominating the Bulls on the glass and on the scoreboard defeating the Bulls 109-98 in Over-Time.
The Bulls got-off to a slow start, as Ben Gordon, Larry Hughes and Derrick Rose missed their first 5 jump-shots of the game taking 3 ½ minutes to score their first basket.
Bull Center Drew Gooden was asked about the lack of energy by both teams in the first half and responded: “I think the first half was due to each team playing back to back games and the energy level was not there.”
Meanwhile, the Thunder would out rebounded Chicago 16-7 and out hustled the Bulls on the offensive glass 7-1 to help the Thunder to take the lead at the end of the first quarter 31-29. Both inside and outside scoring by Oklahoma’s star forward Kevin Durant (9-points) and low post punch by center Nick Collison (6 points.) kept the Thunder close as they exchanged the lead with Chicago 6 times in the quarter.
2nd Quarter Déjà vu
The Thunder continued their dominance on the glass out rebounding Chicago 12-4 in 2nd quarter. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Earl Wilson combined for 12 of the 16 rebounds by the Thunder in the first half. “They out rebounded us and got to a lot of loose balls. It seemed like all the loose balls and taps ended up in their hands.” said Gooden.
The Thunder’s back-up center Nenad Kristic punished Chicago with 3 short range jump shots and lay-up to enable the Oklahoma take a 54-51 half time lead.
Chicago was lead in scoring in the first half by Ben Gordon who was 5 of 9 from the field with one 3-pointer. Bull’s Co-captain Drew Gooden staring his 3rd game back from the injured reserve led by example scoring 8-points and gathering 3 rebounds.
The 2nd Half
By the end of the 3rd quarter Chicago was poised to make a run at the high intensity Thunder, scoring on a Joakim Noah slam dunk with seconds remaining in the quarter trailing 76-74. Indeed, the momentum shifted in the Bulls direction early 4th quarter as a rare defensive stop by Chicago forced a key Thunder turnover.Chicago took advantage of their opportunity as Gooden knifed down the lane scoring on a lay-up tying the score at 76-76.Gooden continued his offensive assault scoring in the lane on a hook-shot to take lead at 78-76. Drew Gooden scored 20-points and 12 rebounds scoring a “double-double” for the third consecutive game. Chicago ultimately did not turnover the lead until the end of the 4th quarter on a free-throw by Nick Collison tying the score at 94-94 forcing the game to overtime.
Disappointment City…The Overtime
With the Thunder controlling the glass out rebounding Chicago 50-32 the Bull would need to pick-up their defensive intensity and hit their shots to overcome Oklahoma 's rebounding mastery. Unfortunately, the Bulls were out scored 15-4 in the five minute overtime and did not score in the last two minutes of the game. Both a lack of defensive intensity and offensive execution sealed the Bulls fate as the Chicago was defeated in overtime 109-98. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 28-points and was 6 for 6 from the free-throw line in over-time to seal the verdict.
“We just got outworked tonight. The bottom line is you look at the rebounding; they had 22 offensive rebounds. We were not getting a body on people. They were more physical. We did not share the basketball the way we need to. We had some opportunities in the open court, especially to make easy plays and we were not able to convert. We guarded at times OK but the second shots killed us. Their effort was better. That is not acceptable.” said coach Vinny Del Negro.
"This is one of the toughest losses of the year. Especially at home to a team we should beat. I don't think we took them for granted. They just outworked us and outplayed us tonight.”said Drew Gooden.
Ben Gordon led the Bulls in scoring with 22-points shooting 9-19.Teammate Derrick Rose scored continued his double digit scoring matched his season game average of 16-points and 6 assist.
Bulls will need to snap back from their loss to the last place Thunder as they quickly be facing the best team in the NBA the Cleveland Cavilers with a record of 29-6. The Bulls are looking for the return of starters Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich as they are expected back from the injured reserve when Chicago plays the division leading Cavilers.
Regardless of The Score There’s Always The LuvABulls!
Bulls Get a New Years Eve Hangover…Blow-Out Loss to Magic 104-84.
Photos & Story By Mark Rotor
The NBA’s Southeast division leader (24-7) Orlando Magic arrived in Chicago to play the (10-17) Bulls on New Years Eve. A full-house of 21,861 fans assembled in the United Center for a rare afternoon tip-off anticipating a battle between the Magic’s All Star center Dwight Howard and Bull’s rookie star Derrick Rose. To the crowd’s surprise, the game did not live up to the fans expectations as the Magic dominated the Bulls from tip-off to the final buzzer.
Orlando ’s Offense Fires on All Cylinders
The Magic didn’t waste any time with an offensive assault that could not be silenced by the Bulls. Orlando 's Rashard Lewis led his team in scoring with 16 points in the first half on 6 field goals allowing the Magic to take quick lead of 16-6 after four minutes.
Six other Orlando players joined Lewis scoring in doubled figures including forward Hedo Turkoglu with 18 points from the perimeter and Dwight Howard with 15 points in the paint. The Magic hurt the Bulls both in the post and outside at the 3-point stripe. With a pores defense, Chicago allowed 65-points in the first half while giving up eleven 3-pointers for the game, many uncontested. Lewis finished the day with 21 points and three 3-pointers.
When asked what was most disappointing about the game, coach Vinny Del Negro said “Probably everything. The most disappointing is that there was a game today (kidding). From the get go they jumped on us early. As you can see they are a very talented team with Howard up front and their shooters. They spread you out. Today we were running circles with low energy. They are very talented. No one (Bulls) played well.”
By half time the Bulls were down by 30-points 65-35 and Coach Del Negro made a wholesale player bench substitution of Larry Hughes, Lindsey Hunter, Thabo Sefolosha and Joakim Noah looking for a combination that would provide a spark. Regrettably, Chicago found that their under sized front line was no match for the Magic’s front court and were down by 28 points 88-60 by the end of 3rd quarter.
“We need help up front as far as rebounding the basket ball and protecting the paint. We need to be able to do different things on the defensive end. But you know that we have what we have. We’ve won some games so you can’t say it’s a total loss. For teams with some bigger guys we need to figure what to do to counter that” said Larry Hughes.
The Bull’s inability to physically match-up with their opponent’s front court remains an issue both on offense and defense. Short handed without forward Luol Deng on the injured list and center/forward Drew Gooden day-to-day with a sprained ankle, Chicago is forced to go with a smaller line-up. Only time will tell if a trade can be made by GM John Paxton to bolster the Bulls low post presence and make a run for a playoff spot. However, the clock is ticking with 7-week to go until the NBA trading deadline.
“One and done”, the phrase describes an offense that makes one pass and shoots without getting in position for a rebound, usually only successful if the shooter is on hot streak. Unfortunately for Chicago they were not on a hot streak, shooting an anemic 34% from the field as of the 3rd quarter while Orlando shot 50% from the field and 42% from 3-point range.
Like his team mates, Derrick Rose also had a tough day at the office limited to only 27-minutes as Del Negro rested him in the 3rd quarter. For the game, Rose scored 11-points, shooting 39% from the field. Also notable, Rose failed to hand out an assist for the first time in his young professional career. Rose has averages 6 assist per game.
A Ray of Sun Light
A pleasant surprise was the energetic and effective play of Joakim Noah on both offense and defense. Noah was relentless, as he out hustled Orlando ’s big men on offensive boards drawing fouls shot and hitting free-throws (11 of 13). “Joakim was 19 and 11 that was good and he was active.” said Del Negro. Not only did Noah finished the night with 19 points and 11 rebounds but played more minutes than any other bull (30:48).
The Bull’s other top scores were Ben Gordon 17 points, Larry Hughes scoring 10 points in the 3rd quarter and 15 points for the game. Also notable, was the aggressive play of Andres Nocioni with 10 points and Tyrus Thomas scoring 9 points shooting 4 of 5 from the field.
Home VS. Sacramento Kings
Tuesday January 6th at 7:30PM CT Game Time
Radio - ESPN AM 1000
TV - Comcast Chicago Sportsnet
The Clowns are gone... Bulls back home against the 76ers
Photos By Mark Rotor
Chicago Bulls End Home Stand With A Bang
Beating Indian Pacers 104-91...Time To Send in the Clowns.
Photos & Story By Mark Rotor
As of Saturday night the Chicago Bulls had completed four of their five game at home. First the good news, Bulls have defeated western conference teams including the 7-3 Phoenix Suns and the 2-7 Dallas Mavericks by an impressive average margin of victory of 12 point per game.
As for the bad news, the eastern conference Indiana pacers were in town and the Bulls had lost 2 out of the last three games including two losses to their Eastern conference rivals the 7-2 Cleveland Cavilers and the surprising 6-2 Atlanta Hawks. With a 2-2 home stand record in the balance, the Bulls were looking to turn the tide on Saturday night with a victory at home against a 4-5 Indiana Pacers team.
Bulls Charged Out Of the Gate
The young Bulls wasted no time taking an early command of the game led by another inspired scoring effort by starting guard Ben Gordon. Gordon scored 10 of his 19 points in the first quarter with 3 baskets in the first 6 minutes of the game. Gordon gave credit to his team mate Derrick Rose when he was asked if good chemistry made the difference in their performance.
Gordon responded with "Yes we have good chemistry going. Derrick is a dynamic point guard who gets in the lane and creates his own shoots, he is a good passer. Any time you have a guy like that it easy to play well."Indiana's star point-guard TJ Ford tried to keep pace with Gordon with 6 points of own but the Bulls finished the quarter with an 8 point lead (27-19).
Antacid Relief Continued For Bulls In 1st Half
Derrick Rose proceeded to take the raines of the Bulls offense in the first half by getting other Bulls involved in scoring including Luol Deng with 13 point and Andres Nocioni with 10 points. Starter Luol Deng scored 9 point from the line and four points from the field ending the night with 17 points. When asked if Rose was impressive tonight Deng said "He a good player and he takes a lot of pressure of a lot of people and that a good thing."
Good things also happened for Andres Nocioni who came to life scoring 5 baskets, 6 defensive boards and two steels in the first half. Nocioni finished the night with 20 points, 9 baskets, two 3-pointers and 11 rebounds. With an impressive multifaceted game played by Andres he was asked if this type of game is how he wants to play and said
"It was important to us because we won the game, this is the most important thing. I haven't played well this season and I need to pick up my game not just one night but every night and play a little bit better." With strong contributions from Pacer stars Danny Granger (10 points), TJ Ford (10 points) and Jarrett Jack (8 points) the pacers hanging toughending the first half trailing the Bulls 55-47.
Derrick Rose In Full Bloom
Providing pressure relief for his team mate wasn't enough for Rose who shifted into high gear in third quarterscoring 12 points on 4 baskets, 2 three-pointers and two assist. Team mate Larry Hughes said "Derrick is aggressiveand has the ball in his hands a lot and is making the right play. He attacking a lot more in the 3rd and the early 4th quarter. He figuring out how he wants to play and how he can help out the team."
The 20 year old Rose appears to be figuring out the league fast finding himself among the league leading rookies in statistics. He is second in scoring (18.4 ppg),first in assist (5.3 apg) and second in minutes played (38.3mpg). On the evening, Rose electrified the crowd with a barrage of 3-point shots, slam dunks and an assist on a high flying dunk.
As for the Pacers, with seven minutes left in the 4th quarter Indiana charged back cutting a eight-point deficit to 85-83 game on a pair of layups by TG Ford. But then, Rose re-entered the game and preceeded to drive the lane twice picking up two sets of free throws and delivering assist to Nocioni and Hughes. Rose capped-off the evening with a 3-pointer snuffing out any thought of an Indiana Pacers's come back.
Rose completed the evening with a dominating performance of 23 points
on 8 baskets, 3 three-pointers, 4 free throws and 8 assist. Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said "Rose had a terrific game. He is an all-star in the making. He is a rookie who is going to blossom sooner than many people think" Rose was in full bloom tonight as bulls coasted to a victory over the pacers by a score of 104-91.
Send In the Clowns. Send Off The Bulls.
With Barnum and Bailey Circus annual return engagement to the United Center the Bulls will begin the much dreaded 7 game, two week road trip on Tuesday verse the LA Lakers. Since the Jordan era, the Bulls have an accumulative record of 52 losses in 58 game during the "Circus road trip" period. An additional challenge for the Bulls is the schedule calling for 4 of the 7 games to be played against teams that made
the playoffs last year. NBA veteran guard Larry Hughes remained optimistic when asked about his view on his first Circus Road trip "I look forward to it, It gives us a chance to get on the road and get familiar with each other. In seven games there will be some ups and downs, that’s understood. I'm looking forward to seeing what this team is made-of."
If the team can pick-up where they left off on the recent home stand, staying healthy, playing as unit and following the lead of their budding star Derrick Rose then this may be the first "Circus Trip" in many years that remains memorable.
Next, Bulls on the road versus Western Conference Champion Los Angles Lakers.
At Los Angles Lakers
Tuesday November 18th at 9:30PM CT Game Time
Radio - ESPN AM 1000
TV - Comcast Chicago Sportsnet
At Portland Trailblazers
Wednesday November 19th at 9:30PM CT Game Time
Radio - ESPN AM 1000
TV - WGN
At Golden State Warriors
Friday November 21st at 9:30PM CT Game Time
Radio - ESPN AM 1000
TV - WGN
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