All Bull - Chicago Bulls

All Bull - Chicago Bulls

Still hope for the Bulls in this series

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 04/24/2009 - 08:22
Game 3 at the United Center was like the worst imaginable final installment to a trilogy. There may not even be a proper analogy in the movie world, since “Godfather Part 3” came about 20 years after No. 2. Maybe if Star Wars jumped straight from “Empire Strikes Back” to Jar Jar Binks, that would capture the essence of what the Bulls accomplished. After a pair of incredibly dramatic and entertaining games to start the series in Boston, the Bulls were never competitive in Thursday's 107-86 trouncing. Credit the Celtics and star Paul Pierce, who claimed his team had only payed its 'C' game, then gave a thorough demonstration by scoring 13 of his 24 points in the opening seven minutes.

How rough will it get in Game 3?

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 04/23/2009 - 12:49
Since the Bulls' playoff theme is being billed as “See Red,” I'm wondering if the team will somehow incorporate the late, great Johnny “Red” Kerr into the action. This is the first time I can remember the Bulls promoting a color scheme, asking all fans to wear red. After the victory at Boston in Game 1, the United Center figures be loud on Thursday night. Here are some things that could make a difference in Game 3:

Bulls call news conference for 2 p.m.

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 04/22/2009 - 08:47
The Bulls have some news to announce later today and no doubt it's what we've all been expecting since last October -- Derrick Rose will be named NBA rookie of the year. Rose averaged 16.8 points, 6.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds this season. Just as impressive were his elevated shooting percentage (.475) and low turnover rate (2.5 per game). He also tied the NBA record for most points by a rookie in his playoff debut by scoring 36 against Boston on Saturday, which matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It would have been pretty comical if someone else won rookie of the year after Rose's playoff debut. The new conference is at 2 p.m. at the Renaissance North Shore.

Take the MJ playoff quiz

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 04/21/2009 - 01:23
There will be two days to rehash these incredible first two games of the Bulls-Celtics playoff series. So it might be interesting, in light of Ben Gordon's big performance on Monday, to take a little quiz. In Game 2, Gordon became the only Bulls player besides Michael Jordan to score at least 42 points in a playoff game. Flynn Robinson had 41 against the Lakers in 1968, by the way. Off the top of your head, estimate how many times Jordan scored 42 or more points in a playoff game and I'll give the answer below. Sorry, no prize for guessing correctly. --Anyway, these first two contests seemed to show that the Celtics aren't any better than the Bulls without Kevin Garnett. But Game 3 on Thursday at the United Center could be a turning point.

Game 2 prelude: Rivers hates coaching against Vinny

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 04/20/2009 - 15:46
A theme during Monday's pregame interviews was how it's ironic that Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro grew up a Celtics fan and Celtics coach Doc Rivers grew up a Bulls fan. “It's more that Vinny and I are close friends. That's more difficult than I grew up a Bulls fan and he grew up a Celtics fan,” Rivers said. “Where you grow up, that's who you usually cheer for.” Rivers is form Maywood and attended Proviso East High School, while Del Negro is from Springfield, Mass. They've been friends since playing together in San Antonio for most of two seasons from 1994-96. “We're very close. We talk a lot,” Rivers added. “It's one of those things where you don't really enjoy series like this because you know it's somebody that you really care about.”

Celts' Perkins: Rose won't do that again

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 04/20/2009 - 00:57
While the Bulls were thinking positive during a Sunday practice in downtown Boston, a few miles away in suburban Waltham, Celtics center Kendrick Perkins offered some interesting smack talk about the Bulls and rookie sensation Derrick Rose. “Everybody has their night,” Perkins said, according to the Associated Press. “I know it won't happen again. He'll never have another game like that against us.” Perkins was referring to Rose's 36 points and 11 assists in a 105-103 overtime victory on Saturday. Game 2 is Monday night at the Garden and Perkins offered a prediction.

Opening play showed Bulls were on right track in Game 1

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 18:36
It's rare when one play at the start of a game can foreshadow what's in store. The Bulls came out Saturday from the opening tip and executed their fantasy game plan to perfection. On Boston's first possession, Paul Pierce missed a jumper. Ben Gordon grabbed the rebound and got it to Derrick Rose, who flew down the court and fed Joakim Noah for an alley-oop dunk. There was some traffic under the basket, so Noah took the opportunity to hang on the rim for about five seconds to punctuate the game's first basket. Pushing the tempo is obviously job No. 1 for Rose and the Bulls against the older, slower Celtics and they did a decent job in the Game 1 victory. The offiicial count on fast-break points was Bulls 24-13.

Welcome to the Ice Garden: Prelude to Game 1

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 04/18/2009 - 09:49
The Garden is notorious for being on the chilly side, but today it might have outdone itself. The temperature is fine in the locker rooms and press room. Out by the court, it's like a walk-in cooler. There is a Bruins-Canadiens playoff game tonight in the building, so that could be a contributing factor. Maybe it will warm up as the crowd settles in, but probably not much. Playing in the cold is nothing new for Chicago native Derrick Rose, of course. “It's freezing,” Rose said before the game. “That's what I was thinking about when I was warming up, that I was playing outside. We'd shovel snow and all that just to play basketball (when he was a kid).”

Bulls were asking for a kick in the teeth

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 04/16/2009 - 03:26
Surprising as it was that the Bulls crumbled so completely against Toronto on Wednesday, we should have seen this coming. Sure, the Bulls were riding a five-game win streak, their longest since December, 2006. But they really haven't been all that sharp lately. They played fairly well in a victory over Philadelphia last Thursday, but in the other four wins, the Bulls repeatedly got off to slow starts and always had to come from behind in the fourth quarter. Against good teams, that's not so bad, but this happened against New York, New Jersey, Charlotte (all at home) and a Detroit team that played poorly in its own building.

Is LeBron ad a jab at Jordan?

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 04/15/2009 - 01:41
Since there's a short lull before the Bulls' playoff opponent becomes official -- alright, we all know it's Orlando (edit: wrong again) -- this is a good time to address another relevant playoff topic. No one will be able to watch an NBA postseason contest without seeing the latest LeBron James commercial multiple times. I can't help wondering if this ad is an indirect, subtle slam at Michael Jordan. You've probably seen it: James happens upon an apparent friend in a parking garage. The friend's vehicle has been broken into and instead of helping, James ridicules his friend for owning a Kid n' Play cd. Actually, James does offer the business card of his insurance agent, so he helps a little.