Are the Bulls For Real?

1/26/13 in NBA   |   Fishchick17   |   36 respect

Jan 23, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) pulls down a rebound against the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter at the United Center.  Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY SportsThe Bulls are the talk of the NBA right now. With a record of 26-16, without their best player, word around the NBA is the Bulls could be a contender. Luol Deng & Joakim Noah made the All-Star game, and Boozer had to be a strong candidate as well. There are a lot of things going right for these Bulls, but are they for real?

Unfortunately for me, my family and I were fortunate enough to attend the Bulls game New Year's Eve Day at the United Center in Chicago against the Charlotte Bobcats. A team that had barely won a game all season. The Bulls lost that game in embarrassing fashion and looked awful. We did come to lean that Noah had the flu, Hinrich did not play, and it was just a bad night all around. Fair enough. But the Bulls have had their fair share of awful games, as well as some amazing ones. Just not sure if I can be completely on board.

I wrote an article about the Bulls just before the season started in October, about what I thought the Bulls needed to accomplish this season. Let's follow up and see if my targets are being met.

1. Get Rose Healthy.
Without a doubt, and to the Chicago Bulls management's credit, they are taking their time with DRose. They are allowing him to determine next steps and timeframes, so all the credit to the Bulls organization for stepping up on this one. 

2. Give Jimmy Butler & Marquis Teague playing time.
Lots of credit to Coach Thibs here. Jimmy Butler played almost an entire game the other night. And not just played, but was a huge factor in their win. And Marquis Teague is getting minutes off the bench and some invaluable NBA playing time as a rookie. Another big check here.

3. Watch Boozer & Noah step up.
Props to Boozer and Noah for stepping up all season long. Noah is leading the Bulls in rebounds, steals and blocks. And Boozer is shooting on average 16 points a game, up 1 point a game from last season. Stepping it up!  And the cherry on top, Joakim Noah made his first All-Star game. Nice!

4. Deng remains Deng.
Deng remains the glue of this team. Leading the Bulls with 17.4 points per game and an All-Star nod, Deng is clearly still Deng.

5. Hinrich & Hamilton stay healthy.
This one remains an issue as Hinrich has certainly had his share of issues. But he is leading the Bulls with 5.2 assists per game and should be a key piece to this time when DRose returns.

6. Bench Mob 2
Well, they certainly do not have the personality of the original Bench Mob-but Nate Robinson brings a real sense of fun and enjoyment to this team, Belinelli is hitting some huge baskets, Taj Gibson is playing like Taj-huge, and Butler, Teague & Mohammed playing key minutes.

So this team is hitting all the targets I thought they should hit. And winning. With 2 players going to the All-Star Game & DRose's return imminent. Maybe these Bulls are for real. all signs are pointing in that direction. Second half of the season should be fun to watch!
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1/26/13   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

I hate that Thibodeau buries guys on the bench in the 4th quarter during a comeback. The bench cuts the lead from 20 to 10. I get that you want to leave them on the floor to see if they can complete the comeback. However, once they go cold, shouldn't you go back to the starters? How does Hinrich, who had a career-high Friday night, not see the court in the 4th quarter? Boozer, Hamilton and Belinelli all on the bench in the 4th. Daequan Cook--ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME????? How is he getting any run on this team? Thibodeau really gets on my nerves with his substitutions. He just let Nate Robinson take shot after shot after shot. Good job coach. I guess the other guys on the bench couldn't miss those same shots!!!!

1/26/13   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Best road record in the NBA, yet somehow down 20 against one of the worst teams in the NBA. How is that they all can suck on a given night? Another bad loss. I'm nauseous!!!!!

1/26/13   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Teague and Mohmmed barely play. Teague will never see the floor unless Hinrich is out. And Mohammed should never see the floor--he is shot.