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October 29th, 2014 at 9:52 PM By Christopher Terzic
All eyes were on Derrick Rose as he played in his first regular season basketball game in a Chicago Bulls uniform since eleven months ago, but it was the Bulls’ second unit that stole the show in Chicago’s 104-80 victory against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night.
Taj Gibson had a magnificent 22-point performance on 10-12 shooting, and Aaron Brooks added 13 of his own. Not to be forgotten, new starting power forward Pau Gasol had himself a memorable debut as a Bull, finishing with 21 points and 11 rebounds on 7-11 shooting, including a 7-8 effort from the free throw line.
For the game, the bench unit of Gibson, Brooks, Tony Snell, and rookies Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic combined for 45 points on 21-32 shooting while committing only five turnovers.
Rose was the main story leading into the game, and he played perfectly fine, producing a stat line of 13 points, six assists, three rebounds, and two steals in just over 21 minutes of action. Rose’s three-point shot was about the only thing he didn’t have working on the night- he was 0-3 from deep-, but Rose’s aggressiveness compensated for a lack of an outside threat. Derrick got to the line eight times and made seven of those foul shots. That is perhaps a good sign of things to come.
October 29th, 2014 at 11:45 AM By Christopher Terzic
New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony made the justifiable choice, and there’s no disrespect (if you ask TajGibson, anyway) between he and the Chicago Bulls. Anthony flirted with the idea of signing with Chicago as a free agent this summer, but ultimately chose to remain in New York for another five seasons alongside team president Phil Jackson and first-year head coach Derek Fisher as the core trio trudge through a rebuilding effort in New York.
Ostensibly, New York has a couple years of bad basketball ahead of them, and a 30-year-old Anthony who has accumulated over 31,000 minutes in his pro career will only accumulate more wear and tear. Chicago, on the other hand, can maintain the opposite pretension concerning their future. The team is a Derrick Rose health renaissance away from championship destiny.
Legendary MC and songwriter Nas – who grew up in Queens, NY – has a song titled ‘It Ain’t Hard To Tell’ off of his critically acclaimed debut album Illmatic, and it perfectly captures the current trajectory of both the 2014-15 Bulls and the 2014-15 Knicks. It ain’t hard to tell that the Bulls are on the rise, and that the Knicks, well, are not.
October 29th, 2014 at 7:30 AM By Christopher Terzic
Chicago Bulls regular season basketball is back in our lives, folks. It’s a fresh new season filled with high hopes and higher aspirations. There’s optimism abound, and it’s time for Bulls101 to drop some infallible predictions.
We’ve essentially produced a running preview all summer long – so we’ll spare you every little detail – but here are a few of the notable things we talked about over the past couple months:
Tom Thibodeau has massive expectations on him this season, Mike Dunleavy will be the starting small forward (at least initially), Jimmy Butler should receive an extension before Oct. 31, Kirk Hinrich will probably play more minutes this season than most of us would like to see, Derrick Rose is still a top-five point guard if healthy, and we graded the entirety of the Bulls’ offseason a B-.
So, that leaves us with some bold (literally!…for dramatic effect, or something) predictions to make. We’d like to wish you and yours a happy start to another new NBA season. Enjoy the basketball, friends!
Derrick Rose will play in over 62 games this season and will average 18 points, eight assists, shoot >44% from the field, and will play around 33 minutes a game.
The Chicago Bulls have announced that the team will pick up Tony Snell’s third-year player option for the 2015-16 season. The 22-year-old Snell is scheduled to make $1,535,800 next year (per Basketball Insiders), and the move by the team to bring Snell back was pretty much expected. For a first-round draft pick like Snell, not to be picked up on his initial team option in the standard four-year rookie contract scale would signal a complete disaster for both player and management.
Although, that’s not to say Snell’s option being picked up was a complete no-brainer, either. Snell’s rookie season last year was plagued by inconsistency in both his play and his confidence level, which is not all that uncommon for rookies. After Tony Snell lit up summer league this July by averaging 20 points a game, though, hope that he would blossom into the two-way, 3-and-D wing that the Bulls project him to be was not all lost.
October 27th, 2014 at 1:46 PM By Christopher Terzic
Time is running out for the Chicago Bulls to strike an agreement on a contract extension with fourth-year swingman Jimmy Butler. The extension deadline for first-round picks from the 2011 draft class is Oct. 31, and if the two sides don’t reach a deal, Butler will face restricted free agency this summer.
“I think we’re going to figure it out,” Butler said prior to the Bulls' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “My main focus is now of all time is to get healthy. If you’re healthy, you’ll get paid anyway. That’s all I’m worried about it."
“This is definitely the city, the team I want to be on," Butler said. "At the end of the day, at the beginning of the day, I want to be a Chicago Bull for as long as possible.”
On the injury front, Butler’s status still remains unclear for Wednesday’s season opener against the New York Knicks. Butler has begun shooting with a splint on his injured left hand in practice.