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Preview: Bulls Will Face LeBron, Cavs for First Time Tonight in Columbus

October 20th, 2014 at 12:19 PM
By Christopher Terzic

Chicago and Cleveland are the two favorites in the Eastern Conference to win the NBA title, so any time these two teams get to meet it’s a treat to basketball fans everywhere, no matter the stakes. Tonight, at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers will play in a preseason tilt at 6 p.m. on NBATV and Comcast Sports Net Chicago.

The Cavaliers new big three of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving are all expected to play (Irving had been dealing with a sprained ankle, Love a sore neck, and reports of James and some minor back issues had surfaced). The game also marks the first glimpse of how the two heavyweight teams will defend one another, and how they plan to attack each other offensively.

While surely nothing overly revealing will be displayed in what is still only a preseason game, the X’s and O’s remain intriguing on a couple of levels.

First and foremost, with Jimmy Butler’s sprained left thumb that he suffered last night in the Bulls 101-96 win over the Hornets and no word on whether he’ll be available for tonight’s game, the immediate question becomes who guards James without Butler? And then who guards Kevin Love and does the potential loss of Butler affect this matchup, too? We’ll get into this in a bit.

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Chicago Bulls Defeat the Charlotte Hornets 101-96, Kirk Hinrich Drops 26

October 19th, 2014 at 9:49 PM
By Christopher Terzic

Game six of the 2014 Chicago Bulls preseason might as well be remembered as the Kirk Hinrich Game. Hinrich, whose season-high last season was 19 points and had scored 21 points total through five preseason games, exploded for 26 points in the victory against the Charlotte Hornets on 11 of 14 shooting, including a couple of threes. The 101-96 win moves the Bulls to 4-2 on the preseason.

Along with Hinrich’s 26, the Bulls also received 17 points from Derrick Rose who played 27 minutes in the game, including the final seven minutes of the contest. In days leading up to the game, head coach Tom Thibodeau had said Rose “could” see minutes in the fourth quarter in the game against Charlotte, and as it turned out everyone was comfortable enough to let Rose do so.

The Bulls also received a double-double from Pau Gasol, who finished with a packed stat line of 15 points, 10 boards, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. Gasol was also matched up with Charlotte’s perennial All-Star center Al Jefferson all evening, and limited the talented Jefferson to only 12 points on a spotty 5-18 shooting.

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Bulls Waive Solomon Jones, Kim English, and Ben Hansbrough

October 18th, 2014 at 12:06 PM
By Christopher Terzic

The Chicago Bulls announced Saturday morning that the team has waived forward Solomon Jones and guards Kim English and Ben Hansbrough.

All three players were on contracts in training camp that were non-guaranteed and hold no salary cap bearing on the Bulls. All three players were signed on the same day back on September 26, and Jones was the only player of the three to gain any playing time this preseason.

The roster trim leaves the Bulls at 14 players on the active roster, 12 of which are on fully guaranteed contracts, and opens one spot under the 15-player regular season limit for the Bulls to add an additional player, if they so choose.

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VIDEO: Actor Mark Wahlberg Gives Shoutout to His Pal Jimmy Butler

October 17th, 2014 at 1:18 PM
By Christopher Terzic

It appears that Jimmy Butler really is having the greatest preseason in the history of professional basketball. Hitting a game winning three-pointer Thursday night against the Atlanta Hawks as time expired to cap off a sensational 20-point fourth quarter and a 29-point effort altogether usually puts a guy in good enough spirits. (Credit to CSN Chicago for the video).

But then, mega movie star Mark Wahlberg gives you a drunken Instagram shoutout and suddenly the game-winner doesn't seem like all that big of an accomplishment any more.

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My guy @markwahlberg told me it would be a big year! Thanks for the support brotha!

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Oddly enough, this isn't the first documented account of Mr. Butler and Mr. Wahlberg's friendship. Over the summer, Butler posted this photo also on Instagram, celebrating the budding friendship between the two that apparently stems back to 2013 when Butler and Wahlberg first met during Wahlberg's filming of the latest Transformers movie in Chicago.

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Jimmy Butler Hits Game Winning Three, Finishes with 29 Points as Bulls Win 85-84

October 16th, 2014 at 9:46 PM
By Christopher Terzic

An uncharacteristically bad defensive showing and an all-too-familiar difficulty scoring points resulted in one ugly basketball game in Chicago on Thursday night for the Chicago Bulls. That is, until Jimmy Butler took over in the fourth quarter. The Atlanta Hawks led otherwise convincingly throughout the entire game, but Butler hit a game winning three as time expired to give the Bulls a 85-84 victory.

A game high 29 points (20 in the fourth) on 8-14 shooting for Butler produced as memorable a preseason game (if you can call a preseason game memorable) as you can get. Butler also got to the free throw line 16(!) times, hitting 12. He also collected 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in just over 31 minutes of action.

As for Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, both played according to their normal 20-minute preseason schedule. (Noah actually checked in for the final six minutes in the fourth quarter.) Rose finished with 10 points on 3-9 shooting and Noah chipped in a strong 7 points and pulled down 13 rebounds along with 3 blocks.

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