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Chicago Bulls: Stop Playing Kirk Hinrich So Much

February 17th, 2015 at 1:58 PM
By Christopher Terzic

Yesterday, we wrote about Tony Snell with the larger premise being Kirk Hinrich playing too many damn minutes. We explained how Snell – who is bigger, taller, younger and more athletic than Hinrich – is fully capable of guarding pretty much any player Hinrich is typically asked to guard. And with Snell averaging 18.5 points on 60 percent shooting from three-point range over his last four games, you don’t exactly need analytics to tell you that is good (read: GOOD).

If you’re unfamiliar with our stance on Kirk Hinrich because you don’t follow us on Twitter or haven't picked up on the many hints we've dropped in our previews and recaps, allow us to give you the skinny: we think Kirk Hinrich, at this stage of his career, is overrated by the basketball fan who tends to romanticize over intangibles and is completely overly relied upon by Tom Thibodeau.

Hinrich is famously known for his grit, his blue-collar approach. Somewhere along the line, people thought it’d be clever to dub Hinrich a ‘gym rat’ because he so happens to work hard. Which, of course, he does. Hinrich is gritty, he does work hard. But, weird thing: so does almost any other professional basketball player, and that’s not limited to players playing in the National Basketball Association. Shouldn't they all be gym rats? Plenty of them are. There's really nothing special about it.

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Chicago Bulls: Why Tony Snell Needs to Stay in the Rotation

February 16th, 2015 at 3:15 PM
By Christopher Terzic

The emergence of Tony Snell has been, shall we say, unexpected? In Chicago’s last four games before the All-Star break, Snell produced 18.5 points per game on nearly 70 percent shooting from the field and 60 percent from three-point range. It’s safe to say those shooting numbers likely aren’t sustainable from here on out. And it’s also probably safe to say that Snell caught fire and went on an epic hot streak.

Tony Snell didn’t all of a sudden transform into some world-beater, but he’s also not as bad as, say, a player who went a month without scoring a point. Ideally, Tony Snell is an average rotation on a ready-to-compete NBA team. A guy who can knock down the occasional open three while being alert enough to move off the ball when his man refuses to acknowledge him, yet is also capable of defending pretty much any wing player.

Basically, the Bulls need some consistency out of Tony Snell – a happy medium. Because while, yes, it’d certainly be super cool if Tony Snell became the next Shane Battier, we still have enough reason to believe he’s the next Rodney Carney.

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Bulls at the Break: an Overview of the First 54 Games

February 13th, 2015 at 1:06 PM
By Christopher Terzic

Making it to the All-Star break is kind of the de facto midway point during the NBA regular season. Although 35 percent of the schedule remains, the All-Star break, more accurately, signals how close we really are to playoff basketball. Just the thought of playoff basketball is exciting enough, but of course, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. There’s still plenty of basketball to be played, which means a lot can happen. So instead, let’s take a look back at the first half of the season for the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls are sending two All-Stars to New York to participate in Sunday’s main event – the actual All-Star game itself. The fact that the Bulls are sending two All-Stars to New York isn’t all that surprising – until you realize the two players are named Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol and not Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. We’ve written extensively on Butler, and also Gasol. And to be sure, the Bulls certainly wouldn’t be sitting at 34-20 without them.

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Chicago Bulls Firing on All Cylinders at the Break

February 13th, 2015 at 10:50 AM
By Sports Media 101

All eyes were on the Chicago Bulls Thursday night as they faced off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the final game before the All-Star break. No other games were scheduled for Thursday so the entire league got a chance to see how far Derrick Rose had progressed since coming back from his two major knee injuries that sidelined him for a majority of two seasons. Rose and the Bulls did not disappoint, reeling off a convincing 113-98 victory over the Cavs.

The quality win pushed Chicago’s current win streak to four with wins over the Pelicans, Magic, Kings and now Cavs. It sends the Bulls soaring into the break prepared to make a significant run in the second half of the season and into the playoffs. The win steak comes on the heels of a three-game skid on the road against the Western Conference with losses to the lowly Lakers and Suns and a Western Conference powerhouse in Houston.

The Bulls head into the break 34-20 and in first place atop the Central Division, a game and a half ahead of Cleveland but find themselves nine games back of the Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks. Fortunately, Chicago has moved into third place in the East just ahead of Washington and Cleveland.

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Recap: Led by Rose’s 30 Points, 34-20 Chicago Bulls Defeat 33-22 Cleveland Cavaliers

February 12th, 2015 at 10:25 PM
By Christopher Terzic

For as tumultuous a first half of the season as the Chicago Bulls have had, heading into the All-Star break on a four-game win streak and sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference ain’t too bad. Tonight, the Bulls took care of business against the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning convincingly 113-98. Leaving us on a positive note before resuming play next Friday night against Detroit.

Chicago got a stellar performance out of Derrick Rose, unequivocally his best game of the season. Rose finished with a team-high 30 points and seven assists on 12-24 shooting and just two turnovers. Rose was relentless, looking like the guy that used to carve up defenses simply too slow to react to his rare blend of speed and power. It was a banner night in the “Rose is Back” Era.

Most encouragingly, he lived around the basket all game, shooting 7-10 at the rim and 9-14 overall in the paint. Which makes his two turnovers all the more impressive considering how much attention Rose drew from all five Cleveland defenders. Whether Rose was beating his man off the dribble or using the high pick-and-roll to leverage some space, his decision and shot making was simply superb on this night.

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