Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Click-a-Bull (AudiBULL; Rose-to-Noah; Bulls Beating Everyone; Rose Unstoppable; Boozer More Than Snub)

I realize posts have been infrequent lately, but that clearly has nothing to do with how well the Bulls are playing and how excited I am about it. It just seems that twitter is a much easier forum for me to post links and discuss my views on the Bulls. So in the interest of self-promotion, follow me on twitter: @bullbearsock ... and you will get your share of Bulls links and thoughts. That's not to say I will never post Bulls thoughts / links here, but twitter and the podcast pretty much have me covered. Speaking of the podcast ...

As for AudiBULL - our promise of a weekly show has also been tough. Kmart has been traveling, but we will get back to recording the podcast for the last 1/3 of the season and the playoffs. We will no longer be hosted by CraicBackLive, but will still be on BlogTalkRadio. You can now find our podcast here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bullbearsock, although we have not yet recorded any shows at that location. When we do record a show, I will post the streaming player + iTunes link in a blog-post and along the sidebar -->

Here are some links I've been saving:

The Bulls aren't just hanging with anyone, they're beating everyone

Right before the Bulls faced the Orlando Magic, I noted that the schedule was about to get awfully difficult for the Bulls. They were facing perhaps the most difficult stretch of the season. A stretch rivaling the circus trip in terms of difficulty, and that stretch would define how good a team they are.

My goal for the team was to win 13 of the 20 games, but I lacked confidence that this team would roll against the best of the best and predicted a 10-10 stretch which now seems laughable.

I used to be 70 lbs overweight in college. When I lost all the weight and became athletic, it still took me three years for my body image to catch up to my new physical image. I promise it won't take three years for my view of the team to catch up with how bad ass the Bulls are. Derrick Rose has blossomed into a legit superstar, and the Chicago Bulls are not just 'hanging' with anyone. They're beating everyone.

Spurs Vs. Bulls: Derrick Rose Unstoppable In Huge Chicago Win

Derrick Rose scored a career-high 42 points as the Chicago Bulls entered All-Star Weekend with a massive 109-99 home win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Bulls, No. 3 in the East and home to one of the league's most talked about MVP candidates in Rose, hardly need more confidence. They've had a wonderful season to date. But if there was any question about whether the Bulls could challenge the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat in the Eastern playoffs? Those concerns ought to be squelched.

The Spurs, of course, came in and left with the NBA's best record by no small margin. The loss was San Antonio's 10th in 56 games; no other team has fewer than 14 losses or more than 41 wins. It would take a grand collapse for the Spurs to lose home court advantage throughout the postseason, and it's not likely to happen. This is the perspective for how good the Spurs are, and how fantastic this win is for the Bulls.

Of course, it also happened to be the final game of San Antonio's Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs have spent all of February on the road, ending the trip 6-3. While a nine-game road trip will tire any team, the Spurs' contests were spread over 18 days, and San Antonio had two games off prior to the Bulls' match-up. This isn't similar to the Lakers' Wednesday loss in Cleveland, where L.A. had played five games in seven nights. The Spurs may be on the road, but they are rather rested.

It didn't matter. Rose ripped through the still-excellent Spurs defense regularly, beating Tony Parker off the dribble with relative ease. Rose scored 11 points in the first, 10 in the second, eight in the third and 13 in the fourth. He was, in a word, relentless, and nothing the Spurs tried to slow him managed to work.

Derrick Rose is the total package

Early in his Bulls career, he suffered through 10 stitches after cutting his arm when he forgot he had left a knife on his bed.

And then, of course, there was his recent bout with ulcers, which was attributed to his fondness for spicy food.

So, you see, he’s only Superman-like when he’s wearing a jersey adorned with the No. 1.

His wide-ranging abilities on a basketball floor are well-documented. The linchpin for a Bulls team that has risen to third in the Eastern Conference, Rose is receiving his due at the All-Star Game, where he will make his first start tonight in Los Angeles.

What initially caught the Bulls’ eye was not only his ability to defy gravity on the court but the way he kept both feet on the ground off the court. For all his basketball skill, the organization also was impressed with Rose’s unassuming maturity.

‘‘We can all sit here and say we knew, but you never know,’’ Bulls executive vice president John Paxson said. ‘‘The sense with Derrick always was that he was humble and that he understood what it would take to be a great player, and he’s never deviated from that.’’

Carlos Boozer: More Than Just An All-Star Snub

When Joakim Noah went down with a thumb injury, Carlos Boozer was looked upon to provide the spark he had been signed for.

Boozer has created more than a spark; he’s lighting it up averaging 19.5 points per game.

Then, Boozer was snubbed as an All-Star reserve, and some argued that the MVP should be given to Rose at season’s end.

Chicago is not looking for another All-Star or another MVP, they’re clearly on the path for a shiny new ring and Boozer has become their biggest asset.

Chicago started the season 9-6 as they faced one of the toughest early schedules in the league. Since Boozer’s return, the Bulls have been on a tear going 27-10 since his return. As Joakim Noah nurses a right thumb injury, Boozer’s 10.1 RPG lead the team who are second in the league in rebounding. With Rose’s emergence as an MVP candidate, his stellar play leads to more looks for the big man. Noah benefited from the open space created from Rose and Carlos Boozer mid-range jumper is simultaneously helping create more of the open lane.