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Hawks De-Clawed by Bulls 95-83
Rose Scores 33 & Deng has 23 Points
Photos and story by Mark Rotor
Yes, Derrick Rose was the answer any time the Bulls have needed to regain a lead or lengthen a dwindling lead, once again Chicago needed to call on their MVP to work his magic in the 4th but the unsung hero, the reliable reserve forward Taj Gibson contribute in the final quarter allowing the Bulls to come back down (70-69) to Atlanta only to recover win game 5 by 14 points 95-83. Chicago now leads the Eastern Conference Semi final by 3-2 margin.
Rose finished 11 of 24, 10-13 free throws scoring 33 points on 9 assist. In the 4th quarter he finished the game the way he started driving to the basket while providing scoring opportunities for his team. “I wanted to make the game easier pushing the ball with me driving, make them commit to me to make it easier for my teammates to hit open shots and to night they were getting some,” Rose said.
MVP Derrick Rose scores 33 and just misses a triple double by 1 assist
Hard Hat & Lunch Bucket – Gibson Electric In The 4th
Taj Gibson had a transcendent 12:00 minutes in the 4th quarter. He scored all 11 of his points in the 4th keeping the Bulls 10 point run alive late in the quarter. He finished with only 2 rebounds but contributed 2 assist and three key baskets in the last four minutes. Gibson shot with confidence scoring on a hook shot with 3:05 remaining giving Chicago a 91-79. After a floating jump shot by Rose, Gibson lunched his 2nd flip hook shot to capture a 14 point advantage with 2:23 to virtually lock-up the victory. However, Atlanta could not answer missing multiple scoring attempts by Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Josh Smith.
“My teammates were looking form me. I was playing with a lot of energy, and I was making some baskets,” Gibson said. “When we play with a lot of energy, we are a hard nosed team.”
When Gibson was asked was this his best game he responded: “I have been playing basketball along time, but tonight was special knowing my team was behind me and knowing the city was behind me.”
Tough Day For the Hawks
Although, most of the game stats were very close between Atlanta and Chicago a few stats did hurt the Hawks. Atlanta offense was snake bitten shooting 1 of 12 (8.3%) from three point range while Allstar Joe Johnson shot a meager 5 of 18 neutralized by the defensive job of the Bulls’ Luol Deng. “The Coach stayed with us late in the game because we had a lot of energy,” said Deng. Deng not only slowed down Johnson but also was the 2nd leading score with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assist.
“In the 4th quarter I think we completely lost our composure, I told our guys a bad shot is just as good as a turnover,” said Hawks Head Coach Larry Drew. “In the 4th quarter we did not do a good job of executing our offense.”
The Turning Point – Beginning of the Quarter
Up till the 4th quarter the Hawks were able to remain close down only by 6 points at half time 48-42 as they out scoring the Bulls by a 21-16 margin. At the end of the 3rd quarter the Hawks took the lead for the 1st time in the game with 1:58 left on a jump shot by back-up center Zaza Pachulia. Chicago answered and grabbed the lead 69-68 on a lay-up by Ronnie Brewer. However, Atlanta remained in striking distance down by one.
“We were in great position until the end of the third quarter,” Drew said. “From a rhythm standpoint I thought we were playing at a favorable pass for us and are bench was doing a really good job. In the 4th quarter we had some bad offensive possessions, we were not executing and that led to bad shot that led to baskets on the other end.”
Carlos Boozer Adds To The Winning Mix
In 29 minutes the injury plagued Carlos Boozer recently playing threw toe ligament damage, provided a welcome contribution of 11 points, 12 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Although, Gibson played in the key final minutes of the game Carlos was impressed by contributions of the “Bench Mob”. “They have been great all year. I think they played great in game 4 and tonight. When the 2nd team comes in the energy goes down, but we are lucky, our energy picks up. It has been like that all year.”
Closing The Door On The Hawks
Chicago now has the luxury of having two games to attempt to end the series. Up 3-2 in the best of seven Chicago plays next on Friday at Atlanta with their next opportunity to close out Atlanta. If not, back home on Sunday for game 7 for a final chance to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with a victory.
Bulls Clipped by Hawks, Rose injured again… Lose 103-95 in game one of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
By Dan Peters
The Chicago Bulls fine themselves in a strange position after the game Monday, down 0-1 in a playoff series for the first time.
"The intensity wasn't right," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The start of the game was poor in terms of ball direction, in terms of challenging shots, in terms of showing help. There wasn't one aspect of the defense that was good. They're too good of a team to play like that."
Photo By Dan Peters
The energy was in the building Monday, Jim Cornelison reved up the crowd as he has done so many times with a strong rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Then Head Coach Tom Thibodeau was presented with his coach of the year award. Boozer had strong praise for Thibodeau. "So proud of him, well-deserved. Incredible coach. I told you guys all year long I was really impressed by his approach to the game, his preparation, the way he's been able to use us all together - different guys from different teams, different talents - and put this team together the way he has, to make us be successful in this system."
Unfortunately, the energy generated was absorbed by the Atlanta Hawks, not the Bulls.
Not so MVP..at least today.
Oak Park Journal Photo
Derrick Rose limped off the court late in the game, twisting the same ankle he injured in the opening round against Pacers. The Bulls trailed the whole first half and their sure to be MVP star Derrick Rose was not a factor, even before he twisted his ankle Rose did not get his first bucket until late in the first half of the second quarter. Rose was not available to the media after the game, but did say “I should be OK," he said. "I'll probably get treatment right now, go home, get some more treatment and be ready to go for Wednesday."
“We came out and let one slip, especially at home. We don’t usually lose at home (39-5). It’s going to be a series,” said Rose. “A good series. It’s (Atlanta) a good team. They’re playing well. It’s going to be tough.”
Rose would go on to score 27 points before he injured his ankle.
"It's tough when your best player is limping off the court with an injury that you know he's had before," center Joakim Noah said. "It's tough, but right now, we have a game on Wednesday in less than 48 hours.
Carlos Boozer still hurting as well, despite showing some spark and finally breaking out of his recent slump
“The toe hurt a lot,” acknowledged Boozer, who had 14 points and eight assists. “It loosened up as the game went along. I had to get going for my guys, but I missed some jumpers.”
The key to the game.. The Hawks went on a 15-2 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to turn a 69-65 deficit into an 80-71 lead with 10:27 remaining. Nothing the Bulls put on court could stop these Hawks.
Johnson scored eight points during that stretch, and the Hawks hung on.
Johnson was brilliant, hitting 12 of 18 shots and all five 3-point attempts. Crawford scored 22 points, and Jeff Teague added 10 while starting at the point for the injured Kirk Hinrich and wound up getting the game ball from coach Larry Drew.
Johnson was the game’s high scorer with 34 points.
"I just want to come out and be aggressive and make plays," Johnson said. "Collectively, as a team, we've been great in the postseason. We've approached every game with intensity."
"We're the team that nobody talks about," Crawford said. “It was surreal. This was where it all started for me, and to come back and get one like this is great. Winning one like this can shake a team, though this Bulls team is really good. But we want to be greedy and get No. 2. We believed it was a good matchup for us coming in. Hey, what do we have to lose, anyway? No one gave us a chance. We came to compete and have fun.”
"Nobody gave us a shot in this series," Atlanta's Josh Smith said. "We're here now up 1-0."
Confidence is important, don’t you think?
“Critical, very critical,” said Hawks coach Larry Drew. “When we start a game off [well], I think, psychologically that really plays into our favor. Trying to get off to a fast start is something we talk about all the time.”
Bulls got their wake-up call tonight, let’s see if they can answer it.
“Coach always says to play with an edge,” said Rose, whose teammates all were asked to comment on Rose’s MVP award even though there has been no official announcement from the NBA. “It wasn’t there tonight. All we’re trying to do now is get the next one.”
“I hope we don’t wake up too late,” said Rose. “I hope it’s the next game.”
The Bulls charged out of the gate, dominate the Pacers in a 116-89 rout
The Bulls sent a message to the NBA tonight….we’re ready to rumble.
By Dan Peters
Oak Park Journal Photos
It may have looked like the previous games were close in score, but in reality, it just showed the basketball world that the Bulls earned that number one spot for a reason. Championships are won by total team effort.
Rose drove, hit jumpers, found the open man and was just a thorn for the Pacers, particularly during the stunning third-quarter run; helping the Bulls clear their first hurdle in what they think could be a long playoff run.
“Don’t jinx it,” said Rose. “It’s great, man, especially being on a team with these guys. My teammates, they’re great. It feels good to be back on a winning team. I haven’t been on a winning team since college. The front office did a great job of picking the right guys. Our mindset was great from the beginning.”
You can hear the fans chat.. “MVP, MVP” but Derrick Rose stays focused at the tasks at hand. The MVP award should come later. And their superstar point guard gets a few extra days to rest, too.
After the game, Rose was asked how it felt to win his first playoff series. “I’m speechless, it’s unbelievable, I can’t believe it. I’m happy for my teammates, coaching staff and just want to keep it going. My teammates are great. It feels great giving back on a winning team. I haven’t had that since I was back in college. The front office has picked up the right guys and Coach Thibs is doing the right things. It just feels great now.”
A Total Team effort
On this Bulls team, any one of several players could earn that MVP title. The top-seed Bulls can breathe a little easier after a dominating win that came on the heels of four close games, and not set focus on the Eastern Conference semifinals and a matchup with either Atlanta or Orlando.
The Bulls hit 14 of 31 3-pointers, including five by Keith Bogans (15 points) and three each by Deng and Rose. Deng also had seven assists and six rebounds.
Joakim Noah added 14 points and eight rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls won a playoff series for the first time since they swept Miami in the first round in 2007. It was clearly their most impressive performance of the postseason even though Carlos Boozer scored just two points and again found himself in foul trouble.
The coach was looking at the big picture after his first playoff series win. “All year long, we’ve focused in on going step by step,” Thibodeau said. “I think once you start skipping steps and looking at all the other stuff, that’s when you get lost. So we knew we were capable of playing better, although when you look at the series, to be up 3-1, you’ve got to do a lot of things well, too.”
Not Setting the Pace, but frustration
The Pacers Danny Granger scored a team high 20 for the Pacers but had some strong words afterward for Noah. He accused Noah of throwing elbows that ultimately led to a technical foul for A.J. Price after an altercation with Tyler Hansbrough and an ejection by Josh McRoberts later in the game.
Things took a nasty turn in the closing seconds of the third when McRoberts threw an elbow at Noah and got ejected.
The two were starting to run the other way after a missed 3-pointer by Rose. McRoberts said he was elbowed in the throat by Noah and was retaliating when swung his right elbow. That blow missed, but McRoberts got called for the flagrant foul 2 and got tossed.
“I was trying to shove back to defend myself,” he said.
Noah, who hit both free throws with 2.5 seconds left to make it 84-65, said: “I wasn’t dirtier than anyone else. It was a battle down there. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. I was just trying to win.”
“He’s a dirty player, honestly,” Granger said.
“Everyone knows in the league Jo is not dirty,” Luol Deng countered.
Derrick Rose added: “It’s the playoffs. They tried hard to keep me from the basket with hard fouls. I’ll just continue to go back there as that’s just part of the game.”
“I thought it was physical.” said Hansbrough. “We were frustrated. We were down big. The game was getting a little chippy, but I don’t think it was getting out of hand. We made some aggressive plays and were frustrated.”
The Pacers Hansbrough had 14 points and 11 rebounds, but they trailed the entire way and committed 21 team turnovers.
Hard to contain Rose.. the Bulls
Hansbrough talked about Rose and the Bulls after the game: “It’s tough to contain Rose. We did so many things. We changed up, we tried trapping him, we tried regular blitzing, we tried giving him different looks. But as a team, they’re one of the more physical teams. They definitely can rebound. That was a challenge for us, keeping them off the offensive boards. And keeping Noah out of there.”
Now the Bulls can take a day off, set their sights on the next round..And you know those teams will be seeing red when they play these Bulls.
2010-2011 Chicago Bulls
Photos and Story By Mark Rotor
The 2010-11 Chicago Bulls team who started out the evening trailing the Eastern division leading Boston Celtics by one game, paid homage to the 1991 Champion Chicago Bulls team by giving them a performance worth of champions. By the end of the night they tied the Celtics for the top sport in the division, broke the franchise record for three-point baskets while thoroughly dismantled the Utah Jazz by half time. The Bulls coasted to in an impressive 118-100 blow-out victory over a stunned Jazz team.
Even though it was an exciting game it was overshadows by the legendary members of the 1991 Chicago Bulls Championship team in attendendance to celebration of the 20th anniversary of Chicago Bulls first NBA Championship in 1991. A 20 minute star studded halftime ceremony featuring six time NBA champions Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and the other 1991 storied team members. (Full coverage in the “Half-Time Celebration” section)
Photo by Edward Vincent
Bulls Played Like Champions Early
With Derrick Rose playing in front of his basketball idol Michael Jordan you knew he would put on quite a show. He hit 5 three-pointers in the first quarter helping Chicago to jump out front of Utah 17-2 and ended the quarter with a 37-17 lead. “There was extra energy tonight, we always have a great crowd but there was something extra special tonight,” said Kyle Korver. Rose matched his career high for 3-pointers and surpassed his personal record for points in the first quarter with 17. “Derrick came out and was really aggressive and we just followed his lead.”
By half-time, the Utah Jazz team who have lost their last 10 out of 13 games since the resignation of Basketball Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan were over matched by Chicago’s phenomenal shooting, their energized defense and the listless offense of Utah. Head Coach Tyrone Corbin said, “We didn’t come out with any urgency and we didn’t have a sense how to stop them. They were able to do what ever they wanted. We need to fight harder and be faster if we want to win.”
Don’t Look Now, But It’s Raining Three’s!
The heavens opened up as Chicago put on a 3-point clinch scoring a franchise record of 18 three’s eclipsing the previous record set in 1994. In addition to Rose’s exceptional shooting performance Luol Deng, Keith Bogans, Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson each contributed at least one 3-pointer during the 1st half. As a group, they scored eight three’s in the 1st quarter and total of thirteen 3-pointers for the half. “Shooting 3’s was definitely not the plan said” Korver. “But that the way it worked out. Once a couple of guys hit a few shots it just spreads the floor. Guys had got good shots in rhythm and it snowballed.”
By the end of the half the Bulls had a commanding 68-41 lead, not insurmountable by NBA standards but a dire position for the visiting Jazz who barely had a pulse in the first 24 minutes. Al Jefferson was the only player in double digits for the Jazz with 14 points and 9 rebounds. The Bulls 68 point half-time score set a new season high for most points scored in a half. Three players scored in double digits were: Rose 19, Deng 10 and Korver 12. Deng on the mend from an ankle injury played admirably and was 2 of 3 from 3-point range, had 5 assist, 3 rebounds and by the end of the half.
20th Anniversary Of The Bulls 1 Championship
Former Bulls Broadcaster Jim Durham M.C. Of The Celebration
The much awaited commemorative celebration of the Bulls 1st NBA Championship was met with great enthusiasm by the sellout 22,885 fans at U.C. as former Bulls broadcaster Jim Durham returned to served as master of ceremony for the historic tribute. Also in attendance were team members: John Paxton, Horace Grant, Stacey King, Craig Hodges, Will Purdue, Scott Williams, Cliff Levingston, Dennis Hopson and eleven year Assistant Coach John Bach. Head Coach Phil Jackson, B.J. Armstrong, Jim Cleamons and Tex Winter were unavailable.
Michael Reinsdorf C.O.O Bulls & Horace Grant
Following a video montage of fabled 91 Bulls season, each of the attendees was introduced by Durham to cheers of appreciative and raucous crowd. Each team member walked one by one on to the court through a gauntlet of Luvabulls cheerleaders to the center court where they receive a commemorative plaque from Bulls Chief Operating Officer Michael Reinsdorf.
Photo By Edward Vincent
Both Pippen & Jordon received huge standing ovations from the crowd. As expected, Jordan applause was by far the loudest and the longest. At one point, when Jordon approached the microphone, the applause was so deafening that Jordon had to delay until the fans quieted.
Pippen & Jordon Thank The Fans
Both Pippen & Jordon received huge standing ovations from the crowd. As expected, Jordan applause was by far the loudest and the longest. At one point, when Jordon approached the microphone, the applause was so deafening that Jordon had to delay until the fans quieted.
Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordon addressed the crowd on behalf of the 1991 team. “This is very special for us,” said Pippen. “Thank you for sticking with us back in the 1990's.”
“I want to thank the Bulls organization for allowing us to unite,” said Jordan. One guy who is missing is Johnny “Red” Kerr.” Johnny “Red” Kerr friend of M.J. was a former NBA great, coach and Bulls announcer during the Bulls Championship era. Kerr dedicated 35 years to the Bull organization who lost his battle with Cancer in February of 2009.
Michael Jordan Enters The Arena To The Roar Of Cheering Bulls Fans
Jordon Believes - Bulls May Have What Takes To Win 6 More Tittles
It was surreal but appropiate for the six time champion Michael Jordon NBA Great to be standing at a podium at half court in the vary same building his Bulls called home when they won their last three Championship trophies in the 1990’s and now, 20 year later predicting a NBA Championship future for the young 2010-11 Chicago Bulls led by the consensus MVP candidate Derrick Rose..
“You guys are in stored a lot of other championships said,” Jordon. “Looking at this team tonight, don’t be surprised if you have another six more (Championships) coming.” Although, Jordon made his comment to a emotionally charged an adoring Bulls Jordon appeared to be quit sincere in his assessment of the teams bright future.
Jordon concluded by saying, “From the bottom of my heart and all the players here, I want to thank you for all your dedicated support on the court, off the court, in retirement and not in retirement we thank you for everything you have given us.”
Michael Jordon Thanks The Fans & Talks About Future Championships
High Expectations For Young Bulls
With the Chairman of the Board Jerry Reinsdorf stating to the Chicago Sun-Times “We have an outstanding coach, an outstanding bunch of players, the team is deep, and if we stay healthy, we have an awfully good chance of winning at least four championships.” In addition to Jordon’s prognostication of the Bulls future, expectations are beginning to grow by leaps and bounds for this talented Bulls team.
V.P. Of Bulls Basketball Operations John Paxon Holds “91” Championship Trophy
Assistant Coach John Bach “Defensive Guru”
Forward Cliff Levingston “Good News”
Center Will Purdue & ESPN Broadcaster
Bulls Coast To Victory In The 2nd Half
Despite the Jazz scoring 59 points in the second half enviably time ran out on Utah as they suffered their 11thnd half to help the Jazz out score Chicago 59-60 in final half. Jefferson finished with 33-points and 18 rebounds. While Harris scored 24 points, 2 3’s and 3 assist. Chicago was satisfied with trading baskets with Utah and their cooled off in the half. However, Thibodeau requires improvement of his players even after capturing an easy victory. loss in 14 games loosing 118-100. Both Al Jefferson and Devin Harris scored 19 points in the 2
“Our defense in the 2nd half was poor,” said Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “The first thing we did was we came out and took a 3 pointer instead of establishing our inside game first. That leads to their transition baskets. In the 2nd half we did not play well but we did enough to close it out”
Both Rose and Deng had outstanding offensive games finishing with 26 points each. Rose scored 7 baskets, 5 3-pointers, 7 free-throws and 4 assist. Deng tallied on 3 3-pointers, 7 rebounds and 6 assist. The Bulls who shot an outstanding 13-20 (65%) from 3-point range in first half cooled from their blistering pace shooting 5-12 (41.7%) in final 24 minutes of the contest.
Joakim Gives Respect To The Bulls Winning Tradition
Joakim Noah scored 9-points in 2nd half. In addition he scored 16 points and grabbed 9 rebounds along with Kurt Thomas to tie for most rebound by a Bull. This night was definitely a special night said,” Joakim Noah. “There’s no doubt, that when you see the love that those guys (1991 Champions) get, it’s well deserved. When we’re on the road and we get the love we get, a lot of it is because of what they did. So, to be a part of it is something very special. We’re trying to do something special to respect their tradition.”
Bulls Only Percentage Points From Best In The East
The Bulls win there 11th straight home victory the longest since 1997 season when they won 17 in a row. Chicago is 29-4 at home won the last six consecutive games. The Bulls won by 18 points and are now within percentage points behind the idol 1st place Celtics with each team 47 wins currently. “Were still chasing,” said Thibodeau. “I want us to continue to improve every game. The really good teams do that. We’ve been playing solid and we have a lot of room for improvement.”
Michael Reinsdorf C.O.O Bulls & Horace Grant
The Larry O'Brien, 1991 NBA Championship Trophy
Benny The Bull... Photo By Edward Vincent
Derrick Rose holding his prize. The NBA MVP Trophy
Bulls pull even in series, Beat Hawks 86-73
More awards for the 2010-2011 Bulls
Photos and Story by Dan Peters
The Chicago bulls played a much harder game this time. A tougher defense and a similar offensive game were the key to beating the visiting Hawks. As they have done in previous games, the Bulls pulled out to double-digit lead most of the game, only to have Atlanta chip away at that lead.
Clutch play from the “Bench Mob” stopped the threat and the Bulls held on to even the series at one.
Clutch defensive play by Luol Deng was again key to the victory. Deng met Johnson high after Johnson had hurt the Bulls in the Hawks Game 1 win with 34 points. “I was more into him,” said Deng. “I wanted to make him a driver. I knew the help was there, so just don’t give him a lot of space and then when he gives up the ball try to deny him.” The Hawks’ scorers don’t like pressure defense, which the Bulls only discussed in Game 1 but failed to provide.
The New MVP of the NBA
Derrick Rose honored in pre game ceremony. Commissioner David Stern awarded Rose the MVP hardware.
Rose, meanwhile, can now focus on the task at hand. The past few days were a whirlwind for the Chicago product, with the news about his winning the MVP breaking, the formal announcement on Tuesday and the presentation tonight.
“I’m just happy that it’s over now, and we can just ball out,” Rose said
He’s just fine, so he say’s
After a scare at the end of the first playoff game loss, Derrick Rose’s ankle seemed to be fine. “I’m fine,” said Rose. “I feel my confidence is real high. Shots I normally hit just did not fall. The way they are playing me (loose and laying off), I’m going to continue to shoot, things are going to change. I’m fine as long as we win. I’m just trying to go out and play hard and play together and put up a good fight. We came out aggressive on both ends making sure they took tough shots. We’ve got to continue to hustle because things are just going to get harder.”
Too many distractions?
Too many awards and distractions with coach of the year and MVP. “I’m just happy that it’s over now, and we can just ball out,” Rose said. I believe that is a good thing. There’s the other teams raising their game in the playoffs thing while the Bulls played at a playoff level all season. The Bulls have had much more trouble running an unhindered offense. And there’s the fatigue issue of playing so hard during the season and not having enough left. None can be proven, of course, and remain less than informed speculation. And, of course, the simple notion that the Bulls were overachievers and it is all catching up to them.
What’s up with Carlos Boozer?
“Carlos is giving us everything he has,” said Thibodeau. “He’s nicked up. He’s playing hard. He’s on the boards. The rebounding is huge. We need that rebounding. His offense will come around.”
The players have his back as well. “I think it’s very hard sometimes,” said Noah. “Our home crowd, it (can be) a tough place to play. We have a lot of love for our crowd. Through tough times we’ve got to stick together. I’ve been in this position before. My rookie year I was booed. It’s tough being booed in front of the home crowd.
It’s important for us to stick together. We’re trying to represent this city, this team as well as we can. We’ve got the MVP. Derrick is doing a great job being a leader and representing the city. With Carlos, people have to understand he’s playing through an injury right now. He’s giving us what he’s got. He’s somebody who has an unbelievable presence. He opens up a lot of things for us. Sometimes people are quick to bash one player. But this is a team and we know we need Carlos to get where we want to go.”
The Hawks as a team, failed to accomplish what they did in the first game of the series
“Nothing we haven’t seen,” said Crawford. “I just think we didn’t handle it correctly. I’m not worried. I think we’ll be fine in Games 3 and 4. We usually shoot better at home. We came here to get two. We got one. We’ll go back to Atlanta and take care of business.”
“They came out and applied pressure,” said Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, who scored 21 points without a turnover. “They got up into us. They made every catch we got tough. They came on Joe (Johnson), double-teamed him a lot. Kind of frustrated us as a team, because he got it going the first game.”
It’s on to Atlanta for games 3 and 4. The Bulls won’t have their home crowd there to give them the edge; they will have to rely on the play of the youngest MVP in league history and the stout defense to carry them to victory.
Thibodeau Named NBA Coach of the Year
Photo By Mark Rotor
The National Basketball Association today announced that Chicago Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has been named the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year. Thibodeau is the fourth head coach in franchise history to win the award, joining Johnny "Red" Kerr (1967), Dick Motta (1971) and Phil Jackson (1996).
"This is a well deserved honor for Tom. He is a terrific teacher, motivator, tactician and communicator. His work ethic, passion for the game and for our players is appreciated," said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. "We are thrilled that he is part of the Bulls organization and want to congratulate him on being named the NBA's Coach of the Year."
Bulls Hammer the First Win Home in the Playoffs with a Defeat of Indiana
The Pacers were never taken for granted and they proved their skills right up until the end of the game. Derrick Rose brought some 39 points to the scoreboard and that had his devotees yelling louder in support of his MVP status. Indiana's Danny Granger got 24 point, and that was not bad either but in a close game it makes a big difference.
Derrick Rose brought seven of his 39 point total, to the board during Chicago's final attack at the net, and that was a grand event.
Bulls end the season with another come from behind win … Beat the Nets 97-92
Spurs late loss give the Bulls the Number one seed in the Playoffs and home court advantage
By Dan Peters
The Bulls and their “Bench Mob” showed Wednesday that they are ready for the grueling playoffs which start on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers.
The Coach is as focused as his players
With the win Wednesday, Thibodeau tied Paul Westphal (62 wins with Phoenix in 1993) for the most victories for a first year head coach, this after already surpassing the legendary Bill Russell (60 with Boston in 1967). But he hardly sounded excited about the possibility when asked about it Wednesday.
The importance of the win tonight against New Jersey and to have at least a share of the best record in the NBA….
“It’s important from the standpoint that you want to put as many things in your favor as possible,” said Thibodeau. “To say seeding is not important, that’s not true. We want to get as many wins as we can.”
“All that stuff I’m not concerned with at all,” remarked Thibodeau. “The only thing I worry about is us winning and our team.” And this team has his back
With the win tonight, the Bulls have improved 21 games from their 41-41 season in 2009-10, which is the third-best single-season turnaround in team history. The Bulls, also had the best record in the NBA after the All-Star break at 23-4
Let the Accolades begin
Joakim Noah was named the CDW & IBM Community Player of the year. Derrick Rose was awarded the Eastern Conference Player of the month. Just the 1st of many awards yet to come for this team and Rose.
The fans know who their best player is..They chanted “MVP, MVP” every time Rose had the ball in his hand, almost to a distraction at times. But in the end, Rose stayed focused when the team needed it.
There is excitement in the air again in the United Center, and it’s not the Blackhawks. The reigning Stanley Cup Champs are also in the playoffs, opening their post-season Wednesday as well in Vancouver. This should make the “Mad House on Madison” rock for some time. As the temperatures outside are getting warmer, so is the action inside
Let the Playoffs begin....
Bulls Bruise Boston 97-81…Magic Number Down To 1
March 7th, 2011
Photos and Story by Mark Rotor
Prior to the game on Thursday, terms like “must win” or “statement game” were being bantered about by the media. With Chicago in 1st place in the Eastern Conference division leading Boston by 3 games with 5 to play the Celtics were in the hot seat and needed and win if they were going to gain ground on the Bulls. A statement was made but it wasn’t what Boston fans were hoping for as Chicago out hustled, out rebounded, out shot and in general terms, outplayed the Celtics as they were pummeled 97-81. With the victory, Chicago’s magic number to secure 1st place in the division is now one. Any win by Chicago or a loss by Boston gives the Bulls 1st place seeding in the Eastern Conference playoff series assuring them of home court advantage.
Boston Takes A Lashing
After the game Celtic forward Kevin Garnett said, “We got our (butt) kicked tonight. “I can’t recall that happing in a while." Chicago dominated Boston throughout most of the 2nd half leading by 5 points 48-43 at half time. In the first two minutes of the 3rd quarter, Boston did retake the lead for a brief period 49-48 however Chicago recovered the lead later in the 3rd quarter and never looked back.
Paul Pierce Takes Game In Stride – 15 Points
Chicago went on a 10 nothing run led by Derrick Rose scoring 4 of his 30 points.
Rose had a performance worthy of a MVP beating Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett double team routinely, leading to layups or open perimeter shorts by his teammates. Rose scored 3’s , jump shots and hit “circus’ shots banking of the glass. “This (game) meant a lot because you're going against a team you could see in the playoffs said,” Rose.
Chicago Native, Head Coach Doc Rivers – Home Is Not So Sweet
Boston Raises The White Flag
Boston was down by 11 points at the end of the 3rd (71-60) and by as much as 18-points in the final minute of the game. The Bulls closed the door on the Celtics when Rose drilled a three to lead 85-68 with 5:03 remaining. Celtic Head Coach Doc Rivers throw in the towel, replacing the starters with bench reserves with 2:51 remaining. “Tonight was a big one, defiantly a playoff atmosphere said,” Joakim Noah.
The Celtics were ice cold missing open shots early and shooting only 38.4% from 2 point range and an anemic 2 of 10 from the 3 point line. Garnett was 3-9 for 10 points and Ray Allan was only 3-11 shooting a surprisingly 0-3 from 3 pointer range. “We just have to, put this one behind us and move forward said,” Celtic forward Jeff Green. “We have to find a way to compete out there.”
Big Lou For Two – 23 Points
Luol Came Up Big
Chicago dominated leading in rebounds 44-35, points in paint 44-22, assist 21-14 and steels 9-3. Luol Deng primarily defended Paul Pierce who was held to only 15 points. Deng was also offensive force 3-6 from 3 point range and 9-18 for total of 23 points. “Luol is kicking (butt), he’s playing at a real high level and he had a huge send half for us” Noah said. Carlos Boozer was the 3rd Bulls in double figures scoring 14 points and led them with 12 rebounds. “We’re coming out there and giving every thing we got,” said Noah.”
Bust of Scottie Pippen Forever On Display At UC
Scottie Pippen Gets His Due
At half time a tribute was paid to six time NBA Champion Scottie Pippen as the Chicago Bulls unveiled a bronze bust of Bulls Ambassador and Hall of Famer. Neil Funk, Bulls TV play-by-play announcer was the MC of the ceremony that included a video tribute. Following the unveiling Pippen made the following remarks.
“So what do you guys think?... To the fans hear you always treated me with respect I appreciate it…I must say without the support you have given me none of this would be possible.
Pippen & Family On Hand For Unveiling
Benny, Part Of The Extended Pippen Family
“I want to especially thank John Paxton who was hear when I came here and is still here and the way things are going it looks like he going to be here for a while, thank you John.
From the bottom of my heart and my family I want to thank the Bulls organization and Jerry Reinsdorf for this, it is truly special.
“Los Bulls” Loose…Steam Rolled By 76ers 97-85
Story and Photos By Mark Rotor
March 28th 2011
The 1st place Chicago Bulls weren’t able to match the energy of a highly motivated Philadelphia 76’er team with their eyes on the playoffs as the Bulls came out flat and were steam rolled 97-85 at home. Chicago played as if they were stunned, down 27-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Bulls ice cold unable to buy a basket as Chicago shot a miserable 6 for 20. Meanwhile, Philly was red hot and went on a 13-1 run late in the quarter eventually building a 23 point lead. Forward, Thaddeus Young was an inside force scoring 17 of his 21 points for the 76ers in the first half. Andre Iguodala also contributed 19 points and former Bull, Elton Brand scored 13 points.
No Defense – No Win
“The past couple of games, in the 1st half, we have not played defense said,” Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “We did the same thing tonight and the game was lost early. We had a 27-13 1st quarter, you can’t win like that.”
The 2nd half wasn’t much better for Chicago as Derrick Rose was the only bright spot shooting 12-24 (50%) scoring 31 points, 21 points in the 2nd half. However, it wasn’t enough overcome the Sixers as Chicago loss their 1st home game since January 2011. Philly’s defense forced 17 turnovers including 10 by Rose.
The Home Winning Streak Is Over
“We weren’t ready to play this one said,” Rose. “We came out sluggish. Put this one on me. We played like crap tonight. That’s how you lose in this league.”
With the loss, Chicago broke a 14 game home winning streak but was able to maintain a two game lead over the Celtics as Boston also loss Monday night to the Indiana Pacers 107-100.
Bulls Honor Hispanic community – “Los Bulls”
Tonight the Bulls team wore a specially designed red road uniforms with the branding “Los Bulls” on the front of the jersey to honor the Hispanic community by hosting Latin Night at the United Center. Latin Night festive entertainment included performances by: Mariachi Bands, Hispanic dance groups and player introductions announced in Spanish.
Bulls Honor the Champs, Beat the Jazz and set team record for 3-points.
Photos by Ed Vincent
Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen
The Championship Team..together again.
Derrick Rose Charges the Basket
Bulls Win Home Opener & Thibodeau Gets First Victory ...Rose Scores 39-Points
Story and Photos By Mark Rotor
October 30th, 2010
19-Point Comeback, No Problem For 2010-11 Bulls
Down by 19 points at half time, the Bulls pull-off an inspired come from behind victory defeating the Detroit Pistons 101-91 winning their home opener at the United Center. Lead by Derrick Rose who scored 39 points tying his career high and Joakim Noah’s double-double, 15 points and 17 rebounds the Bulls seized the Pistons late in the 4th quarter out scoring them 34-9.
Despite the absence of the Bulls All-Star free agent acquisition Carlos Boozer, who’s preseason hand injury will require him to miss the first month of the season and the fact that the Bulls roaster was revamped this summer with eight new players, it was impressive how Chicago was able to shake-off their season opening lost to Kevin Durant and Oklahoma Thunder (106-95) to win their home opener evening up their season record at 1-1.
Carlos Boozer Ridding The Bench Due To A Finger Injury
© Suburban Journals of Chicago File photo by Mark Rotor
Yes, Detroit Won The 1st Half But Lost The Battle
If only there were awards for leading a game at half-time the Pistons would be very deserving outscoring Chicago 22-3 in the first half. At the end of the 1st quarter the Bulls were down by only 3 points 21-24. By half time, the lid blew off as Detroit's Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon combined for 43 points to lead the a bewilder Bulls team 63-44.
Ben Gordon - Perfect In The 1st Half
Although, it’s only been one year since Ben Gordon opted for free agency leaving the Bulls for the Pistons it appeared his former teammates were caught off-guard by Gordon's 21-points instant offense. With the Bulls leading 21-20 late in the 1st quarter Gordon came off Detroit’s bench hitting his first basket and remained a perfect 5-5 for the half, scoring four baskets, one 3-pointer and 10 free throws.
Chicago 1st Half Offense - Derrick Rose
Meanwhile, Chicago shot 19-48 (39%) and struggled from 3-point range (2-10) with a one dimensional offense, Rose shoots, Rose drives and Rose scores. Derrick was 7-14 scoring 17 points and getting open for what ever shot he wanted even with a physical, 6'5" Rodney Stuckey assigned to him. "I’m taking the shots that they give me said," Rose. "If they give me wide open shots, I’m going to take them. If they give me wide open lanes I’m going to drive them."
Rose Takes Ex-Bull Ben Wallace For A Stroll Down The Lane
© Suburban Journals of Chicago File Photo by Mark Rotor
Inspiration & Perspiration - Rose & Teammates Mount Comeback
Down by 19 points at half time, Bulls team leaders Noah and Rose provided locker room inspiration said forward reserve James Johnson. "Joakim and Derrick made it clear yelling, we are going to win this game and that's what we had to do. There was no doubt in my mind we were going to win."
Rose & Company Get Down To Business In The 3rd Quarter
Despite the fact that Detroit may have been a little weary with back-to-back road games and were probably running on fumes by the 2nd half, the Bulls apparently buying into Coach Tom Thibodeau active aggressive defense were able to clamp down on Ben Gordon pairing the taller, athletic Luol Deng on the 6’2” Gordon. Deng shadowed Gordon denying him the ball. As a result, Gordon had increasingly difficult looks at the basket and was not a factor going 0-5 in the 2nd half.
“Ben is a great player said,” coach Thibodeau. “Our schemes were the same, we just did them a little harder and went at him a little quicker and Ben was making the right plays. He was looking to pass the ball. They are a tough team, they are tough to match up with.”
When asked what changed between haves Gordon said, “Nothing really, I just didn't have as many opportunities as I did in the first half. I'm not sure why. We went away from what worked for us in the first half.” No doubt, some of the credit went to Chicago’s defense and a active Bulls offense, getting key rebounds and loose balls in the 2nd half.
All-Star Tayshaun Prince Scores 2 Of 15-Points
© Suburban Journals of Chicago File Photo by Mark Rotor
Rose, Noah, Johnson and Asik – Made The Difference In Victory
Rose scored 22 points in the 2nd half, 14 points in the 3rd and 8 points on clutch baskets in the 4th to finish the game 39 points. “I was telling them right when the game was going bad there is no we can start off like this again said,” Rose. “We've got to learn from it. We just played hard and fought our way thru.”
“Derrick was really hot and it seemed like he could do whatever he wanted said,” Gordon. “We got away from the way we were playing. We allowed them to come back into the game. We had a huge lead and we let it slip away.”
"The 4th Quarter Run"
With eight minutes left in the 4th quarter Chicago cut into Detroit’s 19-point lead and were only down by 11 points when long range specialist Kyle Kolver lunched a “three” to cut the lead to eight (78-86). Gibson cut the lead to six (80-86) with a drive and assist from Rose. Gibson was fouled on a put-back rebound and hit 1 of 2 free-throws (81-86). The heroics continued as Rose used his speed to get to the basket and was fouled with 5:45 second. He hit both free throws reduce the lead to 3 points (83-86).
At the end 24-second clock James Johnson hit a huge 3-pointer from the right baseline tying the game at 86-86 with 5:02 remaining. After a 17 foot jump shot by Hamilton returning the lead to Detroit, Chicago tied the game for the final time on a 16 foot banked jumper 88-88 with 3:54. The Bulls took the lead for good on rebounded shot by Rose and tipped by Noah 90-88. They proceeded to out score Detroit 11 to 3 in the final 2:37 minutes to walk away with the game 101-91.
With 1:27 James Johnson was a one man team, rebounding, blocking shots, slam dunking and out hassling everyone on the court. “He was terrific said,” Thibodeau. His defense, his energy and his rebounding, getting to loose balls, hustle plays. He and Omer Asik provided a great spark for us. That is what got us going.”
Bulls Notes - Winning One For "Thibs"
Rookie head coach Tom Thibodeau claimed his fist victory as an NBA coach after 20 years as an assistant. A member of the media comment to coach Thibodeau in jest during the post game press conference, “I'm sure the game went just you planned.” I'm sure it didn't. After the game Derrick Rose presented coach Thibodeau the game ball.
Coach Thibodeau now has a .500 Win/Loss record and his team will take on the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday night at the United Center.
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