Adam Silver Hands Down Lifetime Ban for Clippers Owner

Wanted to create a home for this landmark, historic announcement from newly minted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. A lifetime ban, a 2.5 million dollar fine and a push for the other 29 owners to force a sale of the L.A. Clippers franchise. I’m usually pretty cynical, but as a black woman this ban said to me: “You matter”. Very moved by this…

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Bulls Season Mercifully Ends; Fall to Wiz in 5 Games

The Bulls season has ended and hopefully so has Thibs belief that the Bulls have more than enough to win.

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Things that couldn’t be predicted prior to the series:

  1. That Nene would be so effective coming back from injury. Nene was a problem for Noah… Just a big body, taking up a lot of real estate and although his mid-range shot seemed like an aberration in game 1, he found his stroke again in game 5 and torched the Bulls for 20 pts.
  2. The Wizards backcourt of Wall and Beal would be unstoppable vs. the Bulls defense. These guys just got loose. I was worried after game 1 because they both had quiet games which in hindsight was because they were a little tight/nervous being in their first playoff situation. Not because of hands in their faces. They both have quick releases and Wall lived at the free throw line. Ariza also, torching the Bulls for 30 with an absolute assault from the 3 pt. line just shows how many perimeter players that the Bulls had to be concerned about.
  3. That the Bulls leading scorer through the regular season would be shut down so decisively and successfully. I was on record being worried about D.J. from the first game. He’s smallish, turned the ball over, couldn’t make quick decisions with the ball and while he did have one game where he scored 25, he couldn’t produce points consistently enough when the Bulls really needed a basket. Jimmy Butler’s shot also fell off from where he was during the regular season. Alarming too because he’s already an average shooter who just works hard.
  4. That the Bulls would manage to lose all three home games. The United Center is pathetic. Watching the crowd in D.C. just underscored just how much of a corporate environment the “Mad House” has now. The Wizards should have been very comfortable playing there.

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I’ll be back with more later, but wanted to acknowledge that the Bulls fought the good fight, but were clearly overmatched. We’ll see what moves Chicago makes in the off season and also how Rose progresses.


Some goodbye Tweets from #BullsNation

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Bulls Face Elimination Tonight at the UC

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Trevor Ariza torched the Bulls for 30 pts.

The Bulls came out looking listless, overmatched and overwhelmed in Sunday’s contest. They now have to play in an elimination game for their trouble. Gortat has been quoted as saying that “Nene will get 30 and they will clinch the series on our home floor tonight.” Nothing the Bulls have done so far has indicated that this will not happen, however I’m hoping for another pride win in order to spare Chicago the pain of watching the Wizards celebrate here.

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The Wizards got 29 points off of the Bulls 16 turnovers and were also +4 on threes. They were quicker to loose balls, look amazing on defense and attempted 8 more FTs than the Bulls. They’ve simply been the aggressors. DJ was a non-factor, Dunleavy came back down to earth and Boozer has been reduced to a whisper as our power forward. Jo is doing all he can. He grabbed 15 boards and managed 10 pts and 5 assists. The to do list is just too big.

The bright spot was a monster game from Taj. 32 big points for Tajeewoo! All but two buckets were dunks or at the rim. Hate we wasted that performance.

I’ll see you guys on the other side. About to tip off in a few minutes! Go Bulls!

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Dunleavy Finds Stroke as Bulls Take Game 3

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Taj and Boozer celebrate with Dun’s hot hand on Friday night in D.C.

“Dun Dun”, as Mike Dunleavy, Jr.’s Bulls teammates like to call him, should be credited with saving Chicago’s postseason. With only 4 teams ever coming back to win a series after dropping the first 2 at home, the possibility that the Bulls will still win this first round matchup vs. the Wiz is still an unlikely one. Dunleavy allowed fans to dream however.

Mike went an unbelievable 12-19 from the field, including 8-10 on threes. His 16 pt. first half led Beal to tell a local reporter at the half that Dunleavy would not score another point in the second half. The entire Wizards team, including Beal would soon learn that he was in a zone and just would not miss. Mike even managed to draw a foul/4 pt. play on Beal at the 4:11 mark of the 3rd with the game tied at 62. The 35 pts. was one shy of his career high.

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Dunleavy was able to make shots in the lane as well as outside. Better on threes than his mid range jumper.

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Aside from Dunleavy’s explosion, which kept the Bulls in the game (nice to answer Washington’s offense with shot after shot for a change), things were pretty much the same in this one. Bulls were outrebounded and outhustled to 50/50 balls. Washington continues to ooze points quickly, and in bunches. 6-0, 7-0, 9-0 runs. Both Wall and Beal seemed to score at will and Chicago again lost the lead in the 4th quarter. There was lousy execution in the final minutes by both teams (Snell giving up 3 FT’s to Wall with 4.7 left and Ariza’s errant pass to Wall in the waning seconds), but finally when the dust settled, the Bulls had 3 more points. Whew.

Other notes:

  • Trevor Booker emerged as an enforcer/goon for Washington with 5 fouls as he fouled both Jimmy and Noah pretty hard at the rim and with attitude
  • Nene (in one of the most unprovoked NBA altercations I’ve ever witnessed) decided to get up in Jimmy’s face who’s maybe 60 lbs. his jr. (why not Taj or Noah?). He got ejected for his efforts and subsequently suspended for today’s game 4. If Bulls manage to take the series, THIS immaturity and lack of experience is one of the reasons that Chicago was chosen over the Wizards to win, even though they have younger, more athletic and offensively talented players.
  • Bulls had the most turnovers in this game than the previous 2, a mind blowing 17 with the Wiz getting 26 pts. off those turnovers.
  • Game could have easily been lost at the line with the Bulls managing a pathetic 20-30 (67%).
Nenedumbass

This was COMPLETELY unnecessary. Why Nene?

EVERYONE seems to think that the Bulls will win this game with Nene out, but the Wizards know that they have a disadvantage down low without him, especially facing a team like the Bulls with such a talented front court. I predict that Wall and Beal will shoot even more from the perimeter, Gortat will look to get more touches and their role players may be inspired to produce even more. They are still at home and that crowd is everything the UC is not. Loud and amped for their team. Bulls also historically are not great playing this early in the day (Noon CST – ABC).

The Bulls have to control their turnovers, hopefully they can win the loose ball battle and my God, please get some second chances with some offensive rebounds. Gortat and Booker need to be boxed out in this area as these are the two players hurting us the most on the boards. Not Nene. It will help not to have his big body in the way though for real. Crossing my fingers that Noah can have a big game here. I’ll see you guys on the other side, Go Bulls!

–ct

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Bulls Season on the Line; Drop 2nd Game in OT to Wizards

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John Wall and Bradley Beal celebrate after defeating the Chicago Bulls in OT. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The series is all but over. The Bulls head to D.C., down 0-2 to a relentless Wizards team that again outplayed Chicago.

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Thibs played Jimmy Butler the entire game. (Regulation + OT)

The Bulls began the game in a hole as Washington rushed out to a 26-12 lead. They lead by as many as 17 pts, but the Bulls managed to claw their way back and even gained the lead in the 3rd and hung on for a while in the 4th (largest lead 10 pts).   The Wizards tied the game at 91 at the end of regulation and sent the game to OT. The Bulls could have rallied for a 2nd OT, but Kirk missed two critical FT’s with 0:02 left with the Wiz up 101-99.

The Bulls may win a game for pride’s sake, but I think unless there is a major strategic change made by the coaching staff, they are clearly overmatched offensively. That being said, both of these games were still winnable by Chicago. I never thought I’d say it, but Randy Whitmann vs. Thibs is the main matchup (aside from Nene’s effectiveness with no minutes restriction) that I miscalculated. I can understand Tom “dancing with the one that brought ya”, but to over-utilize players like this (especially Jimmy Butler) in the SAME manner that he did last season in that 2nd round matchup with the Heat is pretty ridiculous. At this point, he’s planning to use a player for the entire game and its unnecessary. Especially with a competent bench like Chicago. They are good enough to allow guys to catch their breath for a few tiny minutes, I mean c’mon.

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Freshly minted DPOY Joakim Noah exhales in the closing seconds of the OT loss (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

On to the next game. Bulls tip off in Washington on Friday evening at 7:00P.M.

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Joakim Noah Named Kia Defensive Player of the Year

Once I heard this morning that the Bulls planned a 4PM press conference, I was confident that Jo had officially been named DPOY for 2014. So well deserved. I’m super proud of Jo. He is creating quite a resume and will be one of the most memorable Bulls after its all said and done.

jodpoyrev

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Nene and Gortat Dominate Bulls as they Drop Game 1

Well so much for Nene being on a minutes restriction coming back from the knee sprain. The big man for the Washington Wizards played a mind blowing 35 minutes and dominated with 24 pts 8 rebs 3 asts 2 stls and a block. He pushed Noah around on the block (he took his lunch money is what he did) and got to the rim at will. Marcin Gortat also feasted on the Bulls inside netting 15 pts and 13 rebs.

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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Nene’s shot chart. 11-17 for 65% FG shooting

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Gortat’s shot chart. 6-10 for 60%. All around the rim.

Now understand, the Bulls have certainly been smacked in the mouth before and have gotten up off the mat and successfully fought back. Fans should also take comfort in the fact that what we saw tonight was certainly not a sustained effort on the offensive end. The ball stuck in D.J.’s hands (he also didn’t shoot the ball well, 3-15 effort from him), Noah seemed a tad distracted, Taj didn’t touch the ball enough and Kirk was preoccupied with the officiating. The Wizards OUTREBOUND the Bulls 45-39 (huh?) and Dunleavy played tight: 4-12 (or with the intensity he needed on defense), and got benched as a result. Bulls also took care of the basketball (8 turnovers) and kept the Wizards out of transition for the most part.

THESE are the only things that make me feel better about this loss. What makes me sick about the loss is that we could have still won this game with this subpar effort if the Bulls would have been able to score the basketball down the stretch. Bulls didn’t score from the opening of the 4th quarter til’ the 9:48 mark. You are just not going to be able to stop a team that long. Especially one that is potent scoring-wise as Washington.

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The stat that could potentially have Bulls fans pressing the panic button is that Wall and Beal both had quiet games (for them anyway). 16 and 13 pts. respectively… Wall got most of his points at the line as he was drawing fouls left and right. Beal just seemed a little tight, but that won’t last. He’s too good of a player.

We’ll see what happens next game. Bulls will figure things out. D.J. is really the unknown entity in my mind. I know what Taj, Kirk, Jimmy and Noah can do in postseason situations. D.J. seems a bit rattled so far to me and we really need his quickness, his ability to beat guys off the dribble and his pick and roll play. Much quicker decisions must be made by him on the perimeter. Its almost like he’s playing not to make mistakes and that’s just not good enough at this level.

 

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