Tag Archives: Joakim Noah

Remember Us? Don’t Count out the Chicago Bulls in 2012-2013

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Bulls have become an afterthought due to Derrick Rose’s injury, but with Tom Thibodeau (pictured above) running the show, don’t count Chicago out just yet.

By Wesley Kaminsky

In the wake of Dwight Howard going to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum going to the Sixers, and Joe Johnson going to the Nets, the 2012-2013 Chicago Bulls lie somewhere in the desert.

This is the team that had the best record in the NBA over the past two seasons and lost their superstar Derrick Rose to a torn ACL in the first round of the playoffs last season.

This is the team that was the biggest threat to Miami in the Eastern Conference before that injury.

Yeah, that team. Remember them? It seems like a lifetime ago in which they were championship contenders. Continue reading

Chicago Bulls Season in Review: A Once Promising Season Ends in Heartbreak and Despair

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andre Iguodala (pictured above) ended Chicago’s championship aspirations last night as he hit two huge free throws at the end of a great Game 6.

By Wesley Kaminsky

All was well.

The Chicago Bulls led 99-87 with under two minutes to go in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Derrick Rose appeared to have shaken off his rust from various injuries throughout the season. He was on his way to a triple-double, pouring in 23 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. The Bulls had dominated the Sixers and were healthy for the first time all season.

Then it happened. Rose was down holding his left knee.

It didn’t look good. The mood in the United Center had changed as everyone held their breath praying Rose would pop back up. Continue reading

Is this the Year the Chicago Bulls Return to Glory?

Photo courtesy of hdnux.com. Can Derrick Rose (pictured above) lead Chicago to a championship this year? Our very own Wesley Kaminsky certainly hopes so.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Lately, I’ve been daydreaming in my head. It’s a pleasant dream, in fact. I envision Derrick Rose nailing an 18-foot jump shot from the top of the key over the outstretched arms of LeBron James to send the Bulls to the NBA finals.

In this glorified shot, Rose shuts up all the doubters who say he is a choker, while not in any way eliminating the criticism of that James guy. LeBron I think is his first name.

In this shot, I can hear Mike Breen proclaiming his infamous “Puts it in” call with an exclamation point, as Derrick Rose shuts the door on the Miami Heat, getting revenge for last seasons heartbreak.

Rose does this in Chicago too. Screw it, in Game 7. This is only a dream, right? Why not make it the best it can be? I see Rose showing little emotion after the shot, rather just staring down the Miami Heat bench.

Cold-blooded. The Bulls are headed back to the finals and get a chance to go for championship number seven, against say, the San Antonio Spurs. My daydream hasn’t gotten that far to think about the NBA finals yet though. I’m still trying to soak in what just happened against the Heat.

Then, I wake up from my daze. Wow. I’m a loser. Continue reading

Bulls Rallying Through Injuries, Rose Hopes to Return Soon.

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. In order for Chicago to make a run at the championship this year, their star Derrick Rose (pictured above) will have to get healthy.

By Wesley Kaminsky

If there is one thing every person in the sports world  know about the Chicago Bulls, it’s that their championship hopes lie squarely on the shoulders of reigning MVP, Derrick Rose. After missing just six games throughout his first two seasons in the NBA, Rose has already missed eight games this season due to turf toe and back spasms. With his lingering back spasms, Rose went to see a back specialist on Monday, who revealed that there was no structural damage.

Rose went on to say, “This back pain should be behind me in a couple of days. I should be back out there in a couple days. I’m going to take my time and be smart.” Continue reading

“A Solid Matchup in the East”

Dwyane Wade (left) and Lebron James (right) have been lights out in the playoffs thus far. I fully expect Miami's dynamic tandem to give the Bulls fits and advance to the NBA Finals.

So the NBA Playoffs have not gone exactly as many projected.  The majority of people across the country had a Lakers/Celtics rematch penciled in for June.  Or they at least expected the NBA’s 2 most storied franchises to advance to their respective conference finals.  I will admit that I was one of those people.  Well I, along with many others was wrong. Continue reading

“Is It Championship or Bust for the Bulls?”

   

Derrick Rose (pictured above) put on another stellar performance last night in leading the Bulls to a huge victory over the Celtics. Is it now championship or bust in Chicago?

Wesley is a sports expert and journalist out of Philadelphia that writes for Bleacher Report.  You can check out all of his work at  http://bleacherreport.com/users/88810-wesley-kaminsky or follow his twitter @Wesley_Kaminsky

In the beginning of the NBA season I was excited, and looking forward to a fun Bulls season. It was the most excited I had been for a season in my whole life as a Bulls fan.

Did I think they would get the number one seed? No.

Did I think they could possibly come out of the Eastern Conference? Nope. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 3-1-11”

Back on February 12th, Jacob Pullen (pictured above) and Kansas State appeared on their way to missing the big Dance in March. 5 games later they are back in the picture and are one of the hottest teams in America.

There is so much going on in the wide world of sports.  You got the NFL Combine, the NFL CBA soap opera, and MLB Spring Training.  It is March now though, and you all know what that means.  It is time for some Hoops Mayhem!

Here are some of the main thoughts that have been running through my head today.

When the East Returns to Prominence, so do the Chicago Bulls

-When was the last time the Eastern Conference was as good as or better than the Western Conference?  Lets go back to Michael Jordan era in Chicago.  It has been well over 10 years.  Hard to believe how fast time flies by.  Well the Eastern Conference has arrived, and appears ready to stay on top.  With the East back on a level playing field with the West, wouldn’t you know that the Windy City would have a great team for the first time since the Jordan days.  Chicago has had 2 winning seasons since Jordan helped the city rip out Utah’s heart for a 2nd consecutive year (1998).  The most wins they have had in a season is 49 back in the 06-07 campaign.  Want to know how many wins they have this year?   

Try 41 with 24 games remaining.  And this team only appears to be getting stronger as they get healthier.  Former Chicago Bull’s star Scottie Pippen has been blowing up the Twitter world with his tweets as of late.  The gist of Pippen’s message is that the Bulls are a contender and that they have the ability to bring back the title to Chicago.  Most of America thought Chicago lost big this off season in the epic “Free Agency Bonanza.”  In actuality, they won big with the pickups of Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver.  Two pieces that may have completed the puzzle.

People do not realize that this Bull’s team has gone 18 games without their best big man, Carlos Boozer, and 30 games without Joakim Noah, one of the scrappiest players in the League.  Yet they are still 3rd overall in the East, and just one game behind a Miami team that they are 2 and 0 against.  I will admit that Boston is still my pick to represent the East in the NBA Finals.  But the Bulls were my sleeper pick for a reason.  They have something that none of the other Eastern Conference contenders have.  A point guard who can do it all.

Sure the Celtics have Rajon Rondo, who is an elite PG.  But Rondo simply cannot shoot from the perimeter.  Rose can do it all.  He can fly all over the court.  He has tremendous vision.  He can score at will both by driving and shooting the jump shot.  Plus he is a leader who has a knack for hitting the big shot.  A point guard who can penetrate and shoot like Rose is capable of is nearly unstoppable.

Chicago has the perfect formula for a championship contender.  They have one superstar in Derrick Rose.  An All Star caliber big in Carlos Boozer and a possible future All Star in Joakim Noah.  A sharpshooter in Kyle Korver.  And a great talent on both ends of the floor in Luol Deng.  Maybe we should ask King James what he thinks of Mr. Deng. Each player on this team seems to know their role. Lastly, their effort level is tremendous.  They are currently 2nd in the League in both overall defense and rebounding.  Who says that guys in the NBA do not try.  Well that does not seem to be a problem in the Windy City. They could be scary come April/May and dare I say June.

Greg Jennings Who?

I am sure many of you have seen the infamous Greg Jennings YouTube video where he puts the team on his back with a broken leg.  Well Jacob Pullen has been doing his best Greg Jennings impression as of late in the College Basketball arena.  He has literally put Kansas State on his back.  And now has them sitting pretty for a tournament bid.  A little over 2 weeks ago this was far from the story in Manhattan, Kansas.

Lets rewind back to February 12th.  On this date, Kansas State lost a heartbreaker to a mediocre Colorado team and sat at 16 and 9, with a conference record of 4 and 6.  They appeared on their way to arguably the most disappointing season of any College Basketball team in the country outside of Michigan State.  These guys were highly touted preseason (ranked #3).  They had made it all the way to the Elite 8 last year.  This was not supposed to be the case.  Then something happened.  Something magical. 

The senior, Jacob Pullen, decided to put the team on his back.  First the Wildcats put a whooping on in state rival, and the number 1 team in the country at the time, Kansas.  Then the rest was history.  Kansas State has now won 5 straight games.  3 of those wins were against top 25 teams and last night’s victory over #8 ranked Texas on the road was the icing on the cake.  During this 5 game stretch, Jacob Pullen is averaging 27.2 PPG and shooting a remarkable 59% from the floor.  Want to know what is even more amazing?  He is 16 of 27 from 3 point range in this 5 game stretch.  This is also 59%.

Pullen has epitomized what a senior leader should be over these past two weeks.  I do not foresee Kansas State making a run to the Final Four this year.  But I do feel they are capable of going a few rounds deep, which is far better than not dancing at all.  Pullen has put Kansas State on his back.  The real question is how far can he lead them? I will tell you this much, I would not bet against Pullen at the end of a close game.

Just some “Food for Thought.”

Let me hear your thoughts though.  Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at contact@thesportskraze.com.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“D. Rose is the Real Deal”

Derrick Rose (pictured above) is making a strong case for the League MVP Award. The 22-year-old can do it all and is definitely the real deal.

A few weeks ago, our very own Wesley Kaminsky wrote an article entitled,“The Hype is Real: How Derrick Rose Can win MVP” (https://sportskraze.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/the-hype-is-real-how-derrick-rose-can-win-mvp/) highlighting how D Rose is a definite MVP candidate.  And last night confirmed it.  This kid can do it all.  In the words of Greg Jennings, “He puts the team on his back.”

The Chicago Bulls are dangerous.  Forget all the noise about Melo or any other trade rumors.  It is extremely unnecessary.  All the talk in the East begins in Boston and ends in Miami (or vice versa).  The Bulls are just fine with that.  In a first half where they dealt with major injuries to Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, and others, they are still 22 games above 500 heading into the break.  They have won 4 straight games and are dangerous. 

I had the Bulls as my sleeper pick in the East in my NBA Preseason Preview back in October, but if I had known the Bulls were going to sustain injuries to stars Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, I would have had this team struggling to even be in the playoff picture.  I would have been wrong.  It all comes down to one guy.

Derrick Rose.

This guy has done it all in the first half.  25 points a night to go with over 8 assists.  The numbers don’t lie.  But the stats do not possibly demonstrate all that this guy does on a given night. 

Ever seen lightning strike? If you live in Chicago you see it every night.

The kid flat-out flies around the court.  Watching him get up and down the floor is a thing of pure beauty.  The point guard is arguably the most important position on the floor at any level of organized basketball.  Your PG is your general.  Your floor leader.  And a point guard who can penetrate, shoot from the perimeter, and dish out dimes is impossible to defend.  Derrick Rose has become nearly impossible to stop.

Just ask San Antonio about the joys of playing defense against Mr. Rose.  The 22-year-old went off.  42 points, 8 assists, and just 1 turnover.  Rose made it look easy against the team that sports the best record in the League.  Now is Derrick the MVP of the first half of the season?

There is definitely an argument.  Most of the other candidates are members of teams that have other stars.  Lebron and D Wade have each other in MIA.  Durant has Westbrook in Oklahoma City.  Kobe has Pau in Los Angeles.  And I could go on.

It will be an intriguing 2nd half in regards to the NBA MVP award.  All I know is that Chicago is a team to be reckoned with and Derrick Rose is without question the real deal.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“The Hype is Real: How Derrick Rose Can Win MVP”

 

Can Chicago Bull's star point guard Derrick Rose (pictured above) bring home the MVP? Our very own Wesley Kaminsky thinks so.

Wesley is a sports expert and journalist out of Philadelphia that writes for Bleacher Report.  You can check out all of his work at  http://bleacherreport.com/users/88810-wesley-kaminsky or follow his twitter @Wesley_Kaminsky

When Derrick Rose posed the question “Why can’t I be MVP?” on day one of Chicago Bulls media day, not many people took him seriously. Rose, the young, humble superstar doesn’t talk much in the press, and when he says something you should believe him. Continue reading

“MVP of Christmas Day?”

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant (pictured above), wowed a national audience today with a 44 point performance. Is this guy in the same elite class as Kobe Bryant and Lebron James?

Christmas is always one of the most special days of the year.  A day of giving.  A day of reflection.  A day of family time.  But it is also always a day of big time NBA basketball.  And this year had the makings of being one of the all time greatest Christmas Days of NBA Action.  So the games did not exactly pan out to be as close and exciting as expected.  There were some big time performances though.

Some of the League’s main MVP candidates put their talents on display for the whole world to see.  In the early game, the Knicks sported their traditional “festive (green)” Christmas jerseys.  They put on a show and brought home a victory for the jam-packed Madison Square Garden crowd.  Two of the League’s top MVP candidates took part in this one. 

Derrick Rose

Rose almost willed his “Noahless” team to victory by filling up the stat sheet.  He had 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists.  It was quite the performance.  Sadly though, he put up 28 shots and committed 7 turnovers.  It was an impressive performance.  And the 22-year-old out of Memphis continues to wow me with his improvement each time I see him.  But I give him a C+ on the day.  This is due to the fact that not only did his team lose, but he committed nearly as many turnovers as assists, and he shot well below 50 percent from the floor.

Amare Stoudemire

This guy is definitely in the discussion to take home the MVP hardware at this point in the season.  He is absolutely lighting up the stat sheet.  Today was no different as he put up yet another double/double.  20 points to go with 10 boards and a Knick’s victory is a solid day.  He did not exactly wow the crowd with his lowest scoring effort in some time, but he did do enough to lead his team to another victory.  I give him a B on the day.  An above average performance, but no wow factor.

Game two was a very hotly anticipated matchup.  It pitted two teams that have duked it out for the East the past couple of years.  Though neither of these teams have a sure-fire MVP candidate, they demonstrate the importance of team basketball as well as anybody.

Kevin Garnett

KG is not the force that we all once knew.  The guy can still play defense as well as any guy in the League though, and today he showed some of his old school offensive prowess.  Garnett shot a very efficient 10 of 14 from the floor and finished with 22 points.  7 above his regular season average.  I give the guy a B+ for the day’s work.  He played above average, but his team lost for the first time in 14 games.

Brandon Bass

How many of you had heard of this guy before today’s game?  If you were not a Magic fan, you probably had no idea who this kid out of LSU was.  Boy did he show up to play today.  Bass shot 8 of 15 from the floor and finished with 21 points to go with 9 boards.  Bass averages just 11 points and 5 boards a game.  This kid had the best game of his career.  He was a main reason why Orlando picked up their biggest victory of the season.  I give the kid an A for the day.

Game 3 was the most anticipated game of the entire season thus far in my eyes.  All of the talk around the NBA has centered on the Miami Heat since July.  The Lakers are the two-time defending champs yet nobody has been talking about them.  This matchup featured the likes of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh, and Lamar Odom.  Sadly, this game was way overhyped.  LA forgot that they had a basketball game today.  They did the same thing last Christmas in a showdown with Cleveland.  Did it affect the final outcome?

Lebron James

I will admit that I am not the biggest fan of the “King.”  But the guy really played an outstanding game today.  Plus he kept his composure while a pesky Ron Artest did everything he could to throw him off.  James went 8 of 14 from the floor and shot an amazing 5 of 6 from 3 point range.  Who says LBJ cannot shoot from the perimeter?  Plus James ended up with the first triple/double every recorded on Christmas Day. Nobody can fill the full stat sheet like the King.  27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and 4 steals.  Give me a break.  Plus his team won on the road by 16.  I give the guy an A+.

Kobe Bryant

It is very hard to choose a most valuable player for LA on this day.  Nobody brought their A game, much less their B game.  But Kobe has been the rock of this franchise for some time now.  And he did have the best numbers on the day.  Bryant finished with 17 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds.  He really never got a rhythm going though.  Could it have been Miami’s outstanding defensive effort?  Could it have been the lack of production from his supporting cast?  Whatever it was, I give Kobe a D- on the day.  Do not take this game as an indicator of things to come though.  The Lakers know how to win when they need to.  Today was an off day.  It also could serve as a wake up call.

The 4th game of the day was another big time matchup.  A Nuggets team that has been around the block versus a young and very talented Oklahoma City Thunder team.  Plus this was probably the last Christmas that fans would get to watch Carmelo in a Nuggets uniform.  Sadly, Carmelo did not play.

Chauncey Billups

This guy has been one of the best big game players in the NBA for over a decade now.  He just always comes to play when he is put on the big stage.  Well today was no different.  The former Piston’s star finished with 30 points, on 10 of 16 shooting.  Plus he was a perfect 7 of 7 from the charity stripe.  The guy did everything in his power to give his injury riddled team a chance to win.  It just was not in the cards tonight.  I will give him a B+.

Kevin Durant

This guy may be the best player in the NBA now.  After watching Kobe, Lebron, and Kevin Durant today, it is hard to not consider this guy in the same elite class.  The guy has become the face of this franchise that is all the sudden looking like a contender.  44 points on 14 of 20 shooting?  Absolutely outrageous.  This guy is leading the League in scoring for a reason.  He is the leader of the most exciting team to watch in the NBA.  Today he just continued to do what he has been doing all year.  I give the guy an A+.

Recap

To conclude my thoughts on the first 4 games today, Kevin Durant is my MVP.  With Lebron James in a very close second.  If you have not gotten to watch Durant play a full game this year, tune in next time they are on national television.  He has hit that elite level and is a joy to watch.  Lastly, I will state that the Heat put on the best overall team performance this afternoon.  I know that the Magic’s win over Boston was huge, but they did not exude dominance the way that the South Beach boys did.  Miami looked awesome.  And believe me, ABC Sports Analyst Jeff Van Gundy will make sure you know it.  This guy hated the Heat 10 years ago.  What happened?  LA will be fine though.  They will work out the kinks just like they have in past years.  I still have the Lakers winning the title.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze