Neil Funk and Stacey King bring you behind-the-scenes insight and commentary on WGN's Chicago Bulls "BullsEye" blog. Also check out video of player interviews, photo galleries, and unique Bulls statistics from STATS, Inc.

January 2010 Archives

Game Notes For Friday @ New Orleans

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stats inc.jpg* The Bulls have won three in a row and six of their last eight games against the Hornets.

* Chicago has won four in a row, all on the road, and eight of its last 10 ballgames.

* The Hornets have won eight of their last nine home games, as well as 14 of their last 16.

* In his last eight games, Chris Paul has averaged 24.5 points and 10.9 assists. He has recorded at least nine assists in 17 straight games.

* David West has averaged just 11.1 points in 10 career games versus the Bulls; only the Hawks have held him to a lower career scoring average (9.9 ppg).

* Over his last seven games, Derrick Rose has averaged 26.3 points, 5.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds while making 51.6 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Game Notes For Wednesday @ OKC

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stats inc.jpg* The Thunder won the first meeting between these teams this season, 98-85 on January 4, with Russell Westbrook leading all scorers with 29 points.

* The Bulls have won each of their last three road games and will be looking to win four in a row away from home in a single season for the first time since a six-game run from March 26-April 17, 2006.

* Oklahoma City will be looking to avoid losing three in a row for the third time this season.

* Kevin Durant is averaging 32.8 points over his last nine games overall and 35.3 points in his last four at home. Durant has scored at least 25 points in each of his last three games against Chicago.

* Derrick Rose is averaging 26.3 points and shooting 60.3 percent from the field during the Bulls' current three-game win streak. Rose led the team with 19 points in the first meeting between these teams this season.
* Chicago has scored at least 100 points in two of its last three games and is 9-2 on the season when hitting the century mark.

Game Notes For Monday @ San Antone

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stats inc.jpg* The Bulls won the first meeting between these teams this season, 92-85 on Oct. 29 in Chicago. San Antonio has won nine of its last 10 home games against the Bulls, losing only in Nov. 2005.

* The Spurs have lost four of their last five games overall, shooting a combined 40.7 percent in those contests. They were shooting 48.8 percent for the season entering this stretch.

* The Bulls have won back-to-back road games for the first time all season, defeating the Suns and Rockets (both teams with winning records) on Friday and Saturday.

* Derrick Rose is averaging 26.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 5.0 rebounds over his last five games.

* DeJuan Blair (6.5) and Taj Gibson (6.3) rank 1-2 in the NBA in rebounds per game among rookies (minimum 30 games).

* Tim Duncan has averaged 21.8 points and 12.6 rebounds over his last 10 games against Chicago, shooting 56.9 percent from the field.

Welcome To Texas

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The Bulls west coast trip makes it's way through Texas for the next two games. The first stop is tonight in Houston. Following last night's big win in Phoenix the team arrived in Houston in the wee hours of the morning. Derrick Rose has been on fire in the last week or so, giving the Bulls the spark they needed last night to defeat the Suns. Rose led the squad with his 32 points. He has scored 30+ points in two of the last four games. It looks like all of the early problems have been solved and Rose is returning to the form we saw in the playoffs last season.  It will be interesting to see how the Bulls come out early after their long Friday night. The Bulls continue their trip Monday night in San Antonio, followed by Wednesday       in Oklahoma City and finishing Friday in New Orleans. Watch Tonight on WGN at 7pm for BullsEye.

-Stacey

Game Notes For Wednesday @ Clippers

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* Chicago will be looking to extend its current win streak against the Clippers to four games. These teams will be meeting for the first time this season. 

* The Clippers have won seven of their last eight home games, holding their opponents to just 92.5 points per game in those contests.

* The Bulls are just 4-14 on the road this season while averaging just 92.4 points per game - the fourth-lowest road scoring offense in the league.

* Joakim Noah is averaging the second-most rebounds per game in the NBA this season (12.3) and has grabbed a total of 31 boards in his last two games.

* Marcus Camby is averaging the third-most rebounds per game in the league this season (11.6) and has grabbed at least 20 boards in two of his last four games against Chicago.

* The Clippers have shot at least 55 percent from the field in each of their last two games and are 10-4 on the season when shooting at least 50 percent. 

Please Help!

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Please make a donation to help the people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake. Join the Bulls by texting  "HAITI" to "90999" for a $10 donation to the Red Cross or visit www.unicefusa.org/haitiquake or calling 1-800-4unicef.  Thanks for your help!

-Stacey
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Game Notes For Monday @ Golden State

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stats inc.jpg* The Bulls have won their last four meetings with Golden State, including a 96-91 overtime victory on Dec. 11 in Chicago.

* Chicago has won four straight games overall, matching its season-long win streak. That stretch includes three double-digit victories and Friday's 121-119 double-overtime defeat of the Wizards

* Golden State ranks last in the NBA in points per game allowed (112.0) and opponent field-goal percentage (.492).

* Monta Ellis averages 26.1 points per game, ranking sixth in the NBA. That would be the highest scoring average by a Warrior since Chris Mullin averaged 26.5 in the 1988-89 season.

* Corey Maggette has scored at least 20 points in eight straight games, the third-longest active streak in the NBA (Kevin Durant, OKC - 14 games; LeBron James, Cle - 9).

* Joakim Noah ranks second in the NBA with 12.2 rebounds per game, after averaging 6.6 per game for his career entering the season.

Critical Trip Out West

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The next 7 games are a critical part of the season for the Bulls.   I think this next road trip will determine how far the Bulls go to stay in play-off contention and how far they will go in improving their position in the play-off standings.

Now, what does that mean?   Do they have to win 3 games or 4 games...I don't know, but this has to be a positive trip.   That does not mean playing well, but coming away with losses.   The Bulls have to prove they can win on the road.

Last season, the Bulls got a bump at the trading deadline when they acquired Brad Miller and John Salmons.   They don't need that kind of bump this season.    Their bump this year will be this road trip and a successful trip will be just that bump.

                                                           -Neil Funk

 

Bulls vs Wizards

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The Bulls come back to the United Center tonight after a huge road win in Boston. Chicago  shot 45% from the field and pretty much dominated the Celtics in every aspect of the game. Last night showed that when they can play with energy and defensive intensity they can match up with anybody. Over the last few games the Bulls have played with much more confidence resulting in wins. This is a huge game tonight vs a struggling Washington team that is without their leading scorer, Gilbert Arenas. The absence of Arenas has been a huge off-court distraction to the Wizards. Antwan Jamison is still a big time player as is Caron Butler. They are both All-Stars. The Bulls will have their hands full with those two guys.

Following last night's big win you have to hope that there won't be any let downs tonight. This game is the last home game until February making it's results huge. The fourteen day west coast trip will be a grind for this team so they have to focus on tonight. With a win tonight you build up the momentum that will propel you to Golden State with four straight wins.  If the Bulls continue to play hard they have a realistic shot at forty plus wins and a position to be in the playoffs.

For all of our Chicago viewers watch tonight's game on WCIU (Channel 26) at 7pm. I also look forward to reading your comments and questions.

-Stacey  King

Stacey King answers your questions Bulls Fans!!!

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Hey Bulls fans thanks for all the comments and questions to my blog.  Each week I'll try to answer as many questions and comments as I can and here is this weeks entries.

First question is from Big Crazy who writes...

Stacey,

How come Neil always hates on ur blog? Everytime you bring up ur blog during a game, Neil always gives you beef. Blog on, good sir...

-Big Crazy


Big Crazy,

One word....HATER....I think he's mad because I actually answer all my blog questions and he doesn't know how to...LOL. SK


Kevin Sliwa on Joakim making the NBA All star team.

I think he deserves it, however, like Neil said, I think he will only make it because of an injury to someone on the team.


Kevin,

Let us not forget this is only Noah's 3rd season and we're talking about him being an All Star.  It's been 12 years since the Bulls had a legitimate All Star and that was the 1997-98 championship season.  Derrick Rose and Noah will one day be representing the Chicago Bulls in an All Star game you can mark that one down..... Thanks for the question and Go Bulls!! SK


Keith McGhee on Joakim making this years All Star team:

I think Noah is having a great season so far i think he should be a all-star at least a reserve. That just my thought.

Keith-

I totally agree with you 100 percent...If he doesn't make this years All Star team he should win the NBA most improved player award hands down. Thanks for your question and keep them coming. SK


Next question comes from Katelyn:

Hey Stacey! How old is Neil? My mom is 54 and she understands all this technology stuff. :)

Noah is All-Star material. The team just doesn't seem to play the same without his energy. Anyway, who else would tell Lebron James to stop dancing? It's nice to see his hard work and determination pay off. Go Joakim!


Katelyn-

My man Neil is ageless.....To be honest he is a bigger text fiend then I am...I just like messing with him. To answer your question Noah is a All Star and though he might not make it this year I do expect him to get the NBA most improved player award.

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 Thanks for the question and tell your mom I said hello...Also tell her to email Neil and explain how to use some of these new technology she is using..LOL... SK


Ok Bulls fans thanks again and if you've written to me on my blog I promise to answer each and every question.  Take care and Go Bulls!!!!!!



Game Notes For Thursday @ Boston

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stats inc.jpg* The Celtics have won eight of their last nine regular season games against the Bulls. Boston has won each of the two meetings between the clubs this season, outscoring the Bulls 112.0 to 85.0 in those contests.

* After opening the season 23-5, the Celtics have now lost five of their last nine games. Boston defeated the Nets, 111-87 last night and is 4-3 in the second of back-to-back games this season.

* The Bulls have lost two in a row and 10 of their last 11 road games. They are just 3-13 overall away from home on the season. 

* Rajon Rondo has scored 20+ points in five of his last eight games after hitting the 20-point mark just once in his first 28 games of the season. Rondo has scored 20 just once in 12 career games against the Bulls.

* Joakim Noah has a team-leading 18 double-doubles this season and is the league's second-leading rebounder, averaging 12.2 rebounds per game. Noah has grabbed at least 18 boards in three of his last four road games.

* Chicago has the fourth-lowest scoring offense in the league this season (93.6) and has hit the century mark just eight times all season (6-2 record when doing so).

Stacey King answers your questions Bulls Fans!!!

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Stacey King.jpgDale asked me "who should have the ball for the Bulls at the end of the game?" after the Bulls lost at Charlotte last week.  You know my answer to this question and it's simply 2 words....Derrick Rose. He is the one player on the Bulls roster that forces teams to account for on defense. He can put pressure on their defense with his ability to get to the paint and get to the line but it also forces defenses to collapse which leaves wide open shots for the Bulls open shooters. Hope that answered your question.

Mary wrote in to tell me her grandmother was a big Bulls fans and watches us. Mary, my prayers and thoughts go out to your Grandmother. Let her know that I said hello and wish her a full recovery. Tell her to keep watching her Bulls and hopefully we can win some games for her. God bless and Happy New Year.

Steve asked what I thought Taj Gibson's future was in the league.  Taj is going to be in this league for a lot of years. He is solid and dependable and a hard worker and he brings it every single night and this is just his rookie year. Is he an All Star type player? Who knows the answer to this question but if I was to compare him to one player in the NBA it would be Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat. If you're building a championship caliber team you need a player like Gibson because he brings toughness and the willingness to do the little things that go unnoticed by fans but are appreciated by coaches. Hope that answered your question.

Keep those questions coming! Thanks.

Stacey

 

 

Bulls Whip Pistons at UC

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Is This The Year For an All-Star?

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Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose are both having All-Star calibre seasons for the Bulls, but whether they get on the team in Dallas is another story.   It's unlikely either will get voted onto the Eastern Conference squad, but one or the other might get selected by the coaches or the league could appoint one or the other depending on injuries.

Derrick Rose has played at an All-Star level for the last month or so.   He was hampered early in the season, but once his ankle completely healed, Derrick has really turned it on.

Joakim Noah's improvement this season is well-documented and he is certainly worthy of All-Star consideration.

                                                                             -Neil Funk

Stacey King - Noah Should Be An All-Star

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Do you think Joakim Noah should make the All-Star team? My personal opinion is yes! He has put a very good season together, coming off of his great playoff performance vs Boston. That series has catapulted him to where he is this season. He has been the Bulls most consistent player all season long. Every night he has a shot at a double-double, His defense has improved as has his low post offense. He has my vote for the team, That is if I did have a vote. He has improved in every aspect of his game. Points, rebounds, blocked shots, field goal shooting every area of his game has improved. All of theses factors point to him being named the league's most improved player. He should win that prize hands down. I don't know of any player that has made that drastic of an improvement in such a short time. One of the knocks on Joakim Noah, in his first two seasons, was that he showed up at the start of the season hurt or not in the best of shape. This season he showed up in shape and is putting together a solid season. If he continues to play like he has this season he has a chance to make many All-star games.

Send me your comments and watch the Bulls tonight at 7pm on WCIU (Channel 26). 

Game Notes For Monday vs. Pistons

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stats inc.jpg* The Bulls have won five in a row overall against Detroit and seven in a row at home against them. The Pistons' last win in Chicago was back in February of 2006.  

* The Pistons have dropped 12 games in a row which is their longest slide since losing 13 straight games to end the 1993-94 campaign.

* The Bulls snapped their three-game losing streak with a 110-96 home win over the Timberwolves on Saturday. Twelve of Chicago's 15 wins this season have come at home.

* Joakim Noah is averaging the second-most rebounds per game in the NBA this season (12.2) and has grabbed a total of 35 boards in his two meetings with Detroit this season.

* With 10,137 points as a Piston, Richard Hamilton is 10 shy of becoming Detroit's sixth all-time leading scorer. Hamilton has scored at least 20 points in each of his last two road games.

* Detroit has the second-lowest scoring average in the league this season (91.6) while Chicago is the fourth-lowest scoring team (92.8).  

Random Thoughts

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You may have noticed the Bulls haven't gone very deep into their bench lately, especially since the return of Tyrus Thomas from injury.   It's not that Vinny Del Negro wouldn't like to...it's more that he has settled into a rotation and substitution pattern that he and the players are comfortable with.   Hinrich, Thomas and Salmons can all play multiple positions, therefore even though Vinny is only using 9 players, it's really as though he is using 10 or 11.   The Bulls have some versatile guys and that keeps the end of the roster off the floor.

You also may have noticed that the Bulls won 4 in a row after Kirk and Taj became starters about 10 days ago.   I don't think there was any cause and effect to that.   A lot of people make a big distinction between starting and coming off the bench, but, as the old adage goes "It's not whether you start the game, it's whether you finish the game."   The Bulls have been getting off to good starts in games - even the 3 they have lost recently - and  I think Tyrus will continue to come in off the bench because of the energy he brings to the 2nd unit.

                                                                                 -Neil Funk

Stacey King

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Thumbnail image for Stacey King.jpgGood evening from the United Center where the Bulls will face the Timberwolves on WGN. I just wanted to say thanks to all of the people who have left comments during the past few weeks. Tonight I want to let the fans tell me what is on their minds. Leave a comment or a question in the box below so I can see what you  Bulls fans are thinking out there.

BULLS UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

Monday vs Detroit  (7pm on WCIU)
Thursday at Boston
Friday vs Washington (7pm on WCIU)
January 18th at Golden State (3:00pm on WGN)
January 20th at Los Angeles Clippers (9:30pm  on WGN)
January 22nd at Phoenix
January 23rd at Houston (7:00pm BullsEye on WGN America)
January 25th at San Antonio
January 27th at Oklahoma City
January 29th at New Orleans

Game Notes For Friday @ Milwaukee

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stats inc.jpg* Chicago has won seven of their last nine games against the Bucks, and 11 of the last 14.

* The Bulls have a .611 win percentage at home this season, but just a .200 win percentage on the road. That is the third-largest home/road split in the league.

* The Bucks have made less than 40 percent of their shots in four of their last six contests.

* Since December 1, Derrick Rose has averaged 21.1 ppg and 6.3 apg.

* Since being benched six games ago, John Salmons is averaging 12.3 ppg on .481 shooting, .550 from behind the three-point arc. As a starter, he had averaged 13.4 ppg on .382 shooting, .316 from behind the arc.

* Andrew Bogut is shooting .599 in Milwaukee's wins this season, but just .409 in losses. That .190 win/loss difference is the largest in the league (min. 8 FGA/team game).

Game Notes For Tuesday @ Charlotte

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stats inc.jpg* Chicago won the first meeting between these clubs this season, 93-90. However, the Bulls have lost each of their last two trips to Charlotte.

* Charlotte has won eight of its last 10 home games, including two in a row. The Bobcats are 11-4 overall at home on the season.

* The Bulls saw their four-game winning streak come to an end in a 98-85 loss to the Thunder on Monday. Chicago is 0-6 in the second of back-to-back games this season.

* Stephen Jackson is averaging 29.0 points over his last three games. Jackson is averaging 19.8 points in his career against the Bulls which is the highest scoring average in his career against any opponent.

* The Bulls have the third-lowest overall scoring offense in the NBA this season (91.8) and have been held to 87 points or less in three of their last four road games.

* The Bobcats own the best scoring defense in the league this season, limiting their opponents to just 92.5 points per game.

Thunder Stops Bulls

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Game Notes For Monday vs. Thunder

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stats inc.jpg* These teams will be meeting for the first time this season. The clubs split their two meetings last season with each team winning once on the road.

* The Bulls have won a season-high four straight games, including three in a row at home. Chicago has the third-lowest scoring averaging in the league this season (92.0 ppg), however, they are averaging 101.0 points over the last three games.

* The Thunder had their five-game win streak snapped with a 103-97 overtime loss to Milwaukee on Saturday.

* Kevin Durant has scored at least 30 points in each of his last seven games, averaging 33.6 points and shooting 56.8 percent from the field in that span. Durant has scored exactly 28 points in his last two games against Chicago.

* Derrick Rose is averaging 25.1 points over his last seven games and has scored 20+ points in each of his last three contests. Rose scored 25 points in his last meeting with Oklahoma City.

* Russell Westbrook has posted three double-doubles in his last four games after recording just one in his previous 20 contests. 

Bulls Happy To Be On A Win Streak

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Bulls Need To Keep The Momentum - Stacey King

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Thumbnail image for Stacey King.jpgThe Bulls have won five of their last seven games and have been playing much better. They have a favorable schedule before embarking on the second west coast trip of the season. Seven games remain before the Bulls head west. Five of those seven opponents are under .500. It is imperative that they win all five of the games vs the lesser opponents. The Bulls do have to face Oklahoma City and the best team in the East, Boston, on the road. Oklahoma City has turned it around and they are playing really good ball. Boston is facing a rash of injuries at this time. But they are still the Celtics. There can't be any hiccups. If they do win five of the next seven games it puts them in a position to move up in the standings. It is imperative to win the games you are supposed to because the West Coast has not been kind to the Bulls.

Tyrus Thomas has played great in his three games since returning from injury, all Bulls wins. Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose have been terrific. If Noah has an eighteen to twenty rebound game tonight  vs Orlando that could open the door for an all-star appearance being picked by the coaches. Joakim has been a beast on the boards, where he ranks second in the league.
The entire team is starting to play with confidence. John Salmons is getting his touch back. Kirk Hinrich has been great as a starter. Brad Miller is starting to find his shot. The team is starting to get healthy. Everybody is back and healthy so there are no more excuses.

It will be interesting to see how they close out the season. As I mentioned in my previous blog, all the games down the stretch will have a playoff atmosphere and the Bulls need to play consistent basketball.There must be a concerted  effort by the entire team to stay focused and play hard. The Eastern Conference is not that great this season. Even after some shaky play the Bulls find themselves sitting in the seventh spot in the Conference. The thought of making the playoffs, after the start they had, is remarkable accomplishment.  The tone has changed from who are they gonna trade or who is going to get fired to actually playing sound hoops. If they can beat the teams they are supposed to beat they will make the playoffs.

Thanks for reading and all comments are welcome. Be sure to watch The Bulls Battle the Orlando Magic tonight at 7pm ct on WGN and WGN America.