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.

December 2010 Archives

Rose Leads Bulls Past Nets

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Bulls Game Notes For Friday vs. Nets

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* The Nets and Bulls have alternated wins and losses over their last six meetings, ending with the Nets' 127-116 victory in New Jersey last April 9.

* The Nets have lost three straight games, with each of those losses coming by at least 14 points.  New Jersey is 0-10 in road games against teams currently at or above .500.
* Chicago has won 11 of its last 13 games and is 15-1 on the season against teams currently below .500.
* Carlos Boozer is averaging 26.0 points and 11.8 rebounds over his last eight games, scoring at least 20 points in seven of those contests.
* Brook Lopez has scored at least 15 points in 11 straight games, averaging 20.4 points in those contests. Lopez has reached double figures in rebounds just twice in 32 games this season after doing so 34 times in 2009-10.
* Derrick Rose had 12 assists in Chicago's win over the Bucks on Tuesday, his eighth game with 10 or more assists this season. Rose has either scored or assisted on 44.9 percent of the Bull's baskets in 2010-11, the second-highest percentage of any player this season.

Bulls Notes For Tuesday vs. Bucks

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* The Bucks have won each of their last three games overall against the Bulls. However, they have dropped eight of their last nine trips to Chicago.

* Milwaukee has won each of its last two road games after winning just three of its first 13 away from home to open the season.

* The Bulls have won six of their last seven home games, outscoring their opponents 104.4 to 88.7 in those contests.

* Carlos Boozer is averaging 26.3 points and 12.1 rebounds in his last seven games and has posted a double-double in each of his last four contests. Boozer has a double-double in each of his last seven games against the Bucks.

* Andrew Bogut is averaging 21.7 points and 13.7 rebounds in his last three games against Chicago. Bogut is averaging an NBA-leading 2.8 blocks per game this season.

* The Bucks are shooting an NBA-worst 41.4 percent from the field this season and have the lowest scoring average in the league (90.8 ppg).

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas to all of my "Peeps" out there reading my Blog. The Bulls are playing their first Christmas Day game since 1997. There is something to be said about playing on Christmas, especially at "The Garden".This will be the fifth time the Knicks and the Bulls have faced each other on December 25th. The series is tied at 2 wins on each side. The Bulls are playing some of the best basketball of the season right now. Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose are having a great December. The time is right for the Bulls to stretch their lead in the central division. Today's opponent, the Knicks, have made some great improvements by adding Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton. The Bulls at the Knicks today at 11am on WGN.

Game Notes For Christmas @ NY

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* The Knicks defeated the Bulls in Chicago on November 4, 120-112, giving the road team two consecutive wins in this series after the home club had taken the previous six matchups.

* The Bulls have won nine of their last 10 games overall, and they have a three-game road winning streak.

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* New York broke a three-game losing streak with a 112-98 win over Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Since November 17, the Knicks are 14-4 (.778), which is the fourth-best record in the league.

* Amar'e Stoudemire has scored 20+ points in 14 straight games, which is the longest active streak in the NBA.

* The Bulls are 9-3 and have allowed opponents to score 90.7 points per game when Carlos Boozer has played for them; when he was out, they went 9-6 and gave up 98.5 ppg.

* In his last four games against the Knicks, Derrick Rose has averaged 26.5 points and 7.5 assists per game and has made 58.7 percent (44-for-75) oh is field goal tries.

The Christmas Trip

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This road that the Bulls are currently playing is unique in that not only do they have a game on Christmas Day, but they play the day after as well.   It's a difficult trip because of the time of year that it occurs.   Obviously, the players will miss the time away from their families, but they know that it's part of the job. 

The Christmas game is especially intriguing because the Bulls are playing the Knicks in probably the first meaningful game since the end of the Bulls dynasty.   Both teams were at their peak during the 90s and altho the Knicks had some good playoffs teams after the Bulls run ended, the Bulls were down and then when the Bulls returned to the play-offs, the Knicks were down.   So going into the Christmas Day game, both the Bulls and Knicks would be in the play-offs and could even be first-round opponents.

So, it's good to see two of the league's biggest markets playing meaningful games against one another.

Game Notes For Wednesday @ Wizards

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* The Bulls have won eight of their last nine games, and have won their last five games by an average of 22.2 points. Chicago has feasted on below-.500 teams this season, going 12-1 (second-best in the NBA) and outscoring those teams by 14.5 points per game.

* The Bulls have shot 46.9% from the three-point line over their last six games. The Bulls are ninth in the NBA in three-point percentage, after finishing 28th in the NBA last season.

* Over his last three games, Carlos Boozer has shot 65.3% from the field and averaged 25.0 points per game. Boozer was +37 against the 76ers yesterday, tying a career high.

* The Wizards have lost four of their last five games against the Bulls, though all five games have been decided by eight points or less, including a loss in double-overtime.

* The Wizards' 33-point win over Charlotte on Monday broke a seven-game losing streak. It was the Wizards' largest margin of victory since they won by 41 over the Supersonics on November 11, 2005.

* Nick Young is averaging over 20 points a game since missing a game with a bruised thigh on December 3. Young is +18 over the Wizards' last eight games despite Washington's 1-7 record.

Bulls Game Notes For Tuesday vs. Sixers

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* Chicago has won four of their last five games against the Sixers, with three of their victories coming by at least 14 points.

* The Bulls have won seven consecutive games when holding their opponents below 100 points.

* The Sixers have won eight of their last 11 games, after winning just eight of their previous 42 games.

* The Sixers are averaging an NBA-low 10.9 turnovers since November 27.

* Elton Brand has scored a total of just nine points over his last two games against the team that drafted him with the first overall pick in 1999.

* Derrick Rose has hit at least three 3-pointers in six of his last eight games. In fact, his 22 3-pointers over his last eight games are six more than he hit in each of his first two NBA seasons.

Noah On Thumb Surgery

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Noah's Out

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Obviously, the news of Joakim Noah's surgery was a blow to the Bulls, but as we saw at the start of the season, the team survived the loss of Carlos Boozer...and similarly, the Bulls have enough to survive the 10 weeks without Noah.   The loss hurts them, no doubt, but he will back for the stretch drive for the play-offs.  

Coach Tom Thibodeau has indicated that Taj Gibson will get the bulk of the starts.   Tom prefers to make the other teams match up to him, but there will be some opponents when Tom feels it will be better to match up to the opponent's line-up and in those cases, Omer Asik and Kurt Thomas will get some starts.

The Bulls will miss Joakim's energy.  I believe that is his biggest asset that he brings to the team.   When opposing centers have to chase him around and run after him from one end of the court to the other, that really wears out the other guy and that will be missed.

 

                                                     -Neil Funk

Life Without Joakim

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Thumbnail image for Stacey King.jpgWelcome to Tonight's blog. Watch The Bulls face Vinny Del Negro and the Los Angeles Clippers Tonight at 7pm on WGN (Chicago viewers). 10 Weeks. 32 Games. 2 1/2 Months. That is how long the Bulls will be without their starting center. This team can compete without Noah in the lineup. I would even guess that they have a chance of winning 20+ games minus Joakim. He is having a sensational season, leading the team in rebounds and 2nd in steals. He is the energy on this team and that will be missed. Taj Gibson is going to get extra minutes. Don't be stunned if you see Kurt Thomas getting extra playing time. Carlos Boozer will give you 20 & 10 every game and Derrick Rose has to be Derrick Rose. So relax out there my fellow bloggers the Bulls will be fine!

 

Happy Holidays

-SK

Bulls Game Notes For Saturday vs. Clippers

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* The Clippers have won two straight over the Bulls, as well as 13 of the last 18 dating back to the 2001-02 season.

* Chicago has held its opponent below 100 points in six straight games. Entering this weekend, that was tied for the second-longest active streak in the league (Miami - 10).

* Carlos Boozer went 13/17 from the floor in pouring in 34 points against Toronto on Wednesday, throwing in 12 rebounds as well - all in just 26 minutes of action. He is the fourth player this season to have a 30/10 game while shooting 75+ percent from the field, but the only one to do so in less than 39 minutes of playing time.

* Joakim Noah is expected to miss the next 8-10 weeks following surgery on his right thumb. Noah is leading the Bulls in rebounding (11.7), blocks (1.6) and double-doubles (15). Chicago has lost the last 10 games in which Noah didn't play.

Bulls Game Notes For Wednesday @ Raptors

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* The Raptors have won five of their last six games against the Bulls, with the five wins coming by an average margin of 15.6 points per game.

* The Raptors have shot above 50 percent from the field in three of their last four home games.

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* The Bulls have now won six straight games by an average margin of 11.8 points per game. The last time the Bulls won seven straight was November 25 - December 8, 2006.

* Derrick Rose has now hit at least three 3-pointers in each of his last four games - the longest active streak in the NBA. Rose's 40 treys this season have already surpassed his total from the previous two seasons combined (32).

* While the Raptors are shooting 48.8 percent (third highest in NBA) from the field in the first half of games this season, they are shooting just 44.0 percent in the second half of games.

* On Monday night against the Pacers, Carlos Boozer became the third Bulls player (Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson) to pull down at least 18 rebounds in a game this season.

Time to Make a Run

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The Bulls have successfully navigated the first month and a half of the season...beating some pretty good teams along the way.   Teams such as the Lakers, the Mavericks, the Suns, the Nuggets, the Trailblazers and the Thunder.   Starting tonight against the Pacers, the Bulls play 11 of 13 games against teams currently under .500.   This part of the schedule presents the Bulls with an opportunity to make a nice run and really stretch their lead in the Central Division and establish themselves as one of the elite teams in the East.  

That being said, it isn't always the opponent that makes for an easy or a tough schedule.   What matters more than won-loss records are back-to-backs, four games in five nights, travel in and out of time zones, etc.

But what I like about the position the Bulls are in right now is that the Bulls are competing, and winning, against teams like the Lakers, who are the World Champs, and then coming out strong the next night and beating the Timberwolves and doing so without lettting them get back in the game after the Bulls had gotten off to a strong start.

Winning breeds confidence and right now the Bulls are brimming with confidence and that is a good sign as this season gets rolling.

 

-Neil Funk

Let Me Hear Ya!

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Thumbnail image for Stacey King.jpgToday on my blog I would like to encourage all of my "peeps" out there to post your questions and comments. I want to see what everybody is thinking out there. I will answer any questions you have, so lets go out there. Tonight, however, the Bulls face the Indiana Pacers at 7pm on WCIU (Channel 26). Tune in and watch D. Rose continue his hot streak. Enjoy tonight's game!

 

-SK 

Bulls Game Notes For Monday vs. Pacers

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* The Bulls have won four straight and eight of their last nine home games against Indiana.

* The Pacers have dropped each of their last four road games after winning each of their previous four away from home.

* Chicago has won each of its last five games and will be looking to win six in a row for the first time since a seven-game run from November 25-December 8, 2006.

* Derrick Rose has made at least three three-pointers in each of his last three games, including a career-high five against Minnesota on Saturday. Rose is averaging 24.6 points and is shooting 55.4 percent from the field in his last five games against Indiana.

* Danny Granger, who leads the Pacers with 21.1 points per game this season, is averaging 28.0 points in his last five games against the Bulls.

* Indiana has made the second-most three pointers in the NBA so far this month (63) and has made the fourth-most overall in the league this season (199).

D. Rose Is "D" Man

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Thumbnail image for Stacey King.jpgWelcome to tonight's blog. I want to wish all of my "Peeps" a safe and Happy Holiday season! In the past few weeks I have written about Bulls Guard Derrick Rose coming of age and taking this team over as his own. He has proven leadership and athletic excellence this season. He wants the ball when the game is on the line. Last night's performance vs the Lakers was evidence of the growth by Derrick. Tonight the Bulls will play the 2nd game of a back to back at the UC facing the Minnesota Timberwolves. The T'Wolves have struggled on the road this season winning only 1 of 12 games away from Minneapolis. Minnesota is led by forward Kevin Love, who leads the league in Rebounds and double-doubles. Watch the Bulls at 7pm ct on WGN America.

 

-SK

This Week

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It's probably easy to over-hype the Bulls win over the Lakers on Friday night.   It's one out of 82 games and if you beat the World Champs and then come out and lay an egg against the T-Wolves, what have you really gained?   BUT...from a confidence standpoint, it's a sign that the Bulls can compete against the NBA Champions.   From a fan's perspective, it's a great win because it shows the United Center faithful that their team is competitive with the NBA's elite and that fires up the fans and gives the Bulls a great home-court advantage.

Carlos Boozer has been in the line-up for about a week and a half and you can see the difference his presence makes.  It allows the Bulls to play inside-out, which is what Coach Thibodeau preaches.   I still don't think we have seen the real Carlos Boozer; it's really still training camp for him.   As much as the Bulls are looking for Boozer's scoring and rebounding, you can also see what a good passer he is out of the low post.

                                                                      -Neil Funk

Bulls Game Notes For Friday vs. Lakers

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* The Lakers have won their last seven games against the Bulls, including a 98-91 victory on November 23. Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom led the way with 21 points each.

* The Lakers have been very streaky in 2010-11, opening the season with eight straight wins, losing the next two, winning five in a row, dropping four straight, and now working on a three-game win streak.

* Chicago is shooting just 28.7 percent from behind the three-point line in the first half of games this season, compared to 39.9 percent after halftime.

* Kobe Bryant is averaging 30.0 points per game against Eastern Conference foes this season, as opposed to 25.3 ppg versus Western Conference opponents.

* Derrick Rose is shooting 47.8 percent (11/23) from three-point range so far this month - but only 40.0 percent (28/70) from inside the arc.

* Joakim Noah is one of just two players (Josh Smith) in the NBA with 200+ points, 200+ rebounds, 50+ assists, 25+ steals and 25+ blocked shots so far this season.

 

Bulls Beat Houston in OT

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Remembering Ron

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Obviously, anyone who spent time in Chicago knew Ron Santo was beloved as a player and then was just as beloved as a broadcaster...as much as any broadcaster who has worked in Chicago.

Harry Caray is kind of the standard that you think of and Ron was certainly in that category.  He was a class guy, a wonderful baseball player, passionate broadcaster and his real personality came out in all the charity work that he did for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Broadcasters hold a special place among fans in Chicago because they fall in love with the city and the passion of the fans for their sports teams.   That's why I think broadcasters have such longevity here.   Look at Johnny Kerr with the Bulls, Harry and Ron with the Cubs, Ken Harrelson with the White Sox, Pat Foley with the Blackhawks and of course Jack Brickhouse before all of those....Jack called games for every time at one time or another.

Chicago is a wonderful city, fans love their sports teams and that's why broadcasters love to work here and stay around for a long time.

Ron Santo will be missed, that's for sure.   We have lost a great voice and great person.

Shake It Off

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Thumbnail image for Stacey King.jpgWelcome to this week's entry of my blog. Boston was bad for the Bulls last night. Really bad. Chicago is having a tough time since returning from the 'circus" with a winning record. It is just a matter of time that Carlos Boozer will fit in with the rest of the roster. He is a great player that will work out the early rust he has gathered. Tonight the Houston Rockets visit the United Center on WGN America at 7pm ct. The Bulls started off the annual November trip with a 95-92 win at Houston and hope to continue that trend tonight. In that victory Derrick Rose led all scorers with 33 points while Luol Deng inked a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Rockets are coming off an impressive 127-111 win in Memphis last night. The Bulls will have to keep their eyes on the Rockets backcourt tonight. Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry both put 28 points on the board vs the Grizzlies. Look for the Bulls to get rolling again tonight at home.

Bulls Game Notes For Friday @ Boston

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* The Celtics have won six of their last seven regular-season home games against Chicago, including a 110-105 overtime victory on Nov. 5.

* Boston has a season-high-tying five-game winning streak, shooting 51.7 percent combined in those games while holding their opponents to 42.0 percent shooting.

* The Bulls are coming off a 107-78 home loss to the Magic Wednesday, their worst defeat of the season.

* Joakim Noah ranks second in the NBA in rebounding (12.4 per game; Kevin Love, 14.9), but was held without a rebound in the Orlando loss. It was his only career game with at least 10 minutes played that he had no rebounds.

* Derrick Rose has scored 30 or more points in five of his last six road games, and ranks second in the league with 28.6 points per game on the road (Kobe Bryant, 29.2).

* Paul Pierce tied a season high with 28 points versus Portland Wednesday, making 9-of-11 from the field.

Bulls Game Notes For Wednesday vs. Magic

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* Orlando has won nine of its last 11 games against Chicago, outscoring the Bulls by an average of 105.6 to 92.8 points per game in these contests.

* Orlando is 11-0 this season when allowing 95 points or less, as opposed to just 2-4 when giving up 96 or more. The Magic are coming off a 90-79 win over Detroit on Tuesday night.

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* Chicago is 5-1 at the United Center this season, shooting 49.2 percent from the field in these contests (3rd, NBA).

* Dwight Howard saw his streak of consecutive double-doubles snapped at eight when he had just nine points (and 14 rebounds) in Tuesday night's win over Detroit.

* Although he is shooting a career-high 48.3 percent from the floor this season, Vince Carter is averaging a career-low 13.9 points per game. He had 13 points on Tuesday night against the Pistons, his first game back after missing the previous three contests with a sprained knee.

* Derrick Rose has had 30 or more points in each of his last three - and in five of his last six - games. He is one of three players (Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams) averaging at least 20 points and eight assists per game this season.