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Recap: 29-17 Chicago Bulls and 20-24 Miami Heat

January 25th, 2015 at 3:18 PM
By Christopher Terzic

It’s not everyday that you can say a player that most people had never heard of before, and nonetheless was a free agent when the season began, completely dominated a basketball game. That is no hyperbole, either. Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat man-handled and thoroughly controlled the paint in Miami’s 96-84 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Whiteside’s day was historic in many respects. For starters, he became the first player in the NBA to obtain a triple-double of the points, rebounds, and blocks variety – finishing with 14, 13, and 12 today – since Joakim Noah did it back in February of 2013. Next, Whiteside became the first player since 1985-86 to record a triple-double with blocks in less than 30 minutes of game action. And finally, Whiteside came off the bench! He wasn’t even a starter!

There’s really no precedent for a game quite like the one Whiteside played today. As you were watching it live, it truly felt as though you were watching something special unfold.

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Preview: 29-16 Chicago Bulls and 19-24 Miami Heat

January 25th, 2015 at 10:22 AM
By Christopher Terzic

Occasionally, there’ll be a story that is bigger than the game itself. Today’s Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls’ contest falls under that category as it’ll be the first time former Bull Luol Deng returns to play in front of Chicago's home crowd as a visitor. Deng, 29, has played against his old team three times before, but getting a chance to play in the arena he – in many ways, grew up in – will undoubtedly mean something more.

Chicago is planning on honoring Deng via video tribute after the first timeout in today’s game. Of course – before the tribute, during, and after – Deng should be met with resounding cheers from the United Center crowd on hand. Arguably, Deng’s the most important figure in the post-Jordan Era for Chicago, reviving a once proud franchise from utter ineptitude, along with names like Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon.

Deng’s career as a Bull lasted ten seasons, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Not many players can say they’ve played in Chicago for longer than Deng has, and as a result, Deng’s virtually top ten in every statistical category in the franchise’s history. Perhaps, the most unsuspecting of which: Deng is fourth in scoring behind only Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Bob Love.

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Recap: 29-16 Chicago Bulls Sneak Past 30-14 Dallas Mavericks

January 23rd, 2015 at 10:06 PM
By Christopher Terzic

All things considered, beating the Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks on back-to-back nights is extremely impressive. At the very least, it seems as though the Chicago Bulls aren’t broken anymore. Tonight’s 102-98 victory, in the grand scheme of things, can serve as a reminder of how good the Bulls can be, even when they don’t play very well.

No, Chicago didn’t play a particularly clean game. They committed a season-high 24 turnovers, and down the stretch Derrick Rose was having trouble splitting defenders in pick-and-roll which resulted in some costly giveaways. But ultimately Chicago persevered, displaying perhaps the – dare we say, grittiest? – performance of the season.

Rose was awesome in the first half, scoring 18 of his 20 points in the early going. Also, his hot shooting from deep continues to be utterly perplexing, as Rose has now made 23 of his last 40 from three-point range, which would be good for 57.5 percent. It was like, what, two weeks ago when Rose couldn't buy a bucket? And now? He's transformed into Kyle Korver. Can't say anyone saw this coming.

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Preview: 28-16 Chicago Bulls and 30-13 Dallas Mavericks

January 23rd, 2015 at 1:45 PM
By Christopher Terzic

We’re not here to talk about what happened the last time these two teams played. Enough time has passed, blood pressure levels have dropped, and we can collectively move on, right? Never mind that gritty, irreplaceable veteran leadership provided by Kirk Hinrich resulted in quite possibly the dumbest foul of the season. Everyone is entitled to a mistake. However, Kirk Hinrich being dead last in player efficiency rating among players getting at least 27 minutes a game can’t be a mistake, can it? We need more advanced metrics to quantify grit, clearly!

At any rate, the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls are playing tonight at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN. The Bulls are coming off, in many ways, a psyche restoring win last night against the San Antonio Spurs. Meanwhile, the Mavs have won four of five and seem to have acclimated Rajon Rondo quite nicely.

Prior to nabbing Rondo from Boston on Dec. 19, the Mavericks were ranked 20th in defensive efficiency. The entire idea behind bringing Rondo in was to improve on that end, and they have done just that so far. Not only have the Mavs had the sixth best defense since the trade, but they’ve also continued to gel on offense, too. Rondo’s inability to shoot raised some concern as to how he’d fit into Dallas’ free-flowing, top ranked offense – but since the trade Dallas has stayed inside the top ten.

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Recap: 28-16 Chicago Bulls Smoke 27-17 San Antonio Spurs

January 22nd, 2015 at 9:44 PM
By Christopher Terzic

The NBA is a funny game. If you’ve caught even half of a Chicago Bulls game in the past two weeks, you caught a team that looked destined for a first round playoff exit. Then, tonight comes and the Bulls dismantle the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, who had also come in winners of eight of their last ten, and all of a sudden it’s all good again. We hadn’t seen this Bulls team in a long while, so even a 104-81 victory feels bigger than the score indicates.

Really, it was a total team effort in this one. All five Bulls starters finished in double figures, along with Aaron Brooks who provided 15 points coming off the bench. Chicago played with togetherness for the first time in what seems like ages, with a cohesiveness that looked all but lost. And while the offense did its job, the defense was truly stellar.

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