Wow! The Bulls Actually Proved Me Wrong.

Those of you who know me know that the Chicago Bulls have been the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE throughout the previous year. Whether it was their questionable free agency acquisitions, to their AWFUL trade decisions throughout the season; the Bulls were nothing but a train-wreck. It made me SICK that a team with an illustrious past like the Bulls was reduced down to a fraction of what it once was.

But the crazy part of this story is they ACTUALLY made the playoffs. And right now, they are up 2-0 against the #1 seed Boston Celtics with the next two games to be played in Chicago.

In the beginning, I thought the Celtics had this locked up. I had absolutely ZERO belief in the Bulls making it to the next round with the 35-year old Wade with the 60-year old legs, and the three stooges that came to Chicago via a trade from OKC (Morrow, Lauvergne, and Payne).

But with the way the Celtics have been playing so far, I will gladly say that the Bulls have this series wrapped up. In Game 1, Isaiah Thomas did go off for 33 points, but the rest of the squad couldn’t boost their games to help him.

Then, in Game 2, Jimmy Butler and the Bulls were able to hold Celtics star Thomas to a manageable 20 points, and cruised to a 111-97 victory.

So far, you’ve proved me wrong Bulls, you’ve proved me wrong. But your luck is about to run out.

But the length of their playoff run. I’ll give them until the Eastern Conference Finals. Then, they’ll just get spanked by the Cavs. 

And don’t try and give me this; “They are 4-0 on the season against the Cavs” nonsense. Playoff Lebron is a different player compared to regular season Lebron. He’s focused, he’s not “sitting,” or “resting,” and he’s ready to take what’s his.

Two years ago, Lebron was able to put the team on his back and force a Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, while averaging 35 points a game in the process. He was even able to put up 30+ points in five of those games, with three being 40+ points.

Now, with a healthy Kyrie, the Cavs will have the Bulls number and show the world that the Bulls don’t belong in the playoffs this year. Count on it!

But who knows? They can screw it up next round against the Wizards or the Hawks.

And hell, there is still enough time for them to screw up this series too.

If I was a Bulls fan, I’d rather be in the lottery right now. Give the team SOME kind of hope for a higher draft pick. Even if it’s just fourteenth, fifteenth, or sixteenth; at least it’s SOMETHING! Not a damn mid to late 20’s pick.

Russell Westbrook Is The MVP, So Stop With The Debates!

I am TIRED of these debates on who should be the NBA MVP for the 2016-2017 season. It’s ridiculous, it’s a travesty, and by all means it’s pretty disgraceful to the likes of Russell Westbrook and what he did this season.

For those of you who may not know, “The Big O” Oscar Robertson set a triple-double record of 41 in a single season that has lasted for roughly 55 years. Then, along came Russ, who decided to show the world he doesn’t need KD, and put up 42. With that, he ended the season with the most triple-dubs EVER in a single season, while AVERAGING a triple-dub with 31.9 ppg, 10.4 apg, and 10.7 rpg

But some would say; “Is that it? Is that all?”

Granted, I agree that there should be more to an MVP resumé than just a single statistic; but to just shrug off an amazing feat such as this is highly illogical to say the least.

Not only are his statistical feats astounding, but the team that he is currently on makes his case for MVP even stronger.

For one, OKC would be GARBAGE without Russ. They would be nowhere near the playoffs, much less contending for a playoff spot. They would be on the outside, looking in, and would already be sitting at home waiting for the draft.

But the Rockets, on the other hand, would still be relatively good without Harden. With the landscape of the Western Conference, the Rockets would still easily be a 8th seed, if not a boarder line playoff contender.

The Rockets also had a much more well-rounded squad to use compared to the Thunder. In Houston, there were about five other players not named James Harden who were able to average double-digit points per game (even though Lou Williams only played 23 games this season during his tenure in Texas.)

And when you compare that to the Thunder, you will only find three other players that averaged double digit points. OKC does not have a stable core to work with, and Russ had to do everything in order to make this team succeed. He lead the team in scoring, distributed the ball in order to make his team better, and even played bigger than his height by leading his team in boards.

So don’t try to tell me that Harden had a more successful season than Westbrook. Don’t try to tell me that he is the MVP. Any way you spin it, he was not the best player this year.

Can You Build The Best Starting Five With The Spin Of A Wheel?

One of my favorite channels that I’ve come across on YouTube is run by an NBA 2K player, Krispy Flakes. On this channel, Krispy completes various challenges using the video game NBA 2K.

One of these challenges is the Wheel of Rebuild challenge, where he spins a wheel filled with all of the teams in the NBA ten times, and he tries to build a team that can go 82-0 in a season.

This is a great, innovative idea, and I wanted to try my hand at it.

However, I only spun the wheel five times, with the goal of creating the best starting five possible.

 

Spin 1:  For my first spin, I was ecstatic to see the Wheel land on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This was quite honestly the EASIEST pick I would make, since I was looking for the best player possible to help lead my team. And who better to pick up with spin #1 than, the triple-double machine, Russell Westbrook at point guard.

Westbrook is without a doubt the best possible player on the OKC roster now, and with his ability to do it all on the court, he will be the perfect PG for my team.

 

Spin 2: The second spin was not as kind to me, as the Wheel landed on the very young team from California, known as the Los Angeles Lakers.

This is a difficult decision, since there are alot of great players left on the board, and I didn’t want to waste a spot.

With Westbrook being very ball-dominant, and known for attacking the basket quite often, I really wanted to look for a perimeter shooter; such as Lou Williams.

The problem with that is, Williams has basically come off the bench for his entire career, and is NOW having the best season of his career.

Having said that, there are plenty of quality shooters out there that I can still get, so I shouldn’t really put all my eggs in the Lou Williams basket.

So for my second spin, I’m going to go with Julius Randle. He’s a young big-man who is averaging 13 pts and 8 boards a game.

Since I am a big believer in the 3-point shot, we will need a big man to be a monster in the paint to corral any shots not converted.

 

Spin 3: With my third spin, the Wheel tasked me with choosing from the Memphis Grizzlies.

With this pick, I would have been a FOOL not to choose Marc Gasol for my center.

Gasol, an eight year vet, is averaging 20.6 pts and 6 boards per game. He is the best player in Memphis right now, and a dominant scorer in the post.

In addition, I already had Westbrook, so I didn’t need another PG in Mike Conley. So this was basically a no brainer.

 

Spin 4: The wheel hated me at this point. For my fourth pick, I was given the Dallas Mavericks. With Shooting Guard and Small Forward left to fill, the choices were very slim.

I still needed a quality perimeter shooter to give the squad a long-range threat. The only guard that really fit that role was Wesley Matthews.

Matthews, averaging 15 pts a game this year, is a career 38.6% shooter from behind the arch. His long-range game would give Westbrook someone to dish out to if need be, and would come to be very necessary in clutch situations.

 

Spin 5: The final spin for my starting five landed on the New York Knicks.

So basically, Carmelo Anthony, welcome to the squad.

This was a less-than-ideal situations in my book, since Westbrook and Anthony both are very ball-dominant players. They expect the lion’s share of the shots on their respective teams, and that could prove to be very detrimental to the overall success of my team.

But he needs to be the SF of my team. Who else am I going to pick from the Knicks? Lance Thomas? Mindaugas Kuzminskas? NOT A CHANCE!

 

Overall: This is not the greatest team that could have been assembled, but it’s not horrible.

To start, Julius Randle and Marc Gasol provide the team with the big bodies it needs to crash the boards. The problem is, Randle is not the strongest scorer at this point of his career, and Gasol would need to adapt his game to become a more dominant rebounder.

Wesley Matthews and Carmelo Anthony will give us the long-range threat we will need, while Russ can be the all-around slasher and sniper to lead the team.

The only problem is, as stated before, Westbrook and Carmelo will both want the ball. Chemistry needs to be built with this team before any winning can happen.

In the end, I see this team being the 4th seed in the East or the 7th seed in the West.

 

THANK YOU: There are two people I have to thank for the making of this article.

The first would be YouTuber, Krispy Flakes, who inspired me with his idea for the Wheel Of Rebuild challenge. If you would like to see more of his content, please go to the link below which will bring you to his YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/KrispyFlakes

Then, if you would like to try one of these yourself, you can go make your own Wheel at the website “Wheel Decide,” located here:

http://wheeldecide.com/

Fan Voting Should Not Be This Prevalent In NBA All-Star Voting!

The starting fives were released recently for the NBA All-Star Game, and there were a few people who won’t be starting for either squad.

One of those men is Russell Westbrook.

The press and the players made the intelligent vote; putting Westbrook ahead of both Stephen Curry and James Harden. But, the public had other plans, as they voted Curry first, Harden second, and Russ third.

And the kicker, with the weighted score for the three categories tied, is that the fans are the tiebreaker. Because of this, Curry and Harden are the starting guards for the Western Conference.

Now that’s a splendid idea! Make the portion of the members who are not paid to know basketball be the tiebreaker instead of the ones who have ACTUALLY PLAYED AGAINST HIM. (I’m laying on some pretty thick sarcasm, if you didn’t notice).

Now to be fair though, Harden has been BALLIN’ this year; averaging 28.9 PPG, 11.6 AST, and 8.3 REB per game for the Rockets.He absolutely deserves a nod.

But Curry? The fact you are voting a player that’s averaging 24.6 PPG, 6.1 AST, and 4.2 REB per game over someone who’s AVERAGING a triple-double is completely absurd.

This is a prime example on how the All-Star game is just a glorified popularity contest, and not a reflection of the current reality of this year’s NBA.

Now don’t twist my words, because I’m not saying we need to do away with the fan vote completely. I’m just saying that we need to make the fan vote less prevalent than the other two, such as the player vote.

Why don’t we give more weight to the player vote, and less weight to the fan vote? Make this a game for the players who know who the best of the best is; who play against the best of the best night in and night out.

Don’t make this a game based on players’ past accomplishments, or their popularity.

Personally, I don’t want to see Steph Curry start a second consecutive All-Star game if he hasn’t performed to that caliber throughout the season.

I want to see players who deserve the honor of starting. Not a popularity vote based on what they’ve done before.

Take Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics as another example.

Isaiah has been putting on a show on the east coast, posting 28.7 PPG, 6.0 AST, and 2.7 REB per game. But, he also lost the tiebreaker because of the fan vote.

Now, he’ll be sitting behind the likes of Kyrie Irving, who he has been out-performing SIGNIFICANTLY this year.

Do you want to know why he lost the fan vote??

It’s because, once again, of POPULARITY.

Since he is on the rise, and hasn’t been part of a championship team yet, he doesn’t get to start. Yea, that makes sense, (again, sarcasm)!

But basically, in the end, we are keeping two of the best guards out of the starting lineups for the All-Star game because the other guys were more popular than them?

I mean, I thought the All-Star game was supposed to be the BEST of the BEST playing on the same court for one night. So, shouldn’t the very best have the honor of being the starters?

Fans, you screwed up!

And NBA, you need to FIX THIS!

Derrick Rose Needs To Stop Talking

Who is the PR guy for the New York Knicks? I mean honestly, who is keeping track of what Derrick Rose is saying to the media?

Now, for those of you who may not know, Rose has been in the media recently talking about the Knicks and the upcoming season.

One of the most well known, (and one of my favorite), quotes to come from Derrick Rose included the comparison of the Knicks and Warriors; calling New York a “super team.”

And if that amount of stupidity was not enough for you, there is also this little quote brought to you by the great people of Bleacher Report;

“I think we have a chance to win every game, and in the league, that’s rare.”

-Derrick Rose via Bleacher Report

Let’s get something straight here. Derrick Rose’s optimism about this upcoming season is making him sound like a fool to anyone not wearing Knick orange and blue. New York is the farthest thing from an 82-0 win team, much less a “super team.” In fact, I don’t see them winning more than 45 games, and would be EXTREMELY lucky if they happen to make anything higher than the 7th seed in the East this season.

Reason why? Let’s look at the team…

At the point, you guessed it, it’s the man himself Derrick Rose. Rose, for those who may not know, averaged 16 points per game during 66 games last season with the Chicago Bulls.

But this isn’t the same Derrick Rose we all knew from his MVP days. Rose is playing on bad knees, has lost a step, and who knows if another major injury is coming in his future.

In addition to that, Rose hasn’t provided sustainable playing time for the Bulls in the previous years. Since the ’11-’12 season, Rose has played in only 166 of the possible 410 games in those five years. I could be wrong, but I think a franchise would prefer their “stars” to be a little more reliable, and not as much of an injury risk.

But what about Joakim Noah? He was the “heart and soul” of the Bulls. Can’t he be the new “heart and soul” of the Knicks?

Sure, he was able to average 12 pts and 11 boards a game during the ’13-’14 season with the Bulls. But he hasn’t surpassed that the last two years. In fact, Jo hasn’t surpassed 70 games in the past two years either.

So, two of your biggest recruitment’s this year have had trouble not staying on the court recently, and have seen drastic dips in production. How does that sound like an 82-0 win team Derrick?

Then, you have the “great” Carmelo Anthony; the “savior” of the Knicks.

Don’t get it twisted, Melo is a great scorer. He’s averaged 21.9 points per game throughout his long 13 year career.

But to become a scoring threat like he is, you need to demand the ball, and that’s exactly what he does. Throughout his 13 year career, Carmelo has averaged a total of 19 shot attempts per game; with many being very ill-advised. With the constant demand for the ball, Derrick will get less touches, Jo will get less touches, and the whole team will go through Melo.

Which means if Melo has a bad night, the team will have a bad night.

And then there is the obvious one, the dreaded defense of Melo. Yikes, the defense. When arguably your best player can’t defend some of his counterparts like Lebron and KD, you are not going to win games.

And Courtney Lee will probably be the starter at SG…… I really shouldn’t have to go to much in depth there.

Finally, there is the only shining light of the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis.

Porzingis, who averaged 14 points, 7 boards and 2 blocks a game, came out and surprised the league with his monstrous 2015-2016 season when everyone thought he was going to be a major project.

Porzingis is on the rise in his career. He’s not a washed up “has-been,” or a star who is only great on one side of the ball. If the Knicks were smart, they would build around him for the future and stop trying to salvage something now.

But overall, this team is average.

No wait, scratch that, this team is a bit below average. You have a bunch of has beens that NY is trying to salvage something out of. And don’t get me started on the bench situation. Talk about a disaster waiting to happen.

But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Derrick knows something we don’t.

Maybe Carmelo will win defensive player of the year. Maybe Derrick and Jo will play more than 75 games and return to their MVP and DPOY selves respectively…..

And then maybe Shaq will win an Oscar for Kazaam.

Seriously Derrick, stay away from the media for a while. You’ll thank me later.

Dwyane Wade Is NOT The Answer For The Chicago Bulls

For those of you that may not have seen the constant bombardment of media outlets covering this story, the Chicago Bulls have signed the 34-year old Chicago Native with a history of knee problems named Dwyane Wade.

Wait, didn’t they just get rid of a “Hometown Son” with a history of knee problems a few weeks ago? Isn’t this a little counter-productive?

Anyway, signing Wade is unnecessary for the process of going younger for the future. The Bulls “brass” is stuck in this perpetual cycle where they “must win now,” with putting asses in seats being a “job well done” if they can’t.

That is exactly what you are going to get with Wade. His presence on the team will make it seem like the Bulls are in a “must win” mode. But in the end, he will just turn into a big name that put fans in the building because of his Chicago ties and his championship pedigree.

“But what about attracting big names during next year’s free agency,” some may say?

What free agents are the Bulls going to attract? What makes you think that any free-agent is going to be impressed by Rondo, old man Wade, Butler, and the Rec-League All-Stars?

“So then what would you do,” someone may ask?

Don’t throw all your eggs in one basket. Meaning, don’t give a majority of your money to an older version of Derrick Rose just to save face with your fan base.

Wade is going to be 35 years old, and has only played 70+ games ONCE since the 2010-2011 season.

Instead, what should have been done was the Bulls should have signed a cheap big man that can put up 8-10 points and 8 boards a game, along with another cheap wing that you can put in to eat up minutes.

By doing this, the Bulls open up even more cap room to use on the bigger free agents next year, such as Russel Westbrook, Blake Griffin, and more! Not saying that they will land these guys, but it’s worth having more money to spend then not.

WITHOUT WADE, the Bulls would be garbage next year, and would absolutely not make the postseason. WITHOUT WADE, the Bulls would have a higher chance of snagging a high lottery pick in a draft that is laced with top-tier young talent.

But with Wade, the Bulls would be lucky to see a pick above 18.

There goes the young talent rebuild!

 

 

 

To The Derrick Defenders:

For those of you who currently do not possess any form of contact with the outside world, (TV, Radio, Internet, etc…), the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks have made a monumental trade which sent Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday, and Chicago’s 2nd round draft pick next year to NY for Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant, and Jose Calderon.

But this is a message to the “Derrick Defenders,” and that message is to LET HIM GO! The Bulls are trying to win a title, and they don’t need a 28-year old, overpaid point guard with a history of major injuries sitting on the roster.

Now I know that this trade with the Knicks isn’t the greatest trade that the Bulls could have made, that one is for damn sure. But looking at the big picture, this trade was not as horrible as people are making it out to be, and is the first step to the rebuild that they need.

Robin Lopez, to start, put up 10.3 points, 7.3 boards, and 1.6 blocks per game last season with the Knicks.

Now please, find a big guy on the Bulls not named Pau Gasol that averaged more points than Robin Lopez last year? Hang on, let me help, you will find ONE, and that one would be Nikola Mirotic, who averaged 11.8 in 16 less games than Lopez.

Another reason to talk up Lopez would be because the Bulls are losing key members of the roster to free agency in Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, and Taj Gibson next offseason. They can’t afford any big names in free agency with Rose’s contract on the books, so the next best option is finding a journey man for now like Lopez.

The Bulls also added two point guards in Jerian Grant and Jose Calderdon, who will help bolster an already depleted position on the team. Calderon will give the Bulls a veteran guard who can provide minutes off of the bench for the squad, while Grant will continue to develop and grow from the teachings of offensive-minded coach Fred Hoiberg.

And, let’s not forget to mention that they just covered three positions that they desperately needed at the expense of one guy’s paycheck. Can you say “spending money?” Can you say “free agency?”

But regardless if you agree with the trade or not, getting rid of Rose is a necessary move for Chicago. He can become a liability at the drop of a hat, and the Bulls needed to get as many possible assets they could for him before his contract expires at the end of this season.

If Rose were to stay in Chicago, it would not provide a positive outcome for the Bulls in the end. At the most, Chicago would have been knocked out in the first round next season, Rose would have become a free agent, and the Bulls would have to pay an OUTRAGEOUS amount if they wanted to keep him around. If they did not want to keep him, then they just let go of a former MVP for absolutely NOTHING in return.

What Being A Fan Really Means!

Recently, I was having an argument with one of my friends about our favorite football team. During the argument, I was being really critical about our team, saying that the quarterback is a bum, and that I do not expect them to get more than 6 wins this year. My friend proceeds to tell me that I am not a true fan of the team; that I am what some would call a “bandwagon” fan. Now for one, he obviously doesn’t know the meaning of the term “bandwagon” fan; and two, a true fan of a team is without a doubt allowed to be critical about their team.

Just to get this out of the way, a “Bandwagon Fan” is someone who hops on board for the ride when a team is doing well, even though they didn’t even care beforehand. An example of what a “Bandwagon” fan would be; a majority of the Miami Heat fanbase was filled with “Bandwagon” fans when Lebron and Chris Bosh decided to form that super team with Wade. An example of what is NOT a “Bandwagon” fan would be; someone who has been a fan of the team since the beginning, has not changed his/her favorite team ever, and still watches their games even though they may not be doing so well. And in addition to that, as a fan, I have the right and the obligation to be critical about my favorite teams and the decisions that they might be making.

Let’s compare this to having dinner at a restaurant, shall we? Let’s say you go to your favorite burger place, and ask for the double supreme with bacon, and all of the fixings; but you would like it medium. Then, when you receive your burger, it was cooked past well-done, completely burnt, and it tastes like chalk. Now, do you just sit there and tell the chef that it’s not very good, but there’s always next time? Hell No! You go up to the chef, tell him/her that this tastes like a shoe, and that you would like a new burger. The same thing goes with being a fan of a sports team. Fans put money into their team’s, buying all kinds of merchandise, tickets, TV packages, and so much more. They are customers, and they have the right to say that what you are putting on the field/court/ice is garbage and that you need to do something about it.

Being a fan of a team means you have a right to say that something isn’t right, or if something needs to be changed. One of the major reasons that these organizations actually exist is because they want fans to come in and be entertained. It’s not like they just open the gates and whoever wants to come in can come in, but if there’s nobody then that’s fine too. A majority of the teams actually care about the product that they are putting out there, and they want to put a team out there that the fans and the city will be proud of. So, simply put, you don’t have to always be positive and say things like; “Aw shucks, well there’s always next time.” If the team sucks, SPEAK UP!