Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Michael

After spending most of my childhood obsessing over Michael Jordan and the Bulls, it really hits home that MJ turns 50 today. It seems like just yesterday he was winning championships, draining memorable shots, dominating the NBA, and formulating my own love for sports in his own way. I'll forever tie every moment I see of his to a memory in my own childhood, and for that reason alone he's my favorite athlete of all time. Even more than that though, Michael turning 50 has given the media the dual opportunity to both reflect on his amazing career and examine and compare it to other greats, especially LeBron James. It says a lot about MJ that his 50th birthday has drawn such an enormous celebration not only from local media, but national outlets like ESPN. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Look Into the Derrick Rose Situation

Much of this Bulls' season has been spent in limbo, waiting for the (supposed) arrival of Derrick Rose. The fallen leader of the Bulls, injured last April 28th, was expected by many to miss 8-12 months after sustaining the torn knee ligaments. For Bulls fans, though, we've thought all along, whether it be from intuition, media hints, Bulls front office hints, or the simple fact that we've watched Derrick Rose perform superhuman feats in his career and thus assumed he'd heal in the same fashion, that he'd be back sometime close to or after the All Star break. No one knew for sure when, or how, he'd return, but most figured it would be around that time. Then, the theory went, he'd pick up and lead an overachieving Bulls team deep into the playoffs. We made these assumptions because we knew all along the mentality that Rose has had his entire career, how he was so much different than the typical modern athlete. That was, of course, until his USA Today interview and subsequent comments to the media about not being able to dunk yet and being fine with perhaps sitting out the season that could bring out the doubters.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Power Play is Hawks' Only Weakness

The Hawks are 10-0-3. They're flying all over the ice, possessing the puck nearly at will and imposing their offensive skill on their opponents. Their depth has been prevalent, as all four lines are contributing on both ends of the ice. Their defense - just as deep - has limited turnovers and is spearheading superior puck possession like they did in the 2010 Stanley Cup season. The goaltending is vastly improved. Even the penalty kill, arguably the achilles heel of the Hawks last season, is one of the best in the league. Right now, the Hawks are rolling over some of the best opponents in the deep Western Conference, and they're doing it within the frenzied pace of a condensed season.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thibodeau Pushes Bulls to High Level

In any rational basketball universe, the Chicago Bulls shouldn't be anywhere near first place. They've been without their superstar, Derrick Rose, the entire year. While that alone would be enough to sink a team that's normally heavily reliant on him for scoring, they've also sustained injuries to their two All-Stars, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng, as well as two other impact players, Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich. When you consider that Rip Hamilton missed significant time earlier this season, each of the Bulls 2012-2013 starters, in addition to Rose, have missed stretches of games due to injury. And yet, there the Bulls are at 29-19, tied for first in the Central Division and tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference. They've done it by adhering to a mantra of toughness, resilience, and effort. They've done it because of Tom Thibodeau.