What this Season Could Have Been for the Chicago Bulls

With the Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat second round NBA playoff series starting tonight, I cannot help but think about what this season could have been for the Bulls.

Thus far, the Miami Heat are looking like they’re in a good position to defend their championship title. LeBron James, who just earned his 4th MVP award, and the Heat will be rested and ready to face the Bulls after their first round sweep over the Milwaukee Bucks 

The Bulls, on the other hand, are coming off of their series against the Brooklyn Nets that went to 7 games.  As a result, they will be playing the Heat on one day of rest following their hard fought first round series.

If Derrick Rose had never torn his ACL about a year ago, I wonder what position the Bulls would be in right now?

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Without Rose, the Bulls finished 5th in the Eastern Conference.  If Rose had never been injured, I believe that the Bulls would have been a very strong team this season.  They likely would have had more wins during the season which would have possibly given them a better seed and a different opponent for this round.

As long as everyone else on the Bulls had the same kind of season they had this year, I would even go as far as saying that I believe the Bulls could have been the strongest competition for the Heat (especially considering Russell Westbrook’s injury now). Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich, and Luol Deng have all had good seasons.

While I do think it would be nothing short of amazing if they win this series against the Heat, I am not completely counting the Bulls out.  They do have a steep up hill battle though.  They were the team that ended Miami’s streak earlier this season, but that was one game, not the four they need to win the series.

The Bulls do have some health problems besides Rose to worry about for the up coming games that will have a big impact on their ability to hang in their with the Heat. Luol Deng has been sick with something similar to the flu and had complications from a procedure at the hospital.  Kirk Hinrich is day-to-day because of a calf injury.  Also, Joakim Noah has had a consistent foot injury, plantar fasciitis, for much of the second half of the season.  Noah’s injury needs rest and he played a lot of minutes in the Bulls last two games, so that could be a concern moving forward.

Could Rose come back for this playoff series? Pretty much since the All-Start break, there has been questions about him returning. There was even talk yesterday about him playing the Miami Heat tonight. You never know, but I doubt he will play tonight or this series.  I think if he is going to play, it would have made a lot of sense for him to start by building up minutes or at least playing some in the Bulls first round series against the Nets.  Also, I cannot imagine that he would want his first game back to be against the Heat’s defense.  We will see though.  He has not said he will not play.  It would certainly be exciting to see how things go if he does play.

Although this could have been a completely different match up than it is, it’s not reality. I am still looking forward to watching this series.  Maybe there will be the chance next year to see how the Bulls with Rose match up with the Heat.

Until next time,

Hannah

Photo Credit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Derrick_Rose_2.jpg

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Home Runs

Yesterday, there were 50 home runs hit in the MLB. That’s a lot of baseballs going out of the park.

Although they don’t all involve actual home runs, here are a few “home run” performances in sports that have occurred lately.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics hit a “home run” tonight with a 92-86 win against the New York Knicks. This brings the series to 3-2.  Kevin Garnett had a fantastic game for the Celtics with 16 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. The Celtics looked like there season was going to be over soon when they went down 0-3 in the series, but the win tonight has made this quite the series.  We’ll see if the Celtics can hit another home run Friday in the next game which is in Boston.  A win on Friday would set them up for the potential to make history and hit a grand slam.

The Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians contributed to the 50 home run total yesterday by hitting 7 in their 14-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. This was not the first “home run” of a game the Indians have had lately.  Following a 0-9 loss to the Royals on Sunday, they bounced back and beat them 10-3 in the second game of a double header.  They got another win against the Royals on Monday.  There streak continued tonight with a 6-0 win against the Phillies.

Stephen Curry

The NBA playoffs have started with many lopsided series, but Golden State and Denver have been exciting to watch.  One reason the series has been great is because of Steph Curry. The former Davidson College guard has had some great playoff games, including a 22-point third quarter in game 4 of the series.  He struggled a little bit in Golden State’s last game against Denver, but he is still averaging 24.8 points and 9.8 assists in his 5 playoff games.  This has helped Golden State to have a 3-2 lead and another chance to win the series tomorrow (Thursday, May 2) night.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Until next time,

Hannah

Photo Sources

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/Stephen_Curry_2.jpg

Can they Comeback?

One aspect of sports that I really enjoy are the comeback stories.  Sports create some circumstances that allow a person to overcome the odds and return to where they once were or even achieve more than they had before their comeback.  Yesterday, was the last day of the NBA regular season.  As the season concluded, the basketball world has presented several comeback stories that will be worth watching in the upcoming days, months and years.

Tracy McGrady

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Photo credit: Keith Allison

T-Mac was playing in China this season after not getting signed to an NBA team, but it is working out for him because he is making a NBA comeback to play for the San Antonio Spurs just in time for the playoffs.  He is eligible to play even though the Spurs signed him after the NBA trade deadline because he was not signed on another NBA team.

Will this comeback allow him to be on a team that wins his first playoffs series?  It looks like there is a decent chance.  I am just not sure how much playing time he will get or how much of an impact he will have on the Spurs.  I’ll be rooting for him to have a comeback though!

Kobe Bryant

Photo credit: Steve Lanctot

Photo credit: Steve Lanctot

One reason that Tracy McGrady may get his first play-off series win is that the Spurs will be playing an LA Lakers team without Kobe Bryant in the first round.

Kobe Bryant was in top form for almost the entire 2013 NBA regular season.  The LA Lakers made it to the playoffs this season largely because of Kobe’s contributions. Kobe tore his Achilles tendon last Friday and at best will not return to playing in basketball games for 6-9 months.  Other than this injury, not much else could stop Kobe this season.

Achilles are tough to come back from.  There is a lot that needs to happen correctly for a successful recovery before he can even start to prepare for basketball.

Only time will tell if Kobe can beat the odds, make a full comeback and try to get his 6th NBA championship.  It’s hard to doubt Kobe… he just had an amazing year in his 17th season in the NBA.

Phil Jackson

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Another big story in the NBA is that Phil Jackson wants to comeback to the game. This may have been expected because he tried to return to coaching earlier this season by reuniting with the Lakers when they were searching for a coach.  Interestingly, he is currently saying his return to the NBA may be in management, not coaching.

I think a lot of NBA teams would like to have Phil Jackson.  It will be interesting to see where he ends up if he has a comeback.

Until next time,

Hannah

Photo Sources

Keeping it in the Family

Sibling’s have a special connection.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to play with, or against, a sibling in a professional sport.  In honor of Siblings Day, these are some of my favorite siblings in sports right now.

Peyton and Eli Manning

The Manning brothers have won 3 combined Super Bowls.  Combined, they have also made 15 pro bowl appearances.  Although they compete against each other, they always seem to be very supportive of each other.  They can even be spotted working out at the same place in the off season.

They have also shown they have a great sense of humor…

Marc and Pau Gasol

The Gasol brothers have combined to have 5 All-Star game appearances in the NBA.  They have also come together to help Spain win two silver medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Venus and Serena Williams

For almost 15 years (Venus won 2 Grand Slams in 1999), the William sisters have dominated in women’s tennis.  They have won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles together and 3 Olympic gold medals in women’s doubles.  They have also won a combined 22 Grand Slam singles titles.

B.J. and Justin Upton

The Atlanta Braves signed the both Upton brothers this past off season.  So far, uniting the siblings is working well for Atlanta (and not so well for the Cubs).

Bob and Mike Bryan

The Bryan brothers have won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles together.  They also won the gold medal together in the 2012 Olympics. These twins even play music in a band together.

Until next time,

Hannah