WBEZ | Lebron James http://www.wbez.org/tags/lebron-james Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bulls odds improving after Game 1 upset http://www.wbez.org/news/bulls-odds-improving-after-game-1-upset-107090 <p><p>After a surprising Game-1 win against the Miami Heat Monday night, the Bulls&rsquo; odds seemed to be improving. But before what some have called the playoff upset of the decade, the battered Bulls were hardly a safe bet.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bulls2.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer dunks the ball against Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Bulls lead the series 1-0. (AP/File)" />The Heat are the reigning champions and overwhelming favored to repeat.<br /><br />In a ceremony before Monday night&rsquo;s game, LeBron James was named the league&rsquo;s most valuable player for the fourth time in five years.</p><p>The only player to interrupt his reign was Derrick Rose.</p><p>But Rose didn&rsquo;t play in Game 1...or any other matchup this season.</p><p>And yet the Bulls managed to knock King James &ndash;&nbsp;and oddsmakers &ndash;&nbsp;off their game Monday night.</p><p>In fact, Miami was so favored to win the series that in order to win a single dollar off a bet in their favor, you&rsquo;d have to put up $30. Again, to win a dollar...you&rsquo;d have to bet 30.</p><p>But then the Bulls won--and the odds began to change.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of people are betting on the Bulls tonight with the points...it&rsquo;s a lot of points, with 12 points. One book said it&rsquo;s like 80 percent of the bets so far were on the Bulls,&rdquo; David Purdum explained.</p><p>Purdum covers the sports-betting industry for<a href="http://www.OddsShark.com"> OddsShark.com</a>. He said the Bulls odds may still improve if they can get healthy. But, that some players&rsquo; return is more impactful than others.</p><p>&ldquo;Luol Deng coming back would even surpass the impact on the line that Derrick Rose, if he was to decide to play. You just don&rsquo;t know what you&rsquo;re going to get out of Rose,&rdquo; said Purdum.</p><p>Rose and Deng have both been ruled out for Wednesday&rsquo;s game.</p><p>But here&rsquo;s to Bull-ieving...</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 08 May 2013 18:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/bulls-odds-improving-after-game-1-upset-107090 Battered Chicago Bulls take on Miami Heat http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-05/battered-chicago-bulls-take-miami-heat-107023 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_noah-nets_julio_cortez.jpg" style="float: right; height: 450px; width: 300px;" title="Joakim Noah and the Bulls will face the Heat in the playoffs Monday. (AP)" />The sweet smell of the Bulls playoff series win in Brooklyn still lingers today, however, it will dissipate soon enough. Tonight the Bulls are in Miami to play game one of a best of seven series in round against the Heat.</p><p>Fresh off winning his fourth NBA Most Valuable Player award, LeBron James and his teammates are also fresh since they have rested for several days. That is what happens when you dispose of the Milwaukee Bucks in a four game series sweep.</p><p>You could not use the word fresh for the Bulls, instead, ragged, undermanned or tired. On Saturday, they completed a seven game series with a win in Brooklyn, while missing two important starters (three, if you count Derrick Rose). With Luol Deng experiencing problems with his spinal tap for his viral infection and Kirk Hinrich still hobbled by a calf bruise it seemed like it was the end of the road for the 2012-2013 season.</p><p>What most Bulls fans have known and now is apparent to the rest of the NBA fans everywhere: this is a resilient team with heart and character. Joakim Noah would not let his team exit in the first round, which they did last year with him and Rose injured. Marco Bellini is back on track and filled in for Deng very well against Brooklyn. Coach Tom Thibodeau has proven time and time again he will get the most of what this team can give and they believe in him and the system. Throw another player&rsquo;s injury or ailment at him and Thibodeau responds, &ldquo;We have enough.&rdquo;&nbsp; Against a more talented and healthy Nets team, it was enough. Against the Heat, I&#39;m sad to say the Bulls likely do not have enough.</p><p>This Eastern Conference semi-final series will be a colossal challenge for the Bulls.</p><p>Deng&rsquo;s status is up in the air, he was weakened from his illness and if Hinrich tries to get back on the court, his movement will be limited. So no matter how you look at it, this is still a depleted Bulls club.</p><p>But the biggest factor is they face the defending NBA champions. James is playing at a super-high level. He has tasted the champagne after earning his first ring and he wants his thirst quenched again.</p><p>His teammate Dwayne Wade is expected to be back in this series after being hampered by a knee bruise in the Heat&rsquo;s opening round.</p><p>If the Bulls have any chance in this series, they must play a tough, physical game. Noah and Boozer must control the interior on defense and offense. The Bulls are prone to turnovers, especially without Hinrich. Nate Robinson has to think as a point guard and not act like a scoring machine. He will need to score, but he must keep the ball moving and make Miami play defense. It would seem without Deng that Jimmy Butler gets the short straw and will have to defend James. Bench play will be an important factor with all the maladies affecting the Bulls. &nbsp;</p><p>Forget about the regular season series that was a split with each team taking two games. One of those Bulls wins did stop the Heat&rsquo;s 27 game win streak.</p><p>And of course there is loud chatter about Derrick Rose and his situation. Fans and media are beating him up about not suiting up for the games. Everyone is an expert on Rose&rsquo;s reasons, but only he knows what he intends to do. It would be terrific if the former MVP was part of this series, but in the long run it will not matter. The Bulls are a huge long-shot are not expected make it out of this second round with or without Rose.</p><p>The Bulls will not go down without a fight and the Heat will feel it.</p><p><em>&nbsp;Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></em></p></p> Mon, 06 May 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-05/battered-chicago-bulls-take-miami-heat-107023 It's time to ask the hard questions: What do local audiences want from their local media? http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-06-13/its-time-ask-hard-questions-what-do-local-audiences-want-their-local <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-13/bluesfestival.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-13/bluesfestival.jpg" title="Long live the Blues Festival (Flickr/Mjlmadison) " height="333" width="500"></p><p>Late Friday night, the <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/towerticker/2011/06/phil-rosenthals-new-tribune-business-column.html">Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal published a memo from his bosses</a>. The memo stated that Rosenthal would be leaving the media beat and concentrating on general business coverage for the paper.</p><p>This, coupled with the news that the <a href="http://feder.blogs.chicago.timeout.com/2011/06/10/how-a-%E2%80%98horrible-decision%E2%80%99-cost-wiser-dream-job-at-sun-times/">Sun-Times does not intend to replace fired TV critic Paige Wiser</a>, ushers in a new day in Chicago media: There is no longer a major television reporter or a major media reporter at either the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> or <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em>. Say what you will about the need for these beats in major media, but those beat reporters and columnists comprised a significant portion of the newspaper you'd buy for quarters and dimes only a decade ago.</p><p>Now, facing declining readers and revenues, the local newspapers have decided to go the route of the local school council:&nbsp; Music and art go first. Gym second. Then heck, pull up a trailer to the side of the building for extra classrooms and maybe just combine social studies and math. And don't get new textbooks. The ones from 1987 work just fine.</p><p>This is a big win for Chicago's online ecoystem. <a href="http://feder.blogs.chicago.timeout.com/">Robert Feder</a> (former Vocalo blogger) used to be the Sun-Times media columnist. He now stands tall at <a href="http://www.timeoutchicago.com">Time Out Chicago</a> as the biggest media writer in town. You could make an argument that his tenacity and his daily bible-like output forced the major newspapers' hands (Lazare was writing media at Sun-Times and was laid off recently).</p><p>And for TV, shops like <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/">A.V. Club</a> and other local sites are giving the same kind of coverage, but with an edgier tone for a more sophisticated television watcher (i.e., they aren't writing about <em>Glee</em>).</p><p>Make no mistake about it, this is a serious win for the underdogs. The online media establishments have been fighting and fighting against the "bigs" for the better part of the past decade and have been forced to compete against much larger circulations and organizations.</p><p>If I were a music or food writer at one of the dailies, I would think about learning a trade. And how long before local sports sites start popping up in bulk, chipping away at the audience and eliminating the need for a columnist to tell us what we already heard somewhere else, hours earlier?</p><p>Places like the <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/">CNC</a> went straight at the papers with news coverage. I get that. But it seems to me that right now might be the time to gauge local audiences. Do you want more news? Or do you want local media covering television? How bout the media business?</p><p>Being part of the Feder blog all of last year, I can say with certainty that there is a robust audience for such work, one that the newspapers cultivated, and then squandered. I can also say that when this site dabbles in television coverage, the response is high.</p><p>But what do you want, Chicago?&nbsp;</p><p><strong>B story:</strong> Someone couldn't figure out the schedule and <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-metra-cancels-7-up-west-line-trains-20110613,0,7256679.story">six UP Metra trains didn't run today</a> because they were short staffed? Who's doing the schedule, the night shift guys at the Dominicks?</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: The weather is like an old truck. Just turn over. So close. So close. Come on, baby....you can do it...</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: I told myself I wasn't going to watch the NBA Finals out of respect for the Bulls, but darnit, the hype drew me in. Great series and the better team won. It wasn't a fluke - the Mavs were a hot team all year long (only to play in the same division of the hotter Spurs). It was great watching James and Wade sputter, wasn't it? Now the storyline shifts to 'Heat'.&nbsp; My favoriite?&nbsp; 'Do you think it's possible Lebron James could never win an NBA championship?' That is the one I'm buying into.</p><p>If Sergio Santos didn't wet the bed Saturday night, the Sox would be 3 1/2 back. But even losing that heartbreaker Saturday, the Sox sit 4 1/2 back ready for interleague play next week. Speaking of interleague play, why is the Cubs/Sox series in the middle of the week? It plays so much better on a weekend. But a Tuesday thru Thursday? Lame.</p><p>And speaking of lame, the Cubs lost again. Are Cubs fans just dazed? If this were Dusty Baker, we would have t-shirts and web sites shouting "FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE." Why not with Mike Quade? The Cubs are not only losing, but they are listless. That's a dangerous combination for a manager.</p><p><strong>Obit</strong>: This weekend, this world lost a great woman. My Grandmother-in-law Catherine Floridia passed away at the age of 90. Catherine came to this country from Italy when she was 18. She came with a group of Italians leaving Italy before World War II. They settled in the South Bend area. Catherine didn't speak English. So she was put into the first grade. She lived and worked in Mishawauka, Indiana for years and years, sewing hospital garments and raising her daughter, Marge.</p><p>Catherine and I had a great relationship. Whenever a room would clear, she would give me life advice at the drop of a hat. Using her broken English, she would tell me to 'get married' or 'have a baby' or 'to tell me my wife loved me' (her granddaughter). In the last couple months, those platitudes turned dark, where she would tell me 'I'm ready to go' or 'It's my time'.</p><p>She was a very strong, dramatic and funny woman. When I saw her in the hospital this weekend, her last words to me were 'Justin, it's time for me to go where I am going.'&nbsp;</p><p>Catherine, I have a feeling you already have them laughing.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-13/catherine.jpg" title="" height="375" width="500"></p></p> Mon, 13 Jun 2011 13:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-06-13/its-time-ask-hard-questions-what-do-local-audiences-want-their-local History repeats itself: Derrick Rose loses, finishes first chapter of his championship story http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-27/history-repeats-itself-derrick-rose-loses-finishes-first-chapter-his <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-27/photo(14).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I wanted the headline of this post to be "Kurt Thomas takes his talents to South Beach." But that will have to wait until, um, never. The Bulls season is over. And the hated Miami Heat move on to the NBA Finals.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-27/photo%2814%29.jpg" style="width: 446px; height: 593px;" title=""></p><p>Last night, I attended Game 5 at the United Center. It was an amazing experience to be in the building during an Eastern Conference Finals game. So real, so raw. And so great to not have to listen to Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr. The crowd was loud and proud all game long and then we all collectively went to the bathroom and came back with the Heat up with seconds remaining. What? What happened? What did I miss? <em>(Ed. note: While we're on the subject, I've never heard a men's bathroom so quiet after the loss last night. Just quiet reflection when we stood in line for the urinals</em>)</p><p>But as I wrote earlier this week, this is how it was supposed to be. The Chicago Bulls are a young team with a young superstar. If you want to make it in the NBA, and I mean elite status, you have to pay your dues. If you love Chicago basketball, there really is only one way to write this story. The MJ way. Anything else would be a fluke. It's like the Bears. We only settle for domination, otherwise it's bittersweet success. It's unfortunately our hang up as Chicago fans. We only know what we've experienced in the past.&nbsp; Like MJ, Derrick Rose fell to the hands of a superior basketball team that schemed to take his game away (remember the Jordan Rules).&nbsp; And now Derrick Rose has a summer to figure it out and counter. It's that chip on his shoulder that could provide a mental edge to push himself over the hump.</p><p>And when it happens, it will be right. It will be Chicago basketball. And I can't wait to be there as a fan.</p><p>That being said, this is a huge off-season for the Chicago Bulls. The team deficiencies are now papered all over Eastern Conference locker rooms. Next year, everyone will attack the Bulls in the same way. Let's be honest, the "let's play our big man on D. Rose" strategy is only going to work for one team. But they will try. So if we want to get past the Heat (and not to mention the Knicks, Nets, Celtics, Pacers, Magic and Hawks), we will have to tweak.</p><p>Gar Forman, you will now need to earn your GM of the Year award. If you sit on your hands, I will personally come up to the Berto Center and take back your trophy. Hiring away the Utah Jazz and getting super lucky in the NBA lottery does not make a good GM. Prove it this summer. Who's going to be the new Pippen?</p><ul><li>Hire an assistant coach that's offensive minded.&nbsp; It seems Thibs biggest deficiency is that he is all defense. Because of that, the Bulls don't seem very advanced in their offensive sets. We run plays for Kyle Korver. Really? May I suggest raiding Phil Jackson's squad for Triangle offense gurus?</li><li>Trade your babies.&nbsp; We famously passed up a would-be trade that would have sent Deng and Hinrich to LA for Kobe Bryant. Whether this was real or not, John Paxson did tell us that Deng was too valuable for that kind of scenario. Not anymore. I'm sure Doug Collins and Jerry Krause felt the same way about Charles Oakley, but he had to go. I believe any deal that would bring D. Rose his very own Scottie Pippen/Dwyane Wade would be huge for this ball club. Nobody is untouchable, sans Rose and Scalabrine.</li><li>Pick up anyone in free agency who has hit a big shot in the 4th quarter.&nbsp; Anybody. Backups in Milwaukee, small forwards in Golden State. Just someone who can knock down the jumper and stem the tide once in a while. And while we are on that subject, how much does Boozer get paid to sit on the bench in the 4th?</li><li>Upgrade the in-stadium entertainment between time outs. Right now, the "Old Time Rock n Roll" break and the Blues Brothers shtick is so old that it lulls you into passive cheering. Therefore, the players have no energy to feed off of and they blow 4th quarter leads. That's not on the players. That's on the mascots, trampolines, fat dancers and Dunkin' Donuts. And can I please ask for a risk/reward assessment on having Benny the Bull strung up, flying in mid-air? The audience doesn't really care and if something went wrong and fell to his death, the game would be postponed. So think about next year, just don't put him up in the rafters.</li></ul><p>So that does it. What a year for the young, upstart Chicago Bulls. Looking back to last summer, it would have been a dream to think of our squad playing in the Eastern Conference Finals. We did. And it was the most exciting basketball this town has seen since June, 1998.</p><p>I, for one, say we let football figure out its finances. Take a year off and broadcast Derrick Rose in the gym. Just taking jumpers and free throws.</p><p>Finally, a twist on the ole' Lebron James hatred. This t-shirt flips it. Ah, they put a twist on it:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-27/photo%2815%29.jpg" style="width: 487px; height: 649px;" title=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 27 May 2011 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-27/history-repeats-itself-derrick-rose-loses-finishes-first-chapter-his OK, can we finally do away with the "hot chick" shot in TV sports? (and other Game 4 observations) http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-25/ok-can-we-finally-do-away-hot-chick-shot-tv-sports-and-other-game-4- <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-25/AP110524185656.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-25/AP110524185656.jpg" title="FOUL. (AP)" width="512" height="497"></p><p>Now the Bulls must do what no other Bulls team has done before in the NBA playoffs: Come from behind and shock the world. The MJ-led Bulls rarely found themselves in a series where they were one game away from elimination, with three more left to play. So the new Bulls will have to make history. And if the Bulls come back and beat the Heat to advance to the NBA Finals, it will go down in Chicago sports history as one of the best basketball series ever.</p><p>Then again, if they get beat at home tomorrow night and we can move on with our lives and concentrate on more important things -&nbsp; like what to watch now that Oprah is gone.</p><p>Here are some random observations from last night's heartbreaker:</p><p>I've really worked myself into a frenzy over this playoff series. When their post-season run began, I was okay with missed baskets, turnovers and defensive lapses. It's a long game. But these last few games have turned up the intensity and I watched most of the game standing up, yelling at Carlos Boozer to box out. It's getting closer and closer to Bears' playoff madness. Not NFC Championship game vs. Packers madness, but getting up there.</p><p>And you know who loves my newfound intensity? The wifey. She can't get enough of me shouting at the TV - or my need to explain the nuances of an offensive foul. If she wasn't a basketball fan before, she certainly isn't now.</p><p>Right after halftime, TNT went to a long "two shot" camera that clearly wasn't ready. What was the cameraman doing? He was zooming in on good looking Miami ladies, trying to get that 'must-watch' sports shot of the "hot fan." He couldn't find one, but it was obvious what the guy was searching for. Can we seriously stop with that antiquated, sexist camera work? To get caught with your pants down on national television should be the end of this practice. I wonder if they teach that shot in TV camera school. So stupid.</p><p>Not only are we Chicagoans not used to seeing our good basketball teams go down 3-1 in a series, we're also not used to seeing our MVP's actually miss last minute shots. That's completely foreign around these parts.&nbsp; With about 3 minutes to go in regulation - I wrote down "tied up, 80-80. Imagine if this game goes to final shot. Imagine if Rose hits game winner at buzzer. Just imagine that." Rose, of course, missed the last shot sending the game to OT where the Bulls lost. So yes, imagine if Rose would have hit that shot.</p><p>At least LeBron didn't beat us at the end of regulation. Instead, offensive foul. Nice time for the refs to make up for what was a lopsided game, advantage Heat. They just won't give Derrick Rose the foul when he drives. He has to finish.</p><p>If the game ended midway through the second quarter, the newspaper headline would have been, "It's Elementary My Dear Watson" because of CJ Watson's outstanding play off the bench. Then, he stumbled, missed a few and came back down to earth. Scratch that. We'll go with "Beach Bullied" instead.</p><p>Hey, say what you will about Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr, but the two 'gamers' have worked themselves right back into the spotlight and right back into the Eastern Conference Finals. You know that environment is addictive if you've tasted it before. Oh, and quietly, they replaced Chris Webber with Kevin McHale. I thought that might be a one game type thing, but nope. He's back, Webber is out.</p><p>Court side sightings: Coach K, (possibly) Julius Peppers and former Michigan basketball stand out Juwan Howard. Wait, what? Oh, scratch that. I'm getting word that Juwan Howard actually plays for the Heat. Oh, and Lil' Wayne was there. I feel bad for him though. He forgot to take the tags off of his new hat. Embarrassing. Don't worry Lil', that happens to me sometimes when I get new Dockers.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-25/AP110524178982.jpg" title="" width="453" height="512"></p><p>When the Heat took over in OT, I did like the scene at American Airlines arena. They just started throwing things everywhere. It was like the end of a graduation ceremony. White shirts, white cups, white towels, all being thrown in the air in this controlled chaos. And it fed the Heat the nutrients to finish off the Bulls. Job well done, Miami Heat fans.</p><p>Winners: Rose (even when he misses final shot, he is a winner), Boozer, Noah, Brewer.</p><p>Losers: Korver, Korver, Korver.</p><p>We aren't out of this yet. A win in Chicago tomorrow night and this series will tighten up considerably. Remember, the Bulls did this to themselves. You aren't supposed to win on the road in Miami. So now, you have to hold home court and play your best game of the year on Saturday night in Miami. Let's remember the Blackhawks vs. Canucks. This is not over, yet.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 25 May 2011 14:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-25/ok-can-we-finally-do-away-hot-chick-shot-tv-sports-and-other-game-4- Sammy! Sammy! Sammy! Great to see Sosa back on TV (in stands, at basketball game) http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-22/sammy-sammy-sammy-great-see-sosa-back-tv-stands-basketball-game-8688 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-22/sammy-sosa.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-22/AP110522083044.jpg" title="Oh, Kyle. (Photo by AP) " width="336" height="512"></p><p>Whichever way you slice it, this Heat/Bulls series is tops. It's so super-charged, not only with great basketball but with stupid side drama that only teams like these could deliver. Get a Bogans/Wade or, even better, Deng/LeBron fight going? Boozer/Bosh? Derrick Rose against the world? Heck, even Ronnie Brewer is fun to watch.</p><p>It's heavyweight basketball. Both teams, trading blows. Miami's bigger, Chicago's stronger. It's what the MJ-led Bulls rarely had during their championship run: a team that could beat them. Yes, there were teams like the Knicks and Pacers that pushed the Bulls, but the Bulls were always the favorites. In this case, America loves the Heat because big business love the Heat. Our biggest secret as fan? We want to win it all, but we're cool if we don't. This is our first year with a 22-year-old MVP. Sound familiar? It would be really nice to have this team earn it and keep it for as many years as our last team. If it means they learn a few lessons and get experience from it, great. And then we come back stronger and win the whole thing (see Derrick Rose hugging trophy).</p><p>Here are some other random observations from Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals:</p><p>Did Noah use a gay slur? I missed it, but the Chicago Tribune didn't. They wrote up the alleged story before halftime with YouTube clip. This is going to be huge this morning. C'mon, Joakim. Chicago wants to like you. But you are too over-the-top with your emotions. Did a fan really get to you on the sideline? That's what they pay big money for those seats for! You just gave the Miami Heat a reason to jack up those court side prices. "You can also interact with visiting players and get under their skin. $4,500."</p><p>Personally, I think the NBA should suspend him for one game. Imagine what message that would send over how serious the league was?</p><p>You heard it here first: Derrick Rose and LeBron James travel like crazy. Sorry, but guys like LeBron, Dwyane and Derrick should get the calls because they are that much more talented than everyone. But not a lot of fouls were called when D. Rose got to the paint. You don't want to call it for Asik, I understand. But c'mon, Rose should be at the line 15 times a game. I saw Chalmers on the line more than Rose. Chalmers? C'mon. (<em>Ed note: Chalmers did not go to the line more than Rose. But still, point made.</em>)</p><p>Again, with the white-outed arenas??!! Do you buy one of those shirts, or do they give you one when you walk in? This t-shirt trend is getting cheesy. If you are going to give credit, give the credit to the Chicago red out or Oklahoma City blue out because really, white out is so lame. Every team has white in their colors. The Heat fans should wear maroon.</p><p>I hope these two teams continue to jaw at each other. Get a real hatred going for both squads. All that leads to a rivalry and great basketball for the next 10 years. Face it ladies, your husbands and boyfriends will be 'this' into basketball for the next 10 years. Every May/June is going to suck in Chicago if you aren't a Bulls fan.</p><p>The Miami Heat play at American Airlines Arena? The Bulls play at the United Center? Do you remember when airline companies were the biggest thing in business?&nbsp; Now it's all banks.</p><p>What's with MJ's Hitler 'stache in those Hanes commercials? It's not a full mustache, it's just a half one.</p><p>Oooh, was that Julius Peppers watching the game in the White Sox hat, sitting next to the scorers table in the front row? I'm now super jacked up. Go Bulls and go NFL players union. Let's get this damn NFL season back on track. PEPPERS!!!!!</p><p>Can TNT hire any more of the Bulls' most hated? McHale is now on the post-game analysis. You already have Charles Barkley/Reggie Miller? At least we have Kerr. I guess it could be worse: the ESPN crew is made up of Jeff Van Gundy and Marc Jackson. Ugh.</p><p>Open letter to the Heat PA announcer: Calm it down.</p><p>God, the Heat just have a slew of guys that can take over a game with huge runs. Bosh in the first half. DWade in the 3rd. Haslem in late third. And then in the 4th quarter, it was LeBron time. Oh, Kyle. You tried so hard.</p><p>After the game, I was ready to turn it off but it was fun to watch the Heat fans throw things at Charles Barkley. And I'm glad I stayed with the post-game, as they flashed the biggest celebrity of the game, giving his signature hand-signs:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-22/sammy-sosa.jpg" title="" width="500" height="667"></p><p>If I were sitting behind him, I would have chanted "Sammy! Sammy! Sammy!" all game. Then I would have partied with him at all of Miami's finest nightclubs and yachts. I miss you Sammy Sosa.</p></p> Mon, 23 May 2011 03:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-22/sammy-sammy-sammy-great-see-sosa-back-tv-stands-basketball-game-8688 Chicago Bulls lose to Miami Heat, make Game 4 'must win' in Eastern Conf Finals http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-bulls-lose-miami-heat-make-game-4-must-win-eastern-conf-finals-86886 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-22/Bulls Game 3_Getty_Mike Ehrmann.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Bulls went to Miami in the hopes of regaining the upper-hand in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, but it was not to be on Sunday.&nbsp;</p><p>Turnovers, poor shooting, and a dominating performance by Chris Bosh propelled the Heat to a 96-85 victory over the Bulls in Game Three at the American Airlines Center in Miami, Florida.&nbsp; Miami now leads two-games-to-one in the best-of-seven series.</p><p>With superstars like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, few would've thought the Bulls' biggest defensive worry would be Chris Bosh.&nbsp; But for the second time this series, Bosh finished with more than 30 points and played the leading man in the Heat's offensive push.&nbsp; He racked up 34 points on Sunday as the Heat shot 51 percent from the field.</p><p>Carlos Boozer had a big night for the Bulls, scoring 26 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.&nbsp; But despite out-rebounding the Heat, the Bulls couldn't get into a consistent rhythm offensively and trailed for most of the game.&nbsp; The team shot 42 percent from the field and turned the ball over 13 times.&nbsp;</p><p>The loss puts the Bulls into an early hole in the series and marks the first time since the first week of February that the Bulls have lost two games in a row.</p><p>Chicago decisively beat the Heat by 21 points in Game One of the series, but the Bulls cooled off dramatically in Game Two as Miami delivered a humbling victory at the United Center.</p><p>The winner of the best-of-seven game series will win a trip to the NBA Finals.&nbsp; A Bulls victory in the series would mark team's first trip to the finals since the Michael Jordan era.</p><p>Game Four is scheduled for Tuesday and also will be played in Florida.</p></p> Mon, 23 May 2011 02:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-bulls-lose-miami-heat-make-game-4-must-win-eastern-conf-finals-86886 Bulls drop Game 2 to Miami, 85-75 http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-drop-game-2-miami-85-75-86748 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-19/BULLS looking dejected Game Two ECF Getty Gregory Shamus.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Miami Heat tied up their NBA playoff series against Chicago after the Bulls' lackluster showing Wednesday night.</p><p>The Heat beat the Bulls 85-75, in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals. Chicago star Derrick Rose's offensive game fell apart in the fourth quarter and the Bulls couldn't seem to find their defensive stride.</p><p>The Bulls, down by 11 in the third quarter, tied the game on a basket by Taj Gibson with a little more than seven minutes to go and then squandered several chances to take the lead against the determined Heat. Chicago managed just one basket the rest of the way, scoring only 10 points in the fourth quarter.</p><p>The Bulls shot 34 percent and were 4-for-16 in the last quarter. MVP Derrick Rose was just 7-for-23 shooting, missing all four of his attempts in the fourth and finishing with 21 points.</p><p>Coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters after the game that his team didn't bring the intensity.</p><p>"When we started missing shots, it took a lot out of us. We played low-energy offense. We played low-energy defense. And, uh, the result was not great," he said.</p><p>Game Three is on Sunday in Miami at 7:30.</p></p> Thu, 19 May 2011 12:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-drop-game-2-miami-85-75-86748 I told ya! Oprah messed up the Bulls' mojo http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-18/i-told-ya-oprah-messed-bulls-mojo-86741 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-18/photo(10).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I called it. Oprah ruined our mojo. The Chicago Bulls came out flat with little of their patented energy and were defeated by the Heat in a Game Two defensive slugfest. As a fan, it's hard to get too down about this loss because our confidence is high that they will win one (or two) in Miami. If you really think about it, it's a tall order to beat a squad (with Wade and James) five times in a row (coming into this game, they were 3-0 in the regular season, and 1-0 in the playoffs against the Heat). But still, a couple extra free throws and a godforsaken three-pointer by Korver, and we could have easily held home court.</p><p>Here are some random observations from last night's game:</p><ul><li>The Heat got big plays from Udonis Haslem, who took a page from Chicago's 'Bench Mob' and played better. But other than that, Heat Coach Eric Spoelstra didn't make any adjustments after the Game One blowout. Of course, he looks like a genius today, but I have to wonder about the move because the Bulls pulverized the small lineup he had suited up. Let's hope this win is fool's gold and Spoelstra stays with it in Miami. I think the Bulls match up well against it and will defeat it if Haslem comes down to earth.</li><li>Hey, look! TNT took advantage of the extra time in Chicago and got some new shots of the city to play in and out of commercial breaks. They still had their Wacker Drive standby, but at least they showed some new looks.</li><li>Scottie Pippen was on the floor again, sitting by Wade &amp; James on the Heat side. I don't think he did as much jawing, probably because the Bulls were losing.</li><li>I hate the "Brick" and "Clank" signs that the United Center are handing out to the fans under the basket. It's to rattle the free throw shooter. Seriously? This is Chicago basketball, built by Michael Jordan. Just cheer, no gimmicks. We aren't Orlando.</li><li>Juwan Howard sighting! Didn't he play against the Bulls when Jordan &amp; Pippen played? I think he did.</li><li>Rahm Emanuel is now Chicago's biggest celebrity. They cut to him after a play, going to commercial as he cheered on the team. My question for you journos who might read this: Who is he sitting with? This guy?</li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-18/photo%2810%29.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" title=""></p><ul><li>It's sad that Rahm was our only celebrity, well, next to the Chicago Sky. (You can get tickets on-sale soon - SKY!!!)</li><li>Did you know my phone turns LeBron into Lento when texting? Now you do.</li><li>Winners: Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Jokim Noah, Omer Asik, Jake Peavy. Losers: Kyle Korver, Kyle Korver, Kyle Korver.</li><li>I can't believe that the next game isn't until Sunday. The fix is in. The refs were terrible, giving foul after foul to the Heat superstars and taking the energy away from the Bulls' hustle plays. And because of Oprah (I guess), we don't have another game until Sunday in Miami. Quite enough time for LeBron to get over his cold. Damn NBA.</li></ul></p> Thu, 19 May 2011 03:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-18/i-told-ya-oprah-messed-bulls-mojo-86741 Bulls could build early playoff lead against Heat tonight http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-could-build-early-playoff-lead-against-heat-tonight-86720 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-18/BullsHeat_Getty_JonathanDaniel.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Bulls will be looking to build an early lead in their playoff series against Miami Wednesday night.</p><p>Chicago hosts the Heat at the United Center for Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals. And if the second game goes anything like the first, Bulls fans will likely be satisfied.</p><p>Chicago's win over the Heat on Sunday was a decisive 103-82.&nbsp; The Bulls' Derrick Rose scored 28 points, while Miami's LeBron James was kept at 15, thanks in large part to the defensive work of Chicago's Luol Deng.</p><p>But as Deng told reporters Tuesday, the team isn't taking much time to revel in their Game One victory.</p><p>"We did a good job, and now it's over, right?" He said.&nbsp; "But you know ... the last two days is really about [Wednesday's] game. You know, I think till the last game, that's when you really look back and, you know, enjoy it. But right now, everything else is on the side."</p><p>Tip-off at the United Center Wednesday night is 7:30.</p><p>Then the Bulls head to Miami for Games Three and Four. The winner of this round will face either Dallas or Oklahoma City in the NBA Finals.</p></p> Wed, 18 May 2011 19:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-could-build-early-playoff-lead-against-heat-tonight-86720