WBEZ | Atlanta Hawks http://www.wbez.org/tags/atlanta-hawks Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Reason #34 to root against the Heat: LeBron's semifinal celebration disrespectful to Bulls http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-13/reason-34-root-against-heat-lebrons-semifinal-celebration-disrespect <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-13/AP110512059160.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>What a beautiful day in Chicago. The sun is out, the flowers are in full bloom, Richard M. Daley is still mayor. It's like 1998, all over again.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-13/AP110512059160.jpg" title="Bring on the Heat (AP) " width="280" height="512"></p><p>I approached last night's game with calm confidence, knowing that what the Bulls showed us in Game 5's 4th quarter was the Bulls we expect to see in the playoffs. Last night, <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/nba/recap?gameId=310512001">they annihilated the Hawks</a>. It was like watching North Carolina play North Carolina Wilmington. The Hawks (at home) looked shaken by the Bulls skill, precision and talent. And I believe the Heat will have that same shaken look.</p><p>And about that playoff matchup: If I were Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, I might take offense to the pompous and disrespectul display that <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/james-wade-lead-heat-over-celtics-in-five-games/2011/05/12/AFXHp1xG_video.html">LeBron James made after defeating the Celtics</a>. He knelt down at center court, holding back his emotions. Dwyane Wade came over, hugged him with extreme passion and affection. "We did it!!!!" Yeah, you did it. You beat a team in the semifinals. Celebrate in private.</p><p>To me, they are taking for granted the rest of the playoffs, as if beating the Celtics = winning the championship. If I were Coach Thibs, I would put that celebration on a loop in the locker room. Not in my house. Not on my watch. Kurt Thomas, ice up those elbows.</p><p>Here are some other random observations from last night's game:</p><ul><li>If Steve Kerr was in love with the Hawks in Game 5, ESPN Color Commentator Hubie Brown was over the moon with the Bulls in Game 6. Now Hawks' fans, do you know what I mean? That must have been annoying to watch if you were in Atlanta. But you could tell that Hubie was genuinely impressed with the Bulls fundamentals.</li><li>Hey, when does that new Green Lantern movie come out? I feel like it's not being cross promoted enough on sports television.</li><li>Wow, they really don't like Josh Smith in Atlanta. That guy needs to leave that team. He plays hard and whenever he shoots a jumper, the crowd boos him. It's the playoffs. They are in Game 6. Boo time is really reserved for teams that underachieve. If anything, Smith and the Hawks overachieved. I'll bet he could roll out to Denver or Golden State and get more love. He's a home grown kid, right?</li><li>Here's my summary of the Hawks' starting five: Teague = good, get rid of Hinrich. Johnson = good, but doesn't drive the basket. He's sort of a bigger Ben Gordon. Smith = explosively mediocre. Horford = reminds me of Derrick McKey, but better looking. Collins = scrub, need better production from the center position. Overall, this team could be much better with a strong big man. Bring Dwight Howard to ATL? Might be championship caliber.</li><li>Boozer - let it raiiiin! He hits those shots in this next round and we have a Finals berth awaiting us.</li><li>Derrick Rose's brother <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/5347595-417/arrest-warrant-issued-for-derrick-roses-older-brother.html">has a warrant out for his arrest</a> because he went to the game on Tuesday instead of showing up in court.&nbsp; Still think it was probably thet right call. If my brother was playing pro ball, I might slide on a court date, too.</li><li>Finally, the ESPN sideline reporter asked Derrick Rose (after the game) about who Chicago is going to be rooting for. Will it be you, Derrick Rose or the other Chicagoan Dwyane Wade. Seriously? That's your question? Have you ever been to Chicago? Nobody outside of Wade's friends, family and lawyers root for him. He's not a Chicago sports icon. He lived here. And after last summer's free agent fiasco, I think Bulls' fans couldn't care less about the Miami star. Worst question ever.</li></ul></p> Fri, 13 May 2011 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-13/reason-34-root-against-heat-lebrons-semifinal-celebration-disrespect Bulls gear up for Game 6 http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-gear-game-6-86419 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/derrick-rose getty jonathan daniel.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Bulls are poised to make it to the Conference Finals. That is, if they can clinch their second round series against the Atlanta Hawks.&nbsp;</p><p>If Tuesday's victory is any indication of how the Bulls will play tonight, Chicago fans should be cautiously optimistic. The Bull's will be leaning heavily on their star point guard and league Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose. Last game Rose scored 33 points and served up 9 assists.<br> <br> Atlanta will have home-court advantage and everything to lose. The Bulls lead the best of 7 series 3 games to 2. If the Bulls lose tonight, the deciding game will be played at the United Center on Sunday.<br> <br> And if you're not a basketball fan, take advantage of less crowded grocery stores and laundromats starting at 7pm this evening.</p></p> Thu, 12 May 2011 10:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-gear-game-6-86419 Win makes Bulls playoff run deepest since Jordan/Pippen/Buechler era http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-11/win-makes-bulls-playoff-run-deepest-jordanpippenbuechler-era-86381 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-11/AP110510175141.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="447" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-11/AP110510175141.jpg" title="How does AP get this angle? Is the photog jumping at the same time? (AP) " width="512"></p><p>The Chicago Bulls woke up late last night and shrugged off what could have been a nightmare. Scrap the first three quarters and the Bulls dominated this game. The decisive 4th quarter victory didn't come on the backs of their frontcourt stars Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. Both were benched for most of the 4th while Taj Gibson and Omer Asik turned up the defensive intensity that has become this team's signature.</p><p>Alll year, the Bulls were lauded for their defense and their second team rotation. It seems to me that when the second unit plays at starter level, the starters get jealous and feed off the energy and up their game. That's been a winning formula. But this time, Coach Thibs didn't give his starters a chance to redeem themselves. Noah and Boozer were outplayed by their Atlanta counterparts and really suffered on the defensive end, slipping up on assignments and rotations, giving the Hawks open shot after open shot to keep the game close. But when Asik sealed the interior and frustrated the Hawks big men, Taj Gibson roamed out and secured rebounds to jump start the Bulls main strength - the fast break.</p><p>I think that is why the Bulls swept the Heat this year. When a team comes in and shoots a lot of jumpers and doesn't rebound well, the Bulls get out in transition and just execute. Whether it's Rose going to the hoop and scoring, passing to Deng slashing to the hoop or kicking it out Bogans or Korver, the Bulls click.</p><p>Big ups to Taj Gibson, Keith Bogans, Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik. You played ball last night.</p><p>It was a big win and puts the Bulls back in the catbird's seat not only to win this series, but to compete against whoever comes out of the Boston/Miami series. In other words, this was a statement game.</p><p><strong>Here are some other random observations from last night's Game 5 win:</strong></p><p>Steve Kerr needs to review the tape and stop slobbering all over the Hawks. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Kerr proclaimed that the Hawks believed they were going to win the game and that they were playing with more energy. Thanks to Kerr (a former Bull), the Bulls responded and obliterated the Hawks in the 4th quarter. Wasn't even close. So I would say shut your mouth Steve, but keep talking because the Bulls must have been listening.</p><p>And Steve, that great Hawks team didn't look so great in the 4th. The chuck and chase Atlanta Hawks?</p><p>I was unkind to Pip after Monday's game because of his <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-09/did-scottie-litter-national-television-and-other-random-observations">televised littering</a>, but I have to say that Pippen redeemed himself by sitting court side (next to the <a href="http://deadspin.com/5790232/i+team-do-you-know-who-this-connected-bulls-fan-is">young prince Pritzker</a>) and trash talking the Hawks by their bench. When Josh Smith got into the altercation with Boozer, Smith and Pippen had words. When Smith picked up a quick fourth foul, he headed back to his bench and was razzed by Pippen. And not in a Charles Barkley kind of way (doofus), but more in a 'this is my squad and it might as well be 1997, punk. I don't like you.' Doesn't Pip have some sort of official capacity with the Bulls? So why is he sitting next to the Hawks bench, trash-talking? Either way, it was awesome to watch one of our biggest sports heroes showing bravado and talking smack to the team the new Bulls are trying to beat. Awesome. It was at that point in the game that the Bulls started to show some life.</p><p>Speaking of Josh Smith, do I have this right? He gets booed by his own crowd every time he takes a jumper? That's pretty weak. He must shoot (and miss) a lot of jumpers.</p><p>Did you know that with this win, the Bulls have now gone further than any Bulls team since MJ. The Gordon/Hinrich team won two games against Detroit in the semis a few years back. But no Bulls team has won three playoff games this late, or made it out of this round since Jordan/Pipp/Randy Brown finished off the Jazz in 1998.</p><p>I was half-listening, but were Marv and Steve Kerr fighting over the merits of stastitical analysis during the game last night? The bit about the team who wins Game 5 usually wins the series went on waaaaay too long with Kerr and Albert arguing over whether or not that was valid. They just wouldn't let it go. Was it just me or was that super awkward?</p><p>ESPN spent a good deal of airtime this week on the storyline that Derrick Rose takes too much shots for the Bulls. I don't know, the Bulls were languishing in mediocrity late into the 3rd quarter when Rose put the team on his back. It was at the 3:13 mark. I noted it because that's when he started driving the hoop. See, he didn't take over the game because of ego, he had to take the game over out of necessity. Because no one else was. And boy did he. Taj Gibson was unreal with 11 points off the bench (almost all in 4th), but it was Rose setting the tempo.</p><p>If Taj keeps this up, we can print a new novelty t-shirt: Thibs and Gibs (A cartoon of both of them leaning against each other. They would have regular bodies and huge cartoon heads).</p><p>Wow, go figure. The point guard that backs up Kirk Hinrich is much better than Kirk Hinrich. Haven't seen that before.</p><p>They pulled out the blimp for this game and we got some great aerial shots of the West Side surrounding the United Center. When they do the shots, it always seems that the stadium is like every other stadium in America, surrounded by parking lots in an industrial area. Poor West Side, no respect. Instead of showing that same Wacker Drive stop-start motion shot over and over, how about showing Madison Street? Not just West Loop, but some of the architecture west of the stadium? Like Kedzie? Seriously, let me go out with the crew before a game. I would help you guys get some seriously awesome Chicago shots. Please?</p><p>Now Bulls, go blow them out in ATL. You can and you should. It's your time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 11 May 2011 14:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-11/win-makes-bulls-playoff-run-deepest-jordanpippenbuechler-era-86381 Bulls take Game 5, one win away from conference finals http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-take-game-5-one-win-away-conference-finals-86370 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-11/BULLS high five AP Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Bulls are one game away from going to the Eastern Conference Finals. They beat the Atlanta Hawks last night, 95-83.</p><p>Derrick Rose was once again the top scorer in last night's Game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks. He had 33 points and nine assists.</p><p>The Bulls' win came shortly after the team's general manager was named co-Executive of the Year by the NBA.</p><p>Gar Forman made several moves before the start of this season, even bringing in a new head coach. Forman says the award belongs to the entire Bulls organization, but it's Derrick Rose he built the team around.</p><p>"Any decision that we've made this last year and decisions we make moving forward, whether it's free agency or draft or trades, you know, one of the first questions if not the first question we ask is, 'Does it fit Derrick Rose?'" Forman said Tuesday.</p><p>The Bulls can move to the next round of the playoffs if they beat the Hawks in Game 6 in Atlanta on Thursday.</p></p> Wed, 11 May 2011 11:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-take-game-5-one-win-away-conference-finals-86370 Cheryl Raye-Stout provides a Bulls playoff update http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-09/cheryl-raye-stout-provides-bulls-playoff-update-86240 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-09/Bulls Getty Kevin C. Cox.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Friday, May 6, <a href="http://www.nba.com/bulls/" target="_blank">Chicago Bulls</a> looked like they could do no wrong, and beat the Atlanta Hawks soundly. <a href="http://www.drosehoops.com/c/index" target="_blank">Derrick Rose</a> added insult to injury by racking up 44 points and a career high performance. On Sunday, May 8, the <a href="http://www.nba.com/hawks/" target="_blank">Hawks</a> got their payback, beating the Bulls 100 to 88. The Eastern Conference Semi-Finals is now tied at two games apiece. The Bulls will be back at the United Center for Game 5 on Tuesday.<br> <br> Can the Bulls stay the course? To find out, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to WBEZ’s Cheryl Raye-Stout.</p></p> Mon, 09 May 2011 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-09/cheryl-raye-stout-provides-bulls-playoff-update-86240 Bulls even playoff series against Atlanta http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-even-playoff-series-against-atlanta-86094 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-05/113693372.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Bulls evened the series against Atlanta Wednesday night. The Bulls beat the Hawks, 86-73. Joakim Noah scored 19 points and had 14 rebounds in the low scoring game. Coach Tom Thibodeau said the Bulls' defense looked much sharper than it did after they lost Game One.</p><p>"If they get going early, it's hard to slow them down, but I thought we had the right mindset and we had a multiple effort mentality," Thibodeau said. "And I thought we did a good job of finishing our defense tonight."</p><p>The Bulls' next two games are in Atlanta. They play game three on Friday night.</p></p> Thu, 05 May 2011 10:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-even-playoff-series-against-atlanta-86094 Bulls begin Round Two of playoffs against Atlanta tonight http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-begin-round-two-playoffs-against-atlanta-tonight-85859 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-29/110019114.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Bulls begin Round Two of the playoffs Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks. The Bulls went 2-and-1 against the Hawks during the regular season.</p><p>One key to the game is the health of the Bulls. Carlos Boozer is reported to have turf toe. Derrick Rose played Game 5 against the Indiana Pacers with a sprained ankle.</p><p>Another key is how the Bulls will stack up against two of their own former players who now play for the Hawks. Kirk Hinrich was with the team for seven seasons. Jamal Crawford played for the Bulls for four years in the early 2000s.</p><p>The winner of this series will go on to play either the Boston Celtics or the Miami Heat, the two and three seeds in the Eastern Conference.</p></p> Mon, 02 May 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/bulls-begin-round-two-playoffs-against-atlanta-tonight-85859