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Sam Smith Archive

Nov 5

Jimmy Butler was starting to get noticed last season, being named all-defensive second team and averaging 13.3 per game in the playoffs, 14.5 per game in the 20 games he started. But there was room for improvement, far still to go. So Butler went back home to Texas after the season and went to school.

He’s come back to the …

Nov 2

There was little mystery to the Bulls slump busting 106-105 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday.

That’s right, the Butler did it.

He jimmied the door to a Bulls victory that seemed closed seconds before on a Kevin Martin three following three consecutive Timberwolves offensive rebounds on the same possession.

I sure am going to wear that one out.

And …

Nov 1

The Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers Friday put on a terrific show for a national TV audience and a raucous United Center. The two Eastern Conference favorites turned what would usually be a routine cold October day into the heat of NBA May in a 114-108 Cavaliers overtime victory.

“It would have been better if we had won,” Joakim Noah offered …

Oct 31

The Bulls Friday were hearing about pay quite a bit.

There was the potential payback to LeBron James, now with the Cavs, after trying to defeat the Miami Heat the last four seasons.

And there was the issue of pay to Jimmy Butler, who was negotiating for a contract extension as the minutes ticked away to the Oct. 31 deadline. …

Oct 30

These games, like the Bulls’ opening night 104-80 drubbing of the Knicks, are shaped in the kiln of internal competition, the heat of their practice battles hardening these Bulls players to the kind of strength that proved much too rugged for a hopeful and developing Knicks team with Carmelo Anthony.

“Our second unit is really talented,” said top reserve Taj …

Oct 29

Is this Chicago heresy? Michael Jordan not being the baseline for all knowledge and inspiration? But Larry Bird?

“One player I look at, older player, someone like Larry Bird, he just had a great feel for the game,” Derrick Rose was saying Wednesday morning after the Bulls practice about circumstances of the game. “His teammates loved playing with him and …

Oct 25

The story of the Bulls’ preseason, the entire season, actually, was to be the health and effectiveness of Derrick Rose, who missed most of the last two seasons with injuries.

But it’s been a happy ending, or, more appropriately, a happy beginning as Rose Friday had 27 points, three-of-seven on threes with five assists and just one turnover in the …

Oct 24

The grey warm up t-shirt the Bulls’ starting shooting guard was wearing before Friday’s final preseason game was soaked through with sweat. He was ready to go. Yes, it was time for Jimmy Butler to change into his suit to watch the game.

Butler remains sidelined with a sprained thumb sustained last week against Charlotte. It, unfortunately, occurred just a …

Oct 20

The Bulls Monday lost 107-98 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, their consensus rival for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. There wasn’t all that much to make of the result with LeBron James sitting out almost the last seven minutes, the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler out with a sprained thumb and James and Derrick Rose often playing at different times.

But it was …

Oct 20

The Bulls Sunday in a 101-96 preseason win over the Charlotte Hornets finally began to show their hand for the regular season.

And they deserved a hand, as it were, for a strong finish after blowing a 13-point fourth quarter lead as Derrick Rose showed his old form scoring the team’s last six points and Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol …

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