Chicago Bulls good is not good enough. But, is help on the way?

Bulls lose to WizardsThe Chicago Bulls are on the verge of elimination and although no one likes to lose, the Bulls should not hang their heads. When Derrick Rose was lost for the year for the second time everyone thought all was lost. Despite the loss of the face of the franchise the effort and tenacity of the Bulls never wavered. And just when fans thought things could not get any worst the Bulls traded their other All-Star in Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers. While we all looked bewildered and confused many wondered if Bulls General Manager Gar Forman had threw in the towel on this season preferring NBA lottery balls instead.

Despite the injuries and trades the Bulls weathered the storm of obscurity winning back the affection of fans by taking no nights off and battling for each ball like it was their last. Regretfully, defense and effort plays can only take you so far. Down 0-2 to the Washington Wizards theBulls unimpressive 5 offensive woes have become impossible to ignore. The dismal 4 points scored in the third quarter of Game 2 served as a resounding reality check that the end of the regular season is near. Because defense may still win championships but you gotta at least score more than four points in a quarter to give yourself a serious shot at winning, impossible is nothing but mustering only four points in a quarter making winning close to impossible.

Bulls Big 3At this point elimination from the NBA Playoffs is imminent , but as soon as the regular season comes to an end, the sooner the Bulls can kickoff an off season full of speculation and wonder that will deal with centered around three figures: Thibs, Melo, and Rose. Will Coach Thibodeau get an extension? How healthy is Rose? And last but not least, will Carmelo Anthony take less money and sign with the Bulls making them a legitimate title contender? Is help on the way? In time the answers to these questions and more will be made known, maybe the best yet to come but then again maybe not? Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast


Attention #Heat and #Pacers – 2 is better than 1, no #Bull

paul george dunks on lebronLast night we witnessed two elite NBA teams treat a meaningless regular season game like it was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Although no team was eliminated from title contention last night the intensity and rough play indicate that health not talent may go along way in determining who the next Eastern Conference Champion.

After being eliminated from the playoffs last year the Pacers were on a mission to beat the heat by securing home court. And with only a handful of games remaining they are very close to attaining their goal. Although being the top seed certainly has its advantage, there road to the title will a tad more difficult than two defending NBA Champions.

The Pacers clearly began this season with the end in mind, believing that the outcome ofbullsvspacers Game 7 would be different on their home court. However, it appears they may have forgotten that there is a Eastern Conference Semifinals and the team that may be waiting is the Joakim Noah and the Rose-less Chicago Bulls. Both the Heat and Pacers have struggled against the Bulls and their battles dwade kneeshas left its fare share of bumps and bruises. Although a win seems certain, whoever survives the seven game  battle royal with the Bulls will enter the Eastern Conference Finals wounded, scarred, and vulnerable due to exhaustion and fatigue.

Since both the Pacers and Heat are far too prideful to tank, ask yourself which road to the conference final would you prefer? Facing the rough andpacersvsheat tumble Bulls? Or making quick work of young and inexperienced Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors? Although the Pacers may have won the battle, did they compromise their title hopes along the way? It takes 16 wins to be crowned an NBA Champion, and this year the two seed may provide the better route. Did the Heat win in a losing effort? Only time will tell. Stay tuned…I know I will.


Chicago Bulls win – Joakim Noah led, will Derrick Rose follow?

joakim noah chicago bulls leaves it all on the courtLast night the Chicago Bulls redeemed themselves in tying up their series with the Brooklyn Nets in the only way they knew how, with toughness, grit, and defense. Although the Bulls did not register many ESPN highlight worthy plays led by long-hair Frenchmen, Joakim Noah, the Bulls simply refused to lose.

Despite literally playing on one ankle Noah played inspired basketball that excited the masses but also raised questions about the $16 million dollar player Derrick Rose who was at the end of the bench in a suit and tie.joakim noah derrick rose luol deng chicago bulls Last year Rose suffered a devastating injury when he tore his ACL in last year’s playoffs, and many feared that the explosive guard would be lost for the season.

Distraught Bulls fans presumed that the season would be lost but his Adidas commercials that aired throughout the regular season gave many hope that his return this season was imminent. Unfortunately, it seems that the commercials were merely a marketing ploy as fans have been forced to settle for watching Rose warm-up and dunk during pre-game warm-ups.

derrick rose the returnAlthough it may be unfair to compare Rose to players who suffered the same injury, the fact that Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio, Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger, and New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert all have returned this season from the same debilitating injury which frustrated one fan so much that he is suing Rose for not playing.

Last night fans and pundits witnessed the value of effort as Noah wincing with each step fought through the pain and left it all on the floor. Rose has always been a fan favorite, praised for his humility and his selflessness, but after witnessing the effort of his teammate first-hand the time for Rose to overcome the mental hurdles of his injury is now. The Chicago-native is the captain of his hometown team and he must now take the lead, or at show chi that he is trying. Will Rose be in a suit or shorts in Game 3 at the United Center? Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Tues/Thurs 630 PM EST

NBA Title Hopes – 1 Ankle and 3 knees will be the deciding factor

injury bug hits NBA title contendersWhen NBA fans and pundits began to discuss title contenders and pretenders the key element often overlooked during these debates is the hated injury bug. The injury bug has already crippled the title hopes of the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics whose point guards Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose tore their ACLs. Although each of these teams title hopes were dealt a serious blow their playoff chances were unaffected.

As the NBA enters its stretch run the injury bug has begun to rear its ugly head yet again and even the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat have felt the brunt of its harshlebron james hurts knee sting. Currently on a franchise record 16 game winning streak Heat fans all held their breath when Lebron James twisted his knee, however fans all breathed a sigh of relief when x-rays came back negative. Although no NBA team has ever been considered unbeatable James injury is reminder of how quickly fortunes can change.

Since James was fortunate enough to avoid an injury scare it appears that the carmelo anthony injures kneefranchises that poses the biggest threat to the Heat winning another NBA title were not so fortunate. The New York Knicks who are a close second in the Eastern Conference behind the Heat is currently without their All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony who twisted his knee two nights ago in a freak accident against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although the Knicks won the game their chances of securing home court throughout the playoffs were dealt a serious blow with the Indiana Pacers a game and a 1/2 behind them.

However, the Pacers also a star to injury, Danny Granger who is out yet again for an danny granger reinjures kneeindefinite period of time due his surgically reconstructed knee swelling up after playing extended minutes against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.

In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs who have the best record in the NBA lost All-NBA point guard Tony Parker for a month due to a sprained ankle. Although the Spurs record tony parker sprains anklewill lead one to believe that they won’t miss a beat in Parker’s absence their title hope rest on the ankle of the diminutive French point guard who was playing at an elite level.

As the NBA Playoffs grows near the title hopes of the Spurs, Knicks, Heat, and Pacers can all change due to an errand pass or a wet floor. Despite injury scares by their franchise players each of these teams have continued to persevere even when their stars were not 100 percent. So the next time you discuss title contenders, do what bookies in Vegas do, check the injury report and hope that your favorite team makes it through a meaningless regular season game unscathed. Stay tuned… I know I will. – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)

NBA Game of the week <Pacers vs. Heat, March 10th>

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Tues/Thurs 630 EST & Sat 1030 EST

Derrick Rose and Robert Griffin III – why patience is a virtue, knee-d I say more?

rg3 and derrick roseFor nearly a decade the city of Chicago and Washington D.C. sports franchises have been mired in mediocrity and disappointment as fans of the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bulls have been relegated to  cherishing the past due to the endless years of disappointment.

However, after years of poor personnel moves and there fair share of draft busts and free agent signings the Redskins and the Bulls were fortunate to have innovators and future of the NFL and the NBA fall into their lap. After years of making all of the wrong moves all the Redskins and the Bulls had to do was hand their selection to the commissioner to make it official.

When the Bulls selected Derrick Rose with the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft derrick rose fansno one expected the hometown kid to reach elite status in such a short time. Rose revitalized his hometown and restored hope to a franchise that had become an after thought after his Airness retired. Blessed with elite athleticism and maturity beyond his years Rose lead the Bulls to the best record in the NBA and collected a MVP in only his third year. Lead by one of their the city of Chicago embraced Rose who embodied the toughness, grit, and swagger of  his hometown. However, chatter of championships was reduced to a whimper when Rose tore his ACL and MCL in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs.

The Redskins also appeared poised to return to their era of dominance when they selected 2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin III with the second pick in the griffin iii and fansNFL Draft. Blessed with Olympic speed and a howitzer for an arm Griffin took the entire the league by storm with his jaw dropping athleticism and precision passing. A franchise known more for draft bust and free agent blunders had finally struck gold. Although the Redskins were not expected to contend for a title the fate of the franchise was dealt a harsh blow when Griffin III went down in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.

These two promising stars have more in common than the Adidas apparel that they bothrg3 d rose adidas and acl injuries endorse. Despite their young ages Rose and Griffin carry the weight of a city and a franchise on their broad shoulders. As each continues down their long road to recovery the pressure too return is immense due to the NFL and the NBA crowning them as the future of their perspective leagues.

Although some injuries are unavoidable both young stars fueled by competitiveness played through the pain which ultimately lead to their torn ACL injuries. The Bulls are pressuring Rose to return after the All-Star break and the Redskins are angling to pencil Griffin III in as their week 1 starter.

rg3 and derrick rose draftedBoth Rose and Griffin III possess once in a generation talent and their future is bright but if they truly wish to make a last imprint for their teams patience must be a virtue. Many players have failed to reach greatness because they faltered under pressure, for the sake of their careers and their franchises I hope Griffin and Rose don’t do the same. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Where have all the elite guards gone? The source of college basketball mediocrity

2912 nba rookie classAfter weeks of looking for the source of parody and the absence of elite teams in college basketball I have finally found the source.  The players who would have provided a boost of excitement and highlight to a mediocre college basketball season are getting splinters on NBA benches collecting checks and DNPs.  In the 2012 NBA Draft 56 underclass declared and only 22 were fortunate enough to be selected in the first round.  While some rookies have experienced high levels of success like top pick Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets and point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers regretfully nearly half of them are contributing very little to their NBA franchises.

Last year the college game was decimated when several promising guards prematurely declared for the 2012 NBA Draft in their quest for the millions. Guards such as Kendallmarquis teague on bench Marshall (Phoenix Suns), Austin Rivers (New Orleans Hornets), Marquis Teague (Chicago Bulls), Jared Cunningham (Dallas Mavericks), Tony Wroten (Memphis Grizzles) would have garnered All-American honors, improved draft stock while also altering the fortune of their college teams who have struggled to fill their void.

austin rivers game winnerAs rivalry week  continues I ask  college basketball fans and hoops loyalist to imagine how different fortune of their favorite teams would be had these guards chose to return to school and log major minutes instead of collecting DNP on a NBA bench. Although no player will ever be bigger than college basketball rivalry but the inclusion of great guard play in these games are truly what make these rivalries must watch television.

kendall marshallDuring rivalry week I am certain that these former college stars find themselves having second thoughts about their decision to go pro. When one of the favorites for the Naismith Player of the Year Award is Michigan Wolverine point guard Trey Burke who was an after-thought when compared to the guards who declared for the draft last year speaks volumes about the state of the college game and how vital a guard is to building a title contender. As the season of parody continues the players who declared and the fans will all wonder what if. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)

Anthony Denmark is a writer for Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google