Recap of all the latest Bulls news for the past week to keep you up to date and in the know.
This week’s games-
Chicago goes 2-2 for the week. With perhaps the most impressive win of the season came vs the Houston Rockets 114-105. The matchup between Jimmy Butler and James Harden had the United Center in a playoff type atmosphere for the first time since the Cavs came to town.
Bulls would follow that up with a horrific loss to the visiting Utah Jazz 97-77 and a trip to the nation’s capital to lose 102-86. Saturday night the Bulls would snap that losing streak against the Bucks, in Chicago with Pau Gasol having a career night scoring, 46 points and 18 rebounds.
News and Notes-
Butler will stay a Bull- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune reported the Bulls do in fact plan on offering Jimmy Butler a max contract in July before another team gets involved to sway the rising star away from Chicago. Butler said at the start of the season “I’m going to be in Chicago. I say that with a smile on my face because I know that for a fact.”
With Chicago giving up Deng to keep them out of the luxury tax penalty last season, the Bulls planned on giving Butler what he deserved to keep him around. After all, he is the man they put their faith into that would be Deng’s replacement. They would look flat-out stupid to let Deng’s backup land elsewhere.
Jimmy will be eligible to receive at salary of around $15.5 million from the Bulls, which is 25% of next seasons salary cap. Unless of course Jimmy somehow pulls out an MVP in his 4th season. Then he would be eligible to receive 30% of the cap known as the Derrick Rose rule.
Rose misses a game due to left knee soreness- After playing in 11 straight games, Derrick Rose missed the game vs the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday due to soreness in his left knee. That in fact is the repaired ACL knee. Rose also is battling a right hip contusion he suffered against the Rockets earlier in the week. As of right now no MRI is scheduled for Rose, however according to K.C. Johnson, that may change after he gets checked out by Dr. Cole. We will continue to monitor this situation. Chicago is 19-8 with Rose and 7-4 in his absence.
Bulls visit the White House- All was not a loss for the Bulls while in Washington D.C. The Chicago Bulls made a trip to the White House, and it turned into quite the photo-op as Bulls player’s Instagram pages flooded the social media world with selfies and posses of themselves inside of the President’s home.
Mike Dunleavy out with ankle injury- Mike Dunleavy hadn’t missed a game as a Bull until he jammed his ankle in the game vs the Denver Nuggets. An injury Dunleavy thought he could bounce back quickly from has now landed him a trip to the MRI machine. Mike says his ankle isn’t responding yet. He is unable to run or anything. Dunleavy has now missed 5 games since injuring it on Jan 1st.
Player of the Week-
Pau Gasol easily took home this award with his career night vs the Bucks. Scoring 46 points, grabbing 18 rebounds, and single-handedly leading the Bulls to the victory.
Not only was Gasol dominate in this match up, but he also has dominated this entire season. By far the most bang for the buck player in the league. This week Gasol would average 24 ppg, 12.8 rpg, and shoot the ball at 58% from the field. Surprisingly enough 100% from behind the arc. Doing all this while only averaging 32 mpg.
Gasol is second in voting in the East for the All-Star game behind LeBron James. With this recent performance Gasol will most likely have a starting spot in the All-Star game. Nobody in the NBA should be surprised at this accomplishment.