Boozer keying Bulls' hot streak


Boozer keying Bulls' hot streak

Its hard not to notice Carlos Boozers play over the last couple of weeks.

Over the last five games, the 10-year veteran is averaging 23.2 points and 12 rebounds, while shooting 52 percent from the field.

Hes playing very well, coach Tom Thibodeau said. Were feeding off him. Him getting established in the post is very important for us. Hes making a lot of good plays and his teammates are doing a good job of searching him out.

His 27-point, 12-rebound performance in last Fridays win over Miami might be one of his best performances on the season, considering the opponent.

Never one to take personal credit, Boozer was quick to deflect the attention away from himself onto the overall improved play of the team.

Im just playing off my teammates, Boozer said. Were trying to step it up a little bit and get some more wins. We had a tough couple of weeks in 2012 and new year, we have a couple of resolutions and the biggest one is to get more wins.

While the team has responded well after a disappointing loss to Charlotte on New Years Eve, everyone has been impressed with Boozers play, even if its with a little light ribbing.

I be teasing Booze a lot, Nate Robinson jokingly said, speaking on Boozers jumpshot, which hes a fan of. I tell him youre the only big two-guard Ive seen. He needs to be in the three-point contest during All-Star weekend.

Booze has been doing a hell of a job. As of late, hes been doing a lot more hustling, getting on the ground, getting dirty and thats what we need him to do; continue to play, be aggressive on offense. Hes been doing a way better job on defense, getting loose balls and hustling. Its been great and thats the player that we need him to be.

Derrick Rose is really, really confident with the Knicks

Derrick Rose is really, really confident with the Knicks

Derrick Rose has never been shy about voicing his opinion. And that didn't change once he was dealt to the Knicks in late June.

He told in late July that the Knicks, who also signed Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings, had formed a "super team" with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Rose said both the Knicks and Warriors, who won 73 games and then added this generation's greatest scorer in Kevin Durant, were the two super teams in the NBA.

Rose then doubled down on those comments earlier this month, saying every player should "believe in yourself" enough to feel as though you're playing on a super team.

That confidence didn't waver in the last week, as Rose made headlines once again for saying the Knicks have a chance to do something pretty special.

"I think (the Knicks) have a chance to win every game, and in the league, that's rare," he told Yahoo! Sports.

Now, it's important to recognize that Rose is not saying the Knicks are going to go 82-0, or even that they have a realistic shot at doing so (though Rose's other super team in the NBA, Golden State, may have a shot). It'd be even more odd to hear Rose say there were games the Knicks had no shot at winning this season, even though their 32-win season from a year ago would suggest otherwise.

What Rose's comments really show is that he hasn't lost any of the confidence that made him the league's youngest MVP. Even while battling through his myriad injuries Rose maintained that he'd get back to the level he once showed as a dominant point guard in the NBA. And with a fresh start in New York, he's hoping that becomes a reality.

The Knicks have a decent shot at getting back to the postseason for the first time since 2013. But with new head coach Jeff Hornacek and many new pieces needing to mesh, there's bound to be a few games early in the year that the Knicks have no real shot at winning (like Opening Night in Cleveland).

Bulls Talk: SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell on Olympic gold for Team USA, Jimmy Butler's role in Rio

Bulls Talk: SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell on Olympic gold for Team USA, Jimmy Butler's role in Rio

As part of a joint collaboration between and's Blog a Bull, Mark Strotman and Ricky O'Donnell are breaking down the latest happenings on the Bulls. Check back all season long for more video hits and features.

On the first edition of the collaboration, Mark and Ricky break down USA Basketball's road to a third consecutive gold medal in this month's Rio Olympics.

It marked the third consecutive gold for Carmelo Anthony, the first man to accomplish that feat, and head coach Mike Krzyzewski finished his career as USA Basketball head coach 88-1, including a 76-game winning streak to end things.

Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler was on that squad and provided crucial defensive work on the team's second unit. The guys break down whether or not he'll be a part of the 2020 team that heads to Tokyo looking for a four-peat.

And Butler wasn't the only member of the Bulls participating in Rio. Mark and Ricky look at Nikola Mirotic's encouraging play for the Spanish national team, as well as Cristiano Felicio getting his feet wet for the host country, Brazil.

See all of what they had to say in the video above, and be sure to check out Blog a Bull all season long for Bulls news and analysis.

Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic show off Olympic medals

Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic show off Olympic medals

On Friday, Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic playfully jabbed at each other on Instagram ahead of USA vs. Spain with the winner advancing to the gold medal game.

Butler got the best of Mirotic as Team USA went on to win the gold for the third straight Olympics after beating Serbia, 96-66, on Sunday while Mirotic came away with some hardware as well, helping Spain capture the bronze medal with an 89-88 win over Australia.

[SHOP: Gear up for the 2016-17 season, Bulls fans!]

The pair of Bulls teammates took a photo showing off their medals Sunday:

Dwyane Wade also congratulated his new teammate Butler with a tweet of his own: