Former Bulls reflect positively on time in Chicago

Former Bulls reflect positively on time in Chicago

Thursday, April 7, 2011
Posted: 12:36 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

With the success the Bulls are having, its always interesting to debrief former players about their thoughts on the season. When Hakim Warrick came back to Chicago Tuesday night, he told CSNChicago.com that he wasnt surprised at all about the Bulls current status.

I knew coming in, especially with the addition of Carlos Boozer, they had a chance to be a special team, said Warrick, now with the Phoenix Suns.

Warrick, who was acquired by the Bulls in a deal for current Bucks swingman John Salmons at the trade deadline, said hes been singing the praises of All-Star point guard MVP candidate Derrick Rose for a while now.

When people ask me, Whos the best point guard in the game?I knew that if he could knock that shot down, hed be an MVP-type player, Warrickwho, by virtue of playing with two-time MVP and Suns point guard Steve Nash this season, is qualified to speak on the topictold CSNChicago.com. Rose is just more consistent with knocking down that jump shotthree-point, pull-up. When hes knocking that downtheres already no one that can stay in front of himbut when youve got to respect that more, it makes it easier for him.

Meanwhile, another former Bull, James Johnson reflected upon his time in Chicago, while looking forward to his future with the young Raptors, who visited the United Center last Saturday.

The Bulls organization did a great deed for meIm glad they stayed honest and true to me, said the second-year forward, who is a starter for Toronto after being dealt by the Bulls prior to the trade deadline. Its been a year and a half since Ive been playing, so every game to me is like a new experience, so Im always going to play like its my first chance.

Now I finally get the chance to get some valuable minutes on the United Center court, quipped Johnson, who was interrupted by veteran teammate Reggie Evans, who joked, At least you get to play here.

This is a chance for me to finally show what I can doIm proud of them the Bulls as the teammate that I was, but at the same time, Im really just looking forward to my future and getting Toronto on the map, and bringing them forward as an organization like the Chicago Bulls did during their rebuilding years.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Who are the Bulls? The team that beat Cleveland and Toronto or lost to Dallas, Minnesota and Milwaukee?

That's the question Bulls fans are currently asking and the one Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill posed in the video above.

The Bulls have had impressive wins and shocking losses, but neither of those should be surprising at this point. The Bulls are, as Goodwill put it, consistently inconsistent.

The first half of the season has proven that Dwyane Wade still has some memorable moments left to give and Jimmy Butler continues to approach superstardom. On the downside, the drama surrounding Rajon Rondo has meant the 'three alphas' that were hyped up in the preseason haven't been the dynamic trio some Bulls fans had hoped.

Coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't have the shooters his system needs, but can he still rally the troops and get something out of Rondo?

Watch the video to see Goodwill's look back on the Bulls' first half and what could be ahead.

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Watch as the Bulls take on the Mavericks tonight on CSN+ and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. What's Jimmy Butler got in store? On paper, Butler's performance Sunday night against the Grizzlies was nothing special. In fact, in many ways it fell short of his season averages. But Jimmy G. Buckets was on his game in the fourth quarter when the Bulls needed him most, helping them to a crucial road victory in Memphis. Tonight a fast start will be key against a Mavericks team that struggles to play from behind.

2. Dirk Nowitzki is back. The Mavericks are finally getting back to full-strength, and the main contributor to that is Dirk Nowtizki. The future Hall-of-Famer is finally rounding into form after an Achilles injury kept him out of the lineup most of the year. In his last three games, Nowitzki is averaging 20.3 points on 49 percent shooting.

3. There was at least some rumblings that the Bulls might have considered going after Ames native Harrison Barnes this past offseason. Instead, Barnes wound up in Dallas a potential building block for the Mavs. And he's looked pretty solid through the season's first half. Barnes is averaging 20.7 points on 48 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds and nearly a steal per game in 36 minutes. It'll be a fun matchup watching him go against Jimmy Butler.

4. More 3-pointers on the way? It's easy to say that a 31-point outing will get you going, but maybe Doug McDermott can build on his career night against the Grizzlies. He hit 3 of 6 triples, made 10 of 11 free throws and even added six rebounds and a(nother) block. The Bulls will be able to run more against the Mavs than they were the Grizzlies, meaning more spacing for McDermott to find open shots. If he's hitting early, the Bulls are in good shape.

5. A three-game winning streak on the line. The last time the Bulls won three straight -- earlier this month -- it pushed them over .500. Now they've got a chance to reel off a third straight and again get back over .500. As poorly as the Bulls have played as a whole, the Eastern Conference is wide open at the bottom half of the playoff bracket, so these are opportunities they don't want to miss against a struggling team.

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